The Russian 20 gun brig Mercury was laid down in Sevastopol on January 28, 1819. She was designed as a patrol ship to guard the Northern Caucasus coast. Built of Crimean oak, with a shallow draught and equipped with oars, the Mercury was launched on 7 May 1820 and broken up on November 9, 1857.
The Mercury fought in many important naval battles during her career; the most notable being when Mercury (commanded by lieutenant A. Kazarsky) and two other ships were sailing back home from the Anatolia coast and faced a large Turkish fleet. Due to light winds Mercury was not able to escape (she was not a rapid ship), while two other russian ships went ahead. Two turkish Ships of the Lin engaged Mercury into an apparently hopeless battle, which, however the Russian crew decided to make a bold stand. After few hours of heavy fighting, the much smaller and massively out matched, Russian brig, maneuvering both under sail and oars, had severely damaged the rigging of turkish ships (dismasting at least one of them) and thus forced them to retreat.
It is recorded that after the battle, a navigator of one the Turkish ships made a comment praising Mercury for her gallantry and strength, and the captain for his bravery;
“If in the great deeds of ancient or our times there are the feats of bravery, so this act put the others in the shade and the name of a hero should be wrote by the gold letter in the shrine of glory: the captain was Kazarsky, and the name of this brig was “Mercury””
Mercury is one of the most famous vessels of the Russian Navy, and Amati have researched this vessel as much as possible to make it as accurate and well detailed as it can be.
The construction follows the same methods for the new Victory Models range; laser cut wooden parts throughout, many photo etched brass fittings and decoration, special photo etched copper plates, a huge amount of the highest quality wood strip in many sizes (First planking in lime wood, and second planking in walnut - masts and spar dowel is also walnut - not ramin), and construction plans and instructions that are ranked among the best and easy to follow in the field (There are 17 large plan sheets and a 40 + page A4 construction booklet!).
The carronade beds are laser cut in walnut, and each assembly has 7 photo etched parts. The carronades themselves have been made specifically for Mercury. The lower and main decks are laser engraved with the exact patterns of the original vessels' planking detail. There are multiple sets of photo etched fittings, including stern and quarter gallery fittings of the highest detail, reflecting as close as can be achieved to the original full size vessel. There is also a historically accurate full flag set and baseboard and cradles included in the kit.
Amati have also invested in brand new blocks (to go with the 17 individual reels and hanks of thread in various sizes) for this kit, which are CNC machined in pear wood and look like the real thing! Also, Amati now laser cut the closed heart blocks (plus adding the slot to stop the rigging from slipping off). We believe this will be the first major commercial kit with these type of fittings. This kit has been developed with the perfectionist in mind, and there is very little that can be added to make the model any more detailed than it already is, out of the box.