DeAgostini’s “Sovereign of the Seas”, Installment 1

Each installment is packed in a flat mailer, containing a few more bits of the kit and a nice magazine (ok, “pamphlet”). The latter contains some history, some model building tips and inspiration, and clear instructions for this week’s part work.

Installment 1– parts of the bow and a cannon.

The first thing we see are a lot of pieces nicely laser-cut from 4mm plywood. All parts are numbered, and mating slots are numbered to match.

Helpful markings

Helpful markings: Part #4 goes into the #4 slot.

One problem: Plywood is often assumed to be a very stable medium, and we design parts to take advantage of its assumed flatness… but thin plywood is actually quite liable to warp. It can be straightened with strategically placed pieces at 90°… but in the example of the forward bulkhead here, there is no such stiffener.

Which leads to problem #2: While the instructions for each step are clear, there is no overall plan provided, at least not at this early stage. So I have no way to know what other parts will mate with this bulkhead in the future… perhaps a deck or other item will come along that can straighten out the bulkhead. Or perhaps I need to take action now to allow proper placement of other parts in the future… I just don’t know!

Warped-- what to do, what to do?

Warped– what to do, what to do?

Caution: While the laser cut tabs and slots may seem quite precise, they can never be good enough to guarantee an absolutely perfect fit by themselves. As we start to assemble the bow formers to the forward bulkhead, it is clear that we need to use some guides to assure that various parts are glued at 90° to one another. But see the two center formers? They make a sandwich with the forward keel section. If the two bow formers are not spaced perfectly, as well as being set at 90°, then the keel won’t fit in correctly.

ALMOST perfect alignment

ALMOST perfect alignment

So here, I used the keel itself as a spacer whilst gluing the bow formers, and the machinist’s blocks help to ensure perpendicularity.

All clamped up and nowhere to go.

All clamped up and nowhere to go.

After the formers are set, the forward keel section can be placed in its final position and glued with full confidence of a proper fit.

Slide in the forward keel section and glue.

Slide in the forward keel section and glue.

Along with the wood work, DeAgostini throws in a cannon mini-kit to whet our appetites for future detail work. The cannon includes a very nicely cast barrel with fine details, which needs just a bit of fettling.

Cannon subassembly

Cannon subassembly

The instructions show how to finish the cannon… but I KNOW there are a lot more cannon to come, and I’d just as soon do jobs like painting on a whole batch of them… so after a bit of assembly work, the parts are set aside until later.

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2 Responses to DeAgostini’s “Sovereign of the Seas”, Installment 1

  1. Ronald Hirt says:

    How can we in America get one of these kits the S.O.T.S. ?

  2. Ron- Please see the Jan 9 post. Still no news on the USA site, but drop them a line!

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