Today I will begin construction of the Artesania Latina kit, Virginia, a schooner of 1819. I thought before I began construction of the kit that I would do a quick review based on first impressions of the kit. After I've completed construction of the kit, I'll add a follow-up of my impressions of the kit based on my construction experience. Photo 1 shows the kit box.
The Schooner Virginia is an Artesania Latina kit that I found to be very reasonably priced with various vendors that I often deal with. I purchased my kit from Tower Hobbies for about $80.00 including shipping charges.
The kit features plank on bulkhead construction, two layers of planking, walnut dowels to make the masts, gaff and boom out of, pre-sewn sails, and numerous fittings for the deck furniture and other details.
The kit looks to be a good kit for a new modeler. It's a fairly simple kit, not too large and not too complex with a reasonable price.
The kit's instructions come in a fairly large booklet and have been translated in several languages including English. This booklet only contains text. Photo 2 shows the kit's instruction booklet.
There is a separate smaller book that contains a photo essay on the construction of the complete hull and deck details. Photo 3 shows the small photo essay booklet.
There is another large fold-out photo set of sheets that show how to make the masts, gaff and boom, add the sails and all of the rigging. Photo 4 shows the rigging photo sheets.
The kit comes with a number of wood strip bundles for the double planked hull and to make some of the deck furniture and other parts on the model. Photo 5 shows the stripwood in the kit.
There are two sheets of laser cut parts as well as some loose parts as shown in Photo 6, 7 and 8.
The part numbers are etched on one sheet of laser cut parts, but not the other. However, there is a drawing of the laser cut parts sheets that will help you to identify the unmarked parts. Photo 9 shows this sheet.
A nice plastic box contains all of the fittings in the kit such as blocks, rigging line, metal fittings and cannon and other small details. Photo 10 shows the fittings box.
Also seen in this photo is a package of pre-sewn sails. Overall, the kit appears to be a decent kit with nice looking fittings, nice looking laser cutting of the parts, and very nice looking stripwood.
If any weakness exists in the kit, I would have to guess that it will be in the kit's instructions, but that opinion is based solely on my experience not just with AL kits but with most model ship kits I've built. I'll give an updated review of the kit after I've built it so that I can report on the accuracy of the kit's instructions and whether or not a new modeler will be able to build the kit solely from the kit's instructions.
If you are a member of my support forum, please be sure to follow my construction of the kit as I post some photos as the build progresses.
The bottom line of this review is that AL has offered another reasonably price model ship kit that looks to be well suited for a new modeler.