Day 12: St. Joseph New Catholic Bible, Gift Edition – Large Type

Catholic Book Publishing Corporation‘s (CBPC) beautiful Bibles and devotional titles have been featured on our blog on several occasions. The quality and design of these publications are, in my opinion, one of the finest (and affordable). The thing with CBPC’s publications is that there is a sense of simplicity, yet a nobility that speaks to the importance of the texts that they publish. Last June, I (The Catholic Man) reviewed CBPC’s New Catholic Bible (NCB) Giant-Print Edition. Well throughout the latter half of 2020, and throughout this year, the review for this Bible have been one of the most read Bible-reviews on our blog.

This year for the 12 Days of Christmas series, my sister and I are joining forces together to bring to you this last review for season 4 of this series, a review of one of the CBPC’s newer NCB Editions,the St. Joseph NCB Gift Edition – Large Type. It contains the same translation as the NCB Giant-Type Edition, reviewed last year, but there are also many special features in this Gift Edition – Large Type, not only in terms of type size as the title suggests, but well beyond.

Please note, just like other reviews of Bibles on this blog, I will not be taking a critical look at the translation, for several reasons. First of all, I am not Scripture scholar. I do not have any authority in the Church or in academia to publically speak about this translation. Rest assured though, as with any other Bible translation published by CBPC, care is taken to include the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, all of which could be found in the Bible. The NCB translation though, unlike the New American Bible (in the USA) and the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (in Canada) is not a Liturgical translation. Even then, the translations listed have been adapted for liturgical use (more on that in a future posted). The NCB, as CBPC clearly states in the Frequently Asked Questions is that,

The NCB OT, NT and Psalms are not intended for liturgical purposes, as is the case for several other Catholic Bible translations, but it can be enjoyed for private use and study.

(emphasis added)

And indeed so, the NCB as I remarked in the review for the Giant Type edition last year, is ideal for prayer and study, especially since this particular translation, is “classified as a formal or verbal equivalence Bible translation, which emphasizes a literal translation (word for word) of the Scripture text to make sure to preserve the original word order and capture the nuances found in the ancient biblical text.” (NCB, FAQs) If you would like to know more about the translation, I suggest you take a look at their helpful Frequently Asked Questions. The goal of bible reviews on this blog is to provide a viewpoint of a day-to-day Catholic on using these bibles. Thus, we take a look at readability of the texts and their user-friendliness for “common folks.”

NCB Giant Type on left; NCB Large Type on right

As mentioned, the NCB Gift Edition – Large Type contains many features similar to the NCB Giant-Type edition. This review will speak of several features that I think merit attention. By the end of the review, I will have spoken about the ideal audience of the NCB Gift Edition – Large Type in comparison with the NCB Giant-Type Red Imitation Leather. (Note, from now on, the terms ‘Large Type’ will refer to the NCB Gift Edition – Large Type while ‘Giant Type’ will refer to the NCB Red Imitation Leather – Giant Type.

Fonts, Font Size and Notes

When I first opened the box to see the Large Type Bible, I honestly did not know what to expect with the font size. I thought the terms “Giant Type” and “Large Type” were interchangeable, but upon comparing the font size of both version, it became apparent to me that that is not the case with CBPC’s NCB Bibles. The Giant Type is larger than the Large Type… I honestly cannot count by how many points, but approximately, I would say the font size of the Large Type version is about 12pt, while the Giant Type is about 13-14pt.

There is a difference I have found reading with the Large Type than the Giant Type. The benefit of having the 12pt font is that there seems to be more room to include more on a page. I notice that the notes of the each book of the Bible, unlike the Giant Type edition, are put as footnotes rather than endnotes. That creates for a much more pleasurable experience if you were using this edition for studying the Bible. This was one of the critiques I had with the Giant Type edition.

However, that does not mean that one should dismiss the benefits of having the notes as endnotes. I would personally prefer the Giant Type for prayer, since the notes would not get in the way, causing a distraction. From top to bottom of that edition is just Scriptural Text. I think both the Large Type and Giant Type’s placement of notes have their own pros and cons that would better be suited to the needs of an individual. If you are purchasing an NCB Bible for study, the Large Type would be more ideal, while the Giant Type would be suited for those who want strictly a Bible for prayer.

Returning to the talk on fonts and font sizes, CBPC clearly put a lot of thought into the use of them. I thought the Large Type would be like the Giant Type, simply having the Gian Type’s fonts shrunken down a couple points, but it seems to me that both editions utilize different fonts. I think this is rightly so. Different fonts have different “looks” when readjusted in size, and for some fonts, it is not a matter of “one font fits all.” Same with printing liturgical texts… as a Liturgical MC at my parish, I strive to use fonts that are readable for the celebrant, that would suit the small 10pt font for red rubrics, and 14pt font for spoken text. I am glad that the same consideration is being considered here for Scriptural texts.

Another factor for choice of font might be the use of red for the words of Christ in the New Testament of the Large Type edition. Fonts, their sizes and the colours are factors that go hand-in-hand when producing any liturgical and Scriptural text for ease of reading. More on the “words of Christ in red,” some may think that CBPC is going too far, or ‘Protestantizing’ a Catholic Bible. I do not think so. I think it is a feature that should appear more in Catholic Bibles. Even though the whole Bible is the Word of God, with God as the principle author of the these texts, the Gospels receive special reverence at Mass, as all stand to listen to it because the Gospel texts contain the words of Christ, the Words from the ‘Word made flesh.’ When we want to emphasize the words of somebody, even in academia, would you not give some external emphasis in bold or italicization? I am sure one would… and so why not do so with the words of Christ? Red text also has helped me with finding verses in Gospel passages a lot quicker too… I just wish more Catholic Bibles had it. Yet, I would not be surprised why Catholic Bibles do not include them perhaps out of cost factor too. Two-colour printing might prove to be more expensive than grayscale printing.

Illustrations and Supplementary Features

One of the things that immediately captured my attention with the Large Type edition was how richly illustrated that specific edition is in comparison with the Giant Type edition. The boxes of both editions say, “Beautifully Illustrated,” but I suggest the Large Type edition to say, “Richly Illustrated.” CBPC always does a great job with illustrations, especially with the illustrations in the coloured inerts. However, the Large Type edition goes beyond the usual. Before each book, there is a nice width-wise illustration depicting a key even in the book. This is amazing… it really gives the reader a break from page after page of text, and to show that a new book has come, instilling a sense that we are starting to walk into another door as we read this book.

Compared with the Giant Type edition, the Large Type edition features not 20, but 40 full-colour photographs, not counting the many grayscale photographs scattered throughout. Like the Giant Type version, there are 8 full-colour maps, but also grayscale maps interspersed throughout.

CBPC also always have great inserts- those have only been amplified in the NCB editions. I remarked about this extensively in the review for the Giant Type edition, which you find here. Here’s the truth: many people will use the Bible for study, for prayer, but certainly some who are gifted with a Bible, but might not open it frequently. Yet, perhaps one of the colour-panels might catch their attention. Who knows what curiosity might be sparked by such charts, such inserts? That in turn, may prompt them to open their Bibles and read more in-depth. These are small details for a Bible, but can change the way one may approach the Scriptures in general, in a very positive way.

The last feature I will speak about is one that I critiqued for a lack of in the Giant Type edition – a table of Sunday Lectionary readings. I am so glad to that feature at the end of this Large Type edition. I always enjoy having such features of a Bible, because no matter if it is a study bible, prayer bible, personal travel bible… it is so good to have something to reference the Scripture readings of the upcoming Sunday. It serves as an aid to pray not only individual but with the Church in its lectionary readings.

Exterior Qualities

I have been gifted several Bibles from CBPC over the years from loved ones and received some for review here, but I honestly have to say, I think that this Large Type edition is one of the most magnificent yet. The Dura-lux burgundy cover is elegant. It is not real leather, but nevertheless, very handsome and has a sense of quality to the material. My sister will say more about the aesthetic qualities:

This Bible has a soft cover with a faux leather texture but seems that it will last for generation to come. There is a cross debossed onto the the front. While I think it looks nice, we have found it can collect dust which isn’t very easy to remove with all the ridges. The book feels well bound.

The gilding is also very even. I find that the gilding here comes off on your hands a little but no where near as much as I usually see so I found this quality impressive. The gilding does stick some of the pages together though, so I recommending being extra careful when flipping the pages for the first time since the pages are super thin; about as thin as what you usually see in Bibles and dictionaries.

There are two bookmarking ribbons. There seem to be nice quality – rich colour, very smooth, the ends well cut with no fraying. The printing for both colour and black and white are well done. the edges are all very defined with consistent pigmentation throughout. I also think the text is a good size.

Overall, I think the visual aspect of this Bible is all great save for one thing. I think because the gilding sticks the edges of a lot of the pages together, I noticed a small amount of rippling and buckling on some of the pages. I assume this is from opening and closing the Bible with pages stuck together and thus pulled weird angles, only to be closed, the pages still at a weird angle. It’s a very minor flaw, and if my theory is correct, the person you gift the Bible to likely won’t even notice this until they’ve used it a couple times. I just thought I would bring it up nonetheless.

CBPC’s NCB Gift Edition Large Type is a beautiful Bible. As the name suggests, it is suited as a gift not only for Christmas, but for Weddings and Graduations. Sacramental events like First Communions and Confirmations are applicable too (but such occasions may merit also looking at CBPC’s special Sacramental editions of their Bibles.) This is a Bible that can be passed on from generation to generation, especially because of the inclusion of the Family Record… however, more importantly, it is a Bible to be opened, read, and prayed upon. I would rather pass down to my family a Bible that has been well read than one that looks new, as if never opened since the time I received it.

You can purchase a copy of the reviewed St. Joseph NCB Gift Edition – Large Type here.
You can also check out some sample pages here.
To learn more about the NCB and explore its other bindings, click here.

Disclaimer: Vincent Pham was provided a review copy of NCB Gift Edition – Large Type to provide an honest review of it on this blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks CBPC for the opportunity for us to review this title on our blog and look forward to future collaborations. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.


Day 11: Watts & Co. Mantilla

We are approaching the last couple days of the 12 Days of Christmas series! Today we a have a review for something we have never reviewed before: a mantilla. This is a gift catered to all the ladies in your life.

Packaging for the Watts & Co. mantilla is A+. It comes in a nice black gift box with the company logo on the lid. Inside, the mantilla sits on a black velvety sponge cushion. A little card accompanies the mantilla with a thank you and a bit of info on the mantilla. It all looks very sleek; very much my aesthetic.

The mantilla is triangular, and is folded in triangles (I don’t know what it is but I find it so satisfying that they chose to fold it the way they did instead of trying to make it into a rectangle). I think perhaps the box is a little bigger than it needs to be, but it doesn’t take away from anything. The card in the box as well as the website say that the mantilla is made of ‘Leavers’ lace. I’m no lace expert, so I did a bit or research. ‘Leavers’ lace is among the most sought after types of lace, as it is very feminine and delicate. These qualities hold true for the mantilla. I’ve included some pictures of my mom (thanks mom!) with the mantilla on so you can get a feel for how it drapes.

I think the lace design is beautiful, and very soft to the touch. There are 3 colours offered on the website, each with a different lace design which I find interesting. While the designs are different, I find them all equally beautiful and very cohesive together. I suspect the pattern was made specifically for the production of these mantillas as the pattern follows the edge of the mantilla. One thing that I think can be improved is I couldn’t find information on what the material the fibers are; that would have been especially helpful in making a purchase decision and deciding on how to best care for it.

This is an item to be babied. The edges of the mantilla are raw, so the lace will fray if not handled with care. The lace itself is also very thin which adds to the delicate aspect, but it would likely tear or the pattern would be ruined if the mantilla snagged on something. The card also recommends that the mantilla be dry cleaned. In the very least, this is definitely not something I would put in a laundry machine.

Because this mantilla requires so much care and is more on the pricier end, I would recommend purchasing this for someone who is truly serious about using mantillas and is willing to go the extra mile to care for a particularly nice one. This is perhaps a good fit for someone who had been using a mantilla for some time and is looking for a beautiful, delicate one.

Watts and Co. has had a tradition of producing beautiful liturgical items, both the Paschal Stylus and this mantilla are fine examples of their elevation of beauty in the liturgical context. We hope to feature more of their work on our blog in the future.

You can check out the mantilla on their website here.

And that concludes day 10! I hope you’re looking forward to seeing us for the last day!

Disclaimer: The Catholic Man Reviews was provided a sample of this mantilla for an honest review of it on this blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Watts & Co. for the opportunity for us to review model on our blog and looks forward to future collaborations. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.

Day 10: The Catholic Gentleman Rosary by Rugged Rosaries

Beside books, rosaries are the second most reviewed items on our blog. Our blog as you may know is not only to providing reviews on books, but also as a resource to help others find their way to a more prayerful life. I hope we have and will continue to be a resource for readers on that end.

In season 2 of the 12 Days fo Christmas series (two years ago), my sister and I featured a sampler of rosaries from Rugged Rosaries thanks to a number of samples sent for review on our blog. This year, I wanted to feature a rosary, once again from Rugged Rosaries, but this one was not a sample. I bought this one off their shop, specifically The Catholic Gentleman Rosary, thanks to a review from Gabriel Castillo of the now popular Catholic YouTube Channel, Gabi After Hours.

At first, I was a bit hesitant on buying a new rosary because my family has so many already. A number of samples we have received for review on this blog have been given away to those who really wanted a rosary, or in whom I sensed needed a rosary. However, besides that, I still have a couple that have sentimental value. Yet, there is something about sentimental rosaries that merit them being used less… the fear of damaging them is something I have feared. Besides those ones, I also have some olive wood ones from Bethlehem and Jerusalem. After some time, the knots that separate the decades unravel, and while still usable, I fear beads dropping to the ground half-way through the rosary. I wanted a rosary that had not very much sentimental attachment, was of full-length, but able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use… the pulling in and out of backpacks and pockets, but would still look new. I wanted a manly pilgrim-rosary that I would bring with me on retreats and pilgrimages.

I think I have found that rosary with The Catholic Gentleman Rosary. It is a traditional 5-decade rosary with the traditional drop and crucifix. The centrepiece is the classic Rugged Rosaries intricate celtic knotting. I can end the review there… making it seem like any regular rosary, but I think it is above and beyond those plastic ones, or honestly, even some premium $100+rosaries we have featured on here. Here is the thing: the best rosary is the one that you will pray with. I personally find it hard to have and pray with a solid gold/silver rosary if I am scared that I am going to lose it and where it would stay is in a case, stored on a shelf somewhere.

The Catholic Gentleman Rosary is what the website calls a “heavy duty” rosary. Unlike most rosaries sold on Rugged Rosaries, this rosary has solid alloy-metal beads. Unlike the other rosaries I have used from Rugged Rosaries, this one has a nice weight to it, and I really like the weight of it. There is a sense of “masculinity” to this weight in my opinion, hence the name The Catholic Gentleman Rosary.

One of the features of this rosary is the unique crucifix used… if you get the chance to see the selection of crucifixes on Rugged Rosaries, you will see they have a large variety of quality crucifixes to choose from. Note, you can ask to switch out beads and/or crucifixes if you so desire. I chose to stick to the ‘original’ Catholic Gentleman Rosary with only one add-on I will get to in a minute… but back to the crucifix. The crucifix depicts our crucified Lord, but at the bottom is a little compartment with mud. The mud is from the Catacombs in Rome – it was in these Catacombs that martyrs and saints were buried, along with those who wished to be close to them. Every time I kiss the crucifix before and after the rosary, I am not only reminded of the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, but also the passion of the martyrs. Furthermore, it is like having a fragment of Rome with you. If you have read my personal blog, especially in The Catholic Man in Europe I wrote about my trip to Europe in 2019, Rome really stood out for me and left a mark on me, especially having the realization of being in a city where the Catholic Church and its history is made so alive in a tangible way. And so, each time I kiss the crucifix, I am reminded of Rome, the City of the Saints, the City of the Pope, the City of Roman Catholicism.

For the rosary, I asked for an add on of two split rings, with two more unattached for $0.01 USD each. The two attached to the rosary, I asked for them to be put on each side of the centrepiece knot. While Rugged Rosaries has a good selection of devotional medals that you can purchase as add-ons for $4.00 USD/medal, I had a few of my own that I wanted on this rosary. I already had a nice regular sized Latin-text Miraculous Medal (with fine details) that I obtained from a selection of used devotional items some years ago. I also had a number of St. Joseph medals with the Holy Family at the back. With that, I also had a Bl. Carlo Acutis medal I purchased from Editrice Shalom some months prior to getting The Catholic Gentleman Rosary. In other words, it was a fine combination of medals… I just needed some split rings, and just grateful that Rugged Rosaries had such option.

The rosary I use almost daily on my walks. The beads are large enough that even during the colder winter months, I can use my gloves and pray. I have also brought along with me for Adoration, retreat days, and even on my family’s pilgrimage to Ottawa-Montréal this past summer. One of the beautiful moments was when I was able to pull out the rosary and place it on the tombs of the two saints I encountered: St. André Bessette at St. Joseph’s Oratory, and St. Marguerite Bourgeoys at a small chapel in Old-Montreal, therefore, making this rosary a third-class relic. That is how I envision this pilgrim rosary: a spiritual aid and companion throughout my daily spiritual life, serving as a reminder that every day, I am on a much larger pilgrimage of life in this Church Militant.

I have really enjoyed praying with this rosary, and honestly, my favourite one thus far. I am glad to have made this purchase and have it as my companion, particularly of Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and the new Bl. Carlo Acutis whom I have a devotion to and who prayed the rosary everyday. I close my rosary with the following litany:

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Bl. Carlo Acutis, pray for us.

That is the story of my favourite rosary. How about you? Do you have a favourite rosary?

Remember, the best rosary is the one that you will use to pray with not once in a while, but frequently, daily.

Click here to check out The Catholic Gentleman Rosary by Rugged Rosaries.

Disclaimer: Vincent Pham purchased The Catholic Gentleman Rosary from Rugged Rosaries, and was in no way sponsored to write the above post. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Rugged Rosaries for their kindness and also their generosity. I also thank Gabi After Hours for inspiring me to pray the rosary more often. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.

Day 9: 365 of Catholic Wisdom by Deal W. Hudson (TAN Books)

365 Days of Catholic Wisdom: A Treasury of Truth, Beauty and Goodness published by TAN Books is the second year-long devotional featured in this series this year. What is with The Catholic Man and daily devotionals? I am not a Catholic guy who have used devotionals a whole lot, mainly because I have a reading routine, especially with review copies received (every read has been exciting and insightful… the reviews on here hopefully speaks to that) and so I get a good chunk of my spiritual reading from the books I get, as well as those in my personal library, mainly from book sales or as gifts. However, not many people can get spiritual reading done. Perhaps other priorities take over that chunk of reading time. Maybe spiritual reading is just not something you are willing to chip out time for… there can be excuse upon excuse to not do spiritual reading.

365 Days of Catholic Wisdom eBook by Deal W. Hudson - 9781505117158 |  Rakuten Kobo United States

If you want to get in a good habit of doing some spiritual reading, devotionals are way to get started, and I think TAN Books’ 365 Day of Catholic Wisdom does this well. There are 365 daily readings contained within this volume that does not start on any particular day. YOU get to choose when to start. It may be January 1? Or a particular feast day of a saint? Or on your birthday? While I think it is encouragable to go through the book 365 days straight, without any calendar-structure, you can technically read the passage every other day over a course of two-years, or even weekly, taking 365 weeks. In short, I think the format of how you can use the reflections in this book is fairly flexible. You can choose to adapt the time of reading to your schedule.

The range of wise Catholics features in hear span far and wide. There are the familiar names like St. Augustine, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Dante Alighieri, St. John Henry Newman and St. Thomas Aquinas, to name a few. There are many contemporary figures as well such as Marshall McLuhan, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, and a numnber of newer names (at least for me) like Dana Gioia and Anthony Esolen. There are some names whom I would have never considered if I were to compile a volume of “Catholic Wisdom,” liek the voices of Blaise Pascal and Charles Taylor – both of whom I have encountered in philosophy and ethics classes. This book can really open one up to the wide range of voices and gives one an opportunity to know a bit about some lesser known voices. The author and compiler of this volume, Deal W. Hudson states in his introduction,

The reader will wonder why some highly-regarded figures, such as Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul the Great are not included. The reasons are simple: first, their writings are available and already widely-read, and second, if I started choosing quotations from their writings, they could fill a book of their own.
This collection gathers the familiar with the unfamiliar, the philosopher with the poet, the historian with the mystic, the sinner with the saint.

I think Hudson does a great job in making these connections in this volume. It is, I think to not only get to know the well-known figures of the faith, but also, the lesser known and give value to those voices as well. The book is like a walk back and forth through history to see the difference schools of thought.

The quotes provided in this book have a wide variety of themes, from philosophical excerpts, poetry, theological texts, reflections on Catholic media… indeed something new for the reader to think of each time they pick up this volume. I think by the end of the year (or longer), the reader will have a better picture at how diverse Catholicism really is, and how Catholicity is not something weekly, but rather, be an identity engrained in every aspect of our lives.

Do not know who the author of the blurb is? Hudson provides a concise, but very informative biography of the writer after their excerpt. I always emphasize on this blog the need for contextualization of texts, and this is one of the great points about 365 Days of Catholic Wisdom. This is not a devotional that merely acts like a calendar… you know those tear-away calendars that might have pretty picture and then a quote, but no context on the author of the quote? While these tear-away calendars are inspirational, I personally do not think they evoke curiosity or inspiration. This devotional on the other hand, is able to prompt a curiosity for one to perhaps know more about the author, perhaps even look into their works. For me, it might be to add a couple more books on my shelf!

If you or your friend are new to spiritual reading or simply want to expand your horizons of Catholicism, then 365 Days of Catholic Wisdom is for you! It is indeed, “A Treasury of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.”

Check out the hardcover or eBook version on TAN Books.

Disclaimer: Vincent Pham was provided a review copy of 365 Days of Catholci Wisdom: A Treasury of Truth, Beauty and Goodness to provide an honest review of it on this blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks TAN Books for the opportunity for us to review this title on our blog and look forward to future collaborations. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.

Day 8: Metal Earth Notre Dame DIY model

It is day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts, and I am reviewing the DIY model of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France by Metal Earth. As you may know, the Cathedral is under extensive renovation and rebuilding after its 2019 fire. It nevertheless is a jewel of Gothic architecture in France, but more importantly for Catholics, it is a house of worship.

I compared the completed model to some photos of the cathedral and I think this is a fairly accurate model of it; there are no obvious differences (other than the size of course). The only difference I notice is that the circular windows are simplified on the model, but not so much so that is is jarring, and the overall style is still maintained. I can’t speak for how well it is scaled to the actual cathedral unfortunately; I can only say I think it appears well proportioned. The level of detail on this is great. There aren’t any windows or doors missing as far as I can tell. There are even bricks and roofing etched on to the metal that I think really makes it feel like a palm sized replica. There are varying levels of depth to the model as some pieces are assembled further in or even behind other pieces which I really like; they really did mean 3-D when they said it is a 3-D model.

The model claims to be made of high quality steel which I would agree with although I am not an expert. The thickness seems even throughout the sheet save for the etching, and it acquired minimal scratch marks in the construction process. Therefore, much care would need to be taken during the construction of this model. We’ve had this model on display for at least half of the year now, and it still looks the way it does when we first assembled it, but we do keep it at room temperature in a fairly dry place and don’t live in a high humidity climate. One extra detail I would like to mention is that there isn’t much unused space on the metal sheets, which means less waste.

Metal Earth has different models with different levels of difficulty and the model of Norte-Dame is listed as “Challenging”. Indeed it is challenging. Part of that is because the pieces are so small; the thin pillars surrounding the cathedral are just over one millimeter in width. Additionally, the metal it not very thick, especially since it has been scored to make it easier to fold. I don’t think changing the thickness would be an improvement because it would break too easily if it was any thinner but too hard to fold if it were thicker. Some of the pieces on our model turned out a little warped because of little mistakes we make and couldn’t really fix. There are also little tabs on the the edge of many pieces that are just over a millimeter and about 2 millimeters long which are inserted into other pieces then bent to hold the piece in place. This means you wouldn’t need to glue anything together; just the model is enough, but they are quite the challenge to bend. We had pliers and tweezers out to help assemble this model. Even punching the pieces out of the metal sheet was quite difficult. We found the depth of the etching to be good, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful. The process of putting the model together, from beginning to end, is not something to be rushed. Patience is key when building this model… you can sympathize with the many, many, many years it took to build Notre Dame de Paris.

One claim Metal Earth makes is that the instructions are easy to follow, but I find this debatable. It’s one of those instruction manuals that are all images, and I know some people that find that to not be enough (*cough* Vincent *cough*). I would suggest taking a look at the instructions for the model you are interested in on the Metal Earth website, and deciding if it is something you think you, or whoever you intend on gifting the model to, can follow.

Basically, there is a lot of opportunities for error with this model. I do really think it is great quality and the end result looks fantastic. I would recommend this particular model for someone that enjoys assembling 3-D models, has some experience with them and has a LOT of patience. There are other easier models that you choose to purchase instead. It comes down to what kind of theme you are looking for and what models you have access to. We look forward to future models of Churches and Cathedrals from Metla Earth.

View details of the Notre Dame model here.
Purchase the model here.

And that is a wrap for day 8! Be sure to come back tomorrow for day 9 of the series with Vincent!

Disclaimer: The Catholic Man Reviews was provided a sample of the Metal Earth Notre Dame DIY model for an honest review of it on this blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Metal Earth for the opportunity for us to review model on our blog and looks forward to future collaborations. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.