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mfrazier

Mantua Sovereign of the Seas kit 1:78

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Has anyone had experience with this kit? I have tried to research it on the internet before pulling the trigger on $1200. I have found some reviews saying lousy instructions and many poor fitting parts, particularly the castings. I have found an equal number of reviews saying it is fantastic. I just wonder what the real story is. For that price , I expect a pretty good kit. 

 

Mark

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16 minutes ago, mfrazier said:

For that price , I expect a pretty good kit. 

I think your expectations would not be met, at least if you're expecting a degree of historical accuracy in the kit. Don Dressel, an accomplished modeler and author, spent many years researching the SoS while attempting a build of the Mantua kit. The effort took 10 years, and the end result is that he used only the hull formers from the kit and replaced everything else -- literally everything else. He found many errors in the kit's rig, armament, and particularly its hull carvings (the stern carvings in the kit, as one example, are completely wrong). While there is no doubt that an eye-catching model of SoS could be built straight from the box, but I think that there are equally ornate subjects that are probably better values for the money, e.g. Euromodel's Royal William. Also check out some of the offerings from the Dutch comapany, Kolderstok.

 

Cheers!

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That was what I was afraid of from what info I could find. I understand that model may not be exactly historically correct, but for $1200, I  also don't intend to replace half of poor quality or fit of cast metal components. As much as I  desire to build this model, I  don't think I want to gamble that amount of money, especially since I  find more negative reviews than positive. My next choice of ship, I was thinking the HMS Victory. I think I will research it as well as the Royal  William. Thank you.

 

Mark

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After thought and the reviews,  I decided not to build the S O S ship. I chose the HMS Victory from Billings Boats. I was able to download the instructions manual(more than 40 pages) and was impressed so I  ordered the kit it is 1:74 scale. Total length is 54 inches x 35 inches high. This was the size I wanted. 

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Hi Mark, I had the same question as you and found some good info searching build threads on here. I came to the conclusion that I would not buy the current Mantua offering as it appears they are using the same molds as the vintage kits. And they re designed the structure with pre cut and lasered decks and planking etc...Then I heard about Mckay’s Sovereign book that is supposed to be the best researched book on her, got in on the pre order and then I chanced a low bid on eBay for a early ‘90’s era Mantua kit and won it! I received it and the castings are the heavy brass ones and the kit was complete. Now I am waiting for the book to be released end of February. I’m hoping that I can build a fair representation with that kit and the book, and if I don’t use most of the kit I still got good value for $$ spent.....

Edited by ASAT

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ASAT,

I hope one day to build the Sovereign of the seas model when hopefully it is improved some. I just couldn't see spending $1200 dollars for a kit with the amount of negative reviews. I did read some of the great builds on here and I  think the model can be built satisfactorily.  I read several reviews that said the biggest problems were with the castings fitting with the laser cut parts. I just had too much doubt for the price.

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9 hours ago, mfrazier said:

After thought and the reviews,  I decided not to build the S O S ship. I chose the HMS Victory from Billings Boats. I was able to download the instructions manual(more than 40 pages) and was impressed so I  ordered the kit it is 1:74 scale. Total length is 54 inches x 35 inches high. This was the size I wanted. 

I downloaded same instructions and was impressed with amount of nice details this kit has. I think you made an excellent choice. It is also reasonably priced at $550 compared to $1200 for Sov. of the Sea

Edited by Y.T.

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7 minutes ago, Y.T. said:

I downloaded same instructions and was impressed with amount of nice details this kit has. I think you made an excellent choice. It is also reasonably priced at $550 compared to $1200 for Sov. of the Sea

What is even better, the kit is on sale for $397

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It is very tempting to get this kit but for me unfortunately scale is too large (4'-6" just for hull). Would not fit at my wharf on the office desk.

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3 minutes ago, Y.T. said:

It is very tempting to get this kit but for me unfortunately scale is too large (4'-6" just for hull). Would not fit at my wharf on the office desk.

I had to hunt for a place to plan on displaying it. I talked my mate into moving some of her pictures to open enough wall space for a shelf. Good thing she is impressed by these models. 

Mark

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