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Please note that I built this kit 15 years ago so there might have been uptdates to the kit that I´m unaware of. Review HMS Pandora Constructo 1:85 ref.80824 Background HMS Pandora is best known as the vessel sent to capture Fletcher Christian and the mutineers of Bligh´s Bounty. After arresting the majority at Tahiti and then spending four unsuccessful months combing the South Pacific, Captain Edward Edwards decided to give up the chase and steer for England. In attempting to discover a new, more direct passage through Cook´s Endeavour Strait, between the northeastern trip of Australia and New Guinea, HMS Pandora was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef on 29 August 1791. Thirty-one of the crew and four of the mutineers went down with the ship. Edwards, with the ninety-eight survivors, sailed four of the ship´s boats 1200 nautical miles to the Duch settlement of Coupang in Timor and eventually made their way to Batavia ( Present day Djakarta) There, those that did not die as a result of their privations, found passage back to England. The eventual court martial of the ten remaining mutineers resulted in three being hung at Portsmouth from the foremast yard of HMS Brunswick. The fate of Christian and the others who had sought refuge at remote Pitcairn Island was not discovered until 1808. By then, all but one were dead. ( Text from the manual) Construction of the kit Length: 32,5 Inches ( 78 cm) Height 24 Inches (58cm) With: 11 Inches (26,5 cm) The Constructo HMS Pandora is a plank on bulkhead construction with the option to make it a single or double planked hull. The colour and quality of the first planking strips are good enough to be left without the second planking. The second planking consists of veneer 0.6mm. thick which is relatively easy to work with but I find it a little too thin for hull-planking. Materials The wood in the kit is of mediocre quality and strips break easily while soaking and bending. This is compensated with the fact that there is a great deal of spare wood. The strips are made from Mulkaly (light Ochre), Sapelly (Dark Brown), Ayous (Ivory). The different colourations of wood strips results in less need for painting of the hull which displays the beauty of the wood. All fittings are either wood, brass or cast metal there are no plastic parts. Fittings The kit contains a lot of standard or generic fittings that are out of scale. What I mean is parts that you can find on other Constructo kits, so if you are looking for historical accuracy you will have to do a bit of research and scratch building. The cast metal parts are not the best I have seen and the transom is a disaster. It’s heavy, hard to fit and looks out of place when fitted to the ship. Manual List of parts and manual are in seven different languages which is commendable but the backside is that the different languages are mixed up. Every part is presented 7 times resulting in a manual that is a little hard to follow. The Manual is easy to understand when you finally find your own language but you need to have some previous experience in ship modelling to completely understand the instructions. The level of detail in the manual is at an intermediate level but this does not include the rigging. The rigging is explained by the plans and some very poor photographs this is not a task for a beginner. You really need to read up on rigging before trying to understand Constructos attempt for a rigging instruction. The pictures are in black and white and of poor quality. Constructo needs to improve the picture department a lot. There are also a few numeric errors meaning that the pictures and plans do not correspond to the numbers in the list of parts. Plans The plans are ok and mostly in scale admitting you to take accurate measurements. It helps if you have had some experience reading plans. For instance a plan showing the fittings on deck does not reveal both sides of the deck. You are to understand from experience that certain parts are to be fitted the same way on both sides Building experience I had some trouble with the poor wood quality but then again this improved my skills. I had no plan of making a historical accurate ship so the prefabricated standard parts did not bother me that much. Although I might sound negative I had a great time building the ship and the learning experience was over the top. The Constructo HMS Pandora was my second build and I can recommend it as a second or a third build. It’s of great help if one has already done the rig of a ship with at least two masts and has some experience of plank on bulkhead models. Reading my review might deterrent you from buying a Constructo Pandora-kit but keep in mind that these are my personal thoughts and I’m a little picky. Summary If you are looking for that second or third challenge but your wallet struggles against you, the Constructo HMS Pandora is a great kit for learning the skills of the hobby. It’s well worth the money you pay for it and is sure to give you many hours of fun and pleasure along with some aggravation but that’s part of the hobby. With a few scratch-built fittings and some book reading on the side, your model will look great. If you are a little more experienced and are looking for a high quality model kit with historical accuracy and perfected instructions the Constructo HMS Pandora is not for you. Ps: This is my first review ever so if you have any questions about the review or need some guidance building the kit, feel free to contact me through PM. Erik Nyren
hi all! my name is Denis and I'm a 3D modeler from Croatia. I stumbled upon this forum while searching for some plans of a 17th/18th century sail ship, for that has been on my to-do list for quite some time now. it is little to say I was floored to see such craftsmanship on display in various build logs. some works border on magic and witchcraft, and I've seen a lot of those in CG community. seeing it be done for real I was stunned! what made the strongest impact are POF scratch builds. after I saw that, there was no way in hell to go back to initial idea of modeling a simple hull shell, sticking a wood texture onto it, putting some rods to act as masts and calling it done. no, now I have to do something alike. after searching for some good scanned plans I found HMS Pandora ones to be good enough for a first try (yeah, I hope there'll be more ships after this one. if I don't burn out in process, that is). and yes, I'm aware that there are a few more Pandora 3D builds, something I found out while searching for some pictures and references. my initial idea was to start with a 74 gun ship (really impressive piece of work). but thankfully I came to my senses soon enough and decided to start with something smaller for starters. "smaller" being used very loosely as Pandora also has tons of details, only less cannons to rig... :-D and those other Pandora 3D builds are going to be used as a good references until I get my bearings in shipbuilding, as this is a whole new world for me. I've already spent more than a month looking through various topics and posts every day collecting informations, getting to know terms and techniques. as if that wasn't enough I also had to learn how to draft plans, something I never thought I'll need while doing 3d modeling. and I haven't even started doing modeling at that point yet... :-)) I've never been so invested in a single model before, even before actual modeling. as a kid I had built several airplane scale models and enjoyed it very much. sadly, I don't have space, tools nor funds to start this shipbuilding endeavor for real. but I do have kids who would trip over it, I'm sure :-)). so the next best thing for me is doing modeling on a computer… my tool of choice when modeling is concerned is Blender 3D, free open source software that is really powerful and more than capable contending with big guys like 3DS Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and such… I hope I didn't bother you much with this long intro, in the next few posts I'm going to show what I've done so far. considering this is a 3D model, and my first build, I guess there'll be a lot of errors due to inexperience and I'll be probably cutting some corners here and there due to nature of the medium, but I'll try to be as precise as possible. fingers crossed I follow this through the end… let's get started!