About BlueJacket Shipcrafters, Inc. Kits
Over one hundred years ago our company's founder, H.E. Boucher, a French naval architect and head of the U.S. Navy's model shop in Washington, had the idea of mass producing cast fittings and selling ship modeling kits to the general public. By doing so, he helped turn the art of a few craftsmen into a hobby enjoyed world-wide.
Boucher was very clear in his mind as to what constituted a ship model kit. Unfortunately, the general public is often confused by the very loose use of the word "kit" - everything from plastic "snap together's" to "decorator" boats from Pacific rim countries, which require nothing more than placing a mast in a hole. It seems as though anything that is not totally completed is described as a "kit".
The intent at BlueJacket is to produce a "kit" that will first and foremost enable a modeler to have fun, to create a historically accurate scaled representation of the full sized vessel, and be an enjoyable learning experience.
We manufacture our kits in Searsport, ME, not overseas or offsite. Over 95% of each kit's contents is manufactured by BlueJacket, not a subcontractor. All BlueJacket kits are complete with detailed instructions, full sized plans, all wood, all metal fittings, all rigging materials, decals, flags, and anything else necessary to build the model. In general, what is not included in our kits is paint, glue, tools, baseboards, and pedestals.
BlueJacket offers many kit choices. We have plank-on-bulkhead models, carved solid hull models, some have laser cut parts, some have etched brass, etc. Some of our kits are only appropriate for the most expert of builders, while others would be a great introduction to modeling for a first timer. We have attempted to highlight individual kit features by using the following legend on our kits index page.
Please note that most kit manufacturers have discontinued the manufacture of kits utilizing carved solid hulls because of the cost involved in this technology. BlueJacket is firmly committed to offering the modeler the choice of building methods. Our solid hulls are carved from laminated basswood, to avoid the possibility of either warping or cracking at a later date. I describe these hulls as being approximately 85% complete, meaning that they are carved to the shape of the hull. The modeler may have to remove some deadwood at the bow and stern, check the sections, thin bulwarks, and do final sanding.
To aid in your selection, all of our kits are divided into Ensign, Captain, or Admiral experience levels. The Ensign kits are appropriate for modelers with little or no experience. The Admiral models are appropriate only for the most experienced modelers. Each of these levels are further subdivided into thirds. Of course these ratings are highly subjective, but are based upon years of experience and feedback from many modelers. If you have a question, by all means please contact us.
For the many people who see our models and fall in love with them but may not have the time nor inclination to build one, I have indicated prices for "finished", i.e. totally built models. All of our finished models are built by the expert "Yankee shipcrafters" of BlueJacket. All finished model prices are FOB Searsport, Maine.
It is important to note that some pictured items have been built with optional items not included as part of the standard kits such as pedestals, bases, paint, etc. If there are any question about the contents of a particular kit, please contact BlueJacket.
One of the added benefits of purchasing a BlueJacket kit is the opportunity of talking with Charlie Cook, a very well-known professional modeler. A 20 year member of our crew, Charlie answers questions and offers building tips for our models. He is available to our customers via a toll free telephone number, M-F, 9am-4pm, EST.
Please consider joining us in assisting these very worthwhile organizations.
2018 BlueJacket Shipcrafters, Inc.