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Virginia 1819 by nikbud -Finished - Artesania Latina - Scale 1/41 - First Wooden Ship Build

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Hello all, and thanks for the comments and likes throughout this log.

As promised here are the pictures of the finished model.











This has been a fun build, even though it has taken three years!

This kit is an interesting introduction to wooden ship building, especially for someone who is used to step by step plastic models. It is a real shame that this is a kit of a “boat that might have been” rather that a real boat. Having said that it allowed me to do a bit of kit-bashing. I have made some really obvious schoolboy errors, like the stitching on the sails and the use of poor materials in the chainplates. The kit instructions are poor when it comes to the rigging so I had to learn rigging from scratch - not easy when it seems like a foreign language.

However, I’m glad I chose this kit as my first, I have learnt a lot about ships and shipbuilding and will stand me in good stead when building my next model, and eventually my ambition of building the Bounty.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this log, and please, if you have any criticism let me know - its all a learning experience.




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Thanks for the kind words Stevinne, I am pleased with how it turned out for my first attempt. I now have to start building the display case.........

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I am speachless. This is your first build and you are allready a pro. Wow!!

I have started with modelling 6 months ago but I am not even close to your skills.

I will put this model on top of my wishlist now that I have such a detailed log to follow :)

Congrats to a excellent build.

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Hi all, I thought I’d add to my log as I’m building a display case for the Virginia.

I have been thinking about the case for most of the build. Bearing in mind that the only power tools available to me is a dremel and a drill I knew I would have to make something simple.  In the end I decided to use MDF for the base and top, and clear acrylic for the front, back and sides in 3mm. I ordered the acrylic online and ordered some 2 slot display case sections from CMB.

The base comprises 18mm MDF with an inner base of 6mm MDF. The top is made from an inner and outer both from 6mm MDF. I downloaded an old map of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, printed it out and covered both the inners sections. The inners where the glued to the outers.


I had to cut a little section out of each corner on the inners to fit the CMB sections.



The boat fits on the base!



The acrylic sheets were glued to the 2 slot sections using contact adhesive.

Here they are test fitted to the top and base.



Now I know that you are thinking that MDF doesn’t really do over 3 years work on the Virginia justice, and you would be right.

So I have a plan….

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Originally my plan was to use some walnut sheets as a veneer over the MDF, but veneer always looks like veneer and I wanted something a little different. So I decided to take the veneer idea one step further and plank the case as if it were a deck and hull.

I chose Maple for the horizontal/deck surfaces and Walnut for the vertical/hull surfaces.

I started with the base,




I thought that the top of the case would need a bit more than just decking so I purchased a couple of AL grating kits. These were made up and edged with some spare stock.


I painted the top black where the gratings would sit and marked the centreline and the perpendicular lines for the butt shift guides.

Here are the gratings and the centre plank glued on. Throughout this build I used Aliphatic carpenters glue which meant that very little clamping was needed.


One half planked in a 4 shift pattern.


The top completely planked and scraped and sanding underway.


I used a standard double edged razor blade for the scraping, which proved that I need to invest in a good cabinet scraper. I also debated whether to indicate treenails. In the end I was worried that it would look too busy and that along with my fear that I couldn’t get them neat enough convinced me that for now I wont show them.

The top was finished with Danish oil and a good buffing with a protective wood balsam/wax.


I made a little box to display a name/detail piece and placed that and the kit flag on the base


The completed display;




 Her home for the moment;


Well, I've finished at last.

Thanks for reading this log, I hope it has been of interest and helpful to anyone thinking of building this kit, even if only to show which mistakes to avoid!

Now to start my next build……

Cheers, and Happy Sanding!

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Thank you for your kind comments, Ian. And thanks for everyones likes, they are much appreciated.


I fulfilled my brief to finish up with something that - mistakes notwithstanding - I can be proud of. 


Gone, for me, are the days of plastic kits, I have fallen in love with sails and wood!

I am already well into the planning stage for my next ship, the kit has been purchased, I'm just in the process of "adjusting" the plans.

I hope to start my next log in a week or two.....


Thanks again everyone



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I look forward to seeing what your next project is Paul :) By the way, did you build that case? Looks really awesome mate. I love the covering that the ship is standing on, great idea!

Edited by Wallace

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Hi Mark, good to hear from you. Thanks for your comments

Yup I made the case, its not as "posh" as a solid wood one but its something different, which is what I was after.

The covering is a printout of an 1892 map of the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays from the US Coastal and Geodetic Survey that I found online.


I'm just in the "plan adjustment" stage of my next build. I hope to put saw to wood this week and start my log very soon.

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On ‎1‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 10:00 PM, Oliver24 said:

Wonderful ship nikbud! You should be proud of yourself! What are your opinions about Artesania Latina based on the kit? 

Thanks for your comments Oliver, I really appreciate them.

I think AL did pretty well with this kit. It is a basic kit of a generic "schooner type boat" so I can't comment on AL's accuracy. But the wood supplied was varied and of decent quality and you got more than enough to complete the kit. None of the wooden parts were warped. I didn't like the metal parts; carronade, bitts, boom saddles etc, I would have preferred them in brass as shown in the instructions but for the price point its understandable. The instructions were pretty good for a wooden kit, although they mostly follow other manufacturers in that they tell you to do something rather than exactly how. And then when it comes to the rigging they tell you to work it out from the pictures - again I don't think that is unusual with these type of kits!

As a basic kit as an introduction to wooden ship building? yeah I'm happy with the kit, not the best but not the worst either. If AL had the ship I was looking, for in the scale I wanted, I would certainly include them in my decision.

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