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1:2400 Cutty Sark from Tumbling Dice

Merchant Clipper Cutty Sark
Product #
ASV 20
Suggested Retail Price
$3.30 USD

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5 January 2003page first published

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Brookhurst Hobbies, the North American distributor for U.K.-based Tumbling Dice, was kind enough to send along a pair of samples from the 1:2400 scale Age of Sail & Steam line.

Two sample packs from the Age of Sail and Steam

This naval line from Tumbling Dice breaks down into three sub-lines by product codes: Napoleonic (ASN), Victorian (ASV), and Accessories (ASA). The Victorian line covers the late-sailing and early-steamship period, including the first ironclads.

This article takes a look at the Cutty Sark (ASV 20) - best-known today perhaps as a whisky brand, but also reknowned in her day as the best and last of the "tea clippers." According to

The ship's heyday was in the Australian wool trade, which was overseen by Captain Richard Woodget from 1885 to 1895. Here was a virtuoso mariner who 'played' the Cutty Sark like the responsive 'instrument' she was: He knew how to get the last quarter-knot from the ship, and, during his time, she repeatedly made the fastest passage home from Australia.

The model comes in a small ziploc bag, which encloses a set of standard instructions and the following parts:

  • the hull
  • the base
  • two sets of sails
  • four rigging pieces (attached)

(Normally, 2 ships come per pack - though our review sample had only a single model.)

Cutty Sark components

The "generic" instruction sheet includes directions for drilling holes to attach the masts, but that's obviously not necessary in this case - the sails simply glue to the masts, the hull glues to the base, and the rigging glues to the sides of the masts. Again, since the instructions are generic, there are no specific directions for the Cutty Sark - so the modeler is left to determine for himself what angle to place the sails at (my presumption would be to match the angle of the foremast's cast-on sails). Another question is how much of the ratlines to attach - the pieces provided run the length of the mast, but the foremast's cast-on ratlines only run part-way up the mast, so a shorter length could be used.

The parts are well-cast, with our sample having no problems. Assembly is (appropriately!) a breeze.

Cutty Sark hull and base together

The generic instructions also provide generic painting instructions, involving painting the ship in basic colors, applying an ink wash, then painting a few highlights. However, an accurate color scheme for the ship's original appearance is available online.

Cutty Sark cutaway view

In 1:2400 scale the Cutty Sark is a diminutive beauty, measuring 36mm long (stern to bowsprit), 5mm wide (hull side to side), and 26mm tall (waterline to mast top). The total length is perfectly in scale and the proportions look right to my eye.