yvesvidal Posted May 20, 2013 Share #1 Posted May 20, 2013 (edited) Folks, I was exploring what are the options for building a Mayflower at the scale of 1/64th. The Model Shipways with the excellent practicum by Chuck passaro would have been the perfect candidate but it is unfortunately, built at a less than standard scale of 1/76th or something around that. I like my ships to be all of the same scale so that comparisons can be made and proportions appreciated. Finding a Mayflower at the scale of 1/65th or 1/64th was only leaving me with two choices: Artesania Latina or Constructo which may in fact be the same kit, since both are built in Spain. The Artesania Latina kit is rather expensive in the USA and although procurement in Europe would not have been too much of a problem, I stumbled across a kit on E-Bay for less than $100 and decided to give it a try. The top of the big box is presented above. The box is much bigger than the Model Shipways box and that could be explained by the fact that the model is slightly bigger, but much more logically by the way the parts are presented inside: A large plastic tray with compartments, presents all the detail parts in a neat and attractive way. There are wood, metal, and plastic parts in that kit, which may be an heresy for some of us. In full honesty having blocks and belaying pins made of plastic can be a great time saver in the overall construction of the kit. Besides, one can always fabricate or procure the blocks and pins from wood and accessories suppliers. The Mayflower does not need to be presented and a nice replica (Mayflower - II) rests in the harbor of Plymouth Massachusetts. I remember seeing this ship some 20 years ago, while living in Boston and I was sincerely impressed by the courage and desperation that must have fueled these immigrants to start such a long and dangerous trip across the oceans and to an unknown land, on such a small vessel. And small is that vessel when you see it with your own eyes, and docked next to you. The Mayflower II was built by William Baker in England in 1955 as he tried to replicate as faithfully as possible, a vessel which plans or detailed information no longer exist. Mayflower II was later on sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and given to the Mayflower Historical Society. In that regard the interpretation of Mayflower by Constructo and Model Shipways are quite different in color, decoration, and arrangement of the transom and bulwarks among many other things. The following picture shows an exquisite model based on the Constructo kit made by a skilled Canadian modeler: The interpretation of Model Shipways is presented below: One can see quite a few differences between the two models. The Model Shipways kit designed by Chuck Passaro is based on Mayflower II, and therefore is perfectly exact as it replicates the .... replica. The model designed by Constructo is probably more based on what could have been the Mayflower and brings elements of "marine romanticism" that may not be completely accurate. The most notably different parts are the transom in which the Constructo version is romanticizing the vision of a vessel of the 17th century, with a lantern, two flower emblems and large round windows on the transom. The presence of guns is also a matter for discussion as Mayflower was first and foremost a merchant vessel before the "big adventure" to the new continent. Knowing how packed that vessel was with 102 crews on board, supplies to rebuild a new community, food supplies and live stock, once can wonder where they could have found space for guns and ammunition. Below is the Constructo vision of the transom: ......versus the more stern and probably realistic version of Model Shipways: Let's move to the Documentation side. Constructo provides two sheets for the plans and one flimsy manual translated in 5 different languages for the European and North American markets. Besides a list of parts, the assembly instructions are almost non-existent. When you compare their manual with the fantastic Practicum provided by Model Shipways, once can understand why European kits are so difficult and the perfect recipe for discouraging new modelers. The Constructo Mayflower is not that difficult to put together but the quality of the instructions and the lack of details of the plans, make the construction a true challenge for the neophyte. As far as I am concerned, I will simply ignore the Constructo instructions and build the kit as recommended by Chuck Passaro. My kit did not include a color pictorial describing the various phases of the construction. Newer kits may have it and these additional pictures may help the beginner modelers. However, no explanations or directions provided by Constructo comes even close to the excellent practicum published by Model Shipways. The following pictures attempt at showing the two sheets provided in the Constructo kit: One question jumped to my mind: How can you do a decent and realistic rigging job with the plan above? Constructo provides five different sizes and colors of lines and thread as well as these nicely detailed (although made of plastic) blocks. They also provide the fabric to make your own sails. However, the lack of instructions and directions will be a repelling factor for a lot of builders, and most likely a large number of kits will never be completed by lack of proper instructions. It is a pity. Again, the Practicum from Model Shipways comes to the rescue as it offers all the detailed information to turn that model into a very realistic and accurate model. Let's review the parts provided in the kit: The bulkheads and the keel are pre-cut with what looks like water jets. This technology allows some precision and prevents the burning of the wood often found in laser cut kits. The parts are for the most part made of plywood (3 plies), with some precious wood of darker colors. Unfortunately, there are no sheet to compare the cuts with the plans and one will have to spend some time fairing carefully the hull before planking it. The decks and some other parts of the masts are die-cut, making them relatively difficult to detach. A sharp blade will finish the poor job of the factory. A base is even provided in the kit, to display the ship. The wood provided in the kit allows for double planking of the hull. It is nice to have different varieties of wood and colors. It is a nice departure from the basswood trend used by some model manufacturers. Overall the quality is nice and special care and a lot of heat and moisture will be necessary to bend the Bokapi wood strips for the hull. Various wooden parts are provided in the kit, including a pre-shaped boat. Most parts are already cut and (apparently) ready to be glued. Nice brass parts and plastic blocks are provided in the kit. The presence of guns is a question as I do not believe they belong to the Mayflower during its trip to religious freedom. Yves Edited May 22, 2013 by yvesvidal fnkershner, Aussie048, sport29652 and 1 other 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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