Zvezda's Black Swan is a really surprising kit in a whole bunch of ways. First, the 1/72nd scale seems right on the money. The detailing is exquisite in lots and lots of places: the wood grain on the sides and the deck is beautiful, the swan figurehead, indeed all of the ornate gingerbread, is wonderfully detailed. The treatment the guns is unusual, with the muzzle cast separately from the barrel, ensuring an open bore. And the guns come with plastic training tackle - a really nice touch. The ratlines and shrouds are plastic, too - not unusual for a ship of this size but surprising in this day and age of strict realism.
In fact, that's the surprising thing about this kit. Zvezda's done an outstanding job of capturing the look of a pirate ship, but much of the detail work and design ideas come right out of the 1960's. Beyond the pre-molded ratlines, the sails and yards are one piece. The capstan serves as the base for the mainmast. Each gun is a 10-piece beauty, and you have the option to pose them run in or run out, but there are no additional details, buckets and rammers and the like, to show them in action. The masthead platforms seem to come from much later ships than the Black Swan's ornate carving declares. The wood grain, while beautiful, is actually a little heavy. There's no bell for the ornate belfry!
Believe me, you will love this kit. It is magical in its level of detail and sheer visual beauty. Is she accurate? Will you have a precise model of a 1750-ish 32 gun frigate? I think that's up to you!
Technically, fit is right on. The quality of the molding is excellent. It's a very well engineered kit that you will be proud to build.
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