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Pinta by Kimberley - FINISHED - Heller - PLASTIC - 1:75

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Well, here she is...the Pinta by Heller.  I am disappointed that the ship is so small.  From now on, I am going to listen to you guys about what ships I should do.  It does look like it is going to be easy to put together.  It did not come with the thread to do the rigging, etc.  Can someone please tell me what they use for rigging thread that I can find in a hobby store?  Also, it only shows the colors with numbers on them.  I have a 33, 98, 60, 103, and 63.  Does anyone know what those are for colors?  I did buy the book "How to Build Plastic Ships".  It cost me $38.98 for a used one from Amazon.  The original price on it was $6.95!  Of course, the book came out like 30 years ago.  I guess it is out of circulation.  I guess I now own a collectible book.  :huh:    





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Hi Kimberley I'm not sure if this will be of any help to you, but here is a link to Heller. http://www.heller.fr/en/maquettes/37-paints


  Most of the model shops should have a range of thread for you to choose from; usually the standing rigging will be black and the running in a light colour. Good luck with the rest of the build.

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Hi Kimberly,


Looks like a nice model.


Sorry I can,t help with the paint as I don't know the Heller system for colours but I would imagine it would have been painted in very similar  colours to  the Santa Maria


As Jim says most hooby supply stores will have a range of rigging thread in a variety of colours and diameters. I am suprised they did not supply at least 1 roll of thread for the rigging. Do they give any instructions on the rigging?


Good luck with your build and I will drop in every now and then to see how you are progressing

Edited by Jeff-E
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Hello Kimberley, 


First of everything, congratulation on your purchase of the Heller kit. I know it may look small and it may dissapoint you at the first glance, but the size definitely does not matter in shipmodelling. There are or were some modellers which did real works of art with models even smaller than that. Just do a quick search on the  net to see what you find if you search images for "Donald McNarry". His favourite scale was 1:192!


Secondly, you should take your kit just as a starting point, not as a definitive thing. The instructions which they give are just basic, or even beyond that. If you leave it just at the basic level of the instructions, you will come up with something very toy-like. But you can transform the thing which you have into something much more interesting. Just take a look at these pictures here: 




All the ships which you see here are made in resin by Artitec. Their scale is said on this site to be 1:90 (in fact, I believe the real scale is 1:87) which is even smaller than yours 1:75.  But just take your time to look on HOW they did the things: they painted the resin to look like real wood! This is the best trick. You will not have to contend yourself with painting it with colour this and that as they say; it will not look like real wood. You will have to learn how to make plastic to look like wood, and the Artitec site is a very good "teacher" for that.


Then, you must become "independent" of the basic colours which you now only have: it means that, apart of the paints which you already have, would also need some other colours. You will need to buy at least flask of white, another of black, then three more flasks of the basic colours: blue, yellow, red. A bottle of thinner and one of acetone to wash your brushes would also be of good use. If you have that, then you can mix them together and you can get all the colours you want. You can mix them in some empty small bottles or flasks which you have but also, for a small amount of paint, you can also mix them directly on a piece of cardboard. As an example, for brown you can mix yellow and red, which will come out orange, then you will add black until it comes the brown which you want.


The next trick is: the painting should be done in layers. First a general layer is done, then you will have to paint each plank individually with a different nuance. Look at how wood changes colour as it ages in the real world and try replicate it.


If you ever fancied trying art painting, it's almost the same thing, only here it's applied on plastic instead of the regular canvas.


Yes.. shipmodelling is not just a pastime, it's an art! Express yourself like an Artist... Best wishes and good luck with your build! 

Edited by Doreltomin
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Thank you guys for the paint help.  I was able to figure out the names of the colors through the Humbrol chart, and I am using the colors I already had that are close enough.  It was the same colors I used for my Santa Maria.  I know of a hobby shop that will hopefully have the rigging thread.


Doreltomin thank you for your tips and info.  Also, for building up my confidence and encouragement.  I have been using acrylic paints.  I do a lot of arts and crafts, but painting has never been my forte.  I am getting better with each ship.  I love you tips about making the wood look like real wood.  I am going to try that on my next ship.


Here is where I am thus far:







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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys.  I am back to working on ship.  I sprained my shoulder and was not able to work on it for quite a while.  Then my poor sister dislocated all 5 toes on her right foot.  Plus, she fractured 2 of them.  So, I have been taking care of her also.  They had to wire, bolt, and put pins in her foot.  One of the worst injuries you can do to your foot.


Anyway, I am back, and I am working on my ship today.  I will post pictures when I get some things on it.  I have been painting today.

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Hello Kim


Bad things happens, but head up, and keep on going


I agree with Doreltomin


There are about 30-35 years when I run Heller, and I was not satisfied with paints. Model really look as a toy with pure colours you got in Kit. So I experimented with colours, add extra ropes and deck stuff ... entrance to the dark side


Little tip: Dont put  away plastic scarps - they are very useful for testing colours


In that time, there were not acrylic paints, and now it could not be problem if you have experiance with them


Wish you luck, and waiting for more photos



Edited by Nenad M
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  • 4 weeks later...

I really am back this time.  My shoulders are much better since I got some massage therapy last week.  I was really have a heck of a time with my right shoulder.


Anyway, I have been working on my Pinta.  I will never do a ship this small again!  I have no idea what I am doing with all this threading, but hey, I can only learn by trying to figure it out.  I am working with the tiny little things with holes in them that you have to run thread through.  I am happy to report that I think I have some of them figured out now.  At least on how to run the thread through the doubled holed ones.  Now I am starting to attach thread to them to do the thread that goes up the masts.  Darn it.  I forgot what they are called.


Exciting news.  My husband got me the 1:96 USS Constitution for Christmas.  I also got the smaller one.  I want to give it another try.


Anyway, here are some pictures of where I am at.  I included a photo of the picture I am trying to figure out for all this rigging.  I really wish they would spread it out into more pictures.  It is so hard to figure out by just that one picture.









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Great to hear your feeling better and that you got some more kits in your stocking from your husband. My wife got me a 1/96 Constitution when we were first married.


Keep at it on the rigging, it is looking fine.  These kits are great to allow you to take small steps at developing skills with both the standing and running rig of the ship.  Trust us, what you are learning on the Columbus ships will make building the large Constitution much more enjoyable.


I found it easy for me to make photo copies of the rig plan, enlarge it, then use a colored highlighter to trace the thread that I needed to follow.  I got this technique from watching the electrical engineers I work with trace wiring diagrams and it worked well.




Edited by ScottRC
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Thanks Scott.  That is a great idea.  I will add highlighters to my list.  My toughest part is going to be measurements.  I was never good at geometry.


I have to hand it to you guys.  I have no idea how you guys use your fingers to work those lines on those small ships.  I have very small hands and fingers, and I am having a tough time.


You are right.  I am learning more and more as I go along.  That is why I want to finish this Pinta, so I will be even more ready for my USS Constitution.



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Use pointed tweezers Kim, that will help you tremendously with the rigging. I also found another great tool to help with your rigging, I found it at a local beading shop when I went there with my wife, it's a thread burning tool so when you tie off your rigging and glue your knots you can burn off the excess line closer than cutting them off with scissors. I know we all have our own way of doing things and I thought it might help you a bit. Great looking model, keep it up.


Happy Modeling

Marty G.

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  • 1 month later...

I finished my Pinta.  The tiny little rigging things with the holes in them were really tough, and I had to figure out how to do them on my own.  I am not sure I did them right, but I was pretty proud of myself for doing them.  I am afraid my Pinta did not turn out so great, but I worked hard on it, and I didn't give up.  The boat part ended up looking great, but it is still the masts, sails, and rigging I have a lot of problems with.  My front mast ended up being crooked.  Here is the finished ship:












I am not giving up on model ships.  I am starting the Revell 1:196 Constitution (the small one).  This will be my 2nd time doing it.  This time I am going to do all the painting on it, and do more rigging on this one.  I truly hope I will get better at this the more I do it.  After this one, I am going to do my 1:96 Constitution that I got for Christmas. 

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Nice job on finishing up another build.  Masts and rigging seem to be the main issue for many builders here, but with experience you will improve.


If I could make one suggestion, it would be that you stop more often to post progress pictures and ask detailed questions about things that are driving you crazy.  There really are a lot of people here who have been through what you are going through and who are more than willing to share their expertise.  Model ship building is not a race and the result is rarely improved by rushing through steps or attempting things blindly on your own.  Posting on your log more often will do two things.  It will slow you down a bit, and give you the chance to get things clear in your mind before getting to a point where you are not completely happy with the result.


I look forward to seeing your Conny get underway - stay warm - Winter is almost over!



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Thanks Bob, and you are right.  I need to post more on here and ask more questions.  I am so frustrated on the rigging part.  I feel so lost.  I do great on the ship part, but then go down hill when I get to the masts, sails, rigging, etc.  Eric and I are going to go to the maritime museum in Manitowoc, WI again.  This time I am really going to look closely at the model ships and take pictures.  I think it will really help to get a close up look at how they do things on model ships.  I sure wish one of you guys lived nearby and could help me.  I learn a lot better visually than I do by just reading instructions.  I am going to start my build log for my new ship.  I really want to do a good job on this one.



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I can tell you one thing.  I will never do another small ship like this Pinta.  I don't know how people do these really small ships.  I am going to stick to bigger ships.  Actually, I am looking forward to doing my large Revell USS Constitution after I finish doing the smaller version, which I started working on today.  I just now posted my build log for it.

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Way to go Kim. A finished model is a great accomplishment by itself.


Don't be afraid of the rigging. Like everything else, it just takes practice and patience.


I've built the 1/96 Connie 3 times, which means, I really enjoyed doing it.

My advise is to replace the plastic sails with fabric and the plastic deadeyes, shrouds and ratlines with wooden and thread. It will be more work, but believe me, well worth it.



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No, Nenad, the Nina is going to have to wait.  I want to redo the Connie because I love the instructions that come with it.  Plus, the first time I did it, I skipped a lot of things, such as painting.  I want to do this one the way it should be done.  Plus, I am sticking with bigger ships.  The Pinta about did me in.  You would think I would be good at small ships with my little fingers, but I am not.  Maybe I will get better after time.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone that can do really small ships.  My other problem is I need to start learning and using my tools that I have, such as my tweezers, etc.  I keep trying to do everything with just my fingers.

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