Mantua Sergal's Sovereign of Seas

GaryM

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#1
Since the level of detail a person may add and the availability and amount of research a person may chose to perform will vary with each modeler, the times I show are related to the actual work performed on the vessel. Each person’s ability to read and interpret plans can vary a great detail. Thus, the time reflects only that used to measure the plans for comparison on the vessel or to determine the size of wood used to make a part that is unclear and not listed in the instructions or on the plans separately. Hopefully, by doing this, a person can use this as a guide to determine the level of commitment necessary to compete this type of project or can use it to gauge how far along they are if building the same vessel.

Get the revised instructions for this kit at the following web site. It is 74 pages with hundreds of steps and photos of the steps. The instructions are still not to be followed blindly in the order they give and you need to look ahead and determine the order of assembly based upon logic, accessibility, and your construction methods. For example: the guns that will be mounted under the deck in the bow that point forward were not shown to have any blocks into which the dummy cannons would be mounted. trying to repair this problem would not appear until after the decorations and front end was completed and ready to be wrapped up prior to the start of the rigging.
Finally, I have most of the parts I need to finish this ship. Thus I started this and have about 15 hours into the construction. I have used 94 parts.
Mantua has laser cut the planking on the new decks and walls. What they have done is actually burn through about 1/3 of the sheets that make up the walls and decks and other planked surfaces. This will save hours of measuring, cutting and laying the actual wood pieces. The only thing is that it is a two step deck planking scheme. The appearance is good, but ships usually used four offsets. With this method, they save a lot of money by not providing wood to build the walls or plank the decks. The outside second layer where the guns go also comes as one piece for each row of dummy cannons, cannon doors and the dead-eyes channels all include the same simulated planking. Also, balsa is the first step of outside planking that attaches to the frames.
Everything fits together really well and It is still a nice kit. However, I wish they would let us plank everything since we know how to do it right if we are building a model at this level. The caulking lines will show up very well and the way the pieces must fit together are etched in the proper place. The part etching is a nice touch and helpful.
This is a wooden kit but more like plastic kit part assembly.
The plans are with the kit, but the new instruction book for assembly with 465 steps and pictures of each step is available on the web for you to print. This is the web site: http://www.mantuamodelhelp.com/Article.aspx?ArticleId=1685.

 

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GaryM

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#2
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

I thought about it popeye, since I have the old wood from the ship prior to its current revision. The change is enough that the old parts do not fit the new frame. I am starting to get used to it. Also, the fact that the lines are perfectly made and since they use it for the side of the ship above the waterline, it will make it really appear more real to most viewers. With so many other ships to build and a few more on my bucket list, at my age, I don't mind taking a hundred hours or more off the build time.
 
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CharlesEdward

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#3
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Ahoy Gary, another of my favorite future kits to drool over as you build this. You and I seem to lean towards very similar kits. I believe that my Santa Maria was a Mantua kit, and although it was my fourth model built around 1988 or so, I remember that the instructions had to be studied closely in order to make sense of them. Now I can look at the Euromodel Royal William plans and actually make more sense out of them, (with entirely no instructions and the plans all in Italian), with only a few read troughs'. That will be a most interesting build when I start it in earnest.</t>
 

GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

Hey there John. I need a challenge and the extra detail and something that will make beautiful display. You have to have a good beginning to make it justifiable to spend time on research and accurate enhancements. Thus, only the highest priced kits are worthwhile and detailed enough. Unfortunately, Mantua seems to be heading the other direction. This is really evident in the Cutty Sark. They did correct some of their errors from previous versions, but the current kit is a lot less realist and cheapened as I mentioned in the log for this kit.
The SoS kit has a lot of better features than the previous version. The major issue I have is that at this level, we like to build a model, not just put parts together with fake planking and the like. Some of the way the rails are pre-cut helps improve accuracy and overall appearance which is nice and better than some of us can accomplish without tons of scrapped attempts.
 
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GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

After 50 hours and 180 pieces, the ship is starting to come together. The instructions are necessary because of the intricate way this ship goes together. The pictures show each step clearly and the parts that are used.
The plywood walls need to be bent to follow the curved decks. If you soak them too much, they will start to separate or become soggy and not hold their shape. This kit includes some nice enhancements making it appear precisely made.
 

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#7
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Hello Gary,You do nice work.I have this kit and would like to start it but,two others are to be finished first,The Admiral is not doing great ,that takes priority,but will follow yours if you do not mind and do some more learning.Edwin</t>
 

GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

Hello Edwin. Thanks for the compliment. We all learn from each other and desire to improve. That is what this site is all about. Sharing our experiences, trials and tribulations so that others will not undergo the same troubles or may give us suggestions that will help on our next model helps keep or hobby alive. <br/>
Glad you like my work and hope you enjoy following me along with my endeavor.
 
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catopower

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#9
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Hi Gary,<br/>
<br/>
Your Sovereign of the Seas is taking shape very quickly! That laser-etched decking blends right in once you add the hatch coamings and such, doesn't it? It's looking very good. I'll be interested to see the other etched planking you've mentioned. But, it's looking nice and I'm just imaging how great this model will end up looking in the end!<br/>
<br/>
Clare</t>
 

GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

I have finally got 100 hours into the build and have used over 300 parts. This ship goes together rather fast with everything being pre-planked and shaped.
 

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jct

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#11
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Hi Gary,<br/>
She is coming together really well and quickly too, do you plan to stain the decks or leave them natural?<br/>
THX<br/>
J</t>
 

GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

The deck caulking is laser burned in and moisture causes the thin plywood to come unglued really easily. So just using a sealer is about all you can do without making the deck worse losing the laser lines.
 
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eric61

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#13
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Hi Gary, is the hull double planked or single planked? What sort of wood are they using? Obeche?<br/>
Eric<br/>
PS I have started my Sovereign build (same kit as Steve) and will start a build log this month.</t>
 

GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

Their updated kit uses balsa but I substituted lime-wood. It is like all Mantua kit being double planked with walnut on the outside except where the pre-shaped cannon ports rows are. They are plywood like the decks. i will be substituting some other items such as the fleur de lis that they ship with their kit that are really sad and do no look anything like them. I am using the book Sovereign of the Seas by James Sephton to help get things right.
 
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eric61

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#15
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Thanks for that Gary, surprised that the English ships had the fleur de lis on them, I thought it was a purely French thing.<br/>
BTW the link to Mantua in your first post has an error, there is a comma instead of a 'dot' before the 'com' consequently it comes up with a server not found.<br/>
<br/>
Can't figure out why I can't upload any pictures to the site (maybe it's the wireless connection)<br/>
ERic</t>
 

GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

Thanks. I corrected the link. I do not have a wireless connection, so that is not your problem. You can only upload one picture at a time and it can only be 1,000 pixels across and and I think he allows only 160K. Looking forward to see your work.
 
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eric61

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Thanks Gary, the sites dimensions are 1000x4000, my images are/were 900x600 @ 162KB.<br/>
What I did do was resize the image straight off the camera 1024x768@3.6MB to 900x600 giving anywhere from 162KB to 198KB (depending on how much dark is in the photo) so I resized to 800x500 giving 120KB to 145KB.<br/>
I tried with an image 32KB in size and it told me that it won't accept images larger than 161KB go figger(deliberate). At the moment I am in a bad mood(NOT WITH SoS) so this evening I will try again.<br/>
BTW I notice that your kit does not give a longboat? is this correct??<br/>
I bought some model aircraft dope to put onto the wooldings to stop them unravelling and also keep the tight.<br/>
<br/>
ALSO, regarding the dope, I did this when I scratch built a patrol boat. The hull was sheathed in 1/32" balsa, then I brushed with dope, sanded smoothish, glued a second sheet on using contact cement, then doped again twice , then sanded smooth and ended up with a hull that was as tough as steel and lightweight. Although yours is a static model I would dope the balsa then apply the "second skin" this will give you a hard surface to work on, experiment.<br/>
Regards<br/>
Eric</t>
 

GaryM

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Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

My kit does not come with a boat. Thus, I have two plank on frame kit boats that are the same as on the Soleil Royal kit that are built using .5 x 3 mm walnut strips. Since the scale is the same, these will work fine.
 
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#19
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

<t>Hello Gary,thanks for the SoS latest link for instruction's,mine is 16 yrs old but in good condition,had no time in restaurant business.yours is coming along fairly rapid and a fine looking build.Edwin</t>
 

GaryM

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#20
Re: Mantua Sovereign of Seas

Before I finished painting the sides black like King Charles demanded for this ship, I thought I would show how the plywood looks when applied with the laser cut plank simulation. It does make placement of dummy cannons easy to find. This could be a real chore if this was not for this one plywood piece per row with spacing previously defined since the Sovereign was somewhat unusual in that the cannon ports were not approximately equal spaced in each row.
 

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