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I am a person who probably has too many hobbies, and one of which that has been along with me for a long time (but never really got started) was model building.

As a young kid I used to drool at model kits at shopping malls but never did have the wallet to afford them. Those scale model sports cars, bikes, tanks, fighter jets, and of course, battle ships too.

model ship brought from Vietnam
model ship brought from Vietnam – the Napoleon

The closest I got to realizing this hobby was this model ship that I got from Vietnam many years ago while traveling there for work. It was the Napoléon, a 90 gun ship of the line of the French Navy launched in 1850.

The model is hung from the ceiling right next to the book case, and while looking pretty cool from afar, it really lacks detail and is a cheap ready-made model ship that wouldn’t impress anyone who look at it closer than 5 feet away. The accuracy of this particular model is yet another issue that we shouldn’t bring up.

HSM Victory with stunning details
HSM Victory with stunning details

And then I was introduced to DeAgostini’s HMS Victory available at

HMS Victory is a 104-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy that was launched in 1765 and most famous as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The battle ship is in fact preserved until today at Portsmouth, England.

HMS Victory is preserved at Portsmouth, England
HMS Victory is preserved at Portsmouth, England, from google map

Anyway, back to the model ship.

You can now build your very own 1:86 detailed scale model of this famous battleship right at home. The model comes with wooden hull pieces, metal cannon, all the sails and rigging, and even crews and Admiral Nelson at the helm.

How do you get this? By subscribing to the magazine. (yep, surprised me too)

the first issue, with DVD, sand papper, glue, and first set of kits
the first issue, with DVD, sand papper, glue, and first set of kits

Every weekly issue of the magazine comes with different pieces of the model along with the instruction to build them. Some issues even comes with other free gifts as well.

I was fortunate enough to be given the first issue to check it out and I gotta say I was quite impressed. The issue comes with 4 pieces of laser cut wood that makes up part of the hull, glue, and parts that makes up a canon, together with the magazine with instructions and a DVD.

look at the size of the canon, made of wood and metal (yet to paint tho)
look at the size of the canon, made of wood and metal (yet to paint tho)

I followed the instructions and tried to assemble the tiny little canon that’s actually made of metal. While it wasn’t easy to handle, it actually wasn’t very difficult either. The result was a canon that’s barely half the size of an AA battery. I’ll have to actually paint it first before glueing them together for the complete assembly to look perfect, but I can do it!

If you subscribe to the magazine, there are 4 other free gifts you’ll get as well

  • the next issue
  • magazine binder
  • magnifying glass with holder
  • model tool kit

I think the neat thing about building model with the magazine subscription method is that when you do this week by week, the task doesn’t seem insurmountable. A model ship comprises over a thousand part does take a while to get finished, but since you don’t need to get everything all at one go it is definitely much easier to handle.

A side benefit is that if you accidentally mess up or lost certain parts, you can just purchase that particular issue and not having to re-purchase the entire set.

The HMS Victory comes in 120 issues and you can subscribe at Do check it out!