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Santa Maria by SkerryAmp - Artesania Latina - 1:65 - PoF

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Okay, before we get to the customary build log pictures (the boxing, unpacking etc etc) I feel the need - no, the obligation to explain why yet ANOTHER build log.  


For my Birthday last month I was told I would like my present but I HAD to do something with it right away.  Well, it turns out that I received the Santa Maria by Artesania Latina.   It seems my lovely wife has taken an interest in the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and wants them in our office on display.   So, we are starting with the Santa Maria.   I figure if the Admiral is going to encourage another build far be it from me to say no :D .


So,  while I had no intentions of starting a new build with 4 on the table - this became a special case and special project.


So.  Away we go!


Lets begin with the customary unboxing of the Santa Maria by Artesania Latina.




(Because of the limit on uploading pictures I split this into two posts to get all pics in there).

Edited by SkerryAmp
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I have to admit, I really had no idea what to expect from AL.   I remember a long time ago when I managed a hobby store we sold them, but I really didn't know much about ship models so didn't know quality from crumb.


Opening the box my first thoughts were - heh, this isn't to bad.  The packaging was really tight, everything secure and everyting looked good!  There didn't seem to be anything strange in there, and everything looked to be "ok"!




The fittings come organized in some pretty decent trays, which I must admit I have already started thinking of ways to repurpose them once the parts are out of there :D






The laser cut sheets were clean, no fuzz or knicks out of the wood and the cuts seemed complete.   Quite a few lc cuts, really interested in where some of these things go!






The plans to me actually were very nice, very clean and clear with what was what and what went where.  Appears to be a full size to scale image of the boat itself which will come in handy finishing it off.  


One bit of paperwork that came with it that I was really keen on was the full color panel brochure showing the major steps.   Something about that I really liked!!








Then we get to the lumber supplied.   I have done Model Shipways and never had trouble with their wood and then I had Mamoli and it was dry and brittle.  What would AL give me - would it break the tie?  Lets find out.




Well, looked good!  I took a few sticks out and did a quick bend test on a couple to see if it would break shallow - and it flexed well!  Did not feel brittle and was not all gnarly and splintered.




Now, one of the things on this ship that worried me was the sails.  The willie has me worried as it is, so another ship was sails just didn't seem like it would help.  Lo and behold.. PRE SEWN SAILS!!  Okay - not so scary on this one any more!





Overall, the parts look good, the wood looks good, the plans seem good.   We shall see what they are like in action!!


(While the parts do look good, I will be replacing the blocks and rigging with Chuck's. Nothing necessarily against AL's, but Chucks are really nice!)



On to the build!!



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I spent a little time deciding how I wanted to build this.   I decided partly due to time and partly due to curiosity I would build this one straight up like the instructions say.   I will be attempting to do exactly what the kit calls for and see how it comes out.  From the pictures it looks like a pretty nice model.


I detached the false keel and laid it on the table to check it out.





Dangnabbit!   Right out of the gate - issue #1


The false keel has a slight bend to it.




I tried wetting and weighting it down - nadda. Started to get a little discouraged since this is my first time having to deal with this.  But after looking at it a bit, I started to formulate a plan that I thought would work - more on that in a bit (little cliff hanger for ya :P )


I then went through and marked the formers according to the plans and the little inventory sheet that came with the kit in order to keep all these little guys in some kind of order.




Once all was in order and ready to go....  we mount up!!




I kept an eye on the false keel throughout the next bit of progress to keep assessing if my plan may or may not work... 


The transom went on first - went on like a champ!  This was going to be easy!!




After some quick dry fitting we move on to mounting the formers!!




Quick check to make sure things are going in as expected and not making the false keel worse!!




Nope! Good to go!


Continued with the formers making sure everything stayed nice and tight and square!  I must say a few of them did need a little attention with regards to a tad bit of sanding here and there as they were super tight, but it wasn't outrageous by any means.




Finish off the bow formers and whew - got past that without any issues... so far so good!




Now with the bow formers all in and everything dry lets check on that keel and see how bad it is or if it stayed as it was.




Excellent.  Well not totally excellent, that would be if it miraculously fixed itself.  However, it didn't get any worse so I had that going for me so far!






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So now we have the formers in and all is dry and good to proceed.  That little bend is still there but I still think my idea is going to work - at least I hope so.  I am kind of pot commited at this point so...


I attached the mast reinforcements as per the plans and instructions, again the laser cut parts popped out, cleaned up and went in without any fuss or heartburn.






We then move onto the bow reinforcements.  Basically just little piecs of ply that sit between the formers at the bow.  Oddly enough, I wasn't expecting it but adding these and forcing them in and keeping the formers parallel actually assisted a little with the keel bend.   This was promising!




So, at this point I went through the keel and gently flexed it at various points along the formers to see where, if any, there could be applied counter leverage to straighten out the keel.  Luckily I found a spot.  After trying a few times to get the right sized brace and verifying that spot would help straighten out the keel, I got it in there and glued it up tight.  




This helped quite a bit.  There was still a slight twist, but that was easily rectified by getting a clamp on the bow with a shim to counter twist it as the support strut dried in place.


The keel looked pretty good!





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So now that the keel is set we continue to ride the wave of good feelings and get that deck down.


The false deck again like the other LC parts came right out without any issues.  Laid nice and flat and with a quick sanding was ready to go.




Started by finding the center and laying the two center boards.




Then just proceeded out to one edge.  The planks were laid just over the edge of the deck shape and they will be cut clean and sanded prior to installing the deck.




After doing the same thing up the other side, the edges were trimmed and sanded smooth.  For  this one i wanted to go a bit different with the color and go with the kit a bit.  I took some minwax mahogany and cut it with natural stain with a ratio of 3 natural to 1 mahogany.  This gives it a dark, but not too dark look to the deck which is kind of nice I think.




So now we mount it to the formers.  And here is where the wave of happy good feeling and success come to a screeching halt.


The deck has to get bent to shape with the formers, no big deal. However I do not have the spare clamps to hold it in shape (they are being used on something else at the moment)  So me, in my utlimate wisdom figured I can get it on there and just hold it in place.


So I lined up the deck, got it all set and then fipped it over while bending the deck into place.  Well, holding that deck in place really cramps up the hands so decided to add a few dots of CA to tack it into place while the white glud dried.


It worked great!  The deck was strong, and tight and not going anywhere.


So I flipped it over.  




The deck had somehow slipped a bit while I was holding it apparently.  I should have checked more as I worked and didn't and now have a deck that is about 1/8" off of wher it is supposed to be.  QUITE solidly attached to the formers and cannot go anywhere without some serious damage.


For the stern I can sand and shape it back and the rear cabin will be going on so it won't be a huge deal. However near the bow the forward vertical planks are not thick enough to hide the gap so really not sure what to do about it at the moment.


But - that now is Issue #2.   I will find a way,  oh yes... just not really sure what that is quite yet.





That is all for now.


Until later.... Enjoy and happy building all!!



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It is still there, but it is not that bad. I think you are making a good start.




Thanks Russ. I think you are right and it isn't TOO too bad and quite happy I found a way to mitigate it.  I have read of others having that issue and just kept hoping I would avoid it.


I guess it is true,  it happens to everyone eventually with something :D

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Hehe thanks Augie - it was a nice surprise,  I think she is just trying to make sure I have things to do so I never leave the house :o  (J/K she is just super supportive of the hobbies etc).


I did not get official clearance for 5 (yeah,  that is right, there are actually 5 on the bench at the moment) BUT I figured nobody would complain too too much, although I really need to get moving on these otherwise It will look like the place ships go to retire rather than get build :P

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Spent some time tonight wrapping up that last step, part of which was getting the deck on (which was done) and then the forward... uhm, hmm. not sure what it is called.. bulkhead I guess?   Planked.   The problem was that gap.  Needed to figure out what to do with that darn gap.


(The Gap)




So,  decided to take a crack at something.


The gap isn't TOO too huge, (smaller than my panicky mind made it out at first it seems) so I took some 1/32 balsa and cut traced the shape and cut a piece to thicken it just a little bit.  My plan was to thicken it a tad and then the planks would even it out and cover the gap. Looking ahead the deck that sits on it isn't such that a 1/32 extension was going to throw things off too much and most likely had I not just mentioned it - it may very well go unnoticed.


So, first traced out the shape I needed.   I did two JUST in case I needed  back up




Then, I rough cut them out - I stayed close to the line, but purposely made them a little over sized with the intent of shaving and sanding down to the final shape once installed on the ship.




Glued them on, shaved, shaped and attached the finish planks... and woohoo!  Looks good, not too thick and I think it will work out okay.   WHEW that one was averted (hopefully, always nervous it is going to sneak up on me later, but will see)






Just need to let it dry solid then go through and sand it out, clean it up and wipe it down with some finish and I think it will be good to go.



Thanks all, until next time..






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Hello Adam,Uuuups I also forgot to ask Popeye as I've got three models on the go,ah well he's to for away to worry about ,but you are his neighbor so watch your back.relax a tad enjoy the hobby your Santa is looking good ,All the best for 2014,keep safe from all the bad weather your getting,Kind regards Edwin.

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Thank you gentlemen!


Russ - I was happy the deck came out as planned, was a bit worried with that gap, now hopefully when I attach the sides I can trim the stern as nicely to make it all fit in!


Edmay - this weather is great!! Keeps me inside and at the bench :D .  And yes I am indeed Popeyes neighbor, but had the pleasure of meeting him in person - great guy!! I am sure he won't mind a few extra ships on the table,  he inspired us! B)

Edited by SkerryAmp
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Thanks all for the likes - they are greatly appreciated!


Just a little bit more of an update.   Decided to tackle the bulwarks tonight on this one while the parts fo they mayflower sit ever so patiently (that is tomorrows event).


The kit comes with very well done laser cut bulwarks,  they were clean and uniform (quite nice).




Decided to go at it what I think was the simplest way, again going by the kits instructions and trying not to add too much "extra", spread a VERY thin layer of white glue on the bulwark.  Then just lay the african walnut strips and let dry.   One of the problems with the strips is because they are so thin  of the edges are VERY narrow (like a sliver) it was difficult to get the to alll lay flat.  So, flipped it over once they were all laid on and looked around my work bench for heavy objects to flatten it down.   This is when it occured to me with all my tools, gadgets and gizmos I don't have a good selection of flat weights.


So, had to get a little creative




Worked PERFECT!  whew.


Now, once all was dry and I was sure they wouldn't slip around, I then flipped it back over and carefully trimmed the edges.  One thing to note with the walnut, it is VERY dry and VERY brittle as it turns out.  So I had to use a brand spanky new sharp sharp sharp knife and score it.  DO NOT try to cut it in one shot, it seems suseptable to tearing :o


Luckily the tearing was just along the hull edge and a couple inside spots which will be covered up once assembled.   WHEW again!!




Then it was just a matter of lining them up and installing them onto the ships hull.  Easy peasy! (not really,  Had to go at the formers a bit more to get the curves a bit better, but eventually it went on relativly easy.






Letting that setup and dry solid and will install the second one tomorrow then move onto the additional decks.


So far, AL seems to make a fairly decent kit (still really digging the color build steps companion, very nice - very nice)


Until later...


Enjoy and happy building!!!  :dancetl6:

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Thanks Augie, Russ;  yeah that veneer is wierd.  Ruined many pieces before I figured it out!


And Augie, fear not - those "weights" should last a long time,  sadly my vice is Smoking (working on it though - like most I guess).   Those guys there have been around for quite some time,  don't use em very much :D

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks guys!


Good building log, nice and informative. If the walnut planking is brittle, try soaking it for a while so that it regains a little moisture.


(Nice recovery on the gap too!)


Appreciate that,  the gap gave me some serious stress!!!  glad it isn't to noticeable. And great tip on the brittle wood, will soak them a bit more !


 Nice recovery Adam, she 's looking real good........ Like your taste in the spirits too!! :dancetl6:


Thanks Frank! 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, we are building the SM also and have reached this stage and are about to try and secure the false deck to the hull. Our intention is to steam this and glue it and hope this will be correct as there are no instructions for this step. On the false deck, we have cut out the four holes which appear on the cut out, I see that you have not done this and wonder if you have a reason for this. Have found your pictures very informative and it seems following your wake that we have reached the same point. It would be great to have more input and wonder where you are? It has been a while since your last post, do hope you have not given up just at the point of us finding you, we are first time builders and this an adventurous project! Look forward to hearing from you. My email address is lascott@webafrica.org.za if that is helpful, sometimes I have difficulty accessing the site. Enjoy your day, Lesley Ann Scott. Capetown. South Africa.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Adam,


She looks great and I'm sure you'll do her justice… in time… but I am confused as to which of the five models is getting your attention of late. This one and Blue Jacket seem like the most recent.

Ya certainly got a lot of balls in the air there. I don't know how you do it… a little here and a little there.

Hats off to your ability to keep your ducks in the RIGHT rows.

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Hey there Randy,  yes...yes I do indeed have many balls in the air,  drives the Admiral crazy! =) 


Right now the latest one I am working on is the Mayflower,   I kind of move through them when frustration puts me against a wall.  If I get a trouble spot or a monotonous spot I have another one to move to for a "break" while continuing to build.  The only exception is the Willie which has not gotten much attention for some time.  I am not sure what it is about that one but I am very intimidated by it - strange, I know and not something I am particuarly proud of,  something about it; the plans, the build I don't know.  However, am mustering up the gusto to at least tackle something on it.


In some occasioins I will do a bit to each build and post updates on all builds at once - just to be a bit cheeky and shake things up a bit =)

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Good Evening!


After doing a little bit on the Mayflower and having that sitting in a drying stage, I wanted to keep building so pulled out the Santa Maria for some updates.  It was a fair amount of work but only one piece this evening


The Quarterdeck!


Well, first I installed the other Bulwark so at least the vessel has two, instead of limping around with only one :D




Okay, NOW time for the quarterdeck :D


Here we have the false quarterdeck ready to go !




Once it is popped loose from it's sheet, the initial reference plank is laid.   I learned a long time ago it is very important to get this first plank and straight as you can as it will most certainly effect the alignment of every other plank after it :huh:






Plank after plan was laid,  as in prior projects the Archive Pen was used to caulk the boards. Finall we have a rough planked quarterdeck






Some careful trimming around the edges, done easily by flipping the part upside down and tracing the edge with a VERY sharp blade.  A dull blade can easily grab a plank at the edge and potentially yank it loose.






Finally the part is lightly wiped down with an alcohol rag in order to clean up any lose dirt, glue mistakes etc.   Once dry, I wiped it down with wood conditioner and then finally stained with the same mix of Dark Mahogany and Natural stain to match the rest of the ship.




This is a dark ship,  very different than what I tyipcally like but I am starting to appreciate the colors and the richness of it all.


So, for the evening this is set aside to dry overnight


Thank you again for stopping in :10_1_10::D


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  • 3 weeks later...

Ah, Santa Maria - We Meet Again!!


With the mayflower in a holding pattern until supplies are delivered I decided to come back to the SM for a spell.


When we last left our Maria we had a quarter deck done up, but sitting along side.  So, let's start by installing that.


The tabs lined up nicely with the bulwarks however they didn't quite fit nicely.  Between carefully filing the slots and reshaping the tabs I was able to finally get them to line up and pop in nicely.   However, once lined up and in it was a rough keeping them in there but I used some Masking tape to wrap it while it dried and it all worked out okay!




Let that dry and started on the poop deck/rear cabin.   The framing was laser cut, which was nice.  Popped out the parts cleaned them up and started installing.  First the innner wall....




Then the transom wall.   I have some alignment issues on the stern but am addressing them as needed and so far all is cooperating.   Once again, used masking tape as a clamp to hold the part in place (really starting to like the masking tape clamp method).




Then all that was left was to install the poop deck itself.   It went in like a champ.  Being my first run with an AL kit, so far so good!  Decent stuff (in my humble newbie opinion)




As you can see masking tape clamps all together until it was dry and then quick slice, peel away, sand and clean up and walla


A base poop deck!




All that was left for this evening was using the supplied veneer to finish off the inner wall and we are set aside for the evening.





Until later my friends... Enjoy and happy modeling!

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Very nice Adam, but by heck that deck is dark. Is that as per instructions or your own colour scheme.


Be Good





Yeah, that deck is very dark.  It was an experiment I wanted to do.  Wanted to see what that particular stain (mahogany) cut with natrual would look like.  It still came out much darker than I wanted.   I have a plan though... it involves careful masking, bleach and a whole lot of patience :(:dancetl6:

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