Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Building the Santa Maria

6 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2020
  • From: South Florida
Building the Santa Maria
Posted by Having-fun on Thursday, September 28, 2023 3:43 PM




After completing my last ship, the HMS Beagle, I went looking for my next project, I finally settled on Columbus Santa Maria by AL. Today I started working on the hull assembly following the photographic instructions that came with the model, so far there has been no problems since all parts are numbered and the numbers matched the main hull ( I may be using the wrong name, this is the part that holds all the ribs).


I finish gluing the ribs and waiting for the glue to dry to go to the next step.


I have included a photo of the part I just finish. Being a AL kit, I hope I won't run into problems due the fact that there is no written instructions, I will have to follows the photographs that are included.


Until next update





  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, September 28, 2023 4:18 PM

Nice work. Get this step done accurately as you have and the rest will be a lot easier.


Call it whatever you want- spine?



 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.


  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Friday, September 29, 2023 8:07 AM

I read a great book about 20 or 30 years ago.  I don't remember the exact title but iit contained the terms "Columbus' ships."  It was written by a Spanish Naval officer who was somewon in the history  office.  Excellent reference!



























  • Member since
    March 2020
  • From: South Florida
Posted by Having-fun on Monday, October 2, 2023 7:36 PM


Here is an update:


I have completed the building of the ribs, I also installed 2 large components that are part of the side of the ship, and the installation of the lower deck, I am now in the process of installing the second deck ( see photo ) which required me to go to my garage a get a large adjustable clamp so I can secure the side of the ship until the glue dries. I have ordered a bottle of Titebond White all purpose glue that, according to another member of this blog, dry faster than Elmer's glue. I ordered this glue due to the situation were there are some parts that can not be held long enough for the glue to dry and they are almost impossible to hold with clamps, etc.


So far the installation has gone fairly smooth, I do not know if is because I have more experience building these type of ships, if the instruction are easier to follow, or a combination of both, but, the building is coming along.


Well, until next time




second deck


  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 6:52 AM

Oh Boy?

      You mean the Keel? This is interesting. Ships of this era were so different from builder to builder. They didn't draw plans. A model was built. A board was convened and then it was decided by a consortium whether to grant the money to build one. None were alike so That era of shipbuilding will always contain a great deal of conjecture.

      As to her actual appearance, While many have gotten close, Still no Cigar! Why? Well, consider this. Many of the ships back then "Plowed" through the water. They did not sail well and had a tendency to broach in heavier that normal seas. Bluff(Rounded) bows detracted from speed and handling. Tall sterns caught the wind like a Cliff of wood.  

      So the question. Did the Santa Maria really look like some think or? are they all based on artists conceptions of what we think the ships of her type looked like back then? Build on . I am curious!

  • Member since
    October 2023
Posted by Tj43 on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 5:13 PM

You might want to try super glue for wood. It dries just like the regular super glue we use for plastic models. Thin us super fast and thick which it looks like what you need dries faster than any of the "white" glues. 

  • Member since
    March 2020
  • From: South Florida
Posted by Having-fun on Friday, October 6, 2023 2:33 PM

I have started to plank the sides of the ship and it is coming along. As you may know, planking a ship is an art all by itself, an art that I am still in the process of learning, so I go very slowly and measure every plank to make sure it fits were it is supposed to seat.


To bend the planks I am using this tool ( see photo ) which basically is a modify soldering iron, it has made the work a lot easier because allows me to bend the wood exactly to the shape I need.


See attached photo of the progress I have made so far.


Until next time









Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.