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SANTA CATARINA DO MONTE SINAI by Robert Taylor - Pyro - 1:144 Scale - Plastic


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Hi Everyone.

My Next build I have opted to go for out of my stash is Vasco Da Gama's Flagship Carrack the " Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai" on his 3rd Voyage to Portuguese India in 1524.

Although a smaller kit with the hull at 26cm with bowsprit and stern mast added the full length will be 41cm approx. This kit with its beautiful architectural moulding(photos below) has has the potential to be a little cracker.
Albeit this is will take some time as there is a lot of very small articulate painting. I am also going to try and make New yards for the masts so I can make cloth sails for this, as much as the plastic moulded sails/yards together have good detail on them, I much prefer cloth ones.
I will also have to experiment with the colour scheme a bit as actual original carrack colours seem to differ a bit every time on a different website and from the kit instructions which aren't very good. I will also have to re examine the rigging as the instructions again aren't great.

I guess this will probably hold as man challenges as a bigger kit, but I really wanted to do this kit as I love the history of it and it's a step back from the normal a bit.
Hopefully I will be starting this in the next couple of days if not the start of next week  👍🤺🤺🤺

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Nice looking model, and the idea of giving it new yards and fabric sails is a good one - I think it would add significantly to the presentation.

 

This model is almost certainly based on the ship which appears repeatedly (in different sizes) in the painting below - and that is generally thought to be the Santa Caterina do Monto Sinai (launched in 1520, and da Gama's flagship on his third voyage to India).

 

1677009175_NewImage.thumb.JPG.35e6b1cc1c92861491589e5aa9860d9d.JPG 

 

If that's the case the kit seems to have taken a few liberties with the colour scheme - more appropriate to the end of the 16th century than the beginning (but much more colourful!).

 

I've always loved this ship and it's been a long term goal of mine to build a model of it. I didn't know there was a plastic kit available and though I no longer build in plastic, I'm looking forward to following your build. Carracks are a particular interest of mine and I've amassed a whole lot of information on them. If there's any way I can help with references, contemporary pictures etc I'd be glad to do so. I've put together a Pinterest page on larger, later carracks (which I like to call Great Carracks) at https://www.pinterest.com.au/lowe1847/great-carracksnaos/ which you might find of use.

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12 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

Nice looking model, and the idea of giving it new yards and fabric sails is a good one - I think it would add significantly to the presentation.

 

This model is almost certainly based on the ship which appears repeatedly (in different sizes) in the painting below - and that is generally thought to be the Santa Caterina do Monto Sinai (launched in 1520, and da Gama's flagship on his third voyage to India).

 

1677009175_NewImage.thumb.JPG.35e6b1cc1c92861491589e5aa9860d9d.JPG 

 

If that's the case the kit seems to have taken a few liberties with the colour scheme - more appropriate to the end of the 16th century than the beginning (but much more colourful!).

 

I've always loved this ship and it's been a long term goal of mine to build a model of it. I didn't know there was a plastic kit available and though I no longer build in plastic, I'm looking forward to following your build. Carracks are a particular interest of mine and I've amassed a whole lot of information on them. If there's any way I can help with references, contemporary pictures etc I'd be glad to do so. I've put together a Pinterest page on larger, later carracks (which I like to call Great Carracks) at https://www.pinterest.com.au/lowe1847/great-carracksnaos/ which you might find of use.

Thanks very much, hopefully it will all come together 👍🤺🤺

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  • 4 weeks later...

Been held up with shift changes at work so I've had next to no time to start this kit. I've spent more time thinking about the colour scheme as the Box instructions and the 16th century painting are that far apart that its caused me a few headaches. I have only completed the stand and 1 side of the hull painting due to this but I suppose I've got started in some direction. And I thought painting triangles on the Hind and Revenge were time consuming these ones on the shields are only a couple of mm long very intricate on such a small scale hull.

 

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3 hours ago, Jeff T said:

Very nice, Robert!  Sometimes, the smaller the scale, the tougher the project.   I use a head-mounted magnifying pair of lenses, but that still doesn’t solve the “shaking hand” problem that looks like an earthquake through them 🙂.

Thanks Jeff, Yes  I tried using a free hands magnifying glass, but I didn't  feel comfortable  with it, I don't  wear glasses normally, only for reading very small print, so I suffice with using them, but using them and a magnifying glass confuses the problem  re brush distance to subject and etc, I am more accurate just using my reading glasses.

However  very early stages still and touch ups and the likes will obviously  get done in time 😄

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I'd second Jeff's recommendation of a magnifying headset. I use it for all fine work. I wear my normal glasses underneath. It's very good for seeing details I otherwise wouldn't, but it did take a little getting used to.

 

The paintwork is looking very good, at least from the photos. Keep at it. You'll get there with time and patience.

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On 10/8/2020 at 2:28 AM, Jeff T said:

Very nice, Robert!  Sometimes, the smaller the scale, the tougher the project.   I use a head-mounted magnifying pair of lenses, but that still doesn’t solve the “shaking hand” problem that looks like an earthquake through them 🙂.

Hi Jeff any suggestions on a decent set of head mounted magnifying lenses, just wanting to avoid poor cheap stuff. 

 

Regards

Robert.

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Robert,

 

The topics linked by Ryland Craze have some good recommendations.  I am afraid that my own pair of magnifiers is not as fancy as what is discussed in those links.  I have plastic lenses, not glass, but so far, they have lasted over three years.  This is what I have:

 

image.jpeg.11892bbd6f54caa35faaf1f9fac9879e.jpeg

 

I cannot remember the brand name.  For the lighting, I use an LED penlight that takes a single AAA battery (I use rechargeable, which last over 2 hours at a time).  The LED penlight is mounted on the frame of the magnifier by means of velcro so that I can remove it to change the battery.  The white “cradle” for the penlight that allows a flat connection for the velcro of the penlight to the velcro of the frame was made of epoxy putty.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Small update on my Pyro "Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai" Decking finished and weathered, some Cannons added to Hulls as per instructions, also detailed painting inside ship finshed and weathered. Now to start the the building process to move on to the next stage of adding more Cannons, as well as hatches, Awning, Masts and bowsprit. I will try and make Yards for the masts as the ones with the kit are moulded to the Sails, as I want to add cloth sails as well which I will be hand sewing. Taking a lot longer due to 12hr shifts at work, but have been able to do 30mins-1hr here and there.

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2 hours ago, Robert Taylor said:

I will try and make Yards for the masts as the ones with the kit are moulded to the Sails, as I want to add cloth sails as well which I will be hand sewing.

 

Good decision. Are you planning to make a two-part mainyard? That is, two spars overlapped at the centre? This was normal practice at this time.

 

And note from the painting above the mainsail (and I think also the foresail) had sheets not only at the lower corners, but also "sheets" in the middle of the sail - which your model's pre-cast sails don't show. There was an interesting discussion of how to achieve that here https://modelshipworld.com/topic/4915-venetian-carrack-or-cocha-164-by-woodrat-completed/page/14/ and the following pages. I think Woodrat did an amazing job of it, but it was pretty difficult to achieve.

 

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7 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

 

Good decision. Are you planning to make a two-part mainyard? That is, two spars overlapped at the centre? This was normal practice at this time.

 

And note from the painting above the mainsail (and I think also the foresail) had sheets not only at the lower corners, but also "sheets" in the middle of the sail - which your model's pre-cast sails don't show. There was an interesting discussion of how to achieve that here https://modelshipworld.com/topic/4915-venetian-carrack-or-cocha-164-by-woodrat-completed/page/14/ and the following pages. I think Woodrat did an amazing job of it, but it was pretty difficult to achieve.

 

Thanks for that link Louie, very informative. Its definitely something I am going to take into consideration, I was thinking about extending the length of the Main sail anyway, and slightly shortening the height to make it look more rectangular rather than square like the kit moulded ones. 

I will obviously need to do a few measurement calculations as I have to watch that my kit doesn't become Top heavy as it's a very small plastic kit with the hull only measuring 26cm, so compared to Woodrats Wooden kit, he's had a lot more scope and a much bigger and stronger carrack play about with big improvisations.

As for the double main yard, it is also something I will look at, although it is not entirely clear in the painting Joachim Patinir of the SCDMS had a double main yard, but I can obviously  see why it might have done.

Edited by Robert Taylor
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Regarding the weight of the sails, you might like to try paper instead of fabric - it can be very convincing - see https://modelshipworld.com/topic/25784-barco-catalan-by-gbmodeler-148-scale-mediterranean-fishing-boat-finished/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-756498

 

I agree, the painting is a bit unclear - I magnified my original as much as I could, but it's hard to tell whether the mainyard is single or double. Double mainyards are very common in contemporary representations, but I think there's enough uncertainty there for you to feel justified in making yours single.

 

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On 10/30/2020 at 11:52 PM, Louie da fly said:

Regarding the weight of the sails, you might like to try paper instead of fabric - it can be very convincing - see https://modelshipworld.com/topic/25784-barco-catalan-by-gbmodeler-148-scale-mediterranean-fishing-boat-finished/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-756498

 

I agree, the painting is a bit unclear - I magnified my original as much as I could, but it's hard to tell whether the mainyard is single or double. Double mainyards are very common in contemporary representations, but I think there's enough uncertainty there for you to feel justified in making yours single.

 

Really not sure if I could do or pull off paper sails, especially if I go down the route of the doubled main and forsails, I feel a lot mor comfortable with fabric as well as it looking a lot more authentic and less chance of getting damaged.

However I haven't decided yet which way to go on either Sail or Yard will worry about that when the time comes.

Thanks again for the Informative link Louie much appreciated mate 👍

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I hadn't realised the model dated back so far! You're doing a very good job with her. I'm enjoying watching your progress.

 

One of your photos shows the ship seen from directly ahead - is there supposed to be a part filling in that strange gap at the front of the forecastle, or is that the way the model has it? The reason I'm asking is the pictures I have indicate a sharp point at the front of the forecastle, with a panel across further back and higher up (if that makes sense) where the shape of the forecastle dictates it. Here's my interpretation of this in my Great Harry

 

318748611_GH048.thumb.jpg.e7006f2a8aad3bc89b505a8710d17edf.jpg

 

and here's a detail (the first 2 pics from from the painting above) showing the evidence for it

 

1362168060_santacaterinadetail2.JPG.cfe882ce90dfc4c97e0e40e570d7f8f1.JPG  193850209_santacaterinadetail1.JPG.ede76714fe601cdec8f2c104ef4cd617.JPG  1782427787_VenetiancarrackivoryfromTombofAlessandroContarini1553.jpg.bada837416a35cee0173c4d6f48c855a.jpg

 

You might also like to consider silkspan for the sails - it's used as fabric covering for model aircraft and is very fine.

 

I haven't tried it myself, but quite a few people have reported good results.

Edited by Louie da fly
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4 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

I hadn't realised the model dated back so far! You're doing a very good job with her. I'm enjoying watching your progress.

 

One of your photos shows the ship seen from directly ahead - is there supposed to be a part filling in that strange gap at the front of the forecastle, or is that the way the model has it? The reason I'm asking is the pictures I have indicate a sharp point at the front of the forecastle, with a panel across further back and higher up (if that makes sense) where the shape of the forecastle dictates it. Here's my interpretation of this in my Great Harry

 

318748611_GH048.thumb.jpg.e7006f2a8aad3bc89b505a8710d17edf.jpg

 

and here's a detail (the first 2 pics from from the painting above) showing the evidence for it

 

1362168060_santacaterinadetail2.JPG.cfe882ce90dfc4c97e0e40e570d7f8f1.JPG  193850209_santacaterinadetail1.JPG.ede76714fe601cdec8f2c104ef4cd617.JPG  1782427787_VenetiancarrackivoryfromTombofAlessandroContarini1553.jpg.bada837416a35cee0173c4d6f48c855a.jpg

 

You might also like to consider silkspan for the sails - it's used as fabric covering for model aircraft and is very fine.

 

I haven't tried it myself, but quite a few people have reported good results.

Hi Louie thanks for that and the photos. Regards to the kit there is No part in the instructions to cover the front of the fore castle. So it maybe something I will try and look into further.

Regards the Sails I will probably just use the fabric I usually do re my English man o'war in which I used a cream coloured pillowcase. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

All Cannons and decking now painted and fitted. 

Mizzen and Bonaventure masts fitted.

Life boat and Awning built, painted and Fitted, the Awning is only dry fitted as per instructions obviously to help with rigging later and to show life boat when required.

Now Making and doubling the Yards as was with these Carracks in the 15th-16th centuries, for my own hand made Sails which will follow later. First time I have ever made my own yards so hoping this turns out ok. The Sails will also be altered from the normal(hopefully) with a Double billowing effect from the middle as well as at the ends of the sail. Reinforced the Main and Fore masts as per normal with the split masts from some kits.

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Hi Rob,

 

Hope you don't mind but I'll be pulling my chair and following your build. You are obviously talented at fine scale painting and I particularly like the detailed patterns and deck weathering... I look forward to seeing the finished warship!

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

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Thanks Ron and Louie for your kind words. 

A reason for the fast process of late Louie is just that I have a bit more time off work atm. Also I paint all my parts before dry fitting then final assembly, so a lot of what you see may well have been  painted a while ago, but not having time or just taking a break comes to the fore sometimes, don't  get me wrong the masts  and and cannons were done the past 2 days as I found myself with extra some welcome  time to spend.

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A little bit more progress.

 

Have cut dowels and doubled the yards for the Fore and Main sails as with Carracks from this period.

These are all now fitted and painted, the masts are now complete.

After some research I will not be including a bowsprit sail or yard as original paintings seem to depict the Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai  with none and various other carracks from this period, albeit  some do, so I guess it begs the question  why did some and some not use them ? 

My personal opion I prefer a carrack without one, as another identification of the type of vessel, I think adding the bowsprit sail and yard takes into the early stages of the Galleon.

I have added a couple of photos of paintings of carracks for information discussions.

 

Next stage is the standing and running rigging if I can get any decent info on it as the kit being 54yrs old only provides 2 poor b&w photos.

 

Happy modelling everyone 

Staysafe 

Rob. 🤺🤺🤺

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2 hours ago, Robert Taylor said:

After some research I will not be including a bowsprit sail or yard as original paintings seem to depict the Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai  with none and various other carracks from this period, albeit  some do, so I guess it begs the question  why did some and some not use them ?

The purpose of a spritsail was to help with steering. It may be that this was still experimental during this period.

With the help of the spritsail it was also "easier" to keep the ship on course.

 

Helpfull?

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13 hours ago, Backer said:

The purpose of a spritsail was to help with steering. It may be that this was still experimental during this period.

With the help of the spritsail it was also "easier" to keep the ship on course.

 

Helpfull?

20201124_164533.thumb.jpg.4db89dcd3b682e22808f4984127e1063.jpg

Oh, I  understand that, but I would also like to point out, that I to, have the same drawing in a book I have called Galleons and Galleys, but this is a modern drawing and not from the time period, that's why I preferred to go with paintings from a similar time period, not to say they are right or wrong, but there must be something in it. 

I guess in the end we will never know truly whether this carrack and many others used spritsails for definite or whether drawings or artists impressions were added to or taken away during the course of history.

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Next stage being the rigging, this is not looking good, as I only have these 2 b&w photos at the end of the instructions to go with, I guess this could be a bit make shift, but will try and make it authentic looking as best I can, especially  on this size of kit, as I am not used to working on fine detail on this scale without proper instructions, but I have to persevere and see this through the on coming storm.

 

Happy modelling everyone 

Rob.

🤺🤺

 

 

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