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  1. Hi and welcome to my build log of the Liveship Vivacia. This model is not based on a real ship but comes from the fantasy novels by Robin Hobb. My ambition is to build the Bounty, but I feel that I need more experience before I start such a project, especially in the areas of square sail rigging, hull planking and general component building (- basically everything, haha). So I have decided to build the ship that first got me interested in sailing ships when I read the books nearly 20 years ago. The books are fantasy novels based on a pre-gunpowder medieval style era, the ships mentioned are Caravels, Carracks, Cogs, Galleys and unspecified fishing and row boats. I have long wondered if it is possible to make an acceptable and “realistic” model simply from a novel. Repeated reading of the 3 novels in which this ship appears has convinced me that there is enough information to build a model that will fit in with the detailed description in the books. The Liveships trade along the coast and up and down certain rivers -think the eastern coastline of the North and South Americas - and while well-built and very expensive, are not ostentatious. The Liveship Vivacia is a merchant carrack/caravel style ship with at least two masts, raised fore and aft decks and transom stern. Due to a certain set of circumstances, these ships (made from a silvery grey wood), and the figureheads, eventually become sentient, hence Liveship. I know what you are thinking……. I won’t mention the magic and the dragons……… So I searched for a donor kit, eventually settling on the Pinta kit from Mantua. This kit has the required raised fore and aft decks, is multi masted, and a flat transom. It has square sails on the mainmast and foremast, with a lateen sail on the mizzen mast. Whilst the lateen sail won’t help with learning for the Bounty and is not specifically mentioned in the books, I’ve decided to keep it. To start off here are the pics of the kit contents; The kit itself is of a pretty good standard: single-layer hull planking in walnut, pre-printed sails, brass turned cannons and swivel guns, pre-formed pintles/gudgeons and other fittings already blackened, pre-cut decking, usual kit style blocks and triangular deadeyes and the usual laser cut plywood. This kit will need to be extensively kitbashed to achieve the result I am after and I expect this will be a project that will last me the next few years. I hope you will find this interesting and for those that wish to follow please pull up a chair, the beers are in the fridge! Cheers, Paul
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