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  1. After a short break since finishing HMS Speedy I thought I'd better start DoK, not least because I've already pre-ordered HMS Sphynx! As with Speedy, I accepted Chris's offer to do a boxwood version and I also went for the pearwood blocks and deadeyes having been very impressed with them on Speedy. As with Speedy I'll probably make my own boxwood masts but I've yet to decide whether or not to plank the decks in boxwood. This worked well for Speedy, but the maple decks in this kit look really good and I might be tempted to retain them. However I really like making my own rope on my Syren rope rocket and I'm keen to try out the Gutermann Mara thread Chuck Pasarro recommends, so I'll probably spend a day or so spinning up all I need for this build in one go. I've also decided not to produce such a detailed log this time round. I'll still document the main stages and cover any new techniques in detail, but I see little point in repeating exhaustive descriptions of stuff I covered in the Speedy log. Instead, I'll include links where appropriate so if people are interested they won't have to go round the houses to find the information they need. Also, James (@James H) produced such a good log for the prototype with such fine photos that repetition on my part would be redundant. So, my first impression on opening the box was that this is another quality offering. All the components look good, but I was particularly impressed with the manual, the 13 sheets of plans, the photoetch and the laser cut sheets of MDF and timber. Now that Chris has his own laser cutter the results are even neater, with minimum tabs to cut through and numbers etched on each part to aid identification: The manual suggests bevelling the three foremost and three aftmost frames before fitting. I used the flexible shaft attachment on the Proxxon tool to sand the bevels. A dusty job, for which I wore a mask and set up a vacuum hose to pull in as much dust as possible: After bevelling these parts it took just a couple of hours to get to this stage: Following the kit instructions again, I dry fitted all the parts before brushing slightly diluted PVA into all the joins. I'd not tried this before but it worked really well. I found that every part fitted snuggly without any fettling, and the whole structure felt very solid. I initially used a brush to apply the glue but found it quite slow so I dug out an applicator I'd made some time ago out of a hypodermic syringe whose needle I'd blunted. I got the hypos in bulk from Amazon. The last job today was to fit the cabin deck and the foredeck base. The cabin deck will only just be visible on the completed model so I was happy to go with the maple in advance of a final decision on boxwood for the more prominent decks. The decks fitted well so the weights and pins are probably unnecessary but I tend to take a belt and braces approach on the key hull and deck structures. If I continue at this pace I'll be finished before the next Olympics! Derek
  2. Several months ago I ordered the kit from Vanguard Models. I knew I wouldn't be starting it for a while, but thought shipping from UK might be slow. It was not. The kit was delivered hardly a week after I ordered it, so it's been sitting here teasing me to get started. The box has something I found quite amusing. It says "not suitable for children under 36 months". Really? Maybe it meant 36 years! Unfortunately, I'm over qualified age wise, but not necessarily skill wise. This is my 4th build, but really my 3rd major build. The other kits I've built were all Model Shipways, so this kit is a big step up in quality (and price). My first impression is you get what you pay for. For someone that's only seen Model Shipways kits, this one is kind of amazing. And that's not meant to slam Model Shipways, because their kits, especially those designed by Chuck are good and much, much less expensive than this one. For less expensive kits, they are excellent. That said, I can see myself getting spoiled building kits (or maybe even a scratch build) with parts of this quality.
  3. I am joining the other Duchess build logs as I get started on this kit. I had ordered it a few months ago and I am finally ready to start it. I am currently building the frame but I won't go into detail here as it is very straight forward and many other build logs have gone through the process. I will add more content when I start planking or earlier if I run into problems.
  4. Getting ready to make a start on the Duchess. Just finishing off Lady Eleanor hull. Once I start on rigging then will make a start on Duchess. Find it helps to have two models on go at different stages so I can take a break from one and do something different for a bit. Plus I really do need to get going on Winnie again and get fairing done whilst we have some fine weather. Probably wont be much content added to this log until I make some progress but want to get in habit of keeping a log.
  5. I have already pre ordered this new model kit from Vanguard Models which is due to be released tomorrow. I plan to take my time with this build and it will start as a low priority side project whilst I complete by current project (Robert E Lee Paddlewheel Steamboat). I will start the build log in earnest after receipt of the kit. The build log of the prototype build by James Hatch was very informative and made the decision the buy this kit very easy. Also I was very impressed with Chris Watton's design, quality of materials and the standard of the build manual and plans with Speedy and I believe he has gone to another level with this kit.
  6. Hi All, Like Bob (Rafine) I'm in between chapters with the Winnie and the Duchess of Kingston caught my eye. I thought it would be a great change of pace and Chris's Vanguards models have looked so good I had to give it a try. I started a little while ago and have been meaning to post my progress but everything I'm in the shop I get distracted and start working on the DOK. The hull pieces all went together very smoothly. I didn't have to adjust any and all slots were a nice firm fit. I too dry assembled it and then used a brush to apply the wood glue. After assembling the hull I added the fore and aft sub decks and the cross braces. Be careful adding the sub deck. The two up right circled below are fragile and can be easily damaged like I did. Luckily I could move them back in place and glue them and all is well.
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