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Like many, I had an old kit sitting around for years (this one from early/mid 80's) and finally got to it. It's one of 4 models I have, two I bought to build "some day", and two more my father bought but passed on to me when he realized he was running out of "some days" as it were. I didn't start recording all the steps so this is going to soon jump right into the thick of it with some pictures of things I finished up in the last month. I'm also going to artificially break down some of the steps into separate posts just so there's a bit more of a focused subject for each one. Before showing what I started recording with photos, I thought I'd share some of the steps I did "off camera" and what I learned, plus what I used as motivation and learning. First, the plywood bulwarks were a real pain to get right. I quite like the approach that the OcCre kits take, where there is a notch in the bulwarks that fits into a protruding part on the deck plywood so they go just where they should. If I'd seen this before I assembled mine, I'd have been tempted to modify them to use that technique. Second, rather than plank the first layer around the very bow and stern, I built them up with balsa infill. I left the infill proud of the frames such that they had the same surface as the main hull first layer of planks. I got this trick from the YouTube builder Harry Houdini Models. See this video starting about 2:30 for the technique. Third, I quite liked the planking approach that OcCre uses on their models, where they place full width planks without tapers, then fill in with wedges. Their Endurance YouTube series shows it well I think, plus it's got the most pleasing music I've ever heard on any build video! Here's their starting video for planking. Next post will be a fast-forward to the close to finished hull.
1:65 Santa Maria – 1492 Artesania Latina Catalogue # 22411N Available from Artesania Latina for €149,99 La Santa María (The Saint Mary), was the largest of the three Spanish ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, the others being the Niña and the Pinta. Her master and owner was Juan de la Cosa, a man from Santoña, Cantabria, operating in south Spanish waters. Requisitioned by order of Queen Isabella and by contract with Christopher Columbus, whom de la Cosa knew previously, the Santa María became Columbus's flagship on the voyage as long as it was afloat. Having gone aground on Christmas Day, 1492, on the shores of Haiti, through inexperience of the helmsman, it was partially dismantled to obtain timbers for Fort Navidad, "Christmas Fort," placed in a native Taíno village. The fort was the first Spanish settlement in the New World, which Columbus had claimed for Spain. He thus regarded the wreck as providential. The hull remained where it was, the subject of much modern wreck-hunting without successful conclusion. The kit I’ll always have an affection for Artesania Latina as those were the kits that started me in this hobby, and I built a small number of them before moving onto things like Panart, Model Shipways, Amati, and the sort of projects I’m building now. In fact, my first ever kit was their San Francisco, bought from a shop in York. Although there are of course other very fine entry points into the hobby for the raw beginner, there is obviously still a real place in that market for AL, who seemingly came back from collapse in the recent past. The re-emergence of AL kits has also seen then getting a revamp in terms of some materials, packaging and instructions. I’ll come to the latter, later in the review. AL’s original Santa Maria was first released in 1992, and now we see a ‘revitalised’ kit. The new release is packaged into a much different style of box than I’m used to seeing with Artesania, with it still being a rigid and glossy affair with many images of the finished vessel. Inside the box, the contents are packed a little differently too, and not quite as tight as they used to be, with some space for things to rattle around a little. All strip and dowel is packaged into bundles tied with elastic cord and shrink-wrapped, whilst the sheets of parts are presented in a tough shrink-wrap film. Also included in the kit are the pre-stitched sails and some masks to paint the crosses onto them, a sheet of photo-etch parts, flags, a plastic storage box containing all the fittings, and an instruction manual on DVD. Why a DVD? I think it’s more to do than with me being a traditionalist, the reason why I am not a fan of manuals on a DVD. The only place I can see these is on a screen, and I won’t take my MacBook into a dusty workshop while I work on a project. To me, there is no substitute for an actual paper copy to work from. This model has no plans either…absolutely everything is done from the images on the DVD. Don’t get me wrong, Artesania have done an incredible job of showing every stage, including rigging, in photographic form, but unless I print this out, then I will need to keep referring to a computer. I suppose it’s understandable that they won’t want to supply one though, as the manual is a hefty 164 pages long! All done in the most brilliantly pictorial fashion. There is also another 12-page manual showing every single sheet of material and strip of wood, fitting etc. in high resolution. In all, the DVD contains the manuals in both PDF and JPG format. As well as those, six videos are also included which show a few tips and how to use some of the tools that you might want to purchase. Generally, I have to say that I would prefer the older style instructions AL used to supply, along with plans. Timber! The ship’s hull is built up from 3mm ply, which is all cleanly cut, with part numbers engraved on there too. On the false keel, all bulkhead positions are also engraved with the bulkhead number which slots into there. That’s all easy enough. Also included on the 3mm ply sheets are parts for making the cradle for the kit, shown on the box as a ‘bonus’. In all fairness, the original release of this kit didn’t have a cradle for build/display, so that’s fair enough. The deck sections are supplied in a combination of both 1.5mm and 2mm ply. There is no camber in the decks on this kit. It’s perfectly flat across its breadth. The 2mm sheet also carries parts for the jig used to build up the ship’s boat. I’ve definitely seen that approach to ship’s boats featured by another manufacturer somewhere (!) It is a big improvement over Artesania’s original practice of including poorly cast boats in their kits. Also found on the 2mm sheet are parts for the mast top. Also in 1.5mm ply are the hull sides/bulwarks, extending from their lowest point on the main deck, up to the very top of the forecastle and poop deck bulwarks. The ply used on this kit is verry reminiscent of the stuff I used on the Artesania kits I built all those years ago, but maybe a higher quality than it was back then. Other parts are supplied on 1.5mm sheet. The ply itself is of a very reasonable quality, and definitely a step up from the AL kits I built when I started in the hobby, although there is still warping present, perhaps exacerbated by tightly shrink wrapping the sheets up with parts. Strip timber is verry reasonable in quality and it’s of a nice consistency. As the strip material is also coded, you can clearly identify this with the parts plan which has images of the various material types and thicknesses. Photo-etch One fret of photo-etched parts is included in this kit, containing the stand nameplate, cabin door, inside edge of mast top, lantern body etc. Production quality is very good and generally on par with like materials I’ve seen in some other kits. Fittings All fittings are supplied in the same style plastic compartment box that I remember when I first bought AL kits. Many of the parts in here are generic, but the quality of them seems to be perfectly fine. You’ll find eyebolts, turned brass cannon, cast anchor, swivel guns, cleats etc. as well as turned wooden windlass, barrels etc. I have to say the larger barrel size looks unfeasibly large for this scale. Other wooden items include buckets, parrel beads, deadeyes and riggings blocks. Flags, rig, sails and masks The included flags are nicely printed and come as either foldable or parts assembled from a front and back. Flag parts will need to be cut out of their master sheet. Rigging cord is of a verry reasonable quality and certainly better than I remember it being in the old days where it was full of fuzz. I mean, it’s not Gutermann, but certainly better than I remember. Five pre-sewn sails are supplied with this model, and they already have a nicely aged effect to them. Of course, one thing this ship was famous for was the large cross on the sails. This is something you will need to paint onto the sails, and thankfully, Artesania has supplied some cardboard templates to help you with that task. Instructions The Santa Maria is actually a very simple model to build and follows many of the conventions and techniques that I remember were prevalent when I began in this hobby. The breakdown of the model is quite straightforward and is depicted admirably throughout the 164 pages of the manual. There really is nothing left to any doubt with the sheet number of photos suppled, showing the various steps from so many different angles. The photos are superbly clear and will guide a builder like as if virtually holding their hand. I have to say the method of planking the hull is certainly bizarre! As this model comes with no plans, the instructions also come with a step-by-step to adding every single rigging lime on the model, and all off it is very, very clear. Conclusion I do have a lot of affection for Artesania Latina. As I’ve said before, if it wasn’t for their San Francisco, I may never have made the step into this hobby. There is quite a different feel to the actual product now, but with most familiarities remaining. There has been an improvement of sorts in the overall quality of things, or that’s certainly the way it feels/appears to me. A big change has been the instructions and their format. I’m not sure about the price point for this kit. On one hand, it seems a little high, but then again, I suppose if you even that among the number of hours it’ll take to build, it’s still a relatively cheap hobby. Definitely a nice build for a beginner. My sincere thanks to Artesania Latina for supplying this kit for review on Model Ship World. I do think it’s nice to see their name back in the hobby after that short break. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article. …lastly: Set of 10 x 1:65 Metal Figurines for Caravels and Galleons Catalogue # 22411F Available from Artesania Latina for €19,99 This is a set of white metal figures designed to be used with kits such as this, especially as Christopher Columbus himself makes a guest appearance in the line up! The figures are listed as: Christopher Columbus. Juan de la Cosa. Martín Alonso Pinzón. Vicente Yáñez Pinzón. Rodrigo de Triana. Sailors 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 I have to presume a couple of the sailors are boys as they do seem to be smaller than the other protagonists. Metal casting is quite nice and these should paint up nicely with the prerequisite skills. Various poses are included so you can have men climbing up rig etc. The figures are supplied in a slip box and held in a plastic tray within.
I'm an impatient man. But also a disciplined man. The battle between these is always won by a slight difference. When got at my hands the box of "Bon Retour" by Artesania Latina i was like a small child having its dream toy at hand, at the same time an inner voice was telling me "Don't do it again. Take your time. Be as sure as possible with each step, with next step". This time discipline will be in charge. So I've read the building logs posted here, and general advice, and bought the Kindle version of "Ship modeling shimplified" by Frank Mastini, and then become a member here. I consider that a good start. With all newly knowledge acquired i' ve opened the box trying tame my excitement, but....i was so in hurry i couldn't take a proper picture...That's the best i've got. "Bon Retour" is a fishing boat, as all of you already know, build at early '50s and then become a private yacht. No much info i could find about her. Pity as its a beauty. I've selected that one over others beginners models, because it has a deck. And i would love to learn about building one. Next step...taking the parts out and checking them. And then put numbers on them... Next one was to carefully cut away the hull and bulkheads, sand them off at the edges. Now the bulkheads where too tight to fit. I had to sand them a lot, as to fit them without been too tight or too loose. But i finally did it. When i fit the first one, it felt as a glorious win!!! What a joy, like celebrating at Rocky Steps! So I've put my music on and kept working on them. My girlfriend got jealous and wanted to give a try. I was more that happy to explain the task at hand. Sand them to fit not too tight, not too loose and the top of each bullhead must align with the top part of the keel. As mr. Mastini writes "You think its finished and want to clue it? Don't!". So i dry fit them all by following his line of work, which is different from the illustrated and written instructions. Well that was fun!!!...and then came up to my first problem to solve. Next step was to cut and dry fit the false decks...And then i understood why i should dry fit first and clue later. I'll try to explain with pictures. It seems that i should sand the bullhead beneath the hole as much as to make it as tall as to make the hole plugin in place correctly. Did the above steps hoping i was right with my understanding. Now, as you can see from the picture above, the deck must take the curvature of the hull/bulkhead. I found two suggested ways. First to keep the false decks in water for an hour and then pin them (not clue them) at place, let them dry for 12h. Other one put them in hot water for 15' and then pin them in place, let them dry for 12h. But in order to do so must draw some lines where the bulkheads fall at the false decks, so to place pins correctly. So next step is draw the lines and then...choose one of them to go on. If you have any suggestions, tips would be more than welcome! Up to then...take care and keep on living at full speed!!! Cheers, Dimitris
I had picked up this kit online and was very excited to start working on it but unfortunately I only got as far as the framing up of the hull and the decking before many things got in the way that caused me to shelve it until now. The last step I finished was to add the deck planks but this is where one of my many questions start. The instructions say to lay the boards full length and then pencil in all the details which I originally had done. However I see that most guys elect to cut the planks to length and then install them which I've decided to do as well so I removed the strips and am starting over. My question is that of length. How long should the planks be. I haven't found any reference as of yet. Please advise.