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I received a gift of a 1:90th scale  Spanish Galleon (San Mateo, Constructo). Probably in an attempt to stop me from building German W.W.II tanks (a futile exercise I might add.)
But I was surprised how enjoyable  building this was. Having never studied woodwork at school, and hardly considering myself a DIY handyman I thought I might struggle with this, but its amazing how you can adapt to the medium of wood quite easily. However, a project like this is not for the faint hearted, it requires an awful lot of work.
Its quite big also and takes up a fair amount of room.

An interesting aspect of this project, was my determination for it not to end up anything like the photographs on the box and instruction booklet. With a gloss varnish finish and shiny brass cannon's & fixtures, it looks like a fitted kitchen unit.  So in time honoured fashion I decided from the start to try and add some character to the model.
By not trying to conceal any imperfection in the wood (or, I hasten to add, at times some poor workmanship on my part) and using a dark wood stain to the hull -  a lot of character and depth was added to the wood. Even though this project is not tank related, I feel the patience required in finishing the pieces could be training for scratch building AFV  parts in the future.

The whole project took me six months, and an awful lot of man-hours. But I'm really pleased with the finished model. Not sure if I'd rush and do another one - (unless I won the lottery and became a full time hobbyist, ah... if only)
Click here for a gallery of the completed kit.

some of the key tasks:
  • Construct the Keel & frames
  • Plank the hull & decks (involves soaking the individual planks and bending under heat)
  • Fitted Ram and constructed cut-water deck
  • Glued the wales and gallery railings
  • Fitted pin racks and hatch coamings
  • Stained hull & decks
  • Fitting deck furniture and cannon's ( used a darkening solution to remove the shine)
  • Cut out sail shape's from cloth and stitched seams.
  • Ran the rigging - a huge job