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After finishing my last build (link is in my profile) I started a ship in a bottle. I am still working with that, but I can only spend so much time working at such a tiny level, I prefer the larger models. So I will be tinkering with the ship in a bottle intermittently.

I was pretty bummed when I found out Artesania Latina closed their doors, and one day I was speaking with my fiancé about it. The local hobby store in her hometown just happened to have one more AL model on the shelf and she picked it up for my anniversary gift. I was originally planning on starting a victory, but I am beyond excited to start a different style of ship. 

One thing that recently caught my interest while browsing other builds is the idea of opening up the doors and windows and finishing the interior as well. 

I am still in the planning stages for that, but as of now I am planning on adding a small casino room, a kitchen (if I can find the parts) and a couple of bedrooms.



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I started assembling the keel first, as per the instructions. I’m not sure how other kits are but mine extremely tight, to the point where I couldn’t not even dry fit them without feeling like I needed a mallet to get them into place so I filed down all of the connecting joints just a tad. After that they all slid right together. 

howevet, I did find a mistake in the plywood labeling. The bulkhead pieces 4 and 5 were labeled backward. Other than that, so far so good. 






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The kit itself came with 2 small pieces of laser cut plywood for the “filler” blocks to allow for more surface area when glueing the sides of the hull. I personally am a fan of bigger fill blocks to allow for more surface area, as Id hate to wake up one day to see the hull coming apart. 

I have some balsa wood from a whittling kit that I use, it’s really soft. The glue I use for planking expands when it dries so in my head I tell myself that it will have a better fixation. 

I still have to sand them down to shape, which I will he doing with a Dremel with a sanding flap wheel, file, and then a sanding block for the finishing touches 

What are other options for good filler blocks?


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Well with the current state of this covid nonsense, I have essentially been living in the hospital and haven’t had much time to work until recently.

the pictures of my progress are pretty self explanatory, I haven’t done anything special to it yet. 

Once the deck gets glued to the hull it’ll be more interesting, I am tossing around the idea of adding a casino to the inside of the first level room and lighting it. We’ll see. 

hope everyone is staying safe











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I am a resident just finishing up 6 weeks in the ICU, in the center of inner city detroit. It’s a disaster. I’m healthy as can be though, I got lucky. 

spent a little more time today putting the hull together. Instead of planking it comes with one solid piece per side and then gets .5mm planking over top of that. 

clamping and pinning the bow is always such a pain in the but. 

the pieces were also a little too long, I had to cut the end flush with the midline so they lined up properly



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Glad to hear you're keeping safe.

There are a few odd anomalies with sizes. Be aware when you come to the upper deck houses the plywood is so thin it can, and sometimes does, seperate when soaked to allow for bending the curves.

Before you plank the hull or shape the bottom look at how the planks will fit - it's a job and a half if you curve the edges (at least it was for me😄!) Also the stem needs quite a bit of fettling to fit.

Take good care, stay safe,


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Yup, I am definitely learning that...I’m a little disappointed so far with this kit. I just finished the AL San Francisco II and everything seemed to fit together great. Ah well. Just needs a little work and it’ll look perfect in the end, it always does. 

getting the hull braces glued in tonight, tomorrow I I’m planning on finishing up the deck and putting it on the hull. 

I also already learned how easy this plywood separates. When I first put the the deck on the full there is a slight curve up and the plywood separated with that. It was pretty disheartening that’s for sure 


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On my last build, I purchased and studied a few different techniques (well after the fact of needing it of course) and it mentioned a way to get realistic nails in the deck by taking a pin and poking holes, sanding lightly over the deck and allowing the dust to accumulate in the tiny holes. Then staining the deck and allowing the dust to take in the stain more so than the surrounding wood. We’ll see how it turns out!



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Just a thought, but as long as you're considering nail holes, keep in mind that planks were nailed to every deck beam, not just the ones at the end. In practice, you'd have parallel sets of nail holes every scale foot or two along each plank. Of course, that's a lot of work and you could decide it would make the deck look too busy, but I thought I'd suggest it. Your approach highlights the idea of nailed planks while leaving a clean-looking deck that emphasizes the planking. Especially given that this kit isn't particularly prototypical, the best choice is whater you think looks best!

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I actually did come across that, but given the scale of the model, my slight obsession for the “clean” look, and that most likely, and that likely no one who will see this model in person will know that I skipped a few holes haha. 

I do agree there is a place for authenticity, but, from my limits experience, it’s not on AL models as they are typically built more for a “good build” rather than authenticity. 


made a little more progress today, got the hull planking 3/4 finished, popped out the first floor room walls and fitted/glued together. 

my original plan of putting a small “casino” on the first floor may be hindered now as all of the dollhouse casino stuff I could find is about twice as tall as the rooms. So I may be making my own card table and we’ll see what I can come up with. 

Overall the fit of the rooms was good except once it was assembled it required some force to get it back into the deck slots.






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Hi John

For scale furniture try searching for HO/OO scale stuff. It's 1/76 so very close.  If you're going down that route don't use the dangling ring door handles as shown, except maybe on the "barn doors" of the stowage room, they're too large. Instead use one of the brass pins. The head on them is more to scale.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Finished planking the first floor rooms, just getting started on the trim and I’m also jumping ahead and planking the second deck. I have a feeling I’m going to move extremely slow on the second level deck due to the 45 degree angles, or as the directions call it a “herringbone” pattern.


i am using the same push pin technique that I used on the first deck planking on the room wall planking and also the upper decks. 






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Little more progress on the first level rooms and the second level deck. 

I always get nervous about the integrity of gluing things that hang off/have potential to be bumped. So I added a little reinforcement. I drilled small holes and then put a brass pin with superglue inside of the “stabling box” and then lined up the holes on the wall, drilled, and used wood glue for the box against the wall with superglue on the brass pins. I used this technique on my previous build and everything held up great. 





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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

It’s been a slow month or two, the weather has just been so nice it’s hard to justify staying in my basement (although the temperature is spot on down there) but this past weekend I made a little more progress. 

the hull is completely planked (pictures will come), I am still working on the second level deck, that fancy angled planking really takes forever to do properly. 

on my previous build I made the mistake of waiting until the build was complete before I made the stand, this time I am making the stand early on. 

Since the hull is planked with walnut and it has various walnut pieces, I decided to make the stand out of walnut as well. I cut up a slab and essentially made a 2x4, cut it in half and then “unfolded” the two pieces so the grain will make a mirror image on the base. 

the overall length of the base will be ~13.5 inches, 2/3 of the overall length of the hull





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

Got the second level deck finished and did a little dry fitting. I am skipping around in a few steps in an attempt to finish all of the decks since it’s such a slow painstaking process. 

I also started on the box closing bars, using my small cutoff wheel to cut the 45 degree angle and then clamping it in my vice to file down the recess for the plank to fit in.






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  • 1 month later...

I am still here! Sorry for the delay, I have been fiddling with this occasionally but life has been crazy lately. My wedding was originally postponed until next year due to covid but last minute we decided to take a trip and get married by ourselves on an island, and I had to make an epoxy table for someone else for a wedding gift. 

This kit surprisingly did not come with a stand, so this last week I spent some time and planes down a piece of solid walnut, cut it in half and then glued it together so the stand will have a mirror image in the wood grain. 

I have also been taking my time on planking the upper decks, I am attempting to finish all of the structural components first along with the stand as I am planning on adding working deck lights and a few lights inside of the room so planning for the wires has added a level of difficulty, that’s for sure. 













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