by: Russ Amott [ ]
PlusModel has a good reputation for unique kits and diorama accessories. This latest release is of a Wherry, or small rowboat. When I searched online the closest thing I could find in images that matched the square ended, flat bottom boat was a punt, but switching my search parameters to "Czech rowboat”‘ or "Prague rowboat”‘ I quickly found images of boats that matched both in shape and with the unique oars.
The kit comes in a small, sturdy box with the contents carefully wrapped in bubble wrap. The kit parts are laser cut wood in two sheets, some small etch parts for the oar locks, and a laser cut cardstock assembly jig.
I first assembled the jig, which is done by putting the slotted sections together. Then the boat is carefully cut away from the sheet-bottom, sides and rear. The jig is curved with tabs on the ends to hold the bottom in place. The sides are then placed, again with tabs to help hold them and force the flat bottom into the curve. I used CA glue as it doesn’t warp the wood like water based glues will and bonds quickly. Once I had the hull shape I added the bow, rear seat and the cross member at the bow. The photo on the box top shows it recessed. I have it flush with the gunwales.
To assemble the rower's seat and floor you must cut the brace members and glue them to the slats while they are still on the wood sheet. Then the whole part can be cut out without scattering them all over the bench. Once I had these items I carefully sanded the entire kit down.
My work was not perfect as I have a slight warp to my hull but not too bad. I chose to paint following the box top. After painting I sanded lightly to give the paint a worn appearance. The oar locks were assembled. The base bracket is formed by being pressed over wire. I chose 20 gauge brass. 24 gauge brass was used for the pins on the locks. If I could solder well enough the oar locks would be workable. I used a thin 28 gauge wire to secure the oars to the locks.
This is a very simple kit that was far easier to work with than I expected. I like how it turned out and it can be used in many different diorama settings. I imagine this type of boat has been around for many years and would cover a broad rang of time periods. It can be filled with picinic baskets; bottles and other sundry objects of the modelers choosing.
The kit is listed at PlusModel.cz for $19.40, or €13.20. Remember to add the .cz when searching plus model or you may find yourself n trouble.