The 19th Century was the age of Imperialism with European powers, lead by Great Britain, expanding as quickly as possible to grab colonies from native populations. In the far east the primary victim was the ancient Chinese Empire, who felt pressure from not only European powers but also their neighbor, the rapidly modernizing Japanese Empire. The Imperial Japanese Navy was also rapidly expanding by building a ship building infrastructure and by buying modern steam warships from Europe. Imperial China did the same by constructing two ironclad battleships from Germany and numerous protected cruisers. In 1886 two protected cruisers were laid down  by Armstrong for China. These were Chih Yuan and Ching Yuan (English translations of the Chinese characters do vary.) Bronco Models has released a 1:350 scale model of the Chih Yuen and ArtwoxModel was supported it with this release of a detailed wooden deck for the model.

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In standard Artwox manner, the company provides all the wooden decks to fit over the plastic decks, anchor chain and full color instructions. Five decks are included, One is for the raised forecastle deck; one for the lower main deck, one for the raised quarterdeck; one for the funnel deckhouse and one for the navigation bridge. The decking is outstanding with butt ends with excellent wear and tear details found on wooden decking. Wherever there is a metal structure rising from the deck, Artwox has placed easily removed cutouts so that the decks easily the plastic protrusions. I think so highly of Artwox decks that in the case of the Chih Yuen, I bought the Bronco kit just because Artwox was producing a wooden deck for the model, coupled with the fact that the subject appealed to me.

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The ArtwoxModel wooden decks for the 1:350 scale Bronco Chih Yuen is an outstanding product. It is a perfect vehicle to try out wooden decks on plastic models because of the lower price of the decks and model, minimal superstructure cutouts, and smaller size.

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