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  1. 1/50 Viking Longship – Drakkar Amati Catalogue # 1406/01 Longships were a type of ship invented and used by the Norsemen (commonly known as the Vikings) for commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship's design evolved over many centuries, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up until the 6th century with clinker-built ships like Nydam and Kvalsund. The longship appeared in its complete form between the 9th and 13th centuries, and the character and appearance of these ships have been reflected in Scandinavian boat-building traditions until today. The particular skills and methods employed in making longships are still used worldwide, often with modern adaptations. They were all made out of wood, with cloth sails (woven wool) and had numerous details and carvings on the hull. Longships were characterized as a graceful, long, narrow and light, with a shallow-draft hull designed for speed. The ship's shallow draft allowed navigation in waters only one meter deep and permitted arbitrary beach landings, while its light weight enabled it to be carried over portages or used bottom-up for shelter in camps. Longships were also double-ended, the symmetrical bow and stern allowing the ship to reverse direction quickly without a turnaround; this trait proved particularly useful at northern latitudes, where icebergs and sea ice posed hazards to navigation. Longships were fitted with oars along almost the entire length of the boat itself. Later versions had a rectangular sail on a single mast, which was used to replace or augment the effort of the rowers, particularly during long journeys. Drakkar are only known from historical sources, such as the 13th-century Göngu-Hrólfs saga. Here, the ships are described as elegant and ornately decorated, and used by those who went raiding and plundering. These ships were likely skeids that differed only in the carvings of menacing beasts, such as dragons and snakes, carried on the prow of the ship. These carvings allegedly protected the ship and crew and warded off the terrible sea monsters of Norse mythology. It is however likely that the carvings, like those on the Oseberg ship, might have had a ritual purpose, or that the purported effect was to frighten enemies and townspeople. No true dragon ship, as defined by the sagas, has been found by archaeological excavation. Extract from Wikipedia The kit This isn’t a new kit, and in fact I know this was once released under the name Oseberg Viking Ship, again by Amati, some years ago. I know there to have been at least two boxings of this over the years. In fact, some vendors still have it listed as this, or may even carry that older kit in stock. I’m unsure as to when the kit changed its name to the current Drakkartitle. The kit itself comes in a high quality, glossy and attractive box, carrying a colour image of the profile of the vessel on the lid, and accompanying small detail photo. It can be seen on the lid that the 1/50 scale equates to 44cm length. Inside the box, Amati has given some strength to the packaging my adding a card shelf to make the interior shallower and preventing the contents from rattling around because there is surprisingly little timber by the way of sheets, than you might expect due to the way Amati has approached the design. A Plywood sheet contain the keel which incorporates the curved bow and stern, plus also the nine bulkheads that are notched to match their respective positions on the keel. As you see, the construction is quite traditional in this respect, and the shallow draught of the ship is the reason for a relatively low number of ply sheets. Now, whilst there is of course some strip stock in this kit, the ship’s planking isn’t associated with this. Instead of what would be a rather complicated method of planking, this particular model is provided with two sheets of thin, laser-cut planks which are perfectly shaped to follow the contours of the hull, and also sit within the stepped recesses of the bulkheads. These planks are produced from very thin plywood and just require the scorched edges of the parts gently sanded and then sitting into the recesses. Those bulkhead recesses will need to be slightly sanded for the planks to fully conform, and most definitely at both stem and stern. This is clearly shown in the accompanying instruction manual. It is also necessary, again shown on the instructions, to trace a curve to stem and stern, which sets the line against which to plank to. Also presented in plywood is the main deck, in two large main pieces, and three small sections. With the model planked and the tops of the bulkheads previously sanded to conform to the keel, these can be attached and then planked with the supplied strip stock. Deck planking is done in short pieces that only span between each former. I’m pretty sure that these sections could be removed on the real thing, and tools, weapons and food stored in the void below. Strip wood stock is included for the deck planking, and dowel for the mast and oars. Timber quality is excellent, with tape holding together the various bundles. A smaller piece of walnut sheet is also included, and this contains parts for the rudder paddle, oar storage frames, rigging blocks, belaying posts and bases etc. Laser cutting quality is nice and fine with only minimal timber to snip through to release each part. For protection, all timber sheets are placed in a thick, clear sleeve, as are the instructions manual and plans. Fittings Sitting on top of the timber sheet is a vac-form plastic box with a removable clear lid. The box has six compartments holding a few loose wooden pieces, rigging cord, as well as the metal fixtures and fittings for the Drakkar. The small number of loose wooden pieces are for the cleats. These just need a little final shaping before use. A large bag of metal shields is included, with their respective bosses and timber details cast in situ. I’m unsure as the metal for these, but they aren’t white metal, and possibly some alloy. They have also been given an aged finish, but I would carefully paint these to make them look more realistic. A single anchor is provided in metal, utilising a wooden stock, and a small length of brass chain is provided for this. A small number of cast white metal parts are included, and these are for the ship’s dragon head (with separate horns and tongue) and a deck bucket (slop outtoilet?), longbow, axe etc. The casting here is very nice and when painted, should really look the part. A bag of brass nails is included, and these are well-formed and sharp, unlike some I’ve used over the years. You are best drilling a small pilot hole before applying these, so you don’t split any timber when you drive them through the hull planks and into the bulkheads. As Viking Drakkar were of a very shallow draught, the mast needed something substantial to hold it in place. Under the deck would have been a keelson to locate the base of the mast, but above deck, this was achieved via a hefty wooden block. That had a wedge as part of its structure. As far as I can tell, these were called the mastfish and wedge, respectively. For some seriously interesting information on these vessels, check out this link: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/norse_ships.htm As well as two sizes of rigging cord for standard and running rig, a piece of sailcloth is also included. You will need to make the sail yourself, including the diagonal strips that run at 90 degrees to each other. You need to sew along the edges after folding them in, replicating the looping stitch that should be seen. One thing you’ll need to do is to buy some fabric paint for the sail stripes. Aging the sail can be done with the age-old method of soaking in tea, should you wish. However, another method is to soak in a Potassium Permanganate (KMNO4) solution. Only a little is needed, and you can gauge the finish on a test piece as the colour develops when you remove from the solution. Also included is a chest that can be sat on the deck as extra detail. This is cast from a cream-coloured resin. Plans and instructions Amati include an 8-page basic instruction manual for this model, guiding you through the principle steps of the model and explaining the various key areas of construction. Illustrations are in line drawing format and are clear to understand, despite the Italian text. A separate sheet with English annotation is also supplied for those of us who haven’t grasped the rudimentary elements of that beautiful language. Of course, a plan is also included for the model which describes things in greater detail, including the rigging stages. This is also typically easy to understand and also contains the shapes for a good number of kit parts, so if you were to screw up, then with a little extra timber, you can right your wrongs. Conclusion As I originally stated, this isn’t a new kit, but it is one that has stood the test of time and for me, still ranks as the best-looking Drakkar you can buy in kit form, and certainly the most authentic in appearance. I know some people don’t like the plywood planking, but as you shouldn’t need to thin the planks much (if at all), then this doesn’t feature as an issue for me. Some timber edges will need to have the charring from the laser cutting removed, but again, this isn’t a problem as far as I’m concerned. Amati has designed this kit to be relatively straightforward and they have succeeded. As far as price goes, it can vary, but I’ve seen in in the UK/EU for around £90 to £100. I’ll start my own building log of this on Model Ship World very shortly. My sincere thanks to Amati for sending this kit out for review here on MSW.
  2. 1:8 Ferrari Timossi Racer ‘Arno XI’ (Special Edition) Amati Model Catalogue # 1610 Available from Amati for €319.67, excluding tax The Arno XI is a hydroplane inspired by Achille Castoldi in the early 1950s and built by the Cantiere Timossi boatyard, located in Azzano (a frazione of Mezzegra) on the Lake Como. Castoldi wanted to establish a world water speed record so he persuaded then Ferrari racing drivers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi to influence Enzo Ferrari to supply him with a 4.5-litre, V12 Ferrari engine; the same engine that gave Ferrari his first Grand Prix victory with the Ferrari 375 F1 at Silverstone Circuit in 1951. The engine was installed in a Timossi three-point racing hydroplane hull. Castoldi managed to further increase horsepower by attaching two superchargers. The result was a 502 bhp speedboat, which he used to hit a 150.19 mph top speed in October 1953 on Lake Iseo. This world speed record for an 800 kg boat still stands today. Arno XI was later sold and raced in numerous competitions, finally retiring in 1960. It has since been restored and as of December 2019, is expected to go for up for sale by RM Auctions for up to €1.5m. Information and photo taken from Wikipedia The kit The Arno XI is far from a new release, with the original kit first seen around the 1990s. That specific release is still available and has a traditional built-up hull that the modeller must plank with the supplied strip wood. I have seen one of these built up in a model shop in Manchester, UK, a good number of years ago, and it was outstanding! When Amati asked if I would like to take a look at the newer version of this kit, in Special Edition format, I really couldn’t refuse. What makes this kit different to the original is that the entire hull is pre-built in glass fibre. If that’s not enough, then it’s also pre-planked in mahogany and polished too! With the cockpit superstructure already being a fibreglass composite component, then this model is as close as you can get to the hard stuff being done for you. It’s also suitable for Radio Control (RC), and measures in at an impressive 79cm. Now, this box is large and reasonably heavy too. A glossy sleeve envelopes the box, with a large image of a completed and mounted model, resplendent in the famous Ferrari red. The box sides show images of the box contents, and most impressively, that pre-built hull. But, what does it actually look like? OK….here goes. Removing that sleeve is amazingly difficult as the fit is so tight. It took both myself and my wife to extract it without causing it damage. With that carefully removed, the tabbed box lid was opened to reveal the contents. Of course, I knew what I was going to see, but actually seeing it was something else! The pre-built hull is absolutely stunning. Amati has carefully packed this so that the other elements such as boxed components and manual, cause no damage to the beautiful finish of the main model. The cockpit/engine superstructure, is also sat in situ, giving a real impression of how this model will look once complete. With all of the packing components removed, the hull is now lifted from the box. There’s quite some weight in this, but probably not much different to how the traditional construction hull would weigh. In fact, this could be a tad lighter, dependent on the thickness of the glass fibre moulding. A quick check around the exterior showed that there were no real causes for concern regarding the finished quality of this and the safe shipping of it to get to me in the UK. Hull planking is extremely high quality, with nice, tight grained mahogany creating that famous finish. The whole surface is also very smooth. In fact, the only thing that you might do to finish that aspect is to give it a final coat of high-gloss varnish instead of the satin/low-gloss finish the model comes with. There will be some smaller details to add to the timber finish such as metal edging and brass nails. We’ll look at those soon. For the moment, I now remove the superstructure and look within the hull. The is secured by two nuts which fit to bolts that are secured into the bottom of the hull. One quick note here is that the hull interior or quite dusty from the manufacturing process, and I suggest the use of a mini keyboard hoover and a damp cloth to totally clean out the interior before you continue with any sort of paint or varnish work. That extremely nice mahogany planking extends to the undersides, despite the fact that some of this will of course be sheathed by large pieces of photo etch metal. The superstructure is also comprised of glass fibre sections which have been carefully assembled and have a very smooth external finish. The external details include nicely even engraving for panel lines. The bare cockpit will be fully fitted out in some superbly sumptuous fittings, as we’ll shortly see. Here, you can clearly see the fibreglass box which forms the bottom of the cockpit. The superstructure itself is also quite weighty. Some very minor clean-up will be required before work commences. Here, you can see the interior of the basic cockpit, with the holes/washers that fasten the superstructure to the lower hull. The box units that are built into the walls, will support the upholstered chair. You will need to make the seat removable, should you every wish to be able to remove the superstructure for the RC model version. For static, it isn’t necessary. Also of note here is that this release doesn’t detail how you would fit this model out for RC, but for an enthusiast, I can’t see it being too much of a problem as the interior of the superstructure and hull are quite easy to work within, being very accessible. An instrument panel is also fitted into the cockpit as a base for the detailed unit which will sit atop this. You’ll see that the vents just in front of the cockpit will also need to be cleaned up before you start to paint the superstructure. Now, if you know someone who works in an automotive garag and can persuade them to give a perfect Ferrari red finish to this unit, then that would be even better than using hobby paints, as a good two-part epoxy paint finish would really set this model off. Lying underneath the tail of the hydroplane hull is a touch cellophane sleeve that contains three sheets of material (MDF and mahogany veneer). This first sheet contains a couple of cores and frames for some cockpit detail work, but also has a number of parts for what will form a cradle for holding the completed model. These will need to be secured to a long wooden plinth, set 300mm apart, but this plinth is not included in this release, so you’ll have to check out your favourite hobby outlet. Laser cutting is very good, within fine cuts and minimal scorch. This next sheet contains parts that will be fitted within the hull, around the box area for the cockpit. The idea here is to provide mid-hull rigidity and stop the modeller from over-tightening the superstructure mounting nuts and compressing the fibreglass/timber hull too much. The last sheet of timber is this mahogany veneer. These parts are for the lower cockpit side walls, cockpit floor and also the rear of the pilot’s pedals. Laser cutting is excellent and provides to cause for scorch concern on these decorative parts. Tucked away in the main packaging jigsaw is this box of components. Whilst not actual leather, the seat, headrest and upper cockpit sidewalls are comprised of cores that are hand-stitched with faux-leather and actually look superb! After all, this is a Ferrari! There are standards to maintain… A good number of metal trim parts are supplied, with their chrome finish. The twisted part you see here is actually for the spine of the superstructure, also running down the back end of the tail. You are advised to check these against the unpainted unit and adjust if necessary. You really do need these to be fit-perfect when it comes to the painted model. A length of brass rod is also supplied. Another bag of parts contains a number of chrome plated metal elements. Here you see the steering wheel and parts for mounting the long propeller shaft on the underside of the hull. All parts are superbly made and have perfect plating. No extra work is needed with these. And here is the propeller shaft with integral prop. These will look stunning against the mahogany of the lower hull. In another bag we have a whole series of parts which will be dispersed around the model. Here, you can see blisters for the upper engine cowls, mounting stirrups for the long exhaust units, pump/syphon unit, and also a small number of cockpit parts. There are a lot of screws supplied with this kit, for various tasks, such as fitting the chrome trims etc. Not only do you get the screws, but there are numerous drill bits supplied to do the job too, ensuring you don’t drill anything with too large a diameter. This nifty little unit is the rudder and mounting unit. Constructed from various components, this ready-assembled unit does actually move with a nice, smooth motion. It looks like it’s been made in a Swiss watch factory! All chrome trims have been pre-shaped. All you need to do is to check them against the hull and superstructure, and tweak if necessary. They are also pre-drilled to accept the fastening screws. These are the exhaust units, and they are both long and heavy, made from brass and chrome-plated, these units screw to the superstructure engine cowls and also rest on the stirrups that are mounted to the top of the hull. The ends are also hollow for realism. More trim and décor here! Yes, there’s another box of parts with a relatively small part’s count. A photo-etch instrument panel is included, complete with the authentic, vintage finish that’s been pre-etch. Onto this will fit the metal bezels, and acetate/printed instruments will fit from behind. The mahogany hull will need to be drilled and fitted out with brass pins. These are scattered everywhere along the various planks on all sides of the timber unit. Whilst this is immensely tedious, the finish that it will provide will look amazingly authentic. If you want an RC model, I suggest you can the pins short, so they don’t protrude too far within the hull. When inserted, you really need to give the hull a delicate, overall sanding to ensure nothing stands proud of the surface. You can also see the cowl latch tensioning springs here and some fastenings for the model mounting brackets. This packet contains printed instruments, a roll of rigging cord for which its inclusion still eludes me (!!) and also a few more brass parts that I still need to identify. In another packet we have some dowel for constructing the foot pedal tube, and other material which would be used for syphon tubes etc. I think this part represents the rear of the fuel tank, possibly. It protrudes into the cockpit and is located behind the pilot’s seat. This is a vac-form part that needs trimming and painting in aluminium before installation. A sheet of decals is included for the superstructure exterior, with the race number, pilot name and also the iconic Ferrari logo and badges. Again, not too sure about some stuff here, but I’m sure the acetate is included for the instruments. This LARGE photo-etch sheet is finished in nickel-silver and contains parts for the sides/undersides of the hydroplane wings, as well as for the cockpit floor. Another, smaller PE sheet contains finishing plates, latches, foot pedal plates, instrument bezels etc. The instruction book for this kit is superb, being printed in colour photograph format, and with clear annotation. The only problem for uncultured types like me is that it’s in Italian. Things are pretty self-explanatory, but should you need a translation, then it isn’t too difficult with stuff like Google Translate etc. There are twenty pages in this manual, and I’ve photographed numerous here for you to get a feeling about the manual and the kit itself. Two large plan sheets are included, one with several views of the actual vessel, and one with images of parts sheets etc. Conclusion This is quite an extraordinary kit, not just in subject choice, but also in the quality of the prefabricated parts. This is very much designed for someone who wants to either sail under RC or display in their cabinet/office, without too much of the fuss of spending countless hours in building, planking, sealing and polishing. The whole package is quite sumptuous, including the numerous fittings, photo-etch and of course that hand-stitched upholstery on the pilot’s seat. I do also think that the price of this kit, for what is offered, is very good value indeed, and yet still presents the modeller with a reasonable amount of work to do to create that famous Italian hydroplane. Amati’s instruction manual, albeit in Italian, is still straightforward to follow with its clear photographs and annotation. If this subject has ever tickled your fancy, get some Christmas money spent on one and create a truly iconic vintage vessel. My sincere thanks to Amati for the kit reviewed here on Model Ship World. To purchase, click the link at the top of this article, or contact your local Amati importer/distributor.
  3. Hi all, Early next year, Amati will release their new 1:200 Bismarck kit. This one will be a beast! Here's some info on this forthcoming kit: Length 127 cm Height 29 cm Width 18 cm Hull: plank on frame (also ready to accommodate RC Control) Laser etched wooden decks Anton Bruno Cesar and Dora turrets made in plywood and covered with photoetched brass. Metal gun barrels. Options for three style of camouflage, dependent on career stage. Wooden base for etched plate Decals for Sound Locator System. The Bismarck will be unveiled at the Nuremberg Toy Fair between 29th January - 2nd February 2020, by Krick, Amati's German distributor. Here's a few photos. I'll add more over the next weeks
  4. 1:32 Fifie – The Scottish Motor Fishing Vessel Amati Catalogue # 1300/09 Available from Amati for €220.00 The Fifie is a design of sailing boat developed on the east coast of Scotland. It was a traditional fishing boat used by Scottish fishermen from the 1850s until well into the 20th century. These boats were mainly used to fish for herring using drift nets, and along with other designs of boat were known as herring drifters. While the boats varied in design, they can be categorised by their vertical stem and stern, their long straight keel and wide beam. These attributes made the Fifies very stable in the water and allowed them to carry a very large set of sails. The long keel, however, made them difficult to manoeuvre in small harbours. Sailing Fifies had two masts with the standard rig consisting of a main dipping lug sail and a mizzen standing lug sail. The masts were positioned far forward and aft on the boat to give the maximum clear working space amidships. A large Fifie could reach just over 20 metres in length. Because of their large sail area, they were very fast sailing boats. Fifies built after 1860 were all decked and from the 1870s onwards the bigger boats were built with carvel planking, i.e. the planks were laid edge to edge instead of the overlapping clinker style of previous boats. The introduction of steam powered capstans in the 1890s, to help raising the lugs sails, allowed the size of these vessels to increase from 30 foot to over 70 foot in length. From about 1905 onwards sailing Fifies were gradually fitted with engines and converted to motorised vessels. There are few surviving examples of this type of fishing boat still in existence. The Scottish Fisheries Museum based in Anstruther, Fife, has restored and still sails a classic example of this type of vessel named the Reaper. The Swan Trust in Lerwick, Shetland have restored and maintain another Fifie, The Swan, as a sail training vessel. She now takes over 1000 trainees each year and has taken trainees to participate in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races to ports in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland as well as around the UK. Extract from Wikipedia The kit Fifie is packed into a large, heavy box that certainly hints that there’s a good quantity of material included to build this historic fishing vessel in all its glorious 1:32 scale. I do admit to particularly liking this scale, having built plastic models for many years and indeed for magazine publication. It’s definitely something I can relate to when eyeing up the various dimensions and features. Amati’s presentation is flawless and certainly stands out, with its large, glossy lid that captures an attractive view of the Fifie. It has to be noted here that the hull is usually fully painted, with green being common above the waterline, but this model was finished to show off the beauty of the walnut timber supplied in the kit. And why not! For those that don’t know, this kit, under the Victory Models label, was designed by Chris Watton. Many of you should be familiar with that name and his design pedigree. At 1:32, this kit is no shrinking violet in terms of size. Fifie is 700mm long, 470mm wide and with a height of 230mm (sans masts). Lifting the lid does indeed show a box crammed with materials. Inside, we have several bundles of timber, plus a packet of timber dowel/strip/metal rod/tube, a thick packet containing numerous laser-cut sheets, another packet with plans and photo etch, and underneath the main timber, we have sail cloth and fittings packs. Thick foam is included to stop the main materials from banging around in the box. Strip wood Fifie has a double-planked hull, with the first layer being constructed from 1.5mm x 7mm lime strips. These, like many of the other bundles, are 600mm long, and very cleanly cut with no fuzzy edges Sixty-five of these are supplied. The same quality goes for the second planking layer, which is supplied as 90 strips of 1mm x 6mm walnut which is some of the best I’ve seen in a kit. There is little colour variation in these, and they look pleasantly uniform. I’ve always found Amati’s timber quality to be exceptional and this is no different. As well as elastic to hold the bundles some labels are also included to help identity the material. Other strip wood is included (beech and walnut) for such things as deck planking, caulking (yes, caulk plank!), lining the various deck hatches, sheathing the deckhouse structures, rubbing strakes etc. These bundles are both taped and bound with elastic, with the deck planking having an identifying label also. Cutting is clean and precise. Dowel and tube/rod Various lengths of dowel is included for masting, false keel strengthening pins etc. and thicker strip wood for the timberheads. All is supplied in a nice uniform walnut colour….no nasty walnut dyes/stains in this kit! These latter lengths are also packaged into a thick clear sleeve, unlike the others. Note also various lengths of brass and copper wire, as timberheads well as some copper tube. Some mounting parts are included for RC conversion, but you will need to purchase other items to complete the model for radio. MDF sheet items Again, Amati has made extensive use of 4mm MDF for the hull false keel and bulkheads, and all are laser-cut, as are all individual wooden items in this kit. Cutting looks very precise with very little in the way of scorching, apart from very localised discolouration. I know many don’t like MDF as a material for our models, but MDF sands easily and is also warp-free, lending itself to a nice, true hull. You won’t see any of this when you start to lay planks. There are FOUR sheets of this material, and you’ll notice that there aren’t any parts numbers engraved on here. You will need to refer to the first two sheets of plans which contain the parts references. A single sheet of 2mm MDF contains parts such as the four-piece deck, cleats, and the bulkheads and keel for Fifie’s single launch vessel. There is also a single 6mm sheet of MDF (sheet 2698-B) which contains the four parts needed for the cradle. I’ve seen numerous sites which now sell this model claim that no stand is included with this model. Well, this sort of proves that statement incorrect. This is the same cradle shown on the box lid images. Of course, you’ll need a suitable MDF primer for this, and some nice coats of gloss lacquer to get the best from this. Ply sheet parts SIX sheets of thin ply are included for just about every other timber construction elements of Fifie, including the deckhouse, deck superstructures, keel sheathing, and bulwark capping strip. Again, all parts are laser-cut and will require minimal effort to remove any edge char. Fittings Two boxes of fittings are included in the very bottom of the Fifie kit box. Some of the weight bearing down has caused a small crack in the two vac-form fittings boxes, as you can see, but all parts within are absolutely fine. The first box contains the cast metal propeller, deck buckets, ship’s wheel, rigging blocks, life preserver rings and a whole load of beautifully smooth wooden balls for making the many buoys which sit on Fifie’s deck. These are perfectly circular, yet the ones on the box image are slightly shaped. Instructions show these as the balls, and you could perhaps opt to use a little putty to add some shape to these. The second fitting box contains seven spools of rigging cord in both black and natural colours, nails, various cast fittings such as bollards, plus rudder pintles, anchors etc. Copper eyelets, chain and ferrules etc. make up the set. Sail cloth Should you wish to add sails, then enough material is supplied for you, in bleached white cloth. Photo-etch Very few kits come without photo-etch parts these days, and this is no exception, with TWO sheets of 0.7mm brass with a very high number of included parts. A quick scan around the sheets will easily identify parts for the mast bases, steam winch, engine skylight, capstan, deck hand pump, wheel assembly, herring shovel, tabernacle, mast rings, etc. Acetate and card I have to say I’m not entirely sure what the card/cartridge paper is for except for maybe general use, but the thin acetate is obviously for the cabin windows. Instructions and plans Without a doubt, Amati produce some of the very best instruction manuals to come with any model kit. For reference, check out my Orient Express Sleeping Car review and that of Revenge. Fifie is no different with a luxurious and fully-pictorial, 64-page publication. Whilst this isn’t perfect-bound as with the previous reviews, it is in full colour and produced to a standard that’s still far higher than many contemporary manufacturers, with each stage being shown under construction so you get a perfect idea about what is required at that point in construction. Text is also in English, or at least in the sample I have been sent. The rear of the manual contains a complete components list. Backing up this publication is a set of seven plan sheets. The first two of these are for identifying the various timber and PE parts. The others show general profile and detail imagery, as well as masting and rig drawings. Remember that the hull itself is built entirely from the photographic sequences so everything you see on these drawings is for external details. Conclusion I have to say that you get a lot of kit for your money with Fifie, and when I first asked Amati what they envisaged the RRP to be, I was quite surprised at this. Everything about Fifie is quality, from the packaging and presentation, to the beautiful, photographic manual, fittings, sheet and strip timber, all the way to the superbly drawn plans. I’m very surprised that the gestation period has taken so long for them to bring this excellent kit to market. It’s also a Chris Watton thoroughbred. If you’ve seen his previous designs, then you’ll be familiar with the format of Fifie, which was quite the different vessel for Chris to tackle, when everyone seemed to think he would only design fighting vessels, armed to the teeth with cannon. I must admit that Fifie did take me quite by surprise too. The very shape of this iconic and historic vessel is so homely and welcoming and for me, invokes images of those times when fishing communities were happy and thriving. Whether you’re a fan of Chris’s work or not, Fifie is most certainly a kit that you should consider dropping into your virtual shopping cart next time you visit your favourite online model ship/boat retailer, and of course, if RC is your thing, then this kit will also suit your genre! VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Amati for sending out the sample kit you see reviewed here. To purchase directly click the link at the top of the article to take you to Amati’s online shop or check out your country’s local distributor. Plans are also available from Amati, for €21.00
  5. Good Evening All This is not the most positive way to start a build log but I guess it was to be expected for a newbie like myself. So I have finally received my HMS Pegasus from Amati. The box is barely open and I already have problems. This would be a great point to recommend a build log or other resource for this build. I have found many but Im struggling on that covers the finer details that a rookie like myself needs. The instructions make no reference to a rabbet or bearding line, I have however come across reference to this in virtually every single build log that I have read on the vessel. My extreme lack of experience has lead me to several questions regarding these two subjects. 1. Rabbet line: - Am I correct in saying that they should be cut from the very bow to the very stern(excluding the vertical portion of the stern as indicated between the red arrows) -Should this line be cut 1.5mm "tall" and 1.25mm "deep" on either side of the false keel? -Do I need to sand the true keel down from 5mm to 2.5mm to match the width of the false keel after being cut down for the rabbet line?(this doesn's seem to make a hue amount of sense but it seems like this is what some people have done on some of the photos that I have seen. 2. Bearding line: - how do I determine where to draw the bearding line? - should the false keel be tapered evenly from the bearding line down to the rabbet line? - the instructions say "the stern area of the false keel to which the rudder post will be glued is to be sanded to roughly half the original width" does this essentially mean that I should sand from the bearding line to the vertical portion of the stern as well as the rabbet line(so that it tapers to the edge of the keel both vertically and horizontally?) Thanks a million in advance!
  6. 1:10 Blériot XI Amati Model Catalogue # 1712/01 Available from Amati for €284.43 “England’s isolation has ended once for all!”, so was written in an English newspaper, on the day after Louis Blériot flew across the English Channel from France. The French aviation pioneer, in his modified type XI monoplane, took off from Les Baraques near Calais at 4.41am on July 25th 1909, and landed at 5.17am in Northfall Meadow, near Dover. The Bleriot XI made its debut at the Paris Salon de d’ Automobile et de l’ Aeronatique in December 1908, along with two other Bleriot planes; the type IX and the type X. In October 1908 the London Daily Mail had offered a prize of £1,000 to the first aviator to cross the Channel in either direction. Bleriot’s exploit was proceeded by the unsuccessful attempt of another aviation pioneer, namely Hubert Latham. Designed by Louis Blériot and Raymond Saulnier, the Bleriot XI was a light, sleek monoplane built using oak and poplar wood with cloth-covered wings and was powered by the very reliable but simple Anzani 3-cylinder 25 HP engine. The plane's sporting achievements, robustness, functionality and piloting ease contributed greatly to its commercial success, and it was actually the first aircraft in the history of flight to be used in war, when Italian Capitano Piazza piloted a Bleriot during the Libyan campaign between 1911 and 1912. Sourced from Amati and Wikipedia The kit This kit is certainly not a new release, but it is one for which you can’t really find an unboxing/summary/review. After talking with Amati, we thought we’d redress that issue and bring you an article on this kit, in the style of our regular ship reviews. As you would guess from a 1:10 aeroplane, the box for the Blériot isn’t too small, with it taking up a reasonable chunk of my worktop real estate. Whilst being fairly average in weight, it’s a little top heavy with the parts packing, so careful if you prop it up against a wall like I originally did! Amati always ship in beautiful boxes, and this sturdy and glossy crate is no exception, with a very nice photo of a finished Blériot model on the lid, along with a period photo and detail image. You’ll also get a good idea of the size of this project when completed, with the given sizes being: Wingspan: 84cm Fuselage length: 80cm A note of course that the timber parts within are all laser cut, as we’ve come to expect from this and many contemporary manufacturers. The box sides contain more imagery of the finished model at various angles. Lifting the lid, you can see why the box is top heavy. Most of the parts are sitting on a card plinth within the base of the box, designed to stop the various elements rolling around within. Right on top is a large and thick cellophane sleeve containing all of the laser-cut wooden sheets, plus the two sheets of plans. We’ll look at the latter in a short while. The fist 3mm thick ply sheet contains parts for the fuselage and tail frames, plus some jigs for creating those spoked wheels. Jig parts are also included for creating fuselage sections, ensuring that the various frames etc. are correctly aligned. As you can see from the sheet, none of the parts are numbered, as you wouldn’t want that with a model whose frames are very visible timber. These can be checked off against the supplied parts sheet. Laser cutting is also excellent with very minimal scorching. Being quite light, you will be advised to stain the frames when the time is appropriate. This second sheet, again in 3mm ply, contains mostly parts for creating the wings and horizontal tailplane. Here you can see the various ribs with their notches for wing spars etc. We have another ply sheet here, but this time in a much thinner 1mm material. The larger curved parts here are the enormous wingtips, with the thin material designed to be able to create the curved underside of the thin wing. The smaller parts are mostly infills, which will then sit on top of the moulded wingtip and pack its thickness up to a more realistic 2mm. This small slip was packed into the sleeve, and it depicts the cut-outs needed in both dowel and strip for the main fixed tailplane section. This is supplied at full size for easy reference. There are three trays of components in this release. This first tray is the most obvious as it contains the large propeller/airscrew. These are standard Amati trays and the packets and parts inside are held in situ by a clear plastic lid. The prop/airscrew is finished in a dark varnish. Not sure how accurate this is, and I may consider stripping this and making it look laminated, along with a lighter varnish. The prop hub is a series of PE parts which need to be fitted. We now have several frets of photo-etch, all individually packed in thick plastic sleeves. All PE is of different gauges, but the connection tabs are quite small, so it won’t take long to remove them from the frets. A small file can then we used to smooth off the connection points. You will note parts here for the engine and engine framework etc. These are the cylinders, comprised of parts which stack upon one another, creating a cooling-fin effect. That should look quite nice when done, and beats using plastic where you’d need to remove an awkward seam. This is the material for covering the wings, tail and part of the fuselage. After being cut to size, this is applied with PVA and CA before being painted all over in dilute PVA. This will give it a smoother and more drum-like surface and of course, pull it taught. For a model which at first glance, appears to be mostly stick and string, there’s a surprising amount of photo-etch. The second fittings tray. Let’s take a look… As the aircraft has numerous pivoting surfaces and pipework, we are supplied with a range of both brass and copper tubes of various lengths and gauges. You will of course need some nails too, and some eyelets for things such as rigging. As well as brass eyelets, a bag of copper eyelets are also supplied. The bag of copper rods you see here are actually the wheel spokes, and they have a flat end on them to secure them in the jig whilst you assemble the wheels. Yet more brass nails and also brass strip parts which appear to be undercarriage related. Our last components tray. In here, we have various brass eyelets, engine components such as cylinder heads, large turnbuckles, undercarriage suspension springs, brass rod, riggings cord, plumbing parts etc. Quite a few parts here are cast in zinc alloy as they are stronger and hold detail far better than white metal or Britannia metal fittings. This little pack of curios contains parts in both timber of plastic. The cones form the ends of the large fuel tank for which you’ll need to construct a planked drum. Parts here exist for the control stick base, cylinder bases and the engine crankcase etc. Some minor clean-up of the plastic parts will be needed. Injection moulded rims are supplied for the wheels, with two per wheel. These will be assembled on the jig, and along with the brass hubs, they will be spoked just like the real thing. Minor clean-up will be needed to remove the sprue attachment gates. Large rubber rings are supplied for the tyres, and these will sit neatly into the recess between the two rings that make up each wheel. Yet more brass and copper tubes/rod. Of course, we can’t have a wooden model without timber strip. This will be used for some frames, wing/tail spars, leading edges etc. Timber quality is Amati standard, as always. Some flexible pipe is also supplied for plumbing the engine, fuel tank etc. As always, Amati’s instructions are excellent and productions all of their own. This 62-page A4 (landscape format) manual is produced in full colour with photographs that describe the various stages, step by step. Whilst the text is in Italian, there is an English translated sheet for those who need it. As well as photographs, a series of illustrative drawings helps the modeller throughout, and everything is also annotated superbly. A parts list is supplied here, as it on the English translation. Two plan sheets are included with one of these depicting various views of the Blériot for constructional reference, and also a sheet with plan parts supplied. These can be married up against the unnumbered parts on the laser-cut sheets. Conclusion Despite the minimalistic look of the Blériot, this isn’t a weekend project, by any means. There is still going to be a concerted effort needed, as with any model whose main assembly is in timber. Overall, the skeleton of the model is actually straightforward and only minimal tools will be required. Some care will be needed in covering the wings and tailplane, and you may opt to use an antique style material which is used for covering flying model aircraft wings and applied with an iron. Overall, the timber parts are superbly cut with little scorching, and the numerous PE sheets/frets will keep you entertained for many hours, as will those wheels which are built up from individual spokes. If you are a super-detailer, then you could also rig the fuselage with wire and use reproduction turnbuckles, instead of the supplied rigging cord. There are many possibilities, should you wish to deviate from an already excellent kit. You will need a large area to display this model, or it could hang from the ceiling in your study, recreating those stylish days of yesteryear. This kit is also very reasonably priced, so if those memories of the Flambards TV series or the original books by Kathleen Peyton etc. are what fire your imagination, give this kit a shot! My sincere thanks to Amati for sending the kit you see under review here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  7. I decided to get back to ship modeling. In a 10+ years period I always had something to build on my desk (namely a Billings Mayflower, Corel Prins Willem and the Occre Diana), while the birth of my older son in 2009 brought the end of the woodworking. Kids, time, space, work, other priorities.. probably you know. But the time has came, and I looked for something really simple. No guns. No painting. Not too big, to be able to finish in reasonable time. Visible progress even in an hour. Not aiming for the perfect model. Just to work with the wood, and have some relaxing time. The Amati Coca, a relatively new offering, advertised as a beginner kit just fits the bill. The kit is based on the famous Mataro ship, and will look like as the Amati picture shows:
  8. I have previously posted this on Finescale forums but I've decided to also post my log here i hope everyone enjoys! -Jamie
  9. Well, it has been a while when i did my first wooden ship model. Few decades ago, while back in elementary school, i joined, at that time known as a "wooden ship model club". Basically a bunch of kids with a passion for ship modeling will gather together after school in the classroom dedicated to the club and start working on ship models. Those were scratch build attempts, more-less successful. The ship models that would survive all kids adventures will be presented at the "school day", kind of celebration of the school end at what time teachers and students will present their achievements during long 10 months of school days, studying and getting decent grades... Anyhow being eager to get into ship modeling, i joined the "club" and started to scratch build my first ship. It was very interesting back in those days until one bad Monday. After spending weekend working on frames for my ship, i was all pumped up to show my work to teacher and other club members. Unfortunately on the way to the school a met with local bullies who demanded, beside other things to see what i have in the backpack. Off course, being me, i did not want them to touch any of my weekend hard work so we ended up in exchanging "arguments". At some point in time, i dropped my backpack to have a bit of a better movement capabilities... I happened to defend myself and victoriously grabbed my backpack just to hear a lots of clunking noise.. Opened up the backpack and saw all my weekend hard work broken in peaces.. Darn.. Disappointed with results of argument exchanging (not disappointing with results of argument exchange) but with the broken peaces i decided not to show up on the club anymore.. Today i don't know why.. Anyhow, here i am again with another attempt. Since there is no more bullies i hope to get better success. I did not start the build log at the beginning of my Greek Bireme journey (apologies for that); was to eager to get back to work bench so first few log pages will be just to get us all at the stage where i am now. Unfortunately there will be no much room for improvement since i am half way thru building the model. I have not worked on models for quite some time; this will be my first attempt in several years but since i already noticed lots of mistakes i decided to buy another kit of the same ship. All lessons learned building this kit will be applied to the second.. So, lets begin.... The kit is from Amati, scale 1/35, called Greek Warship Bireme Content of the box is not too "crowded", instructions, small peaces, ropes, planking material... Instructions are not the strongest feature of this kit; they are written on three languages. Two big peaces of instructions my workspace wall will not be able to handle both at the same time.. So need to get a bigger workshop :-) The laser cut process is very precise and leaves not to much residue to be removed after you cut off all peaces... The important part is to mark all peaces before you remove them so you will know which frame goes where... All marked and removed for further assembly... Being very keen to get my hands dirty (with glue) i started to dry fit all parts.. All parts fits fairly good but still a lots of movement (no snug fit) so i think i might have a bit of a challenges in the future... I am planing to do a catch up work this week by posting few more past pictures so i can actually start with real build log as soon as possible. Thanks for watching...
  10. 1/72 HMS Vanguard 1787 Victory Models/Amati Catalogue # 1300/04 HMS Vanguard was a 74-gun, third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 March 1787 at Deptford. She was the sixth vessel to bear the name. Vanguard was built as an Arrogant Class vessel. Arrogant-class ships of the line were a class of twelve 74-gun third rate ships designed by Sir Thomas Slade for the Royal Navy and were designed as a development of Slade's previous Bellona class, sharing the same basic dimensions. During this period, the original armament was the same across all the ships of the common class, of which the Arrogant-class ships were members. The first of the twelve ships of this class were HMS Arrogant and HMS Cornwall, both completed in April and September of 1761, respectively. The kit I apologise if we seem a little late to the show with this release, with the kit originally being release around 2007, give or take a year or three.. However, unlike the world of plastic modelling that I usually frequent, these sorts of kits are pretty timeless and stand the test of time far, far better. It’s also a pretty premium product and it really does make sense to be able to see a full review of it before you shell out not an insignificant amount of money on it. There are numerous builds of this online, with a good number here on Model Ship World, but there are no actual reviews that I can see anywhere, so I thought I’d try to redress that here. If you order this kit, you really need to make sure that you have bench space for it. Sounds obvious, but this is a very large box and weighs in the region of 14-15kg (30lbs+). Thankfully, the box is also of a pretty rigid construction to hold all the weight contained therein. Amati/Victory Models’ presentation is flawless with a port side profile of the completed ship on the lid, adjacent to a bow and stern image of the same model. Text says that the model can be finished as either Vanguard, Bellerophon, or Elephant. More colour images adorn the sides, plus some small captures of some of the plans. Lifting the lid off shows that this is merely a decorative lid and the actual corrugated box has a built-in lid that’s locked into place with three large tabs. At least if you sit another kit or two on this one whilst in stash, it shouldn’t crumple under the weight. Inside the box we have all of the strip and dowel timber that is bundled together and bound with small lengths of elastic string, three large boxes of components, one smaller box of components, several packs of various flat timbers with laser-cut parts, king-size instruction manual, and a whopping 20-plan pack with a heavy gauge photo-etch fret of embellishments for the stern quarters etc. The first and smallest of the boxes I come to contains some thick rope for the anchors, a bag of grating pieces, a sheet of what appears to be thick tin foil, and a large bag of cast metal gun carriages that have an antique finish to them. I find the inclusion of the latter quite a puzzle as kits of this standard would normally have these parts given in timer, which would be my preference. Detail on the carriages is actually quite nice, but they also have staggered sides, and I’m not 100% sure how accurate these would be. I think I’ll replace these when my build begins. Onto the next box. I know it’s not the done thing, as we say, to add sails to this sort of model, although many do and make a superb job. If you do wish to go down that avenue, then a large piece of sail cloth is included for you, as are two sheets of plans which pertain to adding these. We have two laser-cut pieces of timber in this box, notably with parts for the masts and bitts. I’m sure all will become clearer when it comes time to build this. Of course, there are no parts numbers on any wooden components, and you will need to refer to the five sheets of plans that identify what these elements are numbered as so you may locate them to the construction sequence. ELEVEN sheets of brass photo-etch parts are included too, with everything apart from the stern decoration and quarter details. Notice that the launch oars are provided as photo-etch too, but you may want to replace the oar bodies with something less flat in appearance, such as dowel. Two sheets have the ships name included, as well as other décor, and the ships stove that will be mostly hidden below deck. These sheets also include the stern and quarter windows, lanterns etc. Many hundreds of parts are included here, such as the cannon port hinges, hammock frames, channel brackets, chain plates, boom irons et al. If that’s not enough metal for you in this box, then add to that the two packets of copper hull plates that are presented as sheets. These can easily be gently scored and snapped off before fitting. These contain the nail fastening details too. I believe there are around 2500 plates which are needed, and you should, in theory, have some to spare too. Two patterns are included, for port and starboard sides. You’ll need to consult with the plans to determine which is which. A sheet of black paper is also included. At the moment, I’m unsure as to what this is, but I’m thinking it could be something to do with the interior of the rear officer’s quarters. A sheet of acetate is included for the stern windows too. Our second large box of fittings contains two trays of components. One tray contains some wooden components, deadeyes and rigging blocks, plus some small anchors and carronades. I believe the latter may be for use if you choose to build HMS Elephant as some weaponry was slightly different to Vanguard and Bellerophon. The next tray is given over exclusively to the many rigging cord spools you’ll need, in various sizes and in two colours. Some rope is also supplied. Onto the last box of components. The first tray of parts are all cast white metal, including the figureheads for all three versions of this model, plus some trim, main anchors and the stern decoration for Vanguard, cast in three pieces. Now, whilst Bellerophon is in white metal, Vanguard and Elephant are cast in grey resin and they look spectacular! I believe that initial kits had all of these in white metal but coaxing the parts to fit the curvature of the stern proved tricky, so resin was substituted. Strange that this wasn’t included for all three options though. My original intent was to build Bellerophon, but I think this will now be Elephant because firstly, I haven’t seen one yet done, and secondly, because I can use a resin stern décor and add some amazing colouration to it. Two stern fascias are supplied in this kit, with Vanguard being shallower than that of Elephant and Bellerophon, so as to accommodate the carvings. The last tray contains PE parts, more rigging cord, brass nails, brass wire, cannon and gun carriages, cannon shot, and a number of other metal castings. All metal castings here are antique in finish. Being a large kit means you need plenty of strip wood stock, especially as this is a double-planked model. First planking timber is lest numerous that second because of the upper bulwarks being supplied as plywood parts. Timber quality is excellent with no stringy or split wood. Bundles are kept together with elastic string. I used a little extra tape on some of the thinner stock, to stop them bulging out in the middle. Various diameters of down are included and of different hues. As these will generally be painted, I think the colour is inconsequential. Again, quality is superb, with no splitting or roughness. All of the various packages of flat sheet components are stored in thick plastic sleeves, and the first here contains three sheets. One of these is for the various keel parts, plus the rudder. Another of the same material is included with various rigging bitts and anchor stock parts etc. A ply sheet is also included with the strips to mount the false cannon on the lower deck and parts for the stern quarters. Moving onto the next packet, we are presented with a laser-cut sheet of MDF for the ship’s launches. Here we have the keels and bulkheads for these vessels, all cleanly cut and with minimal effort needed to remove. I’m a little surprised to see this material for this purpose, but the homogenous nature of it is perhaps better suited than plywood and should provide an excellent basis for these miniature builds. More sheets of thin ply provide the main deck components, stern fascias (two options), bow gratings, upper bulwarks with cannon openings, and formers for the quarter galleries. Moving onto heavy material, several sheets of MDF provide all of the ship’s bulkheads, false keel (broken down into two parts) etc. Another sheet of timber contains laser-cut channels, carved mouldings etc. Some of these would benefit from a little carving in themselves to profile them a little better. Flags? You definitely need them for a ship like this. A set of silk-screen printed flags is included and these appear to have a self-adhesive backing. Lastly, for parts, we have a relatively thick-gauge photo-etch sheet what holds all the parts for the stern and quarter decorations, including railings, arches and other ornamentation. Under a coat of primer and paint, these look very good in place, as seen on numerous building logs on Model Ship World. When it comes to paperwork, this kit won’t leave you wanting. Inside the box, as well as a large assembly manual, is that pack of 20 plans. Most of these are A1 in size with one plan being a whopping A0, so make sure you have some wall space to mount it to for reference. Out of these plans, 5 provide parts maps and identification for the materials supplied, 2 plans deal with the optional sails, at least three deal with rigging Vanguard, 3 concern masting, and the rest for the hull and details etc. Two building instruction books are supplied. The first one deals with the main areas of construction using line drawings and text. This is quite a large book and has 32 pages. Accompanying this is a smaller A4 book of 20 pages which is generally text-driven and deals with construction in more detail, plus finishing etc. Some very nice history of Vanguard, Bellerophon and Elephant is included. Conclusion It must be 10 to 12 years since this kit first hit the shelves, and here we are a decade or more on, and I finally get to take a glimpse at Chris Watton’s masterpiece. I remember him designing this at the time and saw a few online photos, and I have to say that the contents of this kit are pretty much what I expected, save for the inclusion of the cast gun carriages. I really like the inclusion of MDF for the main structure (bulkheads, horizontal former and false keel) as this has almost zero tendency to warp. Indeed, mine are die-straight and will form the basis of an accurate and trouble-free build. All timber stock is first rate (for this third-rate ship!), and fixtures and fittings are high quality. Having the upper bulwarks as pre-cut parts with their jigsaw fit and pre-cut cannon port is also a time saver and a big help in ensuring that all guns will mount in their correct place and the correct height/elevation. A comprehensive plan pack ensures that every constructional angle is covered, and with 20 plans, Amati haven’t cut any corners. This isn’t a beginner’s model, and I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase many times before, but in this case, you really must have a number of builds under your belt and be able to exercise a degree of project management and prerequisite modelling skills to cater to and overcome the challenges that a complex model like this will demand. In all, a super kit of a formidable class of ship and with all the bells and whistles to build any of three vessels. You can’t do better than that! My sincere thanks to Amati for sending this kit for reviewing on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, check out your local Amati model stockist or online Amati retailer.
  11. Hello MSW! After perusing build logs for the past week, I have finally sat down to work on my own kit. A little back story for me. My great uncle recently passed and had spent many years building ships. When last I visited him in Chicago, he had at least 5 ships on display. I had spent the majority of my family's visit there talking about modeling and found my interest in the hobby. Before we left, he had given me a box to kickstart my toolbox. For my birthday that same year, my mother bought me the Amati Drakkar kit to encourage me to pursue it. Well, after almost a year of sitting in my closet out of fear for lack of space and time, I have no opened up that kit and got to work. I appreciate the advice a lot of you have given me and the build logs that are available. I have learned a lot and hope to apply at least some of that knowledge to this kit and all going forward. To start things off, I read through the parts list and skimmed the entirety of the instructions. Then I cut out of the keel and frames, dry fitted to see how much adjustment would need to be made during gluing, and got to gluing. I ended up having to shimmy the smaller frames on the bow and stern because I didn't realize the clamps had held them at an angle. They were square horizontally with the keel, but not vertically. Luckily I caught it before the glue set too much and I could get them off without any damage. I re-glued them and made sure they were held straight and let them sit.

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