Site reviews / Guestbook

Feedback from around the world:  thank you to everyone who took the time to write in.


















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bullet Great job on the build! I will be using your site as I progress on my build. So thanks for the great tutorial!

Mark Edell, UK  


Hello! I'm starting building that superb model and your site is really very helpful...

J-F Desvignes, France  

bulletFirst of all I would like to congratulate you for the marvellous job you've done building this ship. I just started this particular kit and followed the instructions (big mistake). It appears AL made modifications to the kit but did not bother to follow up with the instructions. All the framework was going well until it was time to place the tenon cannon's supports. On the instructions they tell you to stick them through the holes astern of the ship, well... Not possible because they had modified it with an extra former that completely blocks those access holes... This means I'm going to have to figure out a way to work around it. Time consuming task I say. Anyhow, just wanted to give you this information so others won't make the same mistake. Great website and beautiful work! Best Regards

Eduardo G. Fuentes (a Spaniard in the USA)  


May I complement you on a fantastic model. My own is nearing completion and I can appreciate all the effort that has gone into it.

Darren Knox, Queensland, Australia

bullet Hello, my name is George Brady from Texas City, Texas. I am awaiting delivery of the model kit. I bought it specifically because of your amazing pictures and instructions. I have built a number of models, both plastic, wood and combinations thereof, over the past several years.  This is my first attempt at something this complex and challenging... Please, keep up the great work, as it is very inspiring.

George Brady, Texas City

bulletI am not building this boat, but I admired you for the work and instruction you give for building it. You did a fantastic job, thanks for making me a better builder by your instruction.



Hallo, I am working currently on this model. Your pictures and description of the different work steps are very helpful for me. The next step for me will be to prepare the masts. I am looking for a way to reduce the diameter of the different mast pieces...

Winifried Dreger, Germany

bulletMy housekeeper accidentally threw out the directions and charts. Your page is filling in the gaps. I have done 14-15 other models so I had a pretty good idea how the basic structures and assemblies went but I lacked the specific details. Thanks for all the pictures and the text... will be a great help.

John Harris, Knoxville, Tennessee USA

bulletFirstly, I would like to thank you for this site. I have ordered the San Juan and have been reading your instructions and studying your pictures while waiting for my kit to arrive. I am very excited about getting started. Thank you,

John Reeder, Alberta, Canada


This is truly an exceptional site that guided me to complete my own model of the ship. I have resorted many times to your photos to figure out the peculiar details of the kit. Now that I am almost done - literally on the last stage of the rigging - I have ran out of the 0.15mm white cotton thread. How frustrating is that? Again thank you for your time of making such a wonderful site.

Andrei, London  

bulletI'm just starting building the San Juan. Your great site will be helpful and I wanted to congratulate you for the model and the site at the same time.

J-F Desvignes, Vendée, France  

bullet Great site. Don’t know how I could ever do without it as the documentation provided with the kit is far from complete. Also, this is my first kit ever. My wife gave it to me as a gift wondering if I could do it. She passed away shortly after (cancer) and I intend to finish it in her memory however difficult it is. I have been following your site for the last 5 years, slowly building. I am now about half way, and starting on the ratlines. Thanks again.

Alain Bouchard, Québec, Canada  

bullet I have been building wooden ship models from kits for 30 years, and I have found your site the best ever in instructing someone on how to do a build. It was the most informative I have ever read and I totally enjoyed it. I am scratch building a CSS Virginia 1/96th scale from the Civil War using the same plank on frame techniques I have learned over the years and when I start my next true kit ship the San Felipe I will use this sight as a reference, thank you for posting this. Have a great day.

Mike Hobgood, USA  

bulletThank you for your wonderful WebSite. I am in the process of assembling the subject kit and at the stage of opening the loop holes in ships hull and only wish I had discovered your site in the earlier stages of construction. I have printed all text and photos to help as I start a new phase of the construction. You provide very helpful information about each step as well as sharing some useful tricks you have learned and maybe some the hard way. The instructions that came in the kit is definitely lacking in detail. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of building this beautiful ship and again thank you for the time and effort you have put in creating your site.

 Jack Weesner, USA    

bulletI found your site by “Googling” model ships. Thanks to your wonderful photography and craftsmanship, you have inspired me to build the San Juan N. I have been model making for a number of years and I have yet to build a craft that I would call really good, but with the help of your great site and advice I'm hoping to get an acceptable standard. I managed to buy the kit from an American supplier at a good discount and also it was unavailable here in Australia. The kit should arrive next week and as its a long weekend I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival to do the preliminary stuff. Without being able to find your site I would not have attempted to build the ship, so once again thank you.

Pat Tonks, Australia  


My name is Per Kristian Hagen and I am living in a small town (Vadsø) in the northern part of Norway. For a long time I have been studying your excellent site, and it has been a great help for me in my work on the model of Bounty (Artesania). You are discussing all the common problems and giving a solution on these problems. This, together with your instructive photos, makes your site as a small "bible" for many model-builders all over the world. Thank you!!

Per Kristian Hagen, Norway  


I’m not yet an experienced builder so I needed information on the model upfront. I would like you to know that your site gave me a perfect view on what to expect at the different stages of the project. As a result I ordered the model (still waiting for delivery) and expect to start building early next year. It was a pleasure to navigate through the pictures and the accompanying text. I will definitely consult the site during the building process. You can be proud on the result. Many thanks and my congratulations.

Wim Bols, Belgium    


Should have found this site months ago….busy with the ratlines at the moment.  Glad to see I am doing the knots correctly!  With any luck should be finishing around December and then I will be tackling the ‘Surprise”.  Thanks for a great and extremely helpful site! 

Peter, Johannesburg, South Africa  

bulletWhen building the AL Zuiderzeebotter, I had no idea what parts 159 "Slings of a yard" (ES Estrobos; FR Estropes; DE Stropps) were for. They were not mentioned in the description or the drawing. Thanks to picture 54 in your excellent and highly instructive website I now know that they have to be used to connect a pin to a block. Thanks.

Dr Albert J. Dijkstra, Carbougnères, France  


Just finished reading your site about San Juan Nepomuceno. It's amazing. Much better than the instructions supplied with the kit. This kit will be my third one (I have S. J. Baptista and J. S. Elcano) and your site will be quite useful for me. Congratulations for this wonderful job.

A.B.Mantovani,, Americana, Brasil  



Folks like you sharing their experiences are what make the web what it should be. Your efforts will surely help many others overcome building problems before they even start. The ship photos are great and worth a million words for newbies and experienced builders so don’t let this be your last post. If you have any more tips or recommendations regarding modeling please share them with us because the whole world is listening.

Edward A. Skoog, Lipan, Texas, USA  


I just wanted to write you and thank you for your website... I have always had a fascination with tall ships. Always wanted to build one never thought I’d have the time, well I do now. But I have never done anything like this before... Initially I was going to get the HMS Victory, my wife said I should get a beginner model, couldn’t find one I thought looked real. So I got the San Juan Nepomuceno, a grand ship... As I was looking for the history of my ship I came across your web site, a real Godsend. The time and effort you have put into this, is really unbelievable. There are still questions I have, and my wife says I spend as much time sitting and staring at my ship as I do working on it. It’s all good. I’m doing the best I can, and hope it turns out at least respectable. I bought all the right tools, something I always knew was important, that still doesn’t make up for experience... I figure I at least owe you a good old fashioned American cook out. Thanks again.


 Jay DeNault, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, USA  

bulletRegards! With the enormous interest I read your step-by-step instruction on the production of the model of San Juan Nepomuceno and decided to answer your questions of 'why in sail below are two openings?' and 'why on the lower the yard of mizzenmast is there no sail?' To the first question answer to very simple, for the drain of water, this sail is  located very low and during agitation can draw water, and the lower sail on the mizzen mast would interfere with control of the triangle sail in front. Again many thanks for the detailed description of assembling wooden model, with the respect.

Igor, St Petersburg, Russia  

(received in Cyrillic, converted roughly into English by Babelfish and polished from there!)


Very good site indeed, this site has helped a great deal, but please could you tell me what camera you used for the photography, my pictures are rubbish of my ship.

Owen Clarke, Leicester, UK  

bulletCongratulations. When I lived in Colombia, before I came to Mexico, I put together 2 Latina Ships, Endeavour and San Francisco. Your San Juan is absolutely beautiful. I am ordering mine in a month or so. I am sure your page will give me lots of tricks and tips on how you did many things. Thank you very much for sharing it. I have really appreciated it and I am sure I will keep coming back in the future just to admire it.

Juan David Mejía, Mexico  


I am from Namibia, and is also busy with the SJ Nepomuceno. I am building the model for the past 5 yrs, and am very proud with what I have obtained so far. What pleasure! I am currently busy with rigging. Your web site is of great help – only a pity that I came across the site only recently. Would like to hear from other builders of the same ship.

Andre Snyman, Windhoek, Namibia  


I am building the San Juan. Your site has been very inspiring to me, and I found the site before I ordered the kit. Once I saw how it could look when it was done, I couldn’t contain myself. Thank you so much for posting the photos and the information on problems that you found. They have already helped me and I am in just getting to the beginning stages of planking. I am photographing my entire build, and keeping a calendar of hours spent on the kit. I have already started using the cut off nail technique on the decks and it looks incredible compared to leaving the heads on the pins… Once again thank you so much for the site. 

Guy Brown, Georgia, USA  

bulletI felt I had to write and let you know how much I appreciate your idea of rubbing PVA on the rigging lines so they act like needles, FANTASTIC, has saved me hours, I used to use fuse wire which took a lot longer. Only around 2000 ratline knots to go! I use your site regularly for the pictures and tips, much appreciated.

Mike Clark, Spain  

bulletGreat site, excellent photos, I am building the Endeavour and your site is helping me no end.

Owen, Leicester, England   

bulletI'm absolutely stunned. The model is fantastic! Congratulations!

Pieter from Holland (I live in Switzerland)   


My name is Daniel, and have recently began construction of the San Juan Nepomuceno – which with your web site, I now have the confidence to complete my model. First, I must extend to you the deepest appreciation and admiration of your site.  It is helpful in the extreme, well organized, and tells a complete story – which I can say is a rarity in what is usually found on public websites.  The manuals hat came with my model (if you can even call them manuals!) leave so much to question that, in my opinion, your site does not augment the manuals supplied, but far surpasses, and aside from bit-by-bit detailing, would replace them completely!  Again, VERY WELL DONE! I work on my model a few hours here and there, and have arrived at the ‘mid’ planking – now starting from the keel upwards.  I was ‘nervous’ about this until I saw your photographs, and now have a much improved sense of what is to be done, and how to accomplish it successfully. I read through your tips, and never thought of using steam! Excellent Idea – Thanks!

Daniel Ackerman, Edmonton, Canada    


First may I congratulate you on building such a beautiful model and secondly your web site presentation, both are as good as I've seen. I have just began to put time into modelling and like you have been cursed with poor timbers and metal parts, that are poorly made or just missing altogether. Unfortunately being so far from the suppliers (Australia), it takes forever and lots of disputes to get replacement parts. I have one small tip that may help you in finishing other models, I have found that using pre made liquid French polish is the best just rub in 6 or so coats which dry in about 30 mins and finish off with a coat of bees wax, it gives the timber a lovely natural patina and avoids the bubble effect that come from from using clear finishes. I'm using your site as a future guide to help me, and sure you don’t mind.

Pat Tonks, Melbourne, Australia  

bulletConsidered, your page enchanted to me and it will be to me without kind place to dusas helpful when it constructs to this beautiful boat. Greetings.

Fernando Urraburu, Montevideo, Uruguay  

(web translation from Spanish) 

bulletI like your site of the San Juan Nepomuceno, it's a good work nice picture and good comment. I work to finish the San Juan and your site help me. THANK YOU.

José Martin, Canada  

bulletA wonderful website. Thank You.

Joerg Graffe, Germany  

bulletI have either misplaced or it was never in the kit, the lack of an instruction booklet... this I understood now exists after visiting your web site, which is already proving to be invaluable, a most helpful aid to this model build, again congratulations a great site. Thank you for your time, a most helpful and interesting site, pics are excellent.

John Crichton, East Sussex, UK  

bulletI am startled to see that no one from Denmark has reviewed your site. It is without comparison the best model boat building site I have found on my surfing the net. I intend starting on the Billing Boat Norwegian Lion... I am sure I will use your site frequently during the construction and thus avoid a lot of mistakes, thank you.

Ingolf Christoffersen, Denmark  


Just to say your website is helping me immensely. This kit is the first wooden ship I am building and I just completed the planking and sanding. I look forward to the rest of the kit as I have a good reference to work from.

Jayson Dawson, Cape Town, South Africa  

bulletI have build several models from different manufacturers over the last ten years. I wish I would have seen your site earlier, so many mistakes and problems could have been avoided. Congratulations! It is excellent and entertaining. I am 80 years old, live in Venezuela, where there are no stores to buy components so everything has to be purchased personally in the US, plus our devaluated currency, but it is a lot of fun.

Michal Betz, Venezuela  

Absolutely fantastic site. After seeing it, I went out and bought the San Juan...

Wes Trimble, Toronto, Canada  


First of all congratulations on an excellent site! The pictures are extremely helpful and it’s saving me a lot of pain!

Nic Low, Zambia 


Hello! I have visited your site frequently and what a great site it is! In addition to building such a beautiful model you have also documented the building process with excellent detail. It just not only shows how to get the best out of this model, but also has priceless hints to building any ship model. Thank you and congratulations on your work! I can't wait for your next project ; ) Thank you for your effort and congratulations!

Vesa Halenius, Finland  

bulletOutstanding website, nice pics, very detailed! I just started building this ship and I have to say that I found a lot of indispensable suggestion to avoid mistakes…! Hope that my ship will look like the one you did…:-))

Igor, Switzerland

bulletI am sure that you would be pleased to know that others are enjoying your website. I am part-way through building the San Juan Nepomuceno (Artesania Latina 1:90), and I have found your website most useful, and a valuable addition to the instruction manual.

Geordie Horne, Republic Of South Africa  

bulletI plan on starting a hobby and purchased the kit H.M.S. Endeavour. I
also bought a book... I figured that I would run into the unknown when I start and found your website to be very helpful. I might do the same myself- record progress with dates and a digital camera. Thanks again. I can't wait to get my first kit!

Richard LaPrairie, Reno, Nevada, USA  

bulletThank you very much for your website on the San Juan, I’ve just started reading through it, but to me it’s invaluable already!!  I will read every word I’m sure!!

Bill Killillay, USA  

bulletThanks for your site:  It really helps me learning how to build wooden models.

Tirta, Indonesia  

bulletI just wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences while building this model. The model building itself was clearly a considerable effort - taking the pictures, adding the text, constructing the web site must have added significantly to the time involved.  I've already gleaned a lot of useful information from your pages, and I know I will refer to them again to help with problems in the future.  Wonderful work, beautiful model, great web site - many thanks!

Tom Wightman, Ontario, Canada  


I really enjoyed your comprehensive work on building this sophisticated ship. It sheds lights on many dark areas and answers many questions that might not be found in any book or websites. It is really a very helpful guide for me and many others who are new to this hobby. Thanks again and keep up the good work. Your work is really inspiring!

Mehran Omaraie, Iran  


I’m now starting with this vessel and I found your information very interesting with all this practical advice. The photographs are perfect and the explanations very vital for the construction. Congratulations for this web site and for you quality with this type of vessel.

Antonio Gutiérrez, Canary Islands  


What a tremendous site! Congratulations. I am building the San Juan myself, the instructions are atrocious, to say the least. With your help I am proceeding much faster. I have built 3 kits before.

Pedro Gomes, Lisbon, Portugal  

bulletI've studied your photos and explanations carefully as just have bought one of the models of San Juan N. My only experience in building ship models is with San Martin from Occre with which I had lots of troubles which I expect to minimise with your explanations and my practice. I want to congratulate for your excellent work and thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Juan F. Restrepo, Medellin, Colombia  
bulletI have found your picture site for building this model to be most impressive! As is the model itself! Truly museum quality. As I am maybe 40% through the Scottish Maid I have learned a lot of tips from your site - - the photography is very clear and most helpful (can't Artesania Latina do this?)...  I wanted you to know that I will now be consulting your photos regularly for ideas and inspiration to do a better job as I finish this kit...  Ship and boat modellers are scarce in the US, and British modellers seem to produce ships to an exceedingly high standard, which I am trying to learn to emulate. Best regards, and thank you for sharing it all with us.

Tom Sanor, Roswell, Georgia USA  


It is just a magnificent site with great pictures and a fine explication. Greetings from Belgium

Eddy De Tandt, Belgium  


Found your site during a Google search. I am busy building the San Juan Nepomuceno. This is my first wooden model and although I am enjoying the experience, I do find the instructions very vague. Thanks for your site. I will definitely use it to gain knowledge on the hobby. The Artesania Latina site is useless to me as I do not speak Spanish.

Craig Harrison, Zambia  


Thanks for the nice pics on your site. They are good and clear and show close-up work... I think you did a good job with your website, very well laid out and informative.  It inspired me to buy the kit and I'm looking forward to building it !! Some of the pics on building have helped me very much i.e. belaying pins (threading them through the pin board and using the pin to hold and adjust) attaching the sails to the yards before putting them on the masts... very helpful. I plan to refer to your site often when I start building the S.J. Nep.  I like the way you build it… Thanks again for all of your hard work.

Otis, Shasta Lake, California


I have become quite a fan of your SJ Nepo site. In fact it inspired me to buy the model…

Sveinn Ernstsson, Reykjavík, Iceland  


I wish I found your site before I started on the planking… A most excellent site worth visiting by anyone who wishes to start modelling.

Davin Lomax, Australia  


I found your site by coincident and were overwhelmed about the detail and mass of information. It is a very impressive and valuable site for our hobby. Sadly there are too few sites like yours.

Zoltan Djapjas, Germany  


I brought the San Juan Nepomuceno over a year ago... It’s a big challenge, I have found your site most useful as there are quite a few floors to the model. I have only planked 3/4 of the ship's hull since last summer... I’ve been frustrated with this model especially trying to understand plans (2 books?). Thanks for putting the site up, it’s been a great help.

Matt, Christchurch, New Zealand  


Congratulations to your excellent site. I started this model as my first model a year ago. Fortunately I found this site now, as it will improve the quality of my work considerably. I found a lot of essential details in your photos and associated text, which I could not find in the builders manual. I should have found your site at the beginning of my modelling journey...

Kurt Feusi, Switzerland  


Loved your site. You have given me great insight on how to work my SJN model. I am just getting primary planking finished and really enjoying the whole building process of the Artesania model.

Renzo Cafferata, Miami, Florida, USA  

bulletGreat site, great ship, you've done a good work, your boat looks really nice. I'd love to get this ship too. I've built Bounty from Artesania - 1/48.

Cedric, France  


Started to build the model the San Juan about 2 years ago… stopped when I had to do the Ratlines and I have not touched it since. It sits in my workshop in the cellar waiting for inspiration. Today I have just got that inspiration when I typed into Google San Jan Nepomuceno and found your site, it’s absolutely brilliant. I now feel like I can tackle the ratlines as I didn’t know how I was going to do them… I am now going to give it another try.

Paul Hartigan, UK  


Thanks a lot for all the detailed photos and ideas. I have build the model all the way to just before the start of the ratlines and have decided to give it up and start from scratch due to mistakes and imperfections. I have just bought a new kit (the same one) and was very glad to find your site. I will do it right this time no more mistakes thanks to you.

Sam Coetzee, Upington, South Africa 


Your website is fantastic… I think your write-up is a little more correct in calling out the kit problems and scale issues. I enjoy your website and find myself looking at it every time I get on internet.  Be sure to build other ships and document it with photos and text.  I have seen other sites similar to yours but not near as well written or photo'd as well as yours!

Jerry Brigman, Missouri, USA  


Came across your site and found it very interesting and useful being that I am building the same model... your site is a blessing and has a wealth of knowledge especially for someone like me. If my model comes out anyway near what yours did I'll be very happy. Your presentation was done extremely well and is an asset to anyone building the San Juan. As a matter of fact it can be applied to just about any other model being built.

Jim McGrane, USA  


Hi from the states! just wanted to let you know I just bought this kit and the only reason why is your FANTASTIC site. She's also a beautiful vessel, I hope I can do her justice. I'm sure I'll be to the site many times.

                                                Rich, USA  


Tengo el kit con este barco desde hace 2 años y lo habia abandonado. Gracias a tus magnificas fotos y explicaciones seguiré de nuevo. Te felicito por tu trabajo

 Ignacio Mugica, Spain  

bulletI did a Google search for info on a Artesania Latina kit of the Amsterdam and I just happened upon your site.  To say the least, you are a godsend!! I just happen to be about halfway through the hull planking stage on the San Juan Nepomuceno!!  You have effectively provided me with a practicum!  So much information, so many insights, tips, and such exquisite photographs! I've just gone through the first two or three of your galleries, and you've already answered specific questions and solved problems I knew would encounter later.  I can't thank you enough - just wish I had my computer near my workbench (unfortunately it's in my garage).  You can bet I'll be printing out a lot of stuff, though.  Thanks again - I'll be visiting often.

Tom Perez, Jacksonville FL, USA


Well impressed to say the least. I am just in the throws of finishing the rigging on the USS Constellation and will then be persuading the missus to part with her conservatory for another few months so I can do the San Juan.

Rob Elliott, Cheshire, England  

bulletI just wanted to complement you on your model and web site. A couple of years ago, I was starting on my first model, The Pandora, and was at a loss for what to do a number of times.  I ended up using a variety of books as resources, but also used your web site as a more graphical representation. At the time, I kept wishing there were many more sites like yours on the web…

Brad Kratochvil, Dry Dock Models  


This is my first try with a ship, building the Artesania Latina’s San Francisco... I saw and read your step by step review in the San Juan Nepomuceno, by the way, extraordinary!!

Rafael Escudero, El Salvador 


First congrats to a perfect job!  ...your web is the only one that I know of that describes the process step-by-step which is for me as a beginner (doing 2nd layer of Pandora planking job & getting heartattack:-)) is really of a great help.

Martin Suchy, Czech Republic  


just wanted to compliment you on your very interesting and useful website on the construction of your model of the San Juan Nepomuceno, and on the nice work you did with this model.  I found the site by chance when I was doing an internet search on dolphin striker rigging… Your website will be a valuable resource to me as I plow on with the completion of my model!

Jared Fein, Metro Marine Modellers, Toronto, Canada 


I have just started to put together the San Juan Nepomuceno by AL and am finding your site extremely useful… I look forward to finishing this model as perfectly as you have, I thank you for putting together your wonderful site as without it I would already have been lost myself in the diminutive plans supplied by AL.

Thor, New Zealand  


I have been scratch building the steam packet Sirius for the past two years...  Your wonderful photo series has inspired me to finish this ship this year.  I congratulate you on a wonderful job of building both the San Juan and a great website.  I actually compared some of your pics to photos I have from being aboard some real tall ships in the area, and have to say again; job well done. Keep up the good work. 

  Ken H, San Diego, California  

bulletI visited your site from the Shipmodels e-mail link. I found your site to be excellent... I was really impressed in the planking and the fact that the detail on your model looked perfect. With the help of this and your site I feel confident I can master the wood techniques that you have shown. Once again, well done, an excellent website.

Paul Mackie, Calgary, Canada 


I’d like to say that this site is really wonderful. If everybody would do this, a site after model making, then our life would be far easier!!

Anastasios Polychronis, Frankfurt, Germany  


I have seen your web... I have began model ship just. San Juan is very very beautiful impressive… I put forward most sincere congratulations for your model.

Murat, Istanbul, Turkey  


Very inspirational site. It was 1½  years ago, the first time I saw it, and already I am at my third model. It really proved to me that ship modelling is a realistic goal. And this time it is San Juan Nepomuceno.

Adam Golebiowski, Loveland, Ohio, USA  

bullet I am truly thankful for having found your website. Your talent is obviously not restricted to just building model ships because your website is extremely informative and well done. I posses neither of these talents  but I have long wanted to try building a wooden model ship and  was fortunate enough to be given a complete kit of the San Juan Nepomuceno by Artesania Latina scale 1:90. My friend has lost interest it because of lack of time to work on it and generously passed it on to me. I understand the importance of starting off properly therefore having seen your pictures on your website, it is my belief that he may have ruined some of the frames from the beginning.

Gerry Seccull, Canada  

bullet Just brought this ship and after surfing the net for info found your site. Very well presented and will be great source to keep coming back to during my construction. Keep up the great work, love your finished product. :-)

Paul Goggin, New Zealand   

bullet Have thoroughly enjoyed your web site on the building of the San Juan. I'm embarking on building a scale model of the Cutty Sark and noticed that you have modeled this ship as well. Do you have web pages documenting this project? You did a terrific job on both your model AND the web site... Thanks to folks such as yourself, who are willing to share information, executing a complicated model can progress much more smoothly... and enjoyably.

Ron White, Freeville, New York, USA  

bullet Hello, I just visit your pages. Thanks a lot of good pictures, I haven't seen so well done work for long time... I get many very good hints from your pictures.

Jukka Sironen, Finland  

bullet I can't thank you more for this effort building this site. It's great and it gives useful information, in addition to the pictures and instructions included in the kit. I'm building my first wooden model ship and choose the S.J.N as my first model.

Leon Malalel, Israel  


Many thanks for a fascinating journey through your model development. I was totally captivated from beginning to end.

Paul Condron, Dublin 

bulletJust found your site... Absolutely fabulous, I wish I had found it earlier... loved it all the way. Your work A1.

Roy, Australia  

bullet Congratulations for the great contribution of this work, it is a very good source of ideas and information for the modeller, I have used her to plan many modifications that I do in my "San Juan Nepomuceno" in order that it is illuminated internally and the result has been beautiful, thank you very much.

Antonio Garosi, Chile  


I am collecting information for building 'Soleil Royale'... that's why I find your excellent site. You and your fine work make me feel like a real ancient sailor... So, I send this mail, and just wish you to know how much I appreciate your work. Thank you for so much helpful information.

Chen, Chun-ho, Taiwan  


Great model, great page, it should be added on CD as a "wooden kit building guide" to each model sold. Maybe it would be interesting to collect similar reviews of other kits, it would be a great help for many modellers.

Jan Karnik, Czech Republic 

bulletLos saludos y les felicito por tan magnifica colección de fotografias y por supuesto el extraordinario trabajo del modelo. Atentamente.

Jorge A García Zubieta 


Beautiful! Your work documenting the construction of your ship is as impressive as actually building it! I'm just starting to build wooden ship models, after many years of building ship models from plastic kits. I find your photos and tips invaluable for any wooden ship project. Thank you and congratulations!

Ulises Victoria, Monterrey, Mexico  


I still do look at your site every now and again when I have to do something and it gives wonderful tips and tricks for me, like pushing the thread through the hole and wedging it with the belaying pin before the final setting of the rigging. I want to try to see if I can do the figure-8 but if not I will leave it at that :)

Astrid Wagenaar, Amsterdam, Netherlands  

bulletExcellent. Your San Juan Nepomuceno is beautiful.

Eduard, Germany  

bulletDo you have a source for buying parts, like planks, etc? The site is fantastic.

Karen Bogart, USA  

bulletIt was indeed a big surprise for me that I found your web site yesterday. I am so amazed of the precise contents and pictures and I think I am about to change the fate of my only 2% finished model which had been 'sleeping' in my basement since 1998! 

Tommy Mak, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada  

bulletCongratulations on the magnificent and helpful site outlining the San Juan. I have found this to be most useful and am now well advanced on the construction of the hull... Thanks again for a great site.

Bob Evans, Australia  

bulletYour site has been an inspiration for my first steps into shipbuilding. Excellent job!

Vassilis Tzimas, Greece 

bulletGREAT tips and site... like your trick for holding deadeyes... thanks again for your insights

Rich Luce, USA  

bulletAfter having spent a lot of time, glued to my screen, drooling over the work and the pictures, I just wanted to let you know that I am amazed with the wonderful work you've done!!! I was surfing the internet, looking for tips and information about rigging of model ships... as I came across your webpage and although I am making a different model (Cutty Sark of Billing Boats) I am sure that a lot of what you wrote in the explanation with the pics will help me tremendously :) I simply love the way you "fix" things, like the figurehead...  After I've finished this one I'm working on now I was planning on the Victory but I am tempted to change my mind to the San Juan Nepomuceno.

Astrid Wagenaar, Amsterdam, Netherlands  


I did look at your site... very nice with lots of detail. I noted how you used the wire to strop the blocks. Just wondering though, is there any way to do this without having the twisted wire ends showing on the opposite or free end of the block (the end of the block that is not attached to the eyebolt)? Thanks again for your help.

Dennis, UK  

bulletLove the site, a great help to all model builders. After a weekend with the girlfriend's granddad I was inspired to try my hands at model boats but I think I've jumped in at the deep end. 

Andrew Cackett, UK 


I don't know how I came up with your website, but I can only say that is impressive. Not only the model you built is fabulous, but also the service you are providing to rookies like me is invaluable. I started building the Pandora (my first model) about 8 months ago, worked for about 4 weeks and almost abandoned it due to the frustration of not know how to do things, or even worst, doing them wrong. I bought books, read message boards, but I was still confused and disappointed. Your pictures and explanations gave me the answer to many of my questions. I’ve been working on my ship for more than a week now and I’m going back and forth to your website. Thank you and congratulations.


Santiago S, Pasadena , USA 


I didn't know anything about ships before I reached your site... but I was stunned when I saw the quality of your little pieces of wood glued and nailed together. I think that your site is THE ONE RESOURCE that makes INTERNET interesting. I thank you for your effort. After I saw this great site I begun to search information for building my own ship from scratch. This may be interesting because I'm from Romania and here there are no money, materials or information on how to build something that is not for eating. I'm happy that there are man like you and my wish for you is "keep on this great work" forever.

                                         G.Radu, Bucharest, Romania 

bulletYour San Juan site is truly a work of art. Someday I hope to acquire the skills which will allow me to create such an outstanding model.

Don Solari, California, USA 

bulletI was looking at your site last night... I was so enthralled by the construction pictures I didn't notice the how-to's. Wow. It's amazing you did all that planking with a tea kettle.

Steven Nardi, USA 

bulletYour site is terrific and with great quality throughout! I have just purchased the San Juan and your site is going to help me a lot to avoid pitfalls during construction. I will probably ask you for some help in the future concerning the San Juan... Keep up the good work!!!

Carlos Beer, Costa Rica 


Hello John, and oh wow!!! Fantastic photos. I browsed through them briefly when I opened the mail... these will help me a lot. I already see I did a few things correctly, but I'd like to go into more detail. I will study them completely later on. Thanks a million...

Tony, USA  

bulletI spent a wonderful couple of hours surfing the site. The photos are fantastic and the San Juan model is absolutely fantastic... a project to be proud of, John. I only hope that my efforts on Corel's HMS Victory turn out something similar!!!

James Goddard, UK 

bulletI have just taken a bit more time to look at your site in more detail. Incredible!! I can't even imagine how much time you have put into it, never mind the time spent building the model. Fantastic and most impressive work!

John Badner, Exton, Pennsylvania, USA  

bulletThank you very much for the help, that homepage of yours has a fantastic tutorial, the best one I've seen on the net so far.  It was the answer to multiple problems I was having.

Paul Savy, USA  

bulletThe site is excellent! Very basic, easy to navigate and lots of information. I'm still trying to find the planking-method that works best for me. I'm going to try the approach from this site on my next model!

Martijn Onderwater, The Netherlands 

bulletHi there, a brilliant site - and very helpful. I'm building my first small ship, to get the skills to make a bigger one :-) and hopefully, it will end as good as yours... I'm still browsing the net to find some decent reviews, but they're hard to find, if any, and not many people make such good sites as you. It's the best I've seen so far for this purpose. Thanks for your offered help.

Alex, Switzerland 


I have to admit that your site is the best site I have seen yet.  I am building the Bluenose and I am having difficulties with the ratlines. Your site has inspired me to go forward and tackle this timeless job. You have a way to inspire people in your writing.  The picture # 71 which gave me hope and go forward.  I thank you.

Jean-Claude Desjardins, Canada 


Excellent site. Great photos. I'm building the same ship and if I can succeed half as well I'll be very pleased.

Don Marshall, Portugal 

bulletI'm building the San Juan Nepo and thoroughly enjoying your pictures and commentary you posted on the web. 

L Michael Smith, Cyberspace 

bulletVery well done my friend, your site is truly amazing. I have very much enjoyed the quality pics and I especially think your site index is a great idea. Even though this isn't the ship I am building your site layout and information is a wealth of knowledge for a beginner. Well done.

Michael, British Columbia, Canada 

bulletI've just found your site on building the San Juan Nepomuceno.  I haven't finished looking through all the pages yet, but I am amazed at what I have seen so far.  Excellent Photos, Excellent Descriptions, and Excellent Craftsmanship. Great Job!

Alan, USA 

bulletI've just downloaded the file on the SAN JUAN and the only thing that I can say is OUTSTANDING, the site as well as the model. 

Art, USA 


I love your ship and the web site. I will be starting with a model of the Independence of 1772 shortly... thanks again for excellent inspiration.

Robbie Zielemans, South Africa  

bulletThank you for producing such a useful site. Based on your work on this model and the fact that model expo had it on sale, I'm encouraged to give this a go...  I found your comments helpful and will certainly look for the pitfalls you mention.

John Nelson, New Zealand 

bulletI've been eyeballing your web about the Nepo. You've done a rather nice job and have been a great help to  me. I just finished the starboard side port hole cutting using your technique... wasn't sure how to do it...  thanks for your help.

Dave Keogh, USA 

bulletExcellent site John!  I've bookmarked it. I'll keep in touch.

Bob Gianamore, USA 

bulletI put it in my favorites. It will be a great source of reference.

Ed, USA 

bulletGreat site and you've done a great job on the San Juan Nepomuceno. And thanks for your comments. I guess I should stop talking about rigging my model and start doing it. Thanks.

Barry Rudd, Virginia, USA 

bulletAlso, just wanted to let you know you've built an outstanding model of the San Juan Nepomuceno. I've been to your site and have gotten a ton of great information from it.

Lynn, USA 

bulletCongratulation! Great documentation. I do not have time enough and probably I also do not have patience to finish such a model. I gladly would like to have such a "San Juan Nepomuceno"! Who want to build one for me?

Hannes Huber, Salzburg, Austria 

bulletAnd secondly, to congratulate you on a great site, and model! Fantastic effort, especially if it is indeed your second effort. You certainly picked up a lot of tricks early, and the results are sensational - I gained a few ideas.

Darren, Australia 

bulletCongratulations for your site, it shows step by step the Nepomuceno...  I was really frustrated, but finally I found your site. It really helps me to figure it out.

Veronica K, Mexico 

bulletLove the site, I'm just starting out on this type of modelling myself... a great journal, it will be an immense help to anyone building the kit.

Paul, Wales 

bulletI looked through your web site yesterday. You must be an amusing guy and friendly. The San Juan Nepomuceno you built is so good. I’ll tempt to build one.

Da ke Zhu, Shanghai, China 


This looks like it could be the answer to my prayer. Since this is my first attempt I'm going to need all the help I can get.

Richard LeGaye, USA 

bulletCongratulations: This is my first model and with this help, I hope I can finish the model.

Alvaro Suarez, Spain 

bulletThanks for a great site! A fair number of mouth-watering pictures there.. :-)

Peter Jenssen, Cyberspace 


'I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set it free'.

Michelangelo (quote courtesy of Clif!) 

bulletI have seen your model and congratulate you.

C. Compagnion, France  


Dear Sir/Madam, Your site has broken its bandwidth limit of 100.00 Mb, it has in fact consumed 271.65 Mb of bandwidth this month so far.

Our old service provider! 


Just went to your site...very beautiful. I have built her too and this is the first time I have seen another built. Great stuff as we say.

Wendy Thompson, Australia 


After having studied your website on this ship for about a week now, I still can't hide my amazement at what it can only be named as the BEST WEB SITE on this model. The photographs are just perfect, the explanations extremely vital at details, and above all, they just overshadow AL Booklet for building this ship. Congratulations on the quality of the finished details.

Francisco Martinez, Spain 


I looked at your San Juan Nepomuceno pictures - and I wanted to compliment you on your wonderful completion of the kit! ...I was overjoyed watching the San Juan being built on your website. I don't think I have the guts to put sails and running rigging (especially something like yours), but it was a joy watching the progress you went through.

Clif Palmberg, USA 

bulletAn outstanding achievement and web site - I have just been presented with a box of strip wood and trawling through the e-mail found your site - next job purchase the books you have recommended.../...thanks for replying - your site really is very good and it helps to have the pictorial record to identify what it is I am trying to do e.g. the planking. Thanks for taking the time to put the info and pictures on the web.

Ross Drake, USA  

bulletYour personal San Juan Nepomuceno website is the most interesting model website I have found on the net... I can promise I am going to visit your website for a long, long time. I have discovered your site this morning and I am very fascinated. Thanks for your professional photographs and your practical design.

Roberto Angulo Garcia, Spain 


A great site! As a beginner in ship modeling I found here not only some inspiring pictures, but also many very practical advices and technique descriptions. The photographs are very detailed and very clear. It's one of my first sites of reference whenever I seek an advice on the web. It would be great to have such sites on other ship models. Thanks a lot!

Peter L, Israel  

bulletNice site and nice model.

Xavier Corredor, Catalonia, Spain 

bulletVery good job. Congratulations.

L. Raynal, Lyon, France 

bulletGreat web site.

Mark Lynch, UK 

bulletIt's a beautiful model.

Norman Hills, Cyberspace  

bulletCongratulations S.Juan Nepomuceno! Bravissimo!

Mauricio Sala, Guadalajara, Spain  

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