mtdoramike Posted June 14, 2014 Share #1 Posted June 14, 2014 (edited) I recently ordered the Artesiana Latina HMS Victory 1:84 scale from Plastic-Model-kits.com for the price of $567.00 with free shipping. They basicallt only sold Latina kits. They are a sub of Oakridge Hobbies, who actually shipped my kit. It took 10 days from the date of order to receive this massive kit. The invoice claimed 21 pounds shipping weight and I believe every bit of it. Upon receiving the kit, I opened the box and did an inspection of the contents. I was quite pleased with the woods chosen for the model and the fit and finish materials supplied. But they included an adendum to the instructions due to a sheet of the laser cut bulkheads were mislabeled and giving the correct sequence in the adendum. Observations so far: LIKES: The building materials are outstanding, the instruction book is quite thick and very detailed with color pictures to follow as well as written instructions. Definitely the price point for a kit of this magnitude. The false keel and bulkheads are cut from some thick plywood, so no worries about breaking anything. As usual with Latina, they include some very nice containers with actual lids to keep all the parts in one bin. They are a lot nicer than those egg carton still containers that are shrink wrapped but the small pieces still find their way into other bins. Dislikes: A major dislike for me is NO PRINTED PLANS, What???, no, you heard right, I can't believe AL cheaped out on a kit this expensive and sent a CD with plans on it rather than printed plans. This is a problem for me, because I build by plans, not by instructions or a CD. So now, I have to locate someplace to get the plans printed off of the CD and bare that added expense and living in my neck of the woods, it's not that easy. We don't have a Kinko's/Fedex or anything like that. The best I can do is Office Depot, so I'll have to check them out. Now, can the model be built with the CD plans? YES, it can and has been and there's a build log on it. But, I'm old school I guess. I could be wrong, but I didn't see a second layer of hull planking, which was Always supplied with AL kits in the past just in case you messed up on the first layer. One of the bulkheads was quite warped, so I had to wet it down and then took a hot air paint remover gun and with enough heat and a bit of cursing, it flattened out fairly well enough for government work anyway. The fit of the bulkheads to the false keel is quite sloppy and some with gaps up to 1/16". This makes plumbing up and squaring the bulkheads quite difficult. Also, you MUST lay the first false layer of decking BEFORE gluing the bulkheads to the keel or you will have a devil of a time getting the deck to fit properly. They floppy bulkheads do help in this instance though. So it may have been planned. They also included a cheap cradle style display board for this grade of s ship model, something besides plywood will be in order to compliment her beauty. With all this being said, so far I like the kit and I have always like Artesiana Latina kits for fit and finish and it's nice to see they are still kicking. Will this kit make into a fine model? the answer is yes, with a little hard work and determination. I know there are doubters about Latina kits, but as long as you remember, kits are not Museum quality models, they make into fine ship models but they aren't unique. If someone is looking for museum quality then they should scratch build, which would be unique. I'm not a scratch builder, I'm a kit basher. I have a lot of respect for scratch builders willing to devote the time, patience and money into a single project. I know a few near me and applaud their efforts, but I was more into building and selling my models at the time. So build time was a premium. But this particular project will be my last model. This model (the HMS Victory) will be donated upon it's completion. So no hurries mates as long as my health holds out and my eye site holds on. I will continue to add to this review as I go along. I was also able to obtain a small piece of wood from the actual Victory ship, which I will incorporate into the Victory model such as anchor collars or something like that. Edited June 21, 2014 by mtdoramike WackoWolf, coxswain and mtaylor 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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