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Ships by Class/Type: Sailing Vessels
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Pyro Pinta build
TimReynaga
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 01:26 PM GMT+7
Hi all!

I had such a good time recently with Pyro’s ancient Niña kit that before it was even finished I went and found a Pinta and a Santa María to go along with it!



I thought I‘d start with the Pinta, the ship of Columbus’ famous fleet about which we know the least. Like the Niña, the Pinta was a small carabela redonda (caravel). She was square rigged, probably about 73-75 feet in length, and had a crew of 26 (compared to Niña’s 24 and Santa María’s 40). The only historical records concerning the ship have to do with Columbus’ voyage of discovery in 1492. What we do know is that the Pinta was owned by Cristóbal Quintero of Palos, and that she was commandeered by Queen Ysabel (Isabella) of Castile for Columbus’ voyage. The ship was captained by Martín Alonso Pinzón, an experienced mariner ten years Columbus’ senior. Columbus mentions in his log that shortly after leaving Spain the Pinta had rudder trouble, but he was confident that Pinzón, “a man of energy and ingenuity”, could resolve the problem - which he did. Pinta’s captain was also reputedly instrumental in helping Columbus calm the mutinous crew of the Santa María during the outward passage. Unfortunately, Pinzón’s energy and ingenuity were not matched with discipline; throughout the voyage he had a habit of sailing off ahead and losing contact with the rest of the fleet. On October 12, 1492, this resulted in Pinta’s seaman Rodrigo de Triana being the first European since the Vikings to set eyes on the New World (although Columbus later cheated the man of his reward, claiming to have seen land himself the night before!) Later, as the fleet explored the Caribbean islands, Pinta again disappeared (apparently hunting for gold) for nearly four months before rejoining Columbus. No gold was found, but Pinta had earned the distinction of being the first European ship to reach Haiti. Finally, as the ships were headed home, Captain Pinzón’s Pinta again abandoned Columbus midocean and became the first ship to reach Europe with news of the Discovery.

After that… nothing. There was the so-called “Molasses Reef wreck” found in Turks & Caicos Islands near Cuba in 1976 which was thought by some to have been the Pinta, but although of the correct size and age, no evidence for any specific identification of the wreck has ever been found. As far as history is concerned, the story of the Pinta ends with her arrival home at Palos, Spain in 1493.


ejhammer
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 01:38 PM GMT+7
Will be following with interest Tim. I assume these are plastic kits?

EJ
TimReynaga
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 01:46 PM GMT+7
EJ,

Yes, the kit is polystyrene plastic released by Pyro in 1966 to go along with with their Niña kit.

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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 02:07 PM GMT+7
I've not done a plastic sailing ship, but have a couple in the stash, one is the Russian XVIII century navy Goto Predestinatsia, an ARK Models kit, 1:72. Won it at a show a while back. No instruction book, just an exploded diagram and a pattern sheet for cutting the cloth sails. Looks interesting. I do wooden boat and ship kits in between aircraft carrier builds and enjoy them.
I'll be following your builds, hopefully picking up some tips along the way that will assist on this kit.
Thanks for posting.

EJ
TRM5150
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 03:39 PM GMT+7
Count me in Tim!! Enjoyed the last one very much!! Looking forward to seeing you add to the collection!!
YellowHammer
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:50 PM GMT+7
Count me in as well Tim. Looking forward to another gem.
John
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 08:51 PM GMT+7
Hi Tim,
this should be something different to watch so I will be following along to see how you go with this.

cheers
Michael
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 09:49 PM GMT+7
I'm along for the ride too
TimReynaga
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Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 - 01:44 AM GMT+7
Welcome aboard guys!

Original Pyro kits are hard to find, but there were a couple of the Life-Like reissues available at an online auction site, and so these will do just as well (Pinta is the hull on the right).



As far as I can tell the Life-Like reissue was exactly the same as the Pyro original – although by the time this one came out in the early 1970s the price had jumped from 60 to 90 cents! I don’t think the kit is available new at the moment. Lindberg owns the molds now; I believe they last released it as part of a Niña-Pinta-Santa María commemorative set in 1992. That and earlier issues can often be found at the usual auction sites, though.

The hull/deck went together quickly. As with Niña, I intend to do La Pinta as a straightforward out of the box build. The one small modification I couldn't resist making was to cut away the unconvincing molded-on shroud ends from the channels on the hull sides.


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Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 - 02:38 AM GMT+7
Oh good, was looking forward to this.

Ive seen those Life Like kits on that auction site, never would have guessed they were ex-Pyro. Thats interesting that the kits were re-issued.

do carry on!
TRM5150
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Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 - 05:47 PM GMT+7
Off and running!! Looking good Tim! Nice little modification...much cleaner now!! Keep it going!!
TimReynaga
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 05:13 AM GMT+7
An interesting mystery concerning the Pinta is her name. We know the meanings of the names of Columbus’ ships Santa María (“Holy Mary”) and La Niña (“the little girl”), but what about the Pinta? The word pinta literally means “spot” or “appearance” in Spanish, but neither of these would have made much sense as a ship name. Perhaps the name Pinta may suggest that the ship was painted in some way (pinta could be taken to mean “paint”)? The idea is appealing; Pyro’s box art shows the ship in a very romantic, colorful paint scheme, but the inaccurate expedition flags (the actual designs and colors of which are well known) and white-and-green triangular motifs on the hull (which are accurate – but for ships of the English House of Tudor a century later) reveal that the box art colors are probably no more than artistic whims. Unfortunately, other than the possible hint in the name “Pinta”, there is no supporting evidence for any 15th Century Spanish ship having been painted.

Although known as the Pinta, the ship’s real name is now lost. Spanish ships of the 15th Century were officially christened with religious names, but unofficially they were often known by nicknames (the Niña was actually the Santa Clara, for example). These nicknames were sometimes puns on the family patronymic of the owner (such as Juan Niño de Moguer, Niña’s owner). So what about Pinta? The ship’s owner was Cristóbal Quintero of Palos, so that answer doesn’t really seem to fit. However, in his book Admiral of the Ocean Sea - A Life of Christopher Columbus, historian Samuel Eliot Morrison offers the amusing conjecture that Pinta’s owner Quintero might have been married to a woman of the Pinto family (there was a Pinto family in Palos at the time) who henpecked him – and the crew called their ship La Pinta (feminine form of Pinto) as a joke on him!

Another possibility is based on the fact that Spanish ship nicknames sometimes referred to some quality of the vessel itself. A caravel on one of Columbus’ later voyages, for example, was known as La Gorda (“the fat girl”). It is possible that “La Pinta”, which could mean “the painted girl,” was intended to mean what that name suggests... prostitute or whore! Outrageous as this might seem, it is documented that Spanish sailors did at times give their ships such scurrilous names. A famous example is the galleon Nuestra Señora de La Concepción (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception), which was known to her crew as the Cagafuego (“Shits-fire”). And Columbus’ log does record numerous technical problems that plagued the Pinta during the voyage - a rudder that repeatedly jumped it’s grommets, leaks, and a sprung mizzen... Could the ship have been a temperamental old crank, difficult to sail? That might possibly have earned her such an unflattering nickname from her crew!

It is an amusing notion, but I suppose we’ll never know...


TRM5150
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 07:23 AM GMT+7
That is some fascinating information Tim!! Thanks for sharing it!! Always great to have some background information on the subjects we work on! Plus I get to learn something new today!!
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 07:49 AM GMT+7
Tim,

Very interested in following this one. Here's my Heller Pinta (with classy backdrop):


I tried to tie all the rigging:


My first attempt at a sailing vessel since Monogram's Junk in the mid-1970s!
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 07:53 AM GMT+7
Tim,

Do you recall Floquil naval stains? They were solvent-based but once they offered a primer that was supposed to go over styrene and allow the stain to work as it would on wood. Ever try it?
TimReynaga
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 08:18 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Tim,

Do you recall Floquil naval stains? They were solvent-based but once they offered a primer that was supposed to go over styrene and allow the stain to work as it would on wood. Ever try it?



Those stains were great. I never tried them, but I saw a USS Arizona model by Loren Perry that was probably the most convincing plastic model wood deck I'd ever seen. I went right out to buy some, but they had already been discontinued. Doh!

Nice Pinta, by the way. Since mine is in a smaller scale and out of the box the rigging should be easier... not so much knot tying!

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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 09:11 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Nice Pinta, by the way.



Tim, thank you. It is about 20 years old and packed away; one day I will break her out and weather her. I started Nina but can't recall if I kept it. Heller included various sized string for rigging, etc.. I don't know what those rigging gizmos are called - block and tackle?

I think I sold Santa Maria at a model show.

After watching your threads, I want to buy the Pyro kits.
TimReynaga
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 10:32 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

...After watching your threads, I want to buy the Pyro kits.


I know what you mean! Pyro has always been one of my favorite plastic companies. Who else would make a plastic model Neanderthal figure?
JJ1973
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Posted: Monday, March 02, 2015 - 05:49 PM GMT+7
Great to see the Pinta next on line - and thank you for your highly interesting and amusing background info!

I'll be definitely following!

Cheers,
Jan
TimReynaga
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Posted: Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 04:19 AM GMT+7
Thanks Jan, good to have you along!

After cleaning up some nasty knockout pin marks on the sails, I attached them to the masts. With the mast assemblies test fitted to the hull, the little Pinta starts to take shape. I’d been concerned at first that this build would be a boring repeat of the Niña I just completed since the hulls of the two caravels are so very similar, but the square rig and bowsprit give her a distinctly different look.



Now to take things apart again and throw some paint on her!
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Posted: Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 11:11 AM GMT+7
And just like that, she's together!! Well done Tim! Looking forward to seeing the color fly soon!!
TimReynaga
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Posted: Friday, March 06, 2015 - 04:16 PM GMT+7
Although I played with the idea of painting the Pinta up in bright colors like the box art, in the end I just couldn’t find any historical support for it, so she’ll get a “natural wood” finish like the Niña. An initial coat of Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow acrylic on the hull started her off.


The deck then got its light tan color (XF-57 Buff and XF-59 White mix), with the rails, cleats, and hatch picked out in the same color as the hull. The ship’s boat, masts, and spars will be the same as the hull too.


The sails got an airbrushed coat of the light tan mix I used for the deck. I also shot a slightly darker version of the same color along the vertical raised “seams” to give the sails a little more depth. The contrast is difficult to see in the picture, but it helps subtly define the separations between the main sail and the two horizontal canvas “bonnet” sections below it.



Next up I'll see what I can do with those flags...
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Posted: Friday, March 06, 2015 - 05:33 PM GMT+7
Off to a great start with the paint Tim!
TimReynaga
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Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2015 - 12:30 PM GMT+7
Thanks Todd!

The first flag I wanted to take on was the simplest – the Expedition Standard. It consisted of the sacred cross flanked by the letters “Y” for Ysabel de Castilla y León (Isabella of Castile) and “F” for Fernando de Aragón (Ferdinand of Aragon). Each of the initials was topped with a crown.

I had painted this Standard before on my Pyro Niña build. The flag was depicted on the Niña box art with a red cross and yellow letters and crowns on a white background, which I duly replicated on the Niña model:

...WRONG!

I had violated the first rule of modeling— relying on the kit box art for reference. Although the design of the standard was mostly right (except for the "I" in place of the "Y", and the order), the colors were not! The Pyro Pinta kit box art was even further off, showing the Standard as a red cross on a white backgound with no letters or crowns at all.



This time I did my homework. I found that, unlike much from this time, the colors of the Columbus Expedition Standard are actually well documented. Presented to Columbus by the Queen for the voyage, the Standard flown by the fleet was clearly described in the Admiral’s journal: the background was white, and the letters and crowns were in green. So for the Pinta I did the flag more accurately, following the image from Xavier Pastor’s The Ships of Christopher Columbus (visible on the computer screen in the background in the picture).



Next up: the flag of Castilla y León and the banner.
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Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2015 - 05:12 PM GMT+7
I suppose you had to expect something to be off somewhere! Nice bit of research!! Makes all the difference in the world! Looking good!! Looking forward to the next flag!!