This was a frustrating build. I chose to do the Revell version of the Mayflower because it had crew figures, and I like to be able to imagine more accurately how big a ship is. But, the scale was a little wonky. For example, the average height of a man in the 17th century was about 5í6Ē. If you measure the figures provided and figure out how tall they would have been, theyíre only 4í9Ē, which isnít really unrealistic, just a little odd. Thatís the sort of thing that makes this model frustrating. Thereís a million little things that are a little off. In addition, the model was very poorly manufactured. There were many flaws in the plastic in obvious spots, there was one spar that simply didnít get formed properly, there was an outrageous amount of flash (I even wonder if the two plates for the molds ever even touched!), and it was impossible (for me at least) not to accidentally break delicate pieces as I was trying to attach something else (and Iím really not all that clumsy). Probably only a tallship sailor would notice, but the directions for rigging are wrong. I donít have any easy tips for you if you want to do it right, because I got frustrated with the whole model and just wanted to be done with it. I gave up trying to do it right after rigging the spritsail. However, if you look at my pic of the spritsail, youíll see what I mean about the rigging being wrong. If youíre interested in a fun toy that doesnít need to look good, then sure, this model might be for you. It is after all pretty reasonably priced. If you want to make a good detailed display piece, however, it might be better to see what the other manufacturers of Mayflower models have to offer. If you do decide to embark on the months long trek that this model requires to look decent, here follows a list of tips that I learned the hard way.
In addition to the normal modeling supplies supplies, make sure you have a good pair of tweezers, some beeswax (to straighten thread), a sewing needle, and a very good measure of patience!
Definitely glue all of the deck assembly to one side of the hull first, and then once thatís done attach the other side. If you do it all at once as per the directions, itís simply unmanageable.
I would recommend painting the hull from the top down. I did it bottom up on one side, and top down is just easier.
There are more than 250 blocks, rings, eyes, etc. that have lots of sloppy flash. Donít bother trimming it all. I spent HOURS meticulously trimming every single one, and I didnít end up using half of them for the rigging. Iíd trim them as needed.
Attach the sails to the yards before putting the yards on the masts. Itís really easy to snap the yard off, and the standing rigging and shrouds get in the way.
Also about the sails, the directions recommend a series of loops to very loosely attach the sails to the yards. Iíd recommend making it tighter with some hitches. It looks better, and is more secure.
Speaking of hitches, if youíre going to rig the ship (which you should, it looks way better, and a little rigging hides a multitude of screw-ups) you should know how to tie a square knot, a bowline, and a round turn and two half hitches. If you also know how to do a constrictor knot by folding a bight onto itself, then youíre in good shape. Donít worry, youíll have the deftest fingers around after rigging this sucker!
The premolded plastic shrouds and ratlines look terrible, and they donít fit properly. I actually think that it would be easier to get some heavier gauge black thread, and just rig your own. It will also look WAY better. If you check out the pics I posted, youíll see what I mean.
On the courses (the big sails labeled B & D) I would attach the blocks to the bottom edged of the sails before attaching the sails to the yards. Just read ahead in the directions and take down notes about what youíre doing out of order.
Be very careful with the lateen sail. I think itís backwards in the directions, and I screwed it up to the point where I had to give up and try to make it look like it was furled.