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Mantua Le Superbe


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The model is not expensive if compared to its size and quantity of fittings and wood that compose it.

As for I saw in other forums, the main bad things about this kit are the level of the decorations (only decorations) which are of cheap level.

All the stern windows and stern decorations are made with photoetched sheets, so the final result is rather ugly.

The figurehead is made by fusion, so it is of good quality.

The Superbe belonged to the sunset period of these kind of warships (Hope you understood my english). So they where rather standardised and with a minimal level of decorations.

If you consider to modify and improve the photoetched decorations, it can become a very impressive model.



Mantua has purchased many years ago some wood plantations in Papua New Guinea.

So the wood for them is cheaper than other kit manufacturers.

Since the Superbe has a lot of wood and few decorations, the final result is a low price kit.

    Done:          Venetian Polacre http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/7290-venetian-polacre-by-cristiano-sec-xviii-from-original-drawings/

                              Halifax  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/gallery/album/844-halifax/

                              Ranger  https://modelshipworld.com/gallery/album/2175-ranger-revenue-cutter-by-corel/   

                              HM Bark Endeavour (Corel kit heavily kitbashed) : http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/gallery/album/125-hmbark-endeavour-corel-kit-bashed/                                              


                             Venetian Galleon (from scratch) - Pirate Junk - Sicilian Speronara (from scratch)

On the shelf (still packed):     Artesania Le Hussard....

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I have this model (unmasted) lying in ordinary, and quietly decaying in the attic for years. I had intentions of modifying the stern and headworks which badly let down the model but the basic hull form is good. Re-working these areas would much improve matters, but would involve some serious scratching. The stick on windows and  garish decoration is tacky, but you get a lot of basic boat for your money. I wasn't impressed by the plastic ships boats.



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While I have not built this model myself, I did build a couple of Mantua kits in the past, the main downside to them, as well as most other European kits, is that they tend to use generic fittings for most of their models and their level of historical accuracy has some room for improvement. That being said, the quality of the wood and the fit of the parts is quite acceptable and if you're not that much concerned with historical accuracy,  these kits should build into decent looking ships with little modification. 

Best regards,


Currently Building:
HMS Pegasus (Victory Models)-Mothballed to give priority to Triton


HMS Triton (first attempt at scratchbuilding)



Past build:
HM Brig Badger (Caldercraft), HM Brig Cruizer, HM Schooner Ballahoo

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  • 1 month later...

I think I need to revisit this topic as i like the lines of this ship but the comments below somewhat scare me off. I nearing the end of my San Fran II (a month or two still to go) and I'm looking to the next build.

I rather thought I would go with this model as a kit with a heavy scratch-build element of many areas (plastic boats... never!) which in a way is the advice of Blue Ensign.

Any additional thoughts or cautions would be appreciated.

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