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Tug Frederic Mistral
Updated November 18, 2017
Photo from the kit's box cover     The tug Frederic Mistral was built from the Duna Anfora kit which I purchased from someone that had it over 10 years and did nothing but marked a few of the drawings and instructions.  After a lot of searching on the internet, on July 8, 2013, I discovered that the Duna is actually the Frederic Mistral.  Anfora used a copy of the Frederic Mistral drawing to make the drawing in the "Duna" kit.  Why they did this I can only speculate, perhaps because of some copyright infringement.

     The model is 1/40 scale giving a hull length of 28 inches.  The construction is mostly wood with a plank on rib frame.  This interesting kit is supplied with may detailed parts, mostly in metal. 

     The kit is well packaged, with all of the detail parts in a vacuum formed divided plastic molding with a clear plastic cover.  The instructions are divided in to steps and are very orderly.  Some of the English translation is quite bad and a number of the of the construction steps are not well defined.  Some parts were misidentified with wrong numbers and on part was missing; it had to be scratch built from 8 pieces.  However, with some studying of the plans and instructions combined with the number of photos of the Frederic Mistral, a builder with good experience should make up for any undefined instructions.  The kit went out of production sometime after 2002, making this a rare item as not many have been found on the internet.

     Many of the wood parts snapped from panels did not go together.  It was apparent that the designer did not compensate for material thickness for most of the subassemblies that formed some sorta of a box.  Overall, I would give the manufacturer 4 stars out of 10 if it was a well made kit.

Select this link for historic information on the Frederic Mistral

     Construction started on May 28, 2013 with the laying of the keel.  Over the next few days a stuffing box (not included)  was made and added to the keel, and the ribs were put into place.  (Page updated July 24, 2013)

Kell and ribs inplace     Deck being cemented down
Engine and superstructure modules fitted
A Four-Year Delay in the Construction

      Work stopped at this point of construction in 2013.  I was unsure how to proceed with the above the deck chain used to operate the rudder.  Several other model boats also interceeded as well as other priorities.  Work resumed in October 2017, taking a fresh look at the project.

     I was now involved in 3D design and model files, as wel as having my work 3D printed in quality materials, one better for details but with less strength (brittle) and the other material having strength with a little less detail.  This was a good opertunity to take the heavy cast metal parts and create model for them, significantly reducing weight and increasing details.  Having dlowloaded photos, corrections to the manufacturer supplied parts were made in the 3D models.  Also, some parts in the photos were not in the kit.

      This is how the model looked on November 4, 2017.  The servo for the rudder is now located under the deck about even with the forward part of the structure.  I turned an aluminum drum to wind the chains in order to turn the rudder.
Frederic Mistral tug
Correcting Incorrect Supplied Parts with 3D Created Parts

Supplied metal versus 3D printed parts.     As mentioned many of the parts (as well as instructions to make parts) were incorrect.  One example are the metal bollards supplied with the kit.

     In the photo (right) near the bottom you can see the supplied four cast metal double bollards.  Compare them with the 3D printed parts I made at the top half of the photo.  The differences are:

 - Quality, obvious cast seems and flashing.

 - Wrong size, obviously a considerable difference.

 - Wrong shape, obvious again.

 - Missing parts, in addition to the four double bollards there should be two single bollards which I made.

     These are perhaps the worst examples, but there are many other parts in this kit that are not correct to make this "scale" model right.  Numerous 3D parts are now awaiting installation.