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James H

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About James H

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  • Birthday 02/26/1970

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    Horwich, Lancashire, UK
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    Foreign cuisine, Japan, travel in general, modelling in timber and plastics, photography.

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  1. Lovely work so far. Nice clean deck planking and frame assembly. I'll be following this.
  2. 1:32 Fifie – The Scottish Motor Fishing Vessel Amati Catalogue # 1300/09 Available from Amati for €220.00 The Fifie is a design of sailing boat developed on the east coast of Scotland. It was a traditional fishing boat used by Scottish fishermen from the 1850s until well into the 20th century. These boats were mainly used to fish for herring using drift nets, and along with other designs of boat were known as herring drifters. While the boats varied in design, they can be categorised by their vertical stem and stern, their long straight keel and wide beam. These attributes made the Fifies very stable in the water and allowed them to carry a very large set of sails. The long keel, however, made them difficult to manoeuvre in small harbours. Sailing Fifies had two masts with the standard rig consisting of a main dipping lug sail and a mizzen standing lug sail. The masts were positioned far forward and aft on the boat to give the maximum clear working space amidships. A large Fifie could reach just over 20 metres in length. Because of their large sail area, they were very fast sailing boats. Fifies built after 1860 were all decked and from the 1870s onwards the bigger boats were built with carvel planking, i.e. the planks were laid edge to edge instead of the overlapping clinker style of previous boats. The introduction of steam powered capstans in the 1890s, to help raising the lugs sails, allowed the size of these vessels to increase from 30 foot to over 70 foot in length. From about 1905 onwards sailing Fifies were gradually fitted with engines and converted to motorised vessels. There are few surviving examples of this type of fishing boat still in existence. The Scottish Fisheries Museum based in Anstruther, Fife, has restored and still sails a classic example of this type of vessel named the Reaper. The Swan Trust in Lerwick, Shetland have restored and maintain another Fifie, The Swan, as a sail training vessel. She now takes over 1000 trainees each year and has taken trainees to participate in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races to ports in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland as well as around the UK. Extract from Wikipedia The kit Fifie is packed into a large, heavy box that certainly hints that there’s a good quantity of material included to build this historic fishing vessel in all its glorious 1:32 scale. I do admit to particularly liking this scale, having built plastic models for many years and indeed for magazine publication. It’s definitely something I can relate to when eyeing up the various dimensions and features. Amati’s presentation is flawless and certainly stands out, with its large, glossy lid that captures an attractive view of the Fifie. It has to be noted here that the hull is usually fully painted, with green being common above the waterline, but this model was finished to show off the beauty of the walnut timber supplied in the kit. And why not! For those that don’t know, this kit, under the Victory Models label, was designed by Chris Watton. Many of you should be familiar with that name and his design pedigree. At 1:32, this kit is no shrinking violet in terms of size. Fifie is 700mm long, 470mm wide and with a height of 230mm (sans masts). Lifting the lid does indeed show a box crammed with materials. Inside, we have several bundles of timber, plus a packet of timber dowel/strip/metal rod/tube, a thick packet containing numerous laser-cut sheets, another packet with plans and photo etch, and underneath the main timber, we have sail cloth and fittings packs. Thick foam is included to stop the main materials from banging around in the box. Strip wood Fifie has a double-planked hull, with the first layer being constructed from 1.5mm x 7mm lime strips. These, like many of the other bundles, are 600mm long, and very cleanly cut with no fuzzy edges Sixty-five of these are supplied. The same quality goes for the second planking layer, which is supplied as 90 strips of 1mm x 6mm walnut which is some of the best I’ve seen in a kit. There is little colour variation in these, and they look pleasantly uniform. I’ve always found Amati’s timber quality to be exceptional and this is no different. As well as elastic to hold the bundles some labels are also included to help identity the material. Other strip wood is included (beech and walnut) for such things as deck planking, caulking (yes, caulk plank!), lining the various deck hatches, sheathing the deckhouse structures, rubbing strakes etc. These bundles are both taped and bound with elastic, with the deck planking having an identifying label also. Cutting is clean and precise. Dowel and tube/rod Various lengths of dowel is included for masting, false keel strengthening pins etc. and thicker strip wood for the timberheads. All is supplied in a nice uniform walnut colour….no nasty walnut dyes/stains in this kit! These latter lengths are also packaged into a thick clear sleeve, unlike the others. Note also various lengths of brass and copper wire, as timberheads well as some copper tube. Some mounting parts are included for RC conversion, but you will need to purchase other items to complete the model for radio. MDF sheet items Again, Amati has made extensive use of 4mm MDF for the hull false keel and bulkheads, and all are laser-cut, as are all individual wooden items in this kit. Cutting looks very precise with very little in the way of scorching, apart from very localised discolouration. I know many don’t like MDF as a material for our models, but MDF sands easily and is also warp-free, lending itself to a nice, true hull. You won’t see any of this when you start to lay planks. There are FOUR sheets of this material, and you’ll notice that there aren’t any parts numbers engraved on here. You will need to refer to the first two sheets of plans which contain the parts references. A single sheet of 2mm MDF contains parts such as the four-piece deck, cleats, and the bulkheads and keel for Fifie’s single launch vessel. There is also a single 6mm sheet of MDF (sheet 2698-B) which contains the four parts needed for the cradle. I’ve seen numerous sites which now sell this model claim that no stand is included with this model. Well, this sort of proves that statement incorrect. This is the same cradle shown on the box lid images. Of course, you’ll need a suitable MDF primer for this, and some nice coats of gloss lacquer to get the best from this. Ply sheet parts SIX sheets of thin ply are included for just about every other timber construction elements of Fifie, including the deckhouse, deck superstructures, keel sheathing, and bulwark capping strip. Again, all parts are laser-cut and will require minimal effort to remove any edge char. Fittings Two boxes of fittings are included in the very bottom of the Fifie kit box. Some of the weight bearing down has caused a small crack in the two vac-form fittings boxes, as you can see, but all parts within are absolutely fine. The first box contains the cast metal propeller, deck buckets, ship’s wheel, rigging blocks, life preserver rings and a whole load of beautifully smooth wooden balls for making the many buoys which sit on Fifie’s deck. These are perfectly circular, yet the ones on the box image are slightly shaped. Instructions show these as the balls, and you could perhaps opt to use a little putty to add some shape to these. The second fitting box contains seven spools of rigging cord in both black and natural colours, nails, various cast fittings such as bollards, plus rudder pintles, anchors etc. Copper eyelets, chain and ferrules etc. make up the set. Sail cloth Should you wish to add sails, then enough material is supplied for you, in bleached white cloth. Photo-etch Very few kits come without photo-etch parts these days, and this is no exception, with TWO sheets of 0.7mm brass with a very high number of included parts. A quick scan around the sheets will easily identify parts for the mast bases, steam winch, engine skylight, capstan, deck hand pump, wheel assembly, herring shovel, tabernacle, mast rings, etc. Acetate and card I have to say I’m not entirely sure what the card/cartridge paper is for except for maybe general use, but the thin acetate is obviously for the cabin windows. Instructions and plans Without a doubt, Amati produce some of the very best instruction manuals to come with any model kit. For reference, check out my Orient Express Sleeping Car review and that of Revenge. Fifie is no different with a luxurious and fully-pictorial, 64-page publication. Whilst this isn’t perfect-bound as with the previous reviews, it is in full colour and produced to a standard that’s still far higher than many contemporary manufacturers, with each stage being shown under construction so you get a perfect idea about what is required at that point in construction. Text is also in English, or at least in the sample I have been sent. The rear of the manual contains a complete components list. Backing up this publication is a set of seven plan sheets. The first two of these are for identifying the various timber and PE parts. The others show general profile and detail imagery, as well as masting and rig drawings. Remember that the hull itself is built entirely from the photographic sequences so everything you see on these drawings is for external details. Conclusion I have to say that you get a lot of kit for your money with Fifie, and when I first asked Amati what they envisaged the RRP to be, I was quite surprised at this. Everything about Fifie is quality, from the packaging and presentation, to the beautiful, photographic manual, fittings, sheet and strip timber, all the way to the superbly drawn plans. I’m very surprised that the gestation period has taken so long for them to bring this excellent kit to market. It’s also a Chris Watton thoroughbred. If you’ve seen his previous designs, then you’ll be familiar with the format of Fifie, which was quite the different vessel for Chris to tackle, when everyone seemed to think he would only design fighting vessels, armed to the teeth with cannon. I must admit that Fifie did take me quite by surprise too. The very shape of this iconic and historic vessel is so homely and welcoming and for me, invokes images of those times when fishing communities were happy and thriving. Whether you’re a fan of Chris’s work or not, Fifie is most certainly a kit that you should consider dropping into your virtual shopping cart next time you visit your favourite online model ship/boat retailer, and of course, if RC is your thing, then this kit will also suit your genre! VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Amati for sending out the sample kit you see reviewed here. To purchase directly click the link at the top of the article to take you to Amati’s online shop or check out your country’s local distributor. Plans are also available from Amati, for €21.00
  3. James H

    cats

    Moved topic to Shore Leave
  4. I see you are using Chrome, on a Windows-based system. Perhaps changing the theme of your browser or a possible plugin/setting will change it? MSW has zero control over how your browser works with viewed content such as this website. Check these links for more help: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/scrollbar-customizer/flffekjijpabhjgpoapooggncnmcjopa?hl=en https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/75s7OsukrVY
  5. Ok, it's what I thought. Unless @Dubz can enlighten me, this is how your browser deals with screen content, and not an actual coding change in our theme.
  6. I'm still struggling with what the actual issue is with 'tabs'. Can someone screenshot this for me so I understand better? If it's what I'm thinking of, it isn't something MSW can sort, but the way your browser interacts with content. That would be beyond our control..
  7. Scroll tab? Do you mean the bar that slides down the right hand side of the screen? If so, I'm pretty sure that isn't a website issue, and it could be coloured dependent on the theme you're using. Have you tried using a different site theme, using the button/menu at the bottom of the screen?
  8. Those look good. If only I had the skills to paint them 🤣
  9. James H

    New reviews

    So pleased you like them. More to come too, with kits from Amati (including their new Fifie), Master Korabel and @MarisStella.hr etc.
  10. I don't think the exactitudes matter too much to an enthusiastic youngster, as they do to more seasoned modellers with knowledge of ship design. This modeller is just really enthused to be building a wooden ship
  11. I gave this kit to a young man who wanted to try building model ships, and he has now started! Great to see the next generation at work
  12. 1:135 H.M.S. Bounty Amati ‘First Step’ series Catalogue # 600/04 Available from Amati HMS Bounty, also known as HM Armed Vessel Bounty, was a small merchant vessel that the Royal Navy purchased for a botanical mission. The ship was sent to the Pacific Ocean under the command of William Bligh to acquire breadfruit plants and transport them to British possessions in the West Indies. That mission was never completed due to a mutiny led by acting lieutenant Fletcher Christian. This incident is now popularly known as the mutiny on the Bounty. The mutineers later burned Bounty while she was moored at Pitcairn Island. An American adventurer rediscovered the remains of the Bounty in 1957 and various parts of it have been salvaged since then. Extract from Wikipedia The kit This is the second of the three Amati ‘First Step’kits that I have for review here on Model Ship World. As with the previous review of their Santa Maria, also in this range, this kit is aimed at the newcomer to this hobby, who want to see a fair and decent result without having to be hands-on with all of the various skills needed and tools required by a more complex kit. The kit is packed into an attractive and glossy box which isn’t too large and certainly won’t dominate your workbench. A photo of the completed model adorns the box-art, showing you that the results from such a simple kit are actually very pleasing and certainly not shabby at all! Note also the dimensions of the finished model are 26cm in length, 28cm in height, with an overall width of 6cm (although according to plans, that last measurement is actually 9.6cm at the widest yardarm). Opening the box, you’ll note that the modeller isn’t inundated with a mindboggling array of materials, but instead things are kept nice and simple, with a small bundle of timber, pre-shaped hull halves, small packet of sheet material, flags, fittings box, manual and single plan sheet. As noted, the hull in this model is solid, and provided as halves, as per the Santa Maria. In fact, the parts themselves appear to be a standard, and identical to the previous kit, and indeed to the review which will later follow this one. These parts are nicely carved and shaped, with just a sanding and sealing needed to finish them before painting. Internally, you’ll note the two holes which appear on each half. These are to fix the dowels to which locate the parts together, with the false keel being sandwiched in between them. That false keel is made from MDF and included on a laser-cut sheet with a number of other parts for the quarterlight windows and transom sections. Quality is excellent but remember to wear a mask if you need to sand any MDF at any time. A thin, laser-cut ply sheet is included, being the last of the sheets of parts in this kit. Here you will find parts for the bow timbers, transom windows, quarterlight windows and the mast tops. Being laser-cut some parts may need any char removing from the edges before use. As with all First Step kits, this includes a wooden plinth onto which your model will mount. Turned walnut pedestals are also included. A small bundle of both strip and dowel is included. Strip looks like Lime, and the dowel is Ramin. Quality is very good, as you expect from Amati, with clean cutting and an even appearance. Printed paper is included for the flags. These are designed to be folded around the rigging lines, providing a face on each side. You will need to manipulate these so that they hang naturally. A large piece of off-white sail cloth is also included too. You will need to use the templates on the main plan sheet and transfer the shapes to the fabric before you add any boltrope and stitching. As with all Amati kits, the familiar plastic fittings box is included. This compartmentalised box contains parts for the windlass etc., plastic moulded grating, rigging cord, turned walnut pedestals, set of two anchors, nails, cast ships launch windows, lanterns and figurehead, eyelets, rings and some rather attractive cast cannon which look amazing despite their tiny scale. A large, single sheet plan is included, printed on both sides. The first side shows the ship in plan and side elevations, as a complete masted and rigged vessel, with locations for the various deck fittings etc., plus a set of templates for the ten sails that need to be made if you wish to have your model adorned with them. On the reverse, there are masting illustrations, and rigging drawings. These look very straightforward to follow and shouldn’t present any problems to a novice. Bounty’s instruction manual is a 10-page affair, printed in black and white with the model broken down into 16 constructional sequences. All are accompanied with English text and annotation, with the drawings themselves being very easy to follow. Painting references are provided throughout. The last page of the manual includes a parts list that you can use to check off against the kit to ensure there’s nothing missing. Conclusion Another great little introductory model from Amati, designed to ensure a trouble-free move across into this great hobby, and without compromising on the finished result. Everything us here that you need, apart from paint and glue. This would also make a nice project for a seasoned modeller who perhaps just wants a little side project for a friend etc. Either way, it’s a very worthwhile kit that is certainly worthy of your consideration. My sincere thanks to Amati for the sample reviewed here. To purchase, click the link at the top of this article.
  13. If you have Adobe Lightroom, it converts RAW images to JPG on export.
  14. Fantastic! Looks great so far. Any tips?
  15. I think you're right....it was the media. And wasn't the phrase 'virtually unsinkable'?

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