This is my first model build. I read some of the build logs here for the Mare Nostrum but most are for the redesign model in 2016. I got one of the old ones but the price was right. I made a vice before I started to assemble the kit. Once I started I had some difficulties identifying the kit pieces because they were not numbered. Unlike the redesign, there are not many pictures and very brief instructions.
I assembled the false keel and glued it together. I added the planking to the floor section and secured it with contact cement. I made it solid and then cut out the holes for the ribs. I did not like the blandness of the planking so I stayed it so that it looked more realistic and then varnished it and the dividing walls. When I attached the flooring section to the false keel I needed to clamp it to force it down flat. After I took off the clamps I noticed that the keel section was no longer straight so I took a rally fine fret saw and shortened the flooring a blades width next to the ribs. It relieved the pressure and seemed to cure the slight bend. I have to put the bunks in next but I have not figured out how to make them look more realistic .ie a pillow, and some texture/loft. I put the false keel in the vice and glued on the rear section. So far I think it is ok.