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Portuguese utility boat by Nikiforos - Artesania Latina - Scale 1:25 - SMALL - ABANDONED

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"Bury the dead and heal the living" -- Marquês de Pombal.
"The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake Devastation
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake ...was a catastrophe of the highest order, featuring violent shaking, spreading fires and even a giant tsunami. Because Lisbon was an important cultural, economical and political centre at the time, there is a great deal of information about the quake. Indeed, although (obviously) there are no earthquake photos of the Lisbon earthquake, there are a great deal of depictions of the event in carvings, paintings and drawings of the time. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake left an indelible impression upon the minds of the mid-18th Century.
The Lisbon Earthquake and its Impact
On November 1st, a great shaking was felt by people in many countries. A great quake, located in the Atlantic ocean, shook a great deal of the land area in Western Europe and North Africa. The earthquake was felt in France, Italy and Switzerland, as well as in Algiers and Morocco. It was Lisbon, however, that was hit most brutally. Not only was the violence of the earth’s upheaval felt, but fires broke out. Great fires raged through Lisbon for five days.
Additionally there were many waves, and even a (huge) tsunami. The Lisbon earthquake is thought to be among the most violent in history: estimates measure it at about a 9.0. Even though there were no seismographs available at the time, there is evidence from Finland (and Cornwall, England) that the quake was felt even there. Therefore, the 9.0 seems a likely estimate."
I've been making models for many years. Until recently always in plastic, almost always ww2 soviet trucks and ww2 soviet aircraft, GAZ + ZiS and Shturmovik builds respectively in each category were just the fashion.
But once fallen out of love for a given subject, what comes afterward? Well, in my case I saw on the interwebs a Sardegna-Piemontese galliot, built from beautiful woods and unpainted except for the splashes of colour offered by those beautiful deep blue and red pennants or ensigns.
I'm going to do this build 'backwards' in the sense that here's a particular naval flag, so (Included image by Santiago Dotor and Antonio Martins-Tuvalkin) paraded by Portuguese 'coasters' of the 18th Century and beyond. Certainly just after the time of Lisboa's horrific earthquake of 1755, I'm sure utility boats similar to ALs 'San Juan de N's boat (AL says 'water vehicle'...) could have been used in terms of medical and practical relief, locally, under this flag for such a disaster. If they didn't, well, let us conspiratorially pretend otherwise but we can be sure human kindness prevailed.
So that's the idea; take ALs San Juan de N boat and firstly researching what sort of outright or smaller modifications might a similar Portuguese small vessel of the day have, if any. Then onwards with the cold sharp Stanley knife and lashings of stinky wood filler and AL brass-coated nails like mediaeval pikes. Fill her with barrels of water, textiles to the brim. The occupant of this ship intends to save lives (I've considered a roughly constructed coffin, but rejected the idea; its too disrespectful).
I have generic miniature modelling skills in plastic and brass but this carpentry thing ...well... this build will really be by a newb for other newbies to think upon. Hopefully useful too : )
I think that the green 5 striped flag with the Royal CoA is exactly right for the period(> 1700AD); given that I've already considered the idea of an Avis Cross or Order of Jesus flag to adorn the vessel but right now, the CoA on green and white (there are both red and blue equivalents too) looks appropriate, with or without the CoA. Bear in mind some Portuguese vessels of the day merely carried the mark or device of his sponsor, municipality or Company. I might change my mind about which to use, as ever. Contributions to this particular discussion are encouraged!
I've taken onboard the wise advice offered by the sticky about 'walk first, run later' when choosing my very first build log -- and this litle boat seems perfect in that regard. (My AL sanbuq or dhow has no scale plans and the glossy, oddly translated instructions filmed with a weird fish-eye lens which can -and is- tripping this newbie up a bit, especially at the bow).
The emphasis will be on fun too. I recall the days when soviet ww2 aircraft camouflage caused a humongous flame-war because of one man's publication on the subject. He proposed colour A, which I very carefully followed for an Ilyushin. The internet erupted and cried No! Colour B! The fun soon disappeared. What is the point if you're not having fun? If this little boat isn't museum perfect, that'll be fine to me. I am sorry.
 Please do accept my further apologies if you're one of the many seasoned craftspersons here on these boards. This *will* seem trivially basic and dull to you, but recall this is for entry level beginners such as myself. Corrections and bitter chastisements always appreciated -- especially from vexillologists.
Thanks for reading.


According to Alexander Justice, Dominions and Laws of the Sea (London 1705)



Alegoria ao Terramoto de 1755, João Glama Strobërle.

Edited by Nikiforos
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About the coffin. I'd like to do it, on reflection.


Let's call the Captain of a merchant vessel Joao. It is the winter of 1755, a couple of weeks after the disaster. Joao has been told that his sister Maria perished in a certain place, her remains have been found and he sails his barge (?) into the Tagus to locate her and give her a Christian burial at the family Estate. He brings with him a coffin quickly bought for this grizzly task as he is a man of money.


He is going to fit his coffin onto the barge and sail to his merchant ship. On his barge he has a bell for alerting others of his presence, the coffin shrouded in black nets and flowers (old flowering spikes of the Pelargonium spp. work well for this). His barge could carry a mark for authorisation such as 'negócio oficial' 


Ne O


Which is sensible to me because of allusion of rebirth, 'Neo', new. Keanu Reeves notwithstanding.


Now, this is something very morbid, irregular and so on. I intend it to be a dedication not just to those who lost their lives during the seismological event in Portugal and Morocco, but to those who risked disease and deprivation mopping up. Comments sought and welcomed.


The build starts this Sunday, after a trip to Penzance (YARR!) hope to share some images at that time.



Edit: Just noticed the nice silk period Spanish jack, above, in the box. There shouldn't be that narrow black edging between yellow and red, AL. But you should know this instead.


"Ensign 1506-1670s, thereafter Jack until 1785" (source Flags of the World).


If anyone knows different for a merchant jack of the period (blue saltire with white burgundy cross etc.) PLEASE let me know. Thanks.








Edited by Nikiforos
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Thank you, druxey.


I wanted to pay tribute to those, contemporary or otherwise, who risk their lives rebuilding after catastrophes such as this particular earthquake or the 2004 Tsunami of Bandar Aceh and similar. Joao is bringing Maria home and he'll need to rely on all manner of nautical details provided by yourself and others because I can scarcely tell the difference between a yacht and battleship. But dioramas, I know. This won't be a complete diorama; rather a funerary boat in a handy 1/25th scale as per AL's San Juan de Nepomuceno's auxiliary 'water vehicle' : )


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Well, I made a bit of progress since Penzance disappeared.


No plans in this kit. Again. That's two of two without scale plans so far. Both AL. I shall need all your help with details barely discernable from bitmapped image sequences. Its all a bit irritating, these lack of drawings, honestly, although the sanbuq 'master plan' can be found in french as 'Caboteur nomme Sambouck. Mer Rouge - Cote d'Arabie' on the interwebs. This one, I do not know.


There's a clear error in the glossy instruction book. Parts 4 and 11 are labelled for each other.


Nails supplied are small and more importantly, flat-headed. AL's sanbuq dhow has nails with almost mushroom type heads like those of a KV-1 tank. 500+ of them; big domed Super Mario affairs which makes life more difficult than it needs to be. 


Looking at the boat after the top sheet of ply has gone in - it looks very threadbare, deep inside. Perhaps there should be various stringers and so forth, but I can barely tell a difference between a Nautilus submarine and a roman galley. Help!

I used a locally produced sanding sealer after scrubbing the frame with wet and dry (cellulose based sealer) and I present one picture today with one central floorboard glued solid for reference.

The dark planking strips is the base of the plinth for Maria's handmade Cross, it abuts the first fore thwart directly. See pencil sketch. 


I borrowed AL's famous fish-eyed camera for this pic. I assure you all is straight and level! So says my tiny spirit level made from top-quality plastic.


Also: Heads up. I don't use acrylic paints unless as a base barrier layer. The only colour here will be with artist oils and just maybe chalk-o-pastels.


Edited by Nikiforos
Typo, cutting room floor.
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Nikiphoros, what you've done so far looks good. The lack of plans is a bit of a problem - have you been in touch with AL to let them know they're missing? I should think they'll send them to you if that's the case (though I haven't any experience with them, I believe they're a reputable company and should be willing to help). I couldn't find the Web reference to the Caboteur nomme Sambouck  that you mentioned. Do you have a link I could click on to find it?


Just as a heads-up before you start making one, as far as I'm aware coffins at that time were shaped like this



wider at one end than at the other, and with a lid like a "gabled roof".


You may be able to re-arrange the contents of the boat so the mast won't have to be shifted, which is what I think they'd have done at the time. Otherwise the boat just won't be able to sail - the wind forces will be out of balance.


Keep up the good work. Looking forward to further progress. 




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Thanks Steven, for the helping hand.


Sometimes artistic projects can get carried away without being anchored in real world limitations. You're obviously right about seaworthiness. Thank you for the coffin pic --its more in keeping with the times, isn't it. And my gosh isn't this a terribly morbid subject matter. Having reservations... and so far it is not for "newcomers to the hobby". My goodness... A regroup is necessary perhaps.


Attached is the french dhow plan.


As you can see it's close to AL's dhow 'Sultan'. Its a poor quality image but it is something at least. I bought the San Juan and Sultan from amazon and asked if there were plans at the time. AL replied directly " No, but isn't our instructions fantastic?" Yes, its nice (the colour coding and parts list is very clear) but bitmapped and unclear in the small detail shots-- there is no substitute for scale plans. Everyone wouldn't mind paying a few extra coins for a good plan, surely.


As ever, an admirer of your work, Steven.



Edited by Nikiforos
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I like the story behind the model because of the humanity, not the violence of the earthquake  and death.  Very touching as one can't really know the tragedy of of the event. In many ways, this represents the love of a man for his family.  


I do suggest that you make a copy (a simple cut out will work) of Joao of the proper size for the scale.  This can just be a piece of cardboard, or if you feel creative, a carving.  This will help with proportions and sizes as you go with the items you're planning on putting in the model.


Kit bashing, as you are doing is really just cross between a kit and a scratch build.  So you'll learn many things.  As for AL... they're, in my opinion, one of the worst manufacturers when it comes to accuracy and scale.  However, their kits are priced right and if you mess up too badly, one can always buy another kit and start over using what they learned.


I'll be following along as will others on your journey.  Be patient and ask all the questions you need.     



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Sir, thank you for your kind words and sound advice.  We have a green light again...


Here's the raison d'etre behind at least some of the background to Joao de Melo.


I beg your indulgence but mention this just once -and only once- in this community.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with stage IV renal cell carcinoma. I had no idea that I was carrying a 2kg tumour - we called him Be'elzebub-- that had destroyed the left kidney, spleen, two lymph nodes and the very tip of the pancreas. Later it would take a bite of lung. No pain, nothing. Just a tiredness.


"Between two and seven years" exclaimed my first surgeon. A prognosis. My family has born the brunt of emotional tsunamis fir six years.This week, I was rated up from 'terminal' to such: 'Living with cancer' as I suspect mathematically there are others like this, here.

Now, Joao is I think Portuguese for 'Josef'; my eldest son's middle name. He hasn't lost me yet but in natural (and of course wartime) disasters such as Lisboa, Armenia and Bandar Aceh, there are thousands of unheard stories of individual sacrifice and against the odds ...Nika ... that word carries that much weight ... victory in the face of calamity and anguishes. 


Let Joao's tale be told heard, as allegory. I know we'll all grow to admire and love him. This is a remarkable community; already I have exchanged ideas with some wonderful people, the community Guidelines are well-thought-out and respectful, fair to all. And everyone loathes pirates : (


Thank you once again, Sir.


Over to you, Joao...

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And Nikiforos is "the bearer of victory". Rather appropriate, I think. 


Regarding AL - well, I've never made a wooden ship from a kit, so haven't had any dealings with them. Sorry to hear about the problem with the plans, but I think Mark's advice is good. And that you're kit-bashing means you're already half-way to the Dark Side (scratch-building) . . .😉



Edited by Louie da fly
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The Dark side. Now you see this truck here... In olden not so nostalgic times in faraway places, they pulled down Peter the Great statues and erected, among other ikons, tributes to the GAZ. Everything yiu can think of that had four (or 6 or 10) wheels, this glorious revolutionary soviet re-envisioning of the Ford made do for all. Look at the rear wooden end.  I couldn't make the wheels or tyres but yea, its boxy, so a toe in the waters of the Dark side. Oh the weeks lost...


Do you hear Mark's titanium sword of righteousness being swung?  Back to the boat. Going to make some nicer sketches, make a 25th scale Portucaler figure -- airfix make available 1/24th scale things --and come back with a proper progression.  The issue of the interior looking very bare remains but there are plenty of excellent working references here that should inspire.


Thanks again Mark and Steven.




Edit: I have chosen my style of wooden cross: the Order of Jesus' Knights variant pictured below. Another image is thought to be that of the Order's naval Jack of the day (Bandé variant). Quite a migraine inducer! (pic by António Martins). 




Edited by Nikiforos
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What a long weekend.

I bought 'Ship modelling from Stem to Stern' by Mr. Milton Roth. ISBN 0-8306-2844-4 (paperback).


There are a lot of detailed sections, including a callout of the parts of a generic working utility boat. Truthfully, it's a dated work, pre-interweb, aimed squarely at the U.S. modeller despite worldwide distribution and sadly there is page after page of personal conceit which makes it quite hard to read - but for sure for a newb like me there's an overall positive value in the book.

Adding in the floorboards using the depth of a piece of ply sliding along each plank's edge to get a nice equal spacing. Some of the walnut strips are warped but re-positional as you can observe. They're just pinned for now, to get that spacing all the way out (111mm lengths). The decking frame is sitting atop, unglued for the moment.


My question is: are the floorboards too widely spaced? They could be, in this scale a couple of portuguese toes could fit between them.


I shaped a 'paddle' style ice-cream stick to make the edge of the cross's plinth on top of Joao's new covered compartment at the bow that he made himself : ) Why? It should be a fairly waterproof place for posessions and tools. Poor Maria cannot accidentally slide over toward that direction now as it acts as a low bollard. The bowsprit can now fit in there if it is so inclined (today's geometry pun).


Next up, is a sludge wash of 70pc pure lamp black and 30pc burnt umber oils - acrylics shall never darken my door again (today's artist's pun) - over the floor and compartment top. It already received one wash. Then wipe away with a lint-free cloth or 'clauth' as they say hereabout.


No pic but If we look at part 18, the 'balustrada', in no way will it sit horizontally at the top of frame part number 3. There's a gigantic gap so it sits in mid-air... Did I mis-judge something?   
Difficult to say as of course there are NO SCALE PLANS, AL. Consider yourselves the target of some hot and spicy verbal graffiti. In Portuguese.

Other fluffs 'accomplished' includes Joao's leather seat fashioned with Milliput (terracota flavour -- a fine 2 part epoxy material readily available in Britain and Europe) - I'll add the affixing straps and refine much much later using poly/cotton thread. Milliput is perfect too for my Lebanese sanbuq's amphorae that have their handles entirely missing. Pic to follow.


Here also is a picture of some fancy woodwork I really like; horizontal and vertically aranged with a liberal sprinkling of knots. It inspired Joao to make that compartment. It seems that our Portuguese friends are fond of adorning their water vessels with all manner of beautiful artistic embellishments and colours although it's the 18th Century. Let's keep it in mind...
It's all starting to fall into place with the help of good people here. Thank you all.



This log needs more action and less fluff, yea I know.  Onward!

Edited by Nikiforos
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I'd agree with you - those floorboards look too far apart. I think moving them closer together would be an improvement.


I can't see part 18 anywhere, so can't help with the balustrade. Maybe some pictures of the problem?


I've got Roth's book and you're right, it does have its limitations. It was written over 30 years ago, and things have changed a lot in that time.


The build is looking very good. I'm looking forward to seeing more . . .

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Those flooring planks are 3mm wide as supplied which when re-arranged tighter require an extra 112mm plank furthest away from the centreline on each side. 3mm seems a little narrow so they must go; there's extra tilia planks of 4mm left from AL's dhow, remarkably. Let's replace with those and add a simulation wash later. I shall examine similar floorboards here on the forum like Inspector Clouseau.


The balustrade isn't going to matter, as a new one will be scratched to resemble the sharp-looking 'vertical' woodwork panel in the second image. Besides, I have to beg on knees to borrow a good camera from my wilful daughter. It isn't pretty to plead like that...


Steven, I know if I asked you what did King Gustav of Sweden wear on his feet the morning of his 22nd birthday, you'd have documentary and illustrative evidence within 10 minutes, so here's another fun question --what about a windlass? Is that appropriate for european boats of 1755? Such isn't included in the box. This boat is turning into a part fantasy build for good or bad -- but dear Maria needs to get onboard somehow. Regardless, more work, less aimless conjecture is needed on my part.


Thanks for the likes, it means a lot, gentlemen.




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If you can, take a drawing of an appropriate crewman type and scale him down.  Paste to a chunk/piece of wood and use that as a reference for things like spacing on the deck planks.  Having a "little guy" really does help when we're building.  I have one and it took me maybe an hour to make but I just sketched a figure of the right size onto some scrap wood (boxwod) and carved him out.  Nothing fancy but it sure does help.


As for a windlass, even though the plans don't show one, I would think it would need one.   Is there any mention of the number of crewmen?   If you have enough, a windlass isn't needed but it sure would make things easier.

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Mark -- the only source of infirmation given for the Captain's (Cosme Damián de Churruca y Elorza, source: ehm .. Wikipedia) boat of the San Juan Nepomuceno is in the sainted glossy booklet where between the front and back pages of a very badly airbrushed-down hull for the boat, it copies a passage directly from ...Wikipedia. "The S J N was a ship of proven worthiness" and a list of other similar ships built in Asturias. That's the extent of all documentation aside from a parts sheet callout. By the looks of things apart from a few details surely this is the same kit as the Bounty's 'jolly boat' by AL. Nothing at all mentioned about the auxiliary boat itself. There are six thwarts; in my ignorance that says up to twelve oarsmen (plus Senor Damian who did show tremendous bravery at Trafalgar).


"To the memory of Brigadier of the Navy Don Cosme Damián de Churruca, gloriously dead on the ship of his command San Juan Nepomuceno in the combat of Trafalgar. 21 October in 1805" -testimony at Ferrol and Mutriku. (see painting). 


I have a good sense of spatial representation, Joao is twice the size of a typical 48th scale plastic ww2 pilot at 1/24th, close in bare feet to 1/25th. In this light, the floorboards spacing are just about sound but themselves are too narrow in dimension of 1.5 x 3mm. The instruction's floorboards look wider, in addition. Man ... AL make beautiful sails, but documentation is atrocious for the newcomer.


Yes, I agree about a windlass and will borrow TigerSteve's excellent method in reproducing one.


Thank you, Mark, for the helping hand. Painting by Eugenio Álvarez Dumont. Prado museum. And welcome back, CaptainSteve.



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UPDATE: Since HMS Bounty 'bote auxiliar' is almost a twin to this kit, M. Clouseau has found that images of the former also have same anaemic floorboards, narrow and confined (here 3mm x 1.5mm, parts 14 through 17) but the instructions look 4mm x 1.5mm. Without scale plans nobody will likely ever know how it was with San Juan's boat, from AL. Be aware of it if you're thinking of building these models. 


Due to popular demand we found a strange, pious, cat lurking in the dockyard who stands at 5 feet 9 inches in his chainmail boots (=70 mm). He assumes Maria's coffin will be near to that. 7 cm. Any crewmen will be roughly the same size also, for the sake of this project.


Anyway, more sawdust, less word count...


He is called 'Miaoao de Joao'. Uh...

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Mark, for sure.

Next time you get the chance, take a look at their dhow (sanbuq, sambouk) 'Sultan'. Let's not bore everyone mentioning again there aren't any plans. However. For a start, no single source agrees with another about its scale. It is 85th scale on their.own website, amazon dot anywhere lists 34th scale. It is 60th on the box (you have a winner). 


The kit actually has an impressive amount of deck furniture. Two barrels especially tower over a person's head; (a six foot Zanzibar trader can be just over an inch tall at 1/60th scale) only a giant can see what is inside. Four greek amphorae minus handles (milliput/sculpey to the rescue) are similarly built for Zeus himself although quite nice to look at in their giant container and nicely turned.

The rudder's tiller is gigantic - hold a beach-ball under your arm -that would be smaller than the diameter of this tiller (I could be wrong about it -there are no scale plans). There are a hardware store worth of buckets - giant buckets- aplenty enough for the Sultan of Oman's personal garrison in a siege.

Perhaps the prototype crafter was told 34th scale rather than 50th? Even then...Anyway, for this kit its single bucket is a nice size.

Their new Netherlands 'Botter', however, has (let me sit down a moment...)


...plans, and looks tightly in scale and could well be a second build here.


Thanks, Mark, for your help.




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CaptainSteve -was looking at your completed boats yesterday; such mastery of your craft. You must be very proud. As for AL we should be aware that they don't just cater to the model shipwright but for children too with their range of doll's houses and acessories. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh since this boat is a bash-up into a portuguese 'what if'.


And their botter does have plans -what a curious design. In this pic the passengers find it hilarious that the pilot nearly got decapitated. Bloodthirsty people...


Thanks, Cap'n. 


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I didn't like the reedy 3x1.5 floorboards, so ripped them out.

Borrowed some tilia from the dhow (the external latrine) to replace them. Now, when you're rowing into a diaster zone, where all manner of flotsam is everywhere -- the dearly departed, charcoaled wood and twisted metal (don't forget the rats), your boat is going to look a bit dirty. A sludge wash of thinned oils, 60/40 umber lamp black was daubed liberally. A rag moistened in white spirit was scrubbed in leaving dark chunks and stains of I-don't-know-what in the hard to reach parts. 

I am learning the hard way that this is not plastic I'm working with so sanded off as much as was needed to give a rancid look. The wash also showed the places where old woodglue was an issue to deal with. A coat of clear varnish was next before a light stain of oak will be applied over the top, once nicely dried. Probably tomorrow.

I'm sort of happy with it; but must tone it down above the waterline, which makes reasonable sense. I don't want it too filthy. The upper deck again rests upon framing.


Here, Mioao de Joao has discovered the scent of his next meal. Best not ask. The real Miaow lurks in the background, out of chance.




Mark, if these images are killing bandwidth I can surely reduce their size. Thanks. 

Edit: that centre plank looks a little raised. The coffin goes there, then. Darn, no. I have to reduce its depth; lets set some standards.



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Diário de Melo, Novembro 14, Anno 1755.


"Fr. Viegas' correspondence indicated that Maria's body had been discovered close to that former homely little chapel of St. Eirene adjacent to the Offices of the Gazeta de Lisboa, which itself bore little damage. How like her to have illuminated -in her last hours upon God's wracked earth -such bright new souls with fair kindness and whose own road upon the journey of a good Christian education had but only begun.




In St. Eirene's she yet lies, but I fear the hours between the Judgement and this very day -some thirteen days all told- have not been kind to that corporeal remainder upon her cold flagstone... I must charge myself and pray to the Lord that He gives me enough strength in our own time of need but I am sore afraid...


Novembro 15


We sail from old Cueta early tomorrow. Fr. Viegas had gravely implored us sail so to arrive when there be such precious light as not to be mortally hindered by that sooty darkness spewed as from the sky above; the City is in darkness both day and night but mornings less so, it is said.


God's judgement is terrible; let no man doubt His wrath unto a wayward people who grievously dabble in repellent heresies and ideas neither meant to be spoken of nor fit for thought for those who should - must - know their place amid God's Immortal Design.

Meanwhile, I shall procure such provisions as I am able to contribute in such immediate times. Fresh water, dried biscuit, salt and a sample of various gifts for any medicus to apply to his dispensations. Maria's coffin I have built myself: Jacomo is a most wondrous carpenter but I need scarcely submit a reasoning as to our grim destination."

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Morbid, I'm not sure if that's the right word.   Maybe a bit but I've seen dioramas of shipwrecks and other disasters.  You could shorten the backstory where he's taking supplies to the city and not have the coffin in the build.  Or forget the backstory but carry on as this might have been used for delivery of supplies.  But, you are the builder and as such your feeling on this is respected.   

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  • 5 weeks later...



I think it's an idea to try to resurrect this --if only to point out the horrendous flaws, the misrepresentation of the whole kit and the insane inadequacy of the instructions/noplans.


Yea, the "so-bad-we-had-to-(badly) airbrush-out-the-whole-hull" instructions are a cut and paste presumably from AL's Bounty so-called jolly boat is fit for the bin as soon as you open the box. There are references to ply Sheets 1 through 4 (the actual sheets are A to D), there are references to parts that simply do not exist (bowsprit support etc.) --and most wonderfully of all --numbered prefab parts that are meant to plank the hull. There are none such, just the kits bundle of 1.5x5mm tilia. The mast is nearly >150% the length of the hull. Madness, I think.


It's a mess, and a waste of money, cheap though it be. Certainly my beginner skills are average with wood, but this dog of a thing should never be tackled by a newbie to the hobby. The sails are nicely done, the wood is good quality, but the "full color documentation" is pure fiction. Vets could make a learned guess out of that box, but with lesser skills, you're wasting £40 or equivalent. May as well tear up banknotes.


So. I'm going to do my best and make a sensible job from this grotesque product. It'll be my first and last AL too (though my dhow is working out good --but as mentioned previously noplans noplans again).


More later -- with pics, oh my!, and thanks again for everyone's kind support so far.




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