Cape Hatteras, on the North Carolina shore, is located where warm Gulf Stream ocean currents collide with the colder Labrador Current, creating ideal conditions for powerful ocean storms and sea swells. This causes the sandbars to shift
dramatically, especially Diamond Shoals. This has resulted in enough ships running aground there that the area has been called “
The Graveyard of the Atlantic”. A ship carrying United States Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton almost foundered on
the dangerous shoals. In 1794, he requested that a lighthouse be built there, and Congress appropriated $44,000 to construct one. The first lighthouse was erected there in 1802 and was nicknamed “
Hamilton’s light”. The current lighthouse, with its
distinctive black and white “barbershop pole” paint scheme, was completed in 1871. The diagonal paint scheme helps mariners identify it during daylight hours. Each black and white painted lighthouse along the North Carolina shore has a different
pattern to help differentiate them. At 208 feet tall, it is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. Shore erosion over time put the lighthouse in danger, and ultimately only 15 feet separated it from the water’s edge and collapse. In 1999, the
lighthouse was moved 2,900 feet inland to save it in an engineering feat called “The Move of the Millennium”. Today the Coast Guard owns and operates the navigational equipment, while the National Park Service maintains the tower as a historic
structure open to visitors.

So, you want to build a lighthouse?  OKB Grigorov’s first foray into structural subjects will let you build a scale model of the iconic Cape Hatteras lighthouse. The kit consists of resin and photo-etch parts. The stone and brick base/entrance and two
main sections of the lighthouse structure are cast in standard resin. The base has the stone and brick work faithfully reproduced. The two main sections have windows and the edges of the diagonal paint scheme etched in the surfaces. The latter will
make masking the parts for painting much easier. The windows are covered with thin resin film which, will need to be removed to open then up if so desired. The base has a slight recess to fit the bottom section and the top of that has a recess to fit
the upper section for a sturdy structure. As the photos of the dry fit show, the bottom edges of the tower sections will need to be sanded down to improve the fit and mitigate and gaps of seams. The top section, with the lantern pane and cupola, is
done in clear resin that is not fully transparent, which is fine since the actual lanterns are not included. The base immediately below the lantern pane and the cupola are to be painted, leaving the lantern pane unpainted. The remaining resin parts are the
individual stanchions for the gallery railings. These parts attempt to capture the ornate features of the stanchions, but they require cleanup to remove wisps of excess resin and some have also warped slightly.
Two photo-etch frets are provided. The first fret has the gallery platform, the catwalk around the base of the lantern pane and the ornate gusset supports for the gallery platform. The second fret has individual sections of the gallery railing and the
railing for catwalk. The gallery platform has round openings to thread the resin stanchions through and attach them to the front of the gussets. Then each railing section is to be attached in between each stanchion. The railing sections will have to be
slightly curved to properly fit the edge of the gallery platform. A small assembly instruction sheet is provided detailing how the photo-etch parts are to be assembled and front and back view of the lighthouse structure to show the proper spacing of the
windows so that the tower sections are correctly lined up.
The OKB Grigorov 1:350 scale Cape Hatteras lighthouse is an interesting kit and something that is rather different within the nautical realm. Overall, the design is well done and without too much effort, a nice model of this famous lighthouse can be
realized. The model can be built as a standalone subject or incorporated into a diorama or vignette. Once could even build it as a “generic” lighthouse to use for the latter purpose. I would be interested to see if other lighthouse kits will be produced by
OKB Grigorov and as a Long Islander, I would love to see one of either the Montauk Point or Fire Island lighthouses. The kit may be purchased directly from their website ( My thanks to Georgi of OKB Grigorov for providing
the review sample.

Felix Bustelo
New York