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Erik Nyren

1:85 HMS Pandora - Constructo

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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
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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



 

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Thank you for taking the time to post this. I have always like this ship, I have other pictures that I have save from a Russian site which is a scratch build. If you like I could post the for you.

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Thanks Joe

 

But as this topic is meant as a review of a specific kit, I dont think mixing up the pictures with scratch built versions of the ship is a good idea. 

I suggest that you create a topic of your own and post the pictures there as I´m sure many are interrested to see them. Make sure that Copyright wont be an issue first though.

 

Regards

Erik

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Hello Erik,

 

Wow, what a beautiful ship!

 

My compliments. You may feel proud, great build. animaatjes-applaus-73650.gif

 

Thanks for sharing and take care,

 

Anja

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Hello Erik.  I agree with all your comments about the Constructo HMS PANDORA.  When I made this model about 5 years ago I realized many of the errors and lack of clarity that you mention in instructions and drawings . So I gave myself the task of writing all my comments and sending them to the Company in the eagerness to improve that. The answer was very kindly but I was told that this model will be out of the market.

However, despite the problems, the construcction of this model gave me great satisfaction andthe results where quite acceptable.

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Hello Karleop

 

Your Pandora looks great. Come to think of it I did something similar as you did and tried to contact Constructo about the kit however the mail got astray as I apparently used the wrong mail. Subsequently I got an answer from the support department of Hobbico. They had noticed my mail and asked if I could help a customer of theirs whom had a little problems with the kit. I of cource contacted the customer and we exchanged mails over a couple of years. This is where a whole new world of online communities like Dry dock models and a bit later model ship world opend up for me which has contributed a lot to enlarge the experiences from the hobby.

( I still get christmas cards from the fellow in question)

 

Strange how things works out, I never got any response from Constructo though.

 

Regards

Erik

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hi

just signed up today and I am thinking of getting the BOUNTY from constructo but after reading your comments I don no wether it would be better to spend a bit more money and buy a better kit. This would be my first ever kit I have done, in my faver im 48 good with my hands and can read plans, what do you or any one els think about this.

thanks Silver

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Hello

Sorry for not answering faster, especially to you silver. If it´s not to late I think I would go for the Artesanina latina Bounty kit. I futures an interresting "open hull" construction which gives you the opportunity to display the inside of the ship. Constructo offers reasonably prised kits though and as such more forgiving of beginners misstakes, then again a quality that perhaps is a bit challenging.

 

jastrzab: Copparing the hull is most likely historicly correct, the practising of copparing hulls to keep the worms away started around 1750 so its likely that HMS Pandora was had theese plates. I would go for coppar tape to create the effect, I have never used it but lots of builders around here has done so and speak warmly of this material.

 

Erik

Edited by Erik Nyren

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I'm building a Constructo Constitution and have just enjoyed looking at your superb workmanship. Bravo!

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I know that the last post to this thread was posted two years ago, but I would like to hear about how you dealt with the stern plate.  I am currently building this model but I have no idea about how I will attach it given its heaviness.  Can you please educate me?

 

Also, I am impressed with your build!

 

Thanks!

 

Bill

Edited by Bill Morrison

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Beautiful job on those Pandora's. I too built a Constructo HMS Pandora about 10-12 years ago, I sold it to a fellow living in Canada. I opted to change out those cheezy metal windows and stern plate and scratch built my own, which I thought looked a bit better. 

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