|Kit Review – “Artesania Latina’s - Mare Nostrum”
by HOF00 (Harry)
An interesting subject and one that I thought would be a bit of “Light Relief after the challenges of Bluenose II.
The kit was packaged in the usual tidy way that Artesania tends to do and I was pretty happy with the kit contents as they stood, or so I thought. The instructions however were the poorest that I had ever seen anywhere and I resolved not to refer to these in any way. The accompanying photographic sheet was very good however and proved invaluable in the construction.
False Keel / Bulkheads: No problem here. The stern has a fibrous component that needs to be mounted to give shape and form. A/L called this stuff “Art-wood” or something to that effect. It’s easy to sand/shape but don’t be too heavy handed!
The Interior: There is some interior detail; Engine Room / Crew Quarters….etc. I lined the interior between bulkheads of this area with some planking strakes that I had left over from the Bluenose as I thought it may just be visible. It is if you remove the Companionway and Engine Room cover. However, this could quite easily be omitted, if you do not make the Companionway and Engine Room
cover removable. One important thing to note here, if you do omit the interior detail, do not omit the internal floor as it is a structural component and adds significant rigidity to the False Keel / Bulkheads.
Deck: No problem with the false decks either or the planking which I chose to run in continuous lengths along the deck with simulated caulking between. I did try the deck with a stepped butted approach, but I didn’t like the look and it was better in the long run to go with what A/L had done.
Planking the Hull (1st Cover): After fairing the False Keel/Bulkheads to my satisfaction I decided to proceed with the first layer of planking. I began about 2.5mm down from the level of the deck as A/L recommend and tapered the planking stakes by eye as I intended to use the unpainted second planking layers as the finish for this model.
One thing to note during this exercise, the Planking Nails supplied in the kit are not brass but plated metal and if you get water-based glue (Carpenters Glue) on them they rust very quickly!
The “Artwood”, previously mentioned at the Stern, is no good for holding planking nails of any variety. CA is best used here.
Once complete, any gaps were filled and everything sanded smooth.
Hull planking 1st cover, Deck on, Deck Furniture "Placed" but not complete:
Deck Fittings / Furniture: I decided to leave completion of the Hull until later and concentrated on the superstructure/deck fittings. The reasoning that I used was that it would have been very difficult to shape the bases of these components to the camber of the deck with Bulwarks, Coamings, etc. in the way.
Make sure that the Ply components of these are put together first before planking!
The planking for these components, Mahogany, was not included in my kit. I am unsure if they are all like this but I was lucky enough to have some 0.5mm thick Mahogany planking at home!
There were no problems with construction of these parts, just use care.
A bit of sanding to the camber of the deck and all is prepared!
Top View - Hull planking 1st cover, Deck on, Deck Furniture "Placed" but not complete:
Keel / Bulwarks: I decided to fit the Keel before proceeding further and tried to ensure that there was a small Rabbet flush with the 1st layer of planking to accept the edges of the 2nd layer.
The Bullwarks were next and I was pleased to have the Stem in place before fitting these. The Stern Bulwark piece was discarded as it broke constantly, no matter what was done to prevent this. I made a Basswood replacement which proved much more pliable.
A/L recommends planking the insides of the Bulwarks before fixing to the hull. I planked mine afterward and was happier to do this as it covers any gap at the point where the Bullwarks meet the inboard Stem.
Scuppers and Hawse Holes were opened up on the inboard sides of the Bulwarks followed by planking the outboard. Scuppers and Hawse Holes were opened up again working inboard to outboard.
The Main Rail consists of four pre-cut Walnut pieces, two for the Stem and two that must be measured and cut for the midship sections. There was a bit of difficulty in getting the bulwarks to accept the curvature of the rail at the Stem of this model. Some judicious gluing and temporary pins helped. The remainder of the Main Rail posed no real problem, just some temporary pins to
hold things in place while the glue dries.
Bulwark Stanchions were measured and cut using direct measurements from the deck to the underside of the Main Rail. A/L states that these number 27 but I ended up with a total of 29 with more or less equidistant placement as it was difficult to ascertain the exact positioning from the plans. The Rubbing strakes were formed next around the base of the Bullwarks after a suitable soaking.
Bulwarks in place, planked Rubbing Strakes, Stem and Keel fitted:
2nd Hull Planking: This did not pose too many difficulties. I ensured that the tapered plank ends fitted into the Rabbet mentioned earlier in the stem and keel.
Hull planking 2nd cover, Fish Boxes, additional Deck-House Detail added:
Finishing/detailing: The Eyebolts, Blocks, Bollards and Fairleads came next. I drilled small holes in the centre of the Bollards and Fairleads and pinned them to the Main Rail for extra strength. The Deck/Hull was finished with a product called “Crystal Clear” (Satin Acrylic Varnish).
Once this was complete, work began on the rather “Fiddly” structure at the rear of the model that carries the pulley arrangement for the “Sliding Doors” at the stern. Care needed to be exercised. I found that the plans were reasonably accurate for this particular task.
Fish Boxes and Fish Box supports: Simple to create the Fish Boxes. Just ensure the measurements are accurate. The Fish Box support on the bulwarks is simple. Just be careful with the measurements. I made mine to be removable and ran Brass pins into the deck from the bottom Fish Box of each stack so that I could remove them as well.
Masting / Rigging: The mast and rigging are very simple on this model and no problems encountered here. One thing to note, A/L uses a very thick thread for the Ratlines. I tried this and substituted for something a little thinner.
Letters / Numbers: These are self adhesive. I photo-copied mine a couple of times.
Just as well that I did as if they are handled just a little too much, the lettering falls off! I discarded the self adhesive and glued the photocopy instead.
The registration numbers are also self adhesive and require very special cutting/placement on both sides of the hull. I was very careful not to touch the adhesive backing and used a modeling knife and tweezers to place these. I was a little dubious about how they would look but had no option in the end as I could not find any alternative.
Conclusions: Nice and simple compared to the Bluenose II and was definitely light relief. The Mare Nostrum is an interesting subject to model and would probably make an excellent beginners kit.
Missing wood, (Mahogany Planking), didn’t help.
Just throw the instructions away. Photographs of A/L’s build were very good and the plans were o.k.