Building OcCre’s Spanish 74-gun Ship Montañes from Part Kits – Final

When I began the Montañes part kit project, I began fully aware that this was pretty well just a long term project that I’d work on from time to time, and that the cost of the Packs, as OcCre calls them, would be more than the cost of the complete kit. Unfortunately, I went online to consider again purchasing the second Pack and found that the pricing had changed considerably. The Packs have gone from about $110 each to $179 each. But, there is some savings in that OcCre has changed their shipping policy so that shipping is free for orders over 150€, about $164. So, the price of $179 for the pack is the shipped price, which before was about $130.

Because of the higher pricing, I considered abandoning the experiment all together. Then, I looked again at photos of the completed ship.

The appearance of this Spanish 74 model is so nice that I just didn’t want to abandon the whole project. Plus, I met a fellow ship modeler in the area who is also building this model, and that’s kind of motivating me to push this project up on my priority list. So, I looked around and found that there are still some sellers of the packs that have them at a much cheaper price than direct from OcCre, so I may go that route.

But, I’m also considering just buying the full kit, which I’ve seen listed for around $500, shipped. Given that I just had to spend a little more than that on a recent dental appointment, I’m hesitant to go out and buy the full kit. But, if I am going to end up buying the full kit to save on shipping, etc., it’s probably best to do it now. If I just buy the next pack, which I found online for about $139, shipped, I might find myself stuck with price increases later.

Final Post?

So, why is the title of this post marked “Final”? Basically, the part kit experiment is over. Even if I continue with them, there’s really not much more to be said about building from a part kit. It’s certainly a viable option for those who can’t come up with the full price of a kit, or might just want to try building something big without committing to it completely.

At this point, anything further I write about the Montañes project is going to be about constructing the model, and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s from a full kit or from part-kit packs.

Where it Stands Now

So, the Montañes sits pretty much as it had been for many months. I had the spar deck glued into place atop my replacement beams. As you may recall, the decks in the kit have no curvature or deck camber, and I did some work to correct that, which including making curved beams to support the top deck. I started fitting the gunport pieces into place, and decided that I will be painting the inner bulwarks red, so I started with the inside of these gunport strips. If you look closely, you can see the inside of the hull on the far side of the picture below is red. For this, I just used Liquitex Cadmium Red Medium Hue.

Meanwhile, I was giving thought to how I want to represent the ship’s cannons. Being that this was a part kit construction, the cannons wouldn’t show up until some later time, so I had no way of knowing what I was to be working with. So, I contacted OcCre and purchased some of the kit pieces that I would be be getting later on anyway. It was an extra expense for some parts that I probably wouldn’t end up using anyway, but I wanted to understand the intention of the kit.

Getting the parts was easy. OcCre was very responsive to my questions and they put together an order for me for the parts, and I had them a short time later.

One big black mark for OcCre here is that all the cannon barrels are cast metal. But all of their marketing pictures show beautiful, bright brass cannon barrels. This is not a problem for me, but they should be honest with their marketing, and tell people that the original kit had brass cannon barrels, but that they switched to cast metal ones due to cost or whatever. However, if you’re like me, you’ll be painted the cannon barrels black anyway, so it does not really matter that they are cast metal and not brass.

Actually, if you are like me, you’ll probably look at them and consider some way to substitute these with some nicer, more properly shaped barrels. I compared these with some spare cannon barrels I have.

The barrels on the right are the OcCre kit barrels. The dummy barrel at the top left is from Caldercraft, the next one down is my own cast copy of what I believe is a Caldercraft barrel, and the bottom two include one Billing Boats barrel, and the think the one of the bottom is from Syren Ship Model Company. But, most of these are expensive options, so I’m looking into some options from Amati and Mantua now. Those may not be ideal, but I think they’ll look better on the model.

In any case, this is the end of my posts on the part kit experiment. Next post you read about this model with be simply about building OcCre’s Montañes kit.

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