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HMS Victory by mtdoramike - FINISHED - Artesania Latina


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I recently ordered the Artesania Latina HMS Victory 1:84 scale from Plastic-Model-kits.com for the price of $567.00 with free shipping. They basically 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 Artesania 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.             

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I just received the piece of HMS Victory wood from England that came off the Victory during one of her recent refits. I will use some of the wood to make various pieces of the model and then will include what ever is left of the wood in the display case which will be included in the donation to the library along with the model.

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Okey, here is an update. I have determined that either I got a bad cut kit or they are all this way, but of all the model ships I have built, this is the first kit that I have had to shim better than half of the bulkheads while planking just to get them to run true without any dips in them. Planking is getting rather exhausting after laying a couple of planks, checking them and then having to go back and shim 3, 4, or 5 bulkheads in a run. I feel like this kit is fighting me every step of the way so far. I'm just short of calling this kit a dog. But I'm not far from it. I'm missing the Mainsail and the foresail, although I have the full accompaniment of sails (19). Artesania Latina used to be one of my favorite manufactures for those lower budget kits, but after spening over $500.00 for this kit, which a bit more than I have ever spent on a previous kits, I'm beginning to wonder. 

 

The white or natural wood color is the shims.

 

 

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I bought some Brass Black metal finish to blacken or darken the bright brass on the new cannon. I was torn because I really like the bright brass look of the cannon, but I they were quite bright and not so realistic. They are turning out quite nicely with the Brass Black. I had thought of just painting them a flat black, but the paint I think would hide quite a bit of detail. The Brass Black does not. Hey, for $10.00 I figured why not give it a try. But, be warned, it is finicky . You have to clean and triple clean each item or else it will come out splotchy. You must remove any dirt and even oil from your fingers. So, I just dipped them in alcohol, then vinegar and then into a soapy solution, then wiped them dry and then into the Brass Black and within seconds BAM, they turn black. IT"S MAGIC, well not really, just a chimcal reaction. :)   

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I found a dress makers tracing wheel that I will use to dimple the copper tape to simulate rivets. I had one years ago, but when I got out of modeling, I didn't think I would need one again so I gave it to someone, probably a dress maker:). I had one years ago that I made from a watch gear wheel that gave an even tighter pattern, I wish I still had that one. Once the hull is completely planked, I will sand it down with several grits of sand paper, then last grit will usually be 400. I usually then spray a clear laquer or poly over the hull, making it smooth and gives the copper tape something to stick to besides saw dust and raw wood. 

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I have the display board all finished off and ready for the Vic, when she gets a tad further along. I know it seems a bit premature for a display base, but I believe the sooner you get a model mounted, the better for you and the model. AL supplied a work cradle for the Vic, which I will used up until I get her coppered. But once coppered, she will be mounted to the board after that and the base wrapped in wax paper just in case of any glue droplets getting on the display board.

 

I may also add a support block toward the middle of the display board on either side of the model as added support, which will help during transport as well as construction. Those two brass pedestals make me a bit worried about supporting that much weight.    

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I hated covering that beautiful hull with primer. But it's one of those decisions that a modeler has to ultimately make sooner than later, like paint or not to paint. There really was no decision for me, although I loved the look of the wood, this is the Victory and there are two models that to me almost require painting and the Vic is one of them. But of course, this is also determined at what juncture you are modeling the ship for.

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Edited by mtdoramike
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Well I got the hull puttied, primed and painted brown, in case a copper plate isn't placed exact and the hull shines through hahahaha. I have a couple of coats of paint on the hull, which will later get sprayed with a clear satin laquer or poly to seal it thoroughly before copper plating. I also found while checking the wood dowels for the masts that the dowel for the main mast is warped like a snake sun bathing. Fortunately these will be painted so no harm there. I will just have to replace them with cheap dowels from my local hardware store. The odds of finding walnut dowels in my area would be useless.   

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Edited by mtdoramike
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Hi Keith, I usually seal the paint with a clear coat because I usually use latex enamel paint/art&craft paint and I have found that if the hull isn't sealed with a clear coat, some of the paint will pull off with the copper foil if you misalign a copper strip and try and replace it. The clear coat prevents this as well as smoothing over any brush strokes left from the paint brush on the Latex layer. I hate to use oil base paint because I have a small work shop and I have a heart problem so the fumes from the paint make it difficult for me.

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Upon checking I find that I am missing the brass sheet #22900-B which has all the brass hammock stays. I can't recall seeing them on my initial quick inspection, but I can't swear that I didn't lose it either. So I will not besmirch AL's name regarding the missing part. But this is a fairly big deal because of the amount of Hammock stays required for this model. I can't find them in the US, only in Great Britain, so replacing them will be a bit expensive at about $75.00US. I have contacted Artesania Latina about the missing brass sheet as well as the missing main sail, but I don't expect a response from the. I emailed them a month ago about the missing main sail and got no response. I also tried to order the missing hammock main stays from AL's web site, but since I'm not fluid in Spanish, that was a dead issue. I could get some brass wire and try and fashion my own, but that would be quite time consuming and I'm not sure how well they would turn out.   

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Well, I heard back from Artesania Latina today and they said they needed a reference number for the main sail and then would check on the etched brass hammock stay sheet and then get back to me with a cost and shipping fees. So they aren't offering up to replace the missing parts at THEIR expense, even though I scanned my shipping receipt for the Victory model which had the purchase date on it. I found a suitable replacement etched brass hammock stay sheet at Cornwall, it's a tad bigger at like 1:78 scale versus 1:84, but it would be doable. If I have buy my own from Cornwall, that would run me about $65.00.

 

But I'm holding off on order from Cornwall until I get some kind of confirmation back from AL as to what their position is and whether or not they can supply the missing brass sheet. The sail I'm not concerned about, I will most likely not put sails on the Vic anyway, but if I decide to, I can make another sail since they supplied the pattern.      

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I have all the gun ports lined and now starting on the stern castle section. I'm trying to follow Lawrence's build as close to as possible refer to: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/2241-hms-victory-by-canoe21-lawrence-al-scale-184/page-4 hence the design on the stern castle flooring. But I'm also trying to stay as true to the kit as possible with limited modifications. I notched into the hull section coming back toward the Stern flooring because I want to leave as much of the sides as possible for added support for the windows or at least until I get them. 

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Edited by mtdoramike
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I'm still having such trepidation over painting this model. It's such a waste of beautiful wood. If It were a model that I were building for myself, I would have opted to go natural wood on this particular kit or I would have purchased another Vic kit that requires painting. But since this is a donation, I wanted to paint her up.   

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Thanks Lawrence, it's not looking good as for getting the Hammock cranes brass sheet from Latina. I'm kind of getting the run around or the blow off from them. They have told me that they have referred my missing parts issue to another associate, who is working on it, but needs a few days. All I'm wanting to know is, are they going to send me the parts or not. If not then I need to order some else where. I'm going to give them a few more days and then if nothing, I will go else where.  

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I first emailed Ana, who it seems referred my email to Rebeca, who has since referred me to another associate. So I keep getting passed along without getting an answer one way or the other. All I want is an answer whether or not they are going to send me the parts, if I have to pay for them then I will without question because if I don't get them from AL, I will have to get an off scale version from either Model Dockyard or Cornwall at either 1:98 scale or 1:78 scale for the etched brass sheets of hammock cranes.  

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