Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 2008 Newsletter

Welcome to RatLines!
Carrying on with our theme of the Bluenose, Cast Your Anchor has created the Canadian Heritage Collection. These are some of the kits available of famous Canadian ships or boats. We have packaged these kits so that you can get started in our hobby right away.

Bluenose II Kit with DVD and Tools ONLY: $249.95

Peterboro Canoe Kit with Tools ONLY: $ 99.95

HMCS Snowberry Kit with Tools and Paint ONLY: $179.95

Web Site: Visit our new website at We offer information directed solely for model ship builders. You’ll find useful tips, a wide variety of kits, tools & parts for all your shipbuilding needs. We even have a Scratch Builder’s section. What comes after the foghorn?

Fall Events: Cast Your Anchor will be participating in the Kingston Road Village Fall Festival on Saturday October 18th. Come on out and have fun!

REFERENCE LIBRARY: Cast Your Anchor is building a reference library for the use of our customers. It is professionally catalogued and will be expanded as resources permit. In addition to modeling books available for purchase, our library includes all manner of materials related to specific models.
The Story of Cast Your Anchor

Twenty days after my 16th birthday, a new and exciting building opened in Toronto, The Ontario Science Centre. It was advertised as “not your usual” museum and this caught the attention of my father. Shortly afterwards, my family made the first of our many visits. It was different! Not only were many of the displays interactive, the Science Centre presented objects and displays that were of interest to a young man like me.

Always fascinated by stories of battles, especially those on the high seas involving pirates, soldiers, cannons, and swords, you can imagine my excitement at discovering the Model Shop on our first trip. There behind a glass wall was a modeller fashioning bits and pieces out of wood and wire that were to become the barrels, cannons, and rigging of a model ship. Set to one side was a half completed model. Three masted, cannons, crows nests, and rope ladders for the sailors to climb; a tiny compass even adorned the steering wheel housing. I spent many fascinated hours watching the craftsman at his work. I thought to myself some day I’ll build my own model ship…

In the nineties, while living in Alberta, I remembered the promise to myself and set about locating the first of my own models. I was able to purchase a solid hull kit without any trouble, I could read the instructions and I cobbled together the required tools; with many thanks to my wife’s make-up kit (tweezers, nail scissors) and her well-stocked kitchen (wooden cutting board, tape, and kitchen skewers). That’s when my problems began! I had dozens of wooden strips, boxes of tiny fittings, spools of thread, and some sail cloth but how was I to assemble this box of bits into the ship of my dreams?

I had parts and more parts and the more parts I made the more questions I had. There were no internet modellers’ forums yet, online webstores didn’t exist and I couldn’t find a local modellers’ club. I picked up a few books at my local library, consulted some woodworkers, and put together my ship. It was no ship of dreams but it was mine, I learned a lot from the mistakes I made and I challenged myself to attempt a second more difficult model, a plank-on-frame Constructo kit of a Constitution. Plank-on-frame modelling led to more questions than answers and I was getting frustrated with the lack of useful information – if only there was a dedicated expert available to offer tips and techniques, my ship of dreams would be finished and ready to display…

November’s RatLines Newsletter – Our first few months at Cast Your Anchor