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Vasa by Joseph F. - Artesania Latina - 1:65


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I bought this kit a couple months ago when I had more money than sense. Now I have less money and still no sense, and no room to put this 43” monster anywhere if and when I finish it. I am starting a build log for it, since it will be my next project after the Gunboat Philadelphia. Today I will post a brief review of the kit.

 

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I ordered this 14lb box slightly below MSRP on eBay. Vasa is a fascinating story, and a beautiful subject. This seemed a very intimidating kit at first, but after reviewing the instructions on CD, it doesn’t entail anything more difficult than I’ve already encountered. Rigging should be interesting however…

 

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An overview of the box’s contents. Ten plastic boxes of metal fittings. Twelve or thirteen sheets of laser cut pieces. Two or three bundles of wood. Presewn sails. Big sheet of photoetch. Three Swedish flags. One reason I’m starting this project soon is so I can order replacements from the manufacturer if anything is missing. 
 

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Closer image of plastic boxes, which make up most of the weight. They contain over 500 metal figurines to represent Vasa’s ornate carvings. I suspect painting them all is going to be a big portion of this project.

 

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Close up of other items. I don’t like the photoetch ship’s stairs, I would like to make my own out of wood. I don’t mind the instructions on CD. I’m missing some patterns showing where the gunports are supposed to be cut. That’s gonna be a pain but I think I can make do. 

 

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Huge bundles of planks and dowels. I sincerely hope this will be enough.

 

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The laser cut wooden pieces laid out. Just about every fitting on the ship is laser cut, including the triangular deadeyes from the 17th century.

 

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I should have all the sails! One of the topgallant sails goes on the mizzenmast actually… I’m excited to start this kit, and I feel I have enough skills now to do it right. 

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I couldn’t help but start building the frame.
 

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This is about as far as I got last night.

 

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This ship is the biggest I’ve ever worked on, although the hull itself is only 28”, a little longer than the gunboat Philadelphia. 

 

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@Michel L. I think much of the price is for the cast figurines that come with the kit, you’re paying for metal when other Vasa kits have plastic or resin. The quality is nice, at least to me, but I’ll have more thoughts on that as I go along.

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Installing more pieces of the interior frame. Required some soaking and bending of wood.

 

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So far everything has fit very well, but I did discover an issue this morning…

 

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One of the forward starboard bulkheads separated from the rest of the frame, and this has caused some warping as you can see below.

 

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I don’t think this will cause any major problems, but it is annoying. It’s not a fault of the frame, I should have caught it earlier. 

Edited by Joseph F.
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Rubber bands have been very helpful in building this kit so far. I’m going to be trying a couple different things I’ve picked up from other builders of big ships, including using binder clips and push pins in the planking.

 

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Trying to dry fit the decking has revealed some additional alignment issues in the frame, but nothing too bad. I was also concerned I had misaligned the frames, since there is a major cant in the main and mizzenmast, but this seems to correct, since they are swept back in the instructions.

 

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Used some Hull Spar Black from Model Expo to black out the gunports. It looks bluish in the jar but it dries to black, and so far I’m very pleased with all Model Expo’s paints and stains. 

 

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The instructions say to use veneers to plank the bottom of two gallery sections, but I decided to paint them black instead, since this detail will hardly be noticed in the finished model.

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37 minutes ago, Joseph F. said:

36442907-2A14-481D-8F9F-C593C2FE65FB.thumb.jpeg.1e3bcb4146839a5cd9ba7927dfdf5240.jpeg

 

Rubber bands have been very helpful in building this kit so far. I’m going to be trying a couple different things I’ve picked up from other builders of big ships, including using binder clips and push pins in the planking.

 

76CE757A-49FD-478C-918F-AFAAF86878F8.thumb.jpeg.2e8853c55bf05e20280eb707b4d5b0ac.jpeg
 

Trying to dry fit the decking has revealed some additional alignment issues in the frame, but nothing too bad. I was also concerned I had misaligned the frames, since there is a major cant in the main and mizzenmast, but this seems to correct, since they are swept back in the instructions.

 

EAECB053-64A0-49A0-9096-20A948C0E96D.thumb.jpeg.10e7165d7c2d85130597ff5820120696.jpeg

 

Used some Hull Spar Black from Model Expo to black out the gunports. It looks bluish in the jar but it dries to black, and so far I’m very pleased with all Model Expo’s paints and stains. 

 

ADC01B74-831B-4AB9-90EE-C141BD4FA36A.thumb.jpeg.fc45d09d27897c45110bce43ff5ca877.jpeg

 

The instructions say to use veneers to plank the bottom of two gallery sections, but I decided to paint them black instead, since this detail will hardly be noticed in the finished model.

the advantage of planking it would be if you decided to light section up

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I opened up some of the boxes containing the cast pieces, to show their detail.

 

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This is the figurehead and the coat of arms, and one of the short cannons, which have a smaller version of the coat of arms on them.

 

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On the left, gunport molding for the main deck, as well as the lion heads for the lower deck gunports, and a dummy cannon. On the right, two stern decorations, a figure of the king being crowned by two griffons. (AR=Adolphus Rex?) Also the “Vasa” symbol, a sheaf of wheat shaped like a vase, flanked by two cherubs.

 

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Molding for one side of the prow.

 

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Molding for one of the shorter stern galleries. Will be posting more pictures as I work on these and begin to paint them.

 

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  • 1 month later...

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Update on Vasa, have been on the long slow process of planking over the last month, I’m certainly 1/3 of the way through, and I am able to place 3-4 planks on at one time.

 

I ought to get started on painting the castings, or assembling gun carriages, but so far I haven’t had the inclination to do so. But soon!

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