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“Battle Station” Caronada Francese by bryanc - Mantua - Scale 1:17 – typical 18th century French carronade


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For Christmas my children bought me two of the Mantua “Battle Station” carronade kits (both the French and English versions thereof). They are to a scale of 1:17, so more than fulfil my desire for large scale kits. However it’s difficult to take them as serious “kits”, so I won’t be doing any build logs, I didn’t take any photos whilst constructing the first (here presented, the French one), but think I might do whilst doing the English one, just in case.

 

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However it is worth pointing out that the kits are extremely well produced with the parts as good as any I have come across in any ship kit. Even the manual is well presented, although one gets the feeling it’s not taking itself too seriously as some required dimensions are not listed and one has to make several “best guesses”.

 

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I think the fact the very first item one builds, the decking, gives the user the (completely wrong) impression this kit is not going to be too demanding. The deck comes complete as one piece, with planking joints and treenails already etched into the surface. In a sneering way I found this completely off-putting, but as the kit developed, I quickly realised it wasn’t a complete walk in the park, but some elements were in fact a tad demanding. There is some scope for bashing, but I limited myself to two additional cannon "tools" ; the wormer and rammer. The "sponger" was part of the kit. I should also point out the original cannon was a superb brass one - of considerable weight! However I demand realism (to a point), so the brass had to be rendered gunmetal.

 

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The finished model is actually quite pleasing, and well worth a place amongst the more finished, more self-important, model ships previously built.

 

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Edited by bryanc
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I completely forgot to mention I have done another video presentation of this model, c/w the sounds of crashing waves, seagulls and ominous wood creaks. My children say there should be a piratical voice going "Arghhhh", but I don't think they are taking this seriously enough ;-)

 

The video is here

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