Building the Amati Gondola – Part 1

Gondola, the Jewel of Venice is the newest Amati wooden model kit, realeased earlier this year. It is a 1:22-scale wooden model kit that measures about 19-1/2″ long when complete.

This is not the first time that Amati has produced a gondola kit. Amati had produced a different kit of a Venetian gondola. That one was a 1:20 scale model, very similar is size to this one. I don’t have much information about the old kit other than the scale and that it was a model of a gondola of 1882, which had a little cabin for the passengers.

This new kit has the appearance of the modern gondola as it appears on the canals of Venice today. So, let’s take a look at what’s included in the box.

The instruction book is 24 pages, and includes step-by-step instructions written entirely in english, with photos to illustrate.  Every step of the build looks covered, but then this does not look like a very complex build.

In addition to the book’s instructions, the kit includes one plan sheet. Most of the sheet is taken up by full-scale drawings of the laser-cut parts sheets. So, the real instructions will have to come from the included instruction book, which actually do appear pretty complete.

This kit includes several small sheets of thin laser-cut wood. Interestingly enough, this kit contains no strip woods.

In addition to the laser-cut wood sheets, there is one sheet of alpacca, or nickel silver, parts. Personally, I had to look that up, as I really didn’t know exactly what nickel silver was. Turns out it’s just a silvery-looking copper alloy.

One bag of parts includes the closest thing to strip wood in the kit: A single dowel that’s apparently used to construct the display stand.

Then, the only fittings in the kit appear to be a little cast white metal lantern, and a resin piece, probably 3D printed, for the yoke that provides leverage for the oar.

Finally, the last piece in the kit is this soft red cloth that will be used to upholster the passenger chairs and to carpet the floor of their compartment.

Last thing I’ll mention here before starting construction, is that real Venetian gondolas have hulls that are asymmetrical – they are wider on one side than on the other, and have a slight lean to them to counteract the force of the gondolier rowing from one side of the boat.

I looked carefully at the drawings included in the new kit, which consists of a single large sheet, and interestingly enough, the lean is properly present.

The plans properly show that the hull of the gondola is asymmetrical and that it leans to one side.

The plans actually don’t show much more of the model details other than top, side, front, and rear views. Most of the plans sheet is taken up by full-scale drawings of the laser-cut parts sheets. The real instructions will have to come from the included instruction book.

In the next post, we’ll start construction on the model…






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