Disappointment in Artesania Latina

DaveC

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#1
I have built several ships down through the years. Some plastic, some wood p.o.b..
I really enjoy the wooden ships with glee. One of the ships I built was the Harvey by AL. It was not very good quality either. But it did turn out pretty nice. With a great deal of modifications to the whole thing.
I am, though, greatly disappointed with Artesania Latina and their low quality control.

My son wanted to try his hand at building a wooden ship, so for his first try, he purchased a model of the Virginia 1819.
When he opened the box, the practicum for this model was one sheet and it was of the Mississippi Queen! The written instruction are very low quality. Even with my help, he became so frustrated, he gave up. He gave the model to me and I will build it.
But, I will never purchase another AL kit as long as I live! The wood in the kit is really of the lowest quality and the pulleys look like something a three year old would carve.
He will, more than likely, never try his hand at another wooden ship model. It is really a shame, he builds some very beautiful plastic, modern military models, with dioramas. He does very realistic looking work.

I am going to build the Virginia, modified as a topsail schooner.
As this kit is rated, it should not be a difficult model to build. But, it is going to take a great deal of work, to generate a nice model. All the plywood for it is split and very brittle. It separates very easily. The finish planking is very low quality.

I am not going to follow any historical direction for this model. It will be a bashed, modified version. I will follow all the correct rigging methods for this model as a topsail schooner would have.

Well, hope this doesn't bring anybody down, but I just wanted folks to be careful about purchasing what looks good on the box and turns out to be something else.

Time for coffee and a fritter.

DaveC
Seattle, Wa
 

Donnie

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#2
I am very sorry to hear about your son. That is not a good way to start out. I think it is a shame about these kit manufactures that the way they conduct business. I really wish that you would try another ship with him. I know what I am going to say is a little off base here, but why not something that has very little or no rigging. Even though the contents came with the wrong practicum, it is possible that the MS Queen or a similar steam paddle boat might be a nicer way to start. However, I am not in any position really to recommend as I do not know what the "taste" the young son has in ships.
I do hope it does turn out the best.

Donnie
 

JPC

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#5
Hmmm, we have all seen the quality of kits slip in recent times or not keep up to date with new wave of high end kits from China.
Brian, that's still sad news, the more as Artesania apparently have relocated their production...in China!
 

paulv1958

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#6
Hi DaveC

No offence intended, but

I have built 4 AL kits and my current Santa Ana is AL. I agree the instructions are low in quality information, but have to disagree with the wood quality. I have seen no better in Occre, Caldercraft, Corel or Panart. The AL kit instructions ARE on the low end for their older kit designs, but about on par with Occre & Panart.
With all due respect for a low end price kit maker, the final result are as you say quite good. Most AL kits are in the $100-$300 mark. Unfortunately you get what you pay for in this market.

Building wooden kits is nothing like plastic. It require lots of patience and a great deal of learning!. I would not say the quality has slipped, it has just not changed for these companies for the past 30 years. ( Yep they started 34 years ago). The older kits are aimed at enthusiasts, which makes a beginners attempts difficult. I don;t think any kit is meant to be easy.

My first kit was the Caldrcraft Endeavour. 2 years of effort later, it may not have been the greatest, but I was extremley proud. I hated lack of intructions, but once I understood the idea of reading plans and images, it all sunk in sort of.

After that the AL's were easier. Being in Aus , the model shops only stock AL and rarely others. My occres I had to order from Italy. I don;t think any suppler is going to be perfect, wood being wood is different by nature period. For a kit to have perfect wood, it would have to be hand picked cut etc and the cost of the kit would be astronomical. The china kits here are NOT on the low end of costs, but manufacturing costs & labour is a lot cheaper, hence the ability to provide more for you money.

All I can stay is start small, start cheap, learn the ways of the force( er sorry, model ship arts) and work your way up. I'm still learning and have a long way to go. Don't expect perfection in a $100 kit. (I've yet to see it in a $800 kit). KITS are built to price points Remember there is a market for everyone and some can only afford so much. To keep things at a common price point, something has to give..,
 

cha

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#7
I have to agree with you @DaveC. I am building a Mayflower and also find it very frustrating. In addition to the above I want to add these. The number of parts is not enough for most of the items. Planks are not given enough for double planking. The brass eyebolts are short by a dozen pieces. The blocks and belaying pins are erong scale. The thread quantity is inadequate. The timber quality is fine in my opinion.
 

didit

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#8
My son wanted to try his hand at building a wooden ship,....................................
He will, more than likely, never try his hand at another wooden ship model. It is really a shame, he builds some very beautiful plastic, modern military models, with dioramas. He does very realistic looking work.


I would really like to see some photos of your sons work perhaps you can post some.

just because there was one bad experience does not mean model ship building is all that bad.

One thing all first time builders must realize no kits provide complete instructions. At the higher end model ship building is an art form that goes back hundreds of years. It is something you learn how to do it is not just assemble part A to part B.

This is the very reason for a model ship community we provide the instructions and help not the manufacture of kits. This forum is the only one open to the public without restrictions. Beginners need to realize this is what we are here for, so don't get frustrated post your problems here.
 

donfarr

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#10
I Totally agree withDAVE(didit), I to will never again do a model from A/L or MANY OF THE EUROPEAN KITS NOT WORTH THE PRICE VERY POOR PLANS AND INSTRUCTIONS, but there are some quality manufactureres with good plans and instructions, I WILL MENTION JUST TWO RIGHT NOW, DUSEK MODELS, AND HERE IN THE STATES THE LUMBERYARD both offer more then just a box and forgotten, THEY WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS PERSONALLY AND HELP YOU THROUGH IT, I AM A GOOD EXAMPLE OF ADVANCEING INTO A MODEL SHIP BUILDER FROM A VERY POOR START, MAINLY HELP FROM DAVE STEVENS AT THE LUMBERYARD, CONTACT HIM AND FOLLOW HIS ADVICE. Don
 

dj56

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#11
I Totally agree withDAVE(didit), I to will never again do a model from A/L or MANY OF THE EUROPEAN KITS NOT WORTH THE PRICE VERY POOR PLANS AND INSTRUCTIONS, but there are some quality manufactureres with good plans and instructions, I WILL MENTION JUST TWO RIGHT NOW, DUSEK MODELS, AND HERE IN THE STATES THE LUMBERYARD both offer more then just a box and forgotten, THEY WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS PERSONALLY AND HELP YOU THROUGH IT, I AM A GOOD EXAMPLE OF ADVANCEING INTO A MODEL SHIP BUILDER FROM A VERY POOR START, MAINLY HELP FROM DAVE STEVENS AT THE LUMBERYARD, CONTACT HIM AND FOLLOW HIS ADVICE. Don
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262/5000

Occre does the same, if you have a problem and you send a mail they reply politely and helplessly, something short they send it at no extra cost I am really satisfied with the service of Occre, with AL I do not have so far never bought something from them
 
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#12
Hey paul
Snowy here have you tried modellers central they have amati , victory,occre mantua just to name a few in Australia
Cheers
 

paulv1958

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#13
Hi Snowy, Yep my first ever wood kit, the Amati Wells Fargo was from them on special. BUT the prices they ask for ship kits are not great, its a lot cheaper elsewhere. Miniature steam in Montrose is Caldercraft importers and pricing is great, Occre I purchase direct from Italy when euro is good as it still cheaper to pay for it & shipping that to buy from Modellers central. Corel I will no longer by due to poor quality. ( You can get them from Hearns Hobbies in Melb a lot cheaper).
Best place in Victoria for kits is Float a Boat, but you have to visit them as the website has no info. The store is amazing as is dedicated to model ship kits, parts, plans etc. It stock changes all the time. They supply Amati, Caldercraft, some AL.
 

dj56

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#14
hello Paul, "Occre I purchase directly from Italy" maybe you mean Spain because Occre has its home base near Barcelona (Cataluña)
Greetings
Willy
 

epicdoom

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#16
I've not had a lot of issue with AL the issue I have is in there not being enough line to rig the ship and I have to tell you I'm extremely conservative with my line I use just what's needed so its not like I have a ton of cut off waste the last kit I built of the Santa Maria had that issue and I was missing parts that I had to fabricate. I learned long ago don't ask for missing components from AL its a song and dance show trying to get them. I also learned not to expect much so I'm not let down when I open a kit anymore. the Biggest issue is the plans they don't match up with the measurements cannon ports never lay where they should and building off the plans will yield the wrong size part in most cases.
 

paulv1958

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#17
100% agree with AL Doco being realy realy woefull. Yep they skimp on line & wood at times. BUT is it the company being cheap or is it us the Builders just accepting the problems and fixing the problem ourselves. Unfortunatey most ship kit builders over the last 20-30 years just solve it them selves and accept the missing parts & issues, instead of letting the manifacturers know their ire and they take advantage of this. I could say it was just a low cost kit maker, but it happens in the expensive kits from other welll known older producers as well. This is why we now look to other suppliers and their much better QC. If they expect to gather new hobbiests do not discourage them with incomplete plans & parts. Ship models are hard enought for the begginer without making it more diffcult.

I know AL must be watching as they are re issuing some kits with better instructions. If all the makers were able to produce a better product then perhaps there would not be a shift away in purchasing options. I prefer quality over cost and lazyness anyday. If I'm departing with hard earned money I expect value for what i get. If not then bye bye, I go somewhere else. Stop ragging on the new guys and fix and improve your old kits.

As they say "It takes years to build a good reputation, but seconds to destroy it". ( in case of social media microseconds.....)
 

Dave Teel

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#18
I have built A/L's Constellation, Bounty, Cutty Sark. I have found the kits be just fine. I do extensive bashing on all my builds and this my squew my perception of materials provided in the kits. The Constellation was my first attempt a building a wooden ship. I did use additional information to help me with the build. The result was satisfying and set me on a 35 year course of building wooden ships. I have also built Corel and Panart. 12657874_110851772636195_5721674570623095288_o.jpg 71NHQE6QHJL._AC_US218_.jpg
 
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Dave Teel

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#19
The A/L Cutty Sark I worked on just a year ago had good materials I felt. True the book of plans was at times difficult to navigate. The section on rigging was useless, so I do agree that plans provided can be improved but I cannot find much fault with materials provided. The end result was worth the cost of the kit $ 345.00. IMG_0008.JPG IMG_0051.JPG IMG_0147.JPG
 
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Dave Teel

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#20
The A/L Bounty again for the $285.00 price tag turned out well. This build came with a good booklet with picture guides and again, the materials provided were adequate for the build. I did use the Anatomy of a Ship Bounty as a additional build guide but who doesn't seek additional references 12710972_110856795969026_9078142947479783499_o.jpg 12697076_110856365969069_6566062449378344333_o.jpg when building a ship? 51GwkWyRfWL._AC_US218_.jpg
 
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