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  1. AIM OF MY BUILD LOG My aim with this build log, as with all my previous build logs, is to show how I have implemented the build instructions & plan sheets and to also share any tips, problems, etc. which may help others with their build. It will probably repeat / show several of the processes / instructions detailed in the official build manual and plan sheets. I really appreciate comments and likes on my build. BUILD LOG INDEX I have also set up a build log index to help you (and me!) locate the different sections of my build. Simply click on the links of the completed tasks to be taken to that post of the my build log. TASK TITLE (Click link on done tasks) STATUS 1 MDF Build Cradle Assembly Done 2 Stern Bulkhead Assembly Done 3 Bow Bulkhead Assembly Done 4 Bulkheads & Lower Deck Assembly Done 5 Longitudinal Gun Port Assembly Done 6 Lower Deck Coaming Assembly Done 7 Gun Deck Support Beams Done 8 Stern Counter Frame Assembly Done 9 Gun Deck, Gun Ports & Filler Blocks Done 10 Fitting Inner Bulwarks Done 11 Painting Inner Bulwarks Done 12 Cabin Seat Assembly Done 13 Adding Patterns to Bow Done 14 Building the Bulwark Jig(s) Done 15 Fairing the Hull Done 16 Adding the Upper Side Panels Done 17 First Planking - Part 1 Done 18 First Planking - Part 2 Done 19 First Planking - Part 3 Done 20 First Planking - Part 4 Done 21 Sanding 1st Planking Done 22 Fitting Outer Planking Patterns Done 23 2nd Planking - Stage 1 Done 24 Fitting wales WIP 25 Fitting wales WIP 26 Fitting wales WIP 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 36 39 40 OTHER HMS SPHINX BUILD LOGS James Hatch's Prototype Build Log - A must read build log Blue Ensign's Build Log Jasseji's Build Log Mark Taylor's Build Log myxyzptlyk Build Log
  2. I couldnt resist already setting up a Placeholder for the Build Log. Sadly my Sphinx is still stuck waiting for release back to UPS from The Gods of Customs and Taxation (Can take up to 10 days from that point i heard) I paid the fees already, it would be cheaper to drive the 800km up to Chris and pick it up and back, not Chris's fault of course, just FYI for those from Germany, the Fees add up to about 1/4 of the Kit's Price My Log will propably not be as Tidy and she wont turn out as pretty as the others but even failures need to be documented. Tools prepared: - Exacto Knife and a few Stanleys as Backup - Various Shapes Modeller Files - Sandpaper different grit and Sanding Block - Sanding Sticks - Assortment of Tweezers - Different Army Painter and Citadel Brushes - Automatic Pencil and 30cm Steel ruler - Planking Vice - Guillotine for cutting planks - Travel Iron for Edge-Bending - Home-Made Plank bender tool made from Pliers - Dremel with sanding discs and barrels - CLAMPS and Vices - Airbrush - Various Vallejo Paints - Model Color and Model Air - PVA Glue
  3. HMS Sphinx 1775 Sixth Rate 20 guns ship - 1:64 Scale model from Vanguard. This will be my latest project, a project the size and type of which, only a short while ago, I thought I would not be doing again. I hadn’t counted on Chris Watton’s ability to beguile me in this late stage of my model building career to return to another 18th century square rigged naval ship. However, as Jim’s prototype build developed, I thought what a fine Navy board style model this would make given the detail included in the kit, and importantly proper deck beams, and full run decks unimpeded by hull carcase bulkhead structures. The inclusion of an engraved proper lower deck with hatches and ladderways down to an orlop deck, is a nice touch and opens further opportunities. I will be building this kit as a Navy board style model without masts or rigging, and that way space considerations will not be a big issue. Joseph Marshall paintings of Sphynx / Sphinx held by the Science Museum. (They are available for purchase as prints.) These two perspective paintings by Joseph Marshall commissioned by George 111 will be my inspiration, as was his painting of the cutter Alert for that build. Altho’ delivery is still a week or so away, I am gathering information, and I have some jottings about possible additions/modifications, but I won’t pre-empt the arrival of the kit. I have also ordered the Lines and Profile plan from the N.M.M. (Ref j4272) Apart from providing additional information, these make very attractive art works to my eye at least, and the framed print will join those of Pegasus and Cheerful on my walls. I have also realised that my copy of The 24-Gun Frigate Pandora (AotS series – by John McKay and Ron Coleman) has much useful information relevant to Sphinx. So, as I continue finger tapping on my desk, in eager anticipation of that large box arriving, I will entertain myself poring over the pdf of the voluminous build manual. B.E. 11/08/2021
  4. Hello fellow modelers This build log will not be nearly as detailed as the other excellent logs by others. But I do want to share some of my experiences with this excellent kit. Got the kit on Friday and went to work on it the next day. Construction is incredibly logical and straightforward. I think anyone who has built just one kit can tackle this one. The instructions are just so incredibly detailed. I can't thank James and Chris enough for producing this incredible kit. I am ready to start placing the gun deck halves. To this point I have only encountered very minor issues that were easily solved. Some points: 1. Some of the gun deck support beams needed trimming to their upright leg length in order to fit snuggly. 2. With the longitudinal deck beams be careful if you clean them up. They can be somewhat fragile. I was cleaning the top of my first one and it broke. No problem as the break was clean and did not affect the construction. Also these beams have a tendency to spring back up amidships. I would advise using a very fast setting glue or place some weights on the ship in order to prevent this while your glue sets. 3. The stern counter frames are a very tight fit (which is good). After slotting all the bulkheads and other pieces I got used to a perfect fit. I could have sanded the slots a bit but I chose to use a few light taps of a hobby hammer. Very snug fit but those parts aren't going anywhere now. I'm really looking forward to the placement of the Upper Hull Side Patterns. The instructions talk about soaking and bending over a can and letting it dry for a day. I am hoping my method will work well and allow construction to proceed without the soaking/drying process. I recently picked up nice wood bender that was recommended by someone on this forum. It's a bit pricey ($150US) but so far in my modeling experience it is a wonderful, must have tool. I have done a few passes through the tool with the Upper Hull Side Pattern and it is curving very nicely. Once I get to that step I'll provide some more detail and pictures.
  5. Table of Contents Welcome to my build log for documenting the making of HM Cutter Alert by Vanguard Models. In order to keep this organized I have reserved this first post for a table of contents in order to allow future readers to jump ahead to sections they are interested in if so desired. Log #1: And So It Begins Log #2: Assembling the Frame Log #3: Designing the Deck Log #4: Final Assembly and Faring Log #5: Planking and then Re-Planking Log #6: Lining Off the Hull Log #7: Fixing More Errors Log #8: The Stern Bulkhead and Counter Log #9: Lining Up the Wales Log #10: Concerning Drop Planks Log #11: Adjusting the Second Band Log #12: The Garboard Strake Other Alert build logs I have found useful (not an exhaustive list): Blue Ensign (Finished) - A must read for anyone wanting to add some extra details to their kit glennard2523 (Finished) VTHokiEE (Finished) PhillH (Ongoing)
  6. Welcome to my HM Flirt build log. This sister ship of the more famous Speedy is a Vanguard Models product and Chris Watton design. For those of you who joined me on my build of Chuck Passaro’s HM Cheerful I'm letting you know up front I’m taking a more casual approach to this log. One reason is while I enjoyed doing it, my Cheerful log took almost as much time to prepare as it did to build the model. There I felt like so much of it was a new discovery for me or a skill I didn’t have when I started, I wanted to share it all, and as I noted in that log, to motivate others to embark on their own Cheerful build. As for HM Flirt @James H has already posted an outstanding build of this vessel, his log and photos are amazing. In addition @DelF has a terrific log for his build of HM Speedy. While the models represent two different actual ships, they are similar for model construction. I highly recommend Derek for his clever techniques and build quality. So if you didn’t stop reading or already deleted your checkmark in the ‘follow’ column I hope I can entertain you a bit as I move through the build. I feel a little bad, Chris was kind enough to ship me the first Flirt, Master Shipwright Edition kit sold. He marked that occasion by sending this laser engraved board with the kit. I had elected to start Cheerful first so I’m not the first kit started, or even close to it. James’ log provides a detailed layout of the box contents, I won’t repeat that here, but I do want to highlight a few things. Any builder starting their first model or enjoying their tenth should buy from Vanguard Models. From basic to advanced (I’ve already ordered HMS Sphinx) Chris provides the best pure boxed kit available. His designs are innovative, the accompanying instruction manual is thorough and detailed with both text and photo descriptions of every step, the many plan sheets are precise and comprehensive, the PE is plentiful and equally innovative, he includes accurate resin cannons, and as an option a beautiful pear block set. On top of all that the wood, both laser cut sheets (he does it himself) and strip wood are of the best quality. No brittle, discolored walnut breaking apart before you can use it. While the regular version is pear (a beautiful wood for modeling), the Master Shipwright edition is all boxwood. There is nothing like opening up the package and seeing all that gorgeous boxwood. (On a side note, I’m not sure if he’s producing any more Master Shipwright Editions, you’ll have to check with @chris watton, he’s here on MSW Forums). Just a small diversion before moving on with the build. This is the just completed model my 8 year old granddaughter and I built over the summer. Her choice of colors and painting. She and my wife made the sails, I helped guide the build but the majority of the work is hers. I made the stand from left over Alaskan Yellow Cedar and added the brass plate to commemorate the finish. Anyway…proud Papa. Back to the build. I started as we all do by fitting the bulkheads to the former. The Master Shipwright version provides these in birch ply, as I shared with Chris I think prefer MDF at this scale, at least the quality of MDF in Vanguard kits. The ply isn’t the easiest to fit together and sanding takes a lot more work to get the same result on MDF. This is high grade ply made to be just as it is, quite firm and durable. I double down on gluing, first in the slots and then along the slot seams using a brush. The wood will break before these joints do. -4866T Though I didn't take a photo beforehand I thinned the deadwood and along the sternpost before adding any of the bulkheads using my finger plane and chisels (easier to do with the former laying flat). I elected to thin the area to 2mm, I still want enough for the sternpost to attach to the former. There is plenty of meat in the first planking, I can thin as needed to eventually match the sternpost to the thickness of second planing. I added filler parts 19 and 20 to the bow area, and thinking I knew what I was doing without consulting the instructions I added part 21 next to those. However part 21 is for the stern area, not the bow. It won’t hurt anything to be there and in fact probably helps, so I just fabricated part “21b” from the bulkhead sheet scrap and added it to the stern, problem solved. The instructions call for fairing these filler parts and the first and last couple of bulkheads before installing to the former. I was a bit reluctant to do this but was glad I did, especially with the unyielding ply. I used my Dremel with a sanding drum and was careful not to overdo it. This just in, wood doesn’t go back on once converted to sawdust. I’m going to use the maple engraved deck that comes with the Master Shipwright Edition. I lightly sanded it with 320 grit, added a coat of WOP, and repeated those steps twice more. I think it looks great and for this model it will be the deck. I’ve planked plenty of decks, I’m looking forward to this simple approach this time around. The lower deck is also engraved ply, in addition to supporting the frame it adds a nice touch to what little can be seen through hatches and deck ladders. Just for fun I added red paint to this area and later to other pillars and beams partially visible on the lower deck. There’s also a door, I’m not sure if it will be seen but it’s cool knowing its there. After first installing the four stern frame parts I added the counter. I soaked it in water, rubber banded it to a piece of PVC pipe I keep for the occasion and let it dry. I soaked it again then glued and clamped it using a round dowel, and idea borrowed from Derek, to get and keep it the designed curve. Next up was the transom, I had to maneuver the stern frames a little to get them in the right positions, hence the extra clamps. And really why use one or two clamps when eight are so much more fun, and no the ship didn’t tilt backwards…much. I used Titebond wood glue for everything described so far. I gave it a day to dry before moving to everyone’s favorite part of a build, Fairing The Hull. There is no overstating how important it is to take my time and do this right. It took me two days, with breaks in between, to get it done (I’ll have to note the high quality birch ply made it more fun, adding to the time). The instructions recommend using one of the lime strips as a batten, I prefer a much thinner more flexible wood strip to run along all the bulkheads (the blue tape is just for the photo), using it to identify and remove imperfections to get a smooth run. Up, down, in the middle, at the ends, 3-5 bulkheads at a time. When it contacts everything it spans without gaps I’m almost there, I do it all again because I know I missed something, then one more time after I’m sure I’m right, cause I’m not. This is more obvious at the bow, very often I find the overlooked part of fairing is not stem to bulkhead 2 to 3, it’s the turn from 3 to 4/5, when the sharp bow starts to become the wider beam. Also always a challenge and a later regret if not done right is the steep slope required from the counter to about three bulkheads forward. I got the starboard right but had to fight to get the port side to comply and stay equal to the port. With my dusk mask set aside and my room dust filter turned back to normal from its highest setting the frame is faired and ready for gunport patterns and the first planking. I didn’t mention it, but notice other design features Chris has added. Both the lower and upper deck are also frame support, two lengths of beam are installed running fore and aft for both deck support and squaring up the bulkheads. An innovation I’ve never seen is the boxwood stem piece with slots that serve as the rabit for the planking. This part is notched and slotted between the fillers, it the last thing added to the frame. It wasn’t there to be scarred by the fairing process. It is also the base for the interlocking stem that won’t be added until later, thus saving it from a beating. How many of us have scratched and damaged the stem, normally a part of the frame from the beginning. Cool stuff this Vanguard Model. A few further thoughts on fairing: I leave the back edge of the char on the forward bulkheads and the front edge on the aft bulkheads as a guide when fairing to make sure I keep the hull’s proper shape. I also start taking micro-measurements of the width and height of bulkheads at the bow and stern at multiple spots to match port and starboard. It’s pretty easy to get carried away and get it all lopsided. It’s also important to not say good enough. Most if not all the char other than the edges I mentioned should be gone when you’re done. Oh, and I think parts 21 and 21b worked out just fine once faired. Gunport patterns and first planking are next. Time to get out the plank bending station. I guess I wasn't very brief after all.
  7. 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
  8. Good Morning, It's been a while since I have been active in the forum, but that doesn't mean I haven't been active in my workshop. I have just finished my second Bluenose model, this one for my daughter. I didn't do a build log for it as it would be virtually identical to my first one. I ordered and receive the Speedy for my next project, but it no sooner arrived that I got a call from my near-by fellow ship modeller, Peter, who asked me if I would like to take on an Agamemnon. It had been his late father's who had started it, but been unable to finish it. Peter already had other things on his model-building plate, and since this particular type and era of vessel is not his chief area of interest, he thought it might appeal to me. He was right, however it is a pretty daunting project. The first planking is finished, the gunports are framed, the framework for the stern installed and the lower deck is planked. Everything to this point is beautifully done; I hope it isn't downhill from here. I will soon start a separate build log for this project. For the first time ever, I have two projects at once. I think I may work on them simultaneously. The idea of being able to move back and forth as the spirit moves me has some appeal. So with all that preamble over, here is my work on the Speedy so far. I have to admit that I am approaching this build log with a great deal of trepidation. There is some pretty impressive work out there and the bar has been set very high. I almost can't believe how precisely the parts have been cut - they fit together perfectly. I did a little pre-beveling on the first and last bulkheads. Notwithstanding the shiny bright finish on the deck of my Bluenose, for these naval vessels, I always prefer a grey finish. I've noticed that not too many others finish their decks that way, but I tend to like them. I wasn't sure how it would work on the etched deck of this model, but fortunately I was able to experiment on the lower deck which is almost completely unseen. I use artists' acrylic paint and make a very thin wash of gray, tempered with some yellow and/or brown. It worked quite well with this etched deck. The lines between the planks show up just the right amount. In a few spots the wash had overfilled the lines, so I ran a razor blade along them very lightly and it worked beautifully. I think I have just a bit too much yellow in my gray mix on this lower deck. For the upper deck, I'll make the colour just a bit grayer. It was great having this "practice" deck to work on. That's it for now. Thanks, David
  9. This will be my log for the Sphinx from Vanguard Models. It's due to come in the morning. I've been gathering paints (and testing them) and some odds and ends like sand papers. Today , I'm clearing the workshop, etc. Once it's here, I'll start posting to my log. This should be a fun project and also, a bit of re-learning.
  10. 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.
  11. New Log for Speedy.... PREVIOUSLY - I started building Speedy January 2020 while in temporary accommodation and then moving into a new house - didn’t go well . Though fixable it seemed better to start afresh - so I asked Chris Watton to supply some hull parts which he did at a very reasonable charge I decided that old log was very messy and it would be best to start anew.
  12. I finally succumbed and started work on my Christmas present, the second version of the HM Alert 1777 by Vanguard Models. I also picked up my first foray into the Anatomy of the Ship series, The Naval Cutter Alert 1777 by Peter Goodwin. I'm not certain how much I will stray from the kit (certainly not as much as Blue Ensign) but I think that it will be a useful guide and will hopefully help resolve any questions that I have as they arise. I think I might need a bigger workbench to fit that beautiful manual on. I started by removing the false keel and the bulkheads and here you can notice one of the differences between the initial release and this second edition. The false keel and the rudder post are not keyed together anymore. This allows the rudder post to be added after (at least, I don't have the errata sheet in front of me) the initial planking. After a dry fit (bulkhead 10 is installed incorrectly here 😬), I added a bearding line to help with sanding down the false keel. Working on the half hull planking kit from the NRG helped me understand exactly what I was doing in this step. After sanding down the keep I sanded down the last bulkhead to get the proper angle. Dry fitted the false deck (I hope I'm not messing up my terminology) and gently rested the ship in my new building slip (and wow is this building slip overkill for this model). There are a few questions that I have to ponder since the manual still reflects the initial release instead of the second version (with the keyless rudder post) so I have to consider when to install bulkhead 10. I'll probably finish up my half hull before continuing too far on the Alert, but I had the day off and the half hull was in a different location so I couldn't resist starting.
  13. Well, my bench has been idle for long enough... HMS Sphinx is the next major release from Vanguard Models, and as per the previous 4 main kit releases and the 8 ship's boats, I'll be building up the production prototype and creating the instruction manual. Just a little 'ye potted historie' of Sphinx: She was a 20-gun sixth rate launched in 1775. Captured by the French in September 1779, she was recaptured by HMS Prosperpine on 29 November 1779. Sphinx was finally broken up in 1811. Onwards... One thing you'll note if you buy the completed kit is that there's quite a weight. Chris shipped me two complete sets of wooden parts (and some fittings), and that pack, minus any plans, heavy manual or the numerous sets of photo-etch, came in at a whopping 7kg. Factor in around half that weight, plus those missing items, and you'll see it's a bumper pack. There are over thirty sheets of laser cut material, also incorporating the three ship's boats (a good number of different thicknesses). Apart from the MDF sheets which comprise the Sphinx's skeleton, a ply sheet with the lower deck etc, laser-engraved maple decks, the rest of the material is pearwood. Two bundles of strip wood are included; the obligatory lime for first planking, and some 0.8mm thick pear for second planking. The colour is this really is very nice. There are numerous changes between the first test hull Chris built and featured on MSW, and this version, with deleted parts, new parts, and things which have been improved further to make building even more enjoyable. I now have a few days of acquainting myself with the original reference build pics before I can start this, probably this coming weekend. Cannon are in black resin and nigh on ready to use. They look really nice, and the cannon balls are in black plastic, so no painting. Boat beam brackets are in very strong resin, and there is a sheet of laser-cut acetate for the stern/quarter windows. The stern fascia is cast in resin and also looks seriously nice. The figurehead is beautifully detailed and 3D printed. Stern lanterns will be from PE and resin. The colours on this will be very similar to the Duchess of Kingston, but with red inner bulwarks. Whilst my build will be strictly 'out of box', the scope for extra detailing the cabin at the stern, will be more than a temptation for some, with that engraved, chequered floor and engraved doors to the quarter galleries. As there will undoubtedly be questions I can't answer, feel free to use this log to also ask Chris questions that are specific to this release. I'm sure he'll chime in with any extra contents details I missed here. Wish me luck ☘️
  14. Hello – have decided to do HMS Flirt as my next build having seen the excellent reviews and build logs of various Vanguard Models ships on this site. Chris Watton has certainly done a beautiful job and was somewhat hesitant to make a start on this build as it will probably be downhill from here and not do Chris any justice even though the instruction book is a work of art on its own. Have followed James H and gone for a white background instead of my usual black but have not as yet got any clever photoshop programs to improve the backdrop. Anyway first stage done. For some reason which I don't know why I decided to fill in the vertical gap on bulkhead 10 using the part from the mdf sheet. Door fixed in place and a small eyelet and blobs of glue for door handle. Thanks for looking. Regards Doug
  15. Hi all, After finishing VM's Lady Eleanor Fifie the other day I wanted some downtime. But by the next day the Flirt box had somehow found it's way into the shipyard, opened itself and started assembling parts...strange! Truthfully, I just couldn't stop myself. I haven't even read through the manual once or even looked at the plans. So that needs to be rectified over the next few days before further building continues (he says). I have read through the excellent Flirt builds on MSW and will take notes from them to supplement VM's instructions. Having built VM's Lady Eleanor I'm now a bit more familiar with the excellent layout style of the manual, the plans and how they relate to each other. I don't expect the Flirt instructions to be any different. Having experience of a company's way of conveying instructions shortens the learning curve. So here's a couple of pics to get started.... Below - manual, box cover and cradle. I think I actually prefer the wooden cradle to the plastic version. It's stronger and more rigid - I might try to paint/varnish the wooden version when all is done and use it as Flirt's permanent display cradle - we'll see. And some parts have already been dry fitted together.... The build should gather momentum once I've spent time reading the instructions and cribbing from MSW Flirt builds. And that's all for now, catch you soon, Richard
  16. I have just ordered the HM Alert (V2) from Vanguard Models and I am looking forward to receiving the kit next week (UPS delivery scheduled for Tuesday 6th April). I am currently rigging the Duchess of Kingston (Vanguard Models) which should be completed in a few weeks time. I choose the Alert for my next build as I think it will fit the gap between the completion of the DOK build and the release of the Sphinx kit from Vanguard Models release in few months time.
  17. We’ll, I’ve got the itch again, and the only way to scratch it is…. Here we go again. By the time I was about halfway through my build of the Vanguard Zulu “Lady Isabella”, I was so impressed with the design, engineering and quality of the product that I thought I should get my hands on another of Chris’ kits, before they proved to be no longer available, for some reason. It’s pretty clear I didn’t need to worry, as it seems that Vanguard is a success, and I hope that Chris is making a go of the business. Nonetheless, I bought the HMS Flirt kit, and it’s been sitting on the shelf, waiting for me, since the middle of last year. I bought the standard version of the kit, because I just love the color and the quality of the pear wood. I know lots of folks love the boxwood material, but I just think the color and character of pear is preferable, at least to my eye. Personal taste, I suppose. But the Zulu had such beautiful details rendered in pear, and I really love it. I did purchase the optional pearwood block set, and the optional ship’s launch “mini kit” which comes in its own adorable little custom cardboard box. It’s almost like it’s a model for one of my daughter’s “American Girl” dolls. So, off we go. I’ve been building for about a week, so I’ve gone a little bit down the road. I’ve been taking some photos along the way, and I’ll be posting soon. My goals with this build is take on something a bit more complex and challenging than the Zulu, and to learn a lot as I go. I’m planning to stick pretty closely to the stock kit and Chris’ plans, but I’ll likely add a few custom details along the way, as appropriate and as I pick up skills and ideas (that’s pretty much how I approached the Zulu). I’ll probably rig up the cannons, for example. Any ideas you all have that you think would be helpful or interesting, I’m all ears.
  18. Hello all. This is my first attempt at a ship model of this complexity, and coincidentally my first build log. I recently completed Model Shipways' 18th Century Longboat in 1:48 (I still need to take some proper photos and get those posted), had a really great time with it, and started looking around for my next project. I had read lots of reviews and some other build logs about Vanguard Models' HMS Speedy kit in 1:64, and everyone seemed to agree that it was a very well designed kit. That sounded ideal for a relative beginner like me, and then there was the matter of the actual size of the model. I live in an apartment in Union City, NJ with under 1000 square feet (and a wife and a cat), and doing something even the size of a little brig or ship sloop in 1:48 seemed impractical. It was a question of Speedy or HMS Pegasus, and in the end Speedy won because she seemed a little bit simpler. Well, Vanguard shipped the model extremely quickly, and it was with me in only about 4 days I think. Speedy indeed. I've been very impressed with the look of the fittings, and it seems that the kit has undergone a few waves of improvement, which is nice to see. For example, I had seen pictures of an older version of the photo engraved deck sheet that had some inconsistent burn marks. This version is dated only to May I think, and looks like a significant improvement. Some delicate parts that were originally supplied in MDF are now supplied in stronger plywood. That sort of thing. The instruction book looks very detailed, and has a great many pictures to illustrate the process. The mdf frames fit together so well that the first steps of the model have gone much faster than I had anticipated, so I am starting this build log slightly ahead of where I had intended to. I've gotten as far as attaching the stern pieces, and am going to start fairing the bulkheads tomorrow. As I say, this is the first time I've done a kit of this complexity, so if you see me doing something wrong, or are just spontaneously moved to offer advice, please don't keep it to yourself! -James
  19. Erycina was a Plymouth Ketch-Rigged Trawler, launched as a cutter in 1882 and converted to a Ketch in 1894. This is one of three next subjects from Vanguard Models, following on from their previous Fifie and Zulu fishers. I'll be starting build logs for the other fishers when I'm ready. One of those, Nisha, will be built concurrently with this one. Out of Erycina and Nisha, Erycina is the large one, as you'll see from a cut test prototype in a photo below. Again, construction is an MDF core, with lime/pear planking and an engraved maple deck. There will be sail sets available for these. Here is Erycina! Here's some photos of the initial test prototype which is refined to make the production parts. Erycina is of course the larger vessel: My HMS Sphinx is now in the last days of work, so I'll be taking a day or so off afterwards to indulge in my PlayStation5 and mindless killing in Assassin's Creed, then work on this will begin. Until then, here are the parts (minus planks). More when I have it
  20. 'Nisha' was a Brixham 'Mumble-bee' from 1907. I will be building this one concurrently with 'Erycina' for release around the same time. All I currently require for this one is the photo-etch and sails, which should be with me quite shortly. While there is no picture of Nisha, here's a photo of another 'Mumble Bee' class fisher. This one is smaller than Erycina and very petite. Like that one and other kits in VM's range, this starts with an MDF core, plenty of bulkheads with bevel lines on them, and a nice selection of pear in numerous thicknesses. An MDF construction cradle is supplied as well as an acrylic stand for display. Also some nice 3D printed and brass parts too. Again, I've not shown the plank strips here or the dowel for the masts. Note the shrouds and rats in the above pic. Ok, I'm still on my personally enforced 7-day workshop hiatus, so I can spend my spare time on my new PlayStation, but I do have the original prototype photos to study too, so both models will be started next Monday. Until then...
  21. Having just finished Granado I am now starting HMS Speedy, Lord Cochrane's brig. He assumed command in 1800 and is the model for the fictional Jack Aubrey in Patrick O'Brian's wonderful series of books.
  22. Building a Fifie Well Chris has done it again, he does have a knack of producing very appealing kits. When I saw Chris’s kit of this iconic Fishing vessel of North East Scotland, it seemed to meet a particular need I have at this moment. In the present covid 19 situation I have been feeling a little restless, a little unsettled, with a reluctance to commit to a more involved project such as my Royal Barge kit, as I had intended, following completion of the Alert Cutter build. The Fifie fits the bill. A model of moderate size that won’t require casing. Straightforward construction unlikely to present me with excess brain ache or worry. A relatively short build-time project. A project allowing me to research a vessel type I’ve little knowledge of and an excuse to buy more books – already arrived. and finally a change from the naval vessels I have been building over the past many years to date. I did wonder about doing a build log on the Fifie, given that James H has mostly detailed the kit both in his kit preview and build log. However, writing about a model as I build it is something I have got used to doing, and it will also fill in time during our current lockdown situation. The kit arrived today, securely packaged. First impressions are very good, a beautifully presented manual, and clear plans together with great materials. Two things that particularly caught my eye. The maple veneer laser cut deck, nice colour and layout; I doubt I will bother individually planking the deck on this one. The sail set; I’ve never been a fan of cloth provided sails on models invariably too thick and coarse. The sails provided with the Fifie (albeit at extra cost) are altogether different. The material is fine and soft, the stitching and bolt ropes beautifully done, and I’m pleased I invested in this ‘extra’ So to work, I don’t anticipate going ‘off piste’ too much with this build, but there may be little tweaks here and there as I proceed, and these I will mention as I go along, but it is likely to be a fairly short log. B.E. 12/05/2020
  23. Hi all, The Lady Eleanor box arrived a couple of months ago. Well packaged and no damage during delivery. So, after finishing my Dallas Cutter a few days ago, I couldn't wait to start on my Fifie. I was also curious to see how kit parts design had moved on since my 25yr old Dallas had been manufactured. A quick check of what was in the box, read through of the Manual and Plans, and then on to sepearating the first parts from the wooden sheets. I have to say that there is a night and day difference between the 25yr old Dallas parts and Fifie parts. That's not to disparage the Dallas - it was good in it's day and maybe forced one to 'work harder', but the laser cut Fifie parts are so easy to remove from their sheets and fit together with astonishing accuracy. Below, some bulkheads beveled as requested and about to be fitted to the false keel, with Part 19 gingerly sitting in position. PVA (...too much!) brushed on to the bulkheads. Now the soldering procedure! Clamps holding the prow and stern parts in position. Note: The next day these new red clamps has left an oily stain on the wood - release oil from the plastic mould, I guess. I'll have to clean them all for any exterior work. Parts 21 & 22 PVA'ed into position, and the whole lot left overnight to set. Next day....now....I did enjoy putting the decking on the Dallas and I see Blue Ensign has done such with his build (https://modelshipworld.com/topic/24212-lady-eleanor-by-blue-ensign-vanguard-models-scale-164/?tab=comments#comment-712627). He's also done a lot more 'tweaks' that I'd love to also try but are maybe over ambitious for my current skill level. I did find some left-over decking (or hull planking?) from the Dallas that I might have enough of to deck the Fifie. So pondering now what my next move is regarding decking. In the meantime, I saw this short BBC clip on the Reaper... The Boats that Built Britain for BBC... https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=53&v=-CsnfkP6kzI&feature=emb_logo I noticed the decking looks quite dark in the clip, as it does in these stills .... https://www.scotfishmuseum.org/blog/post.php?s=2020-07-09-protecting-the-reaper-during-lockdown-and-beyond Regards, Richard
  24. After deciding to try out this hobby I made my first mistake. I selected a ship that had poor instructions and did not have a single build log on this site. I have put that model on the shelf for now and decided to look for a model more fitting to be built by a newcomer. After seeing and reading the build logs by James H and BE I was very interested in building the Lady Eleanor for my first ship build. The Vanguard model site had the complete manual for this kit available for reading. That convinced me that between the other build logs and the very complete instructions that this was a good kit for a total newbies first build. The model is extremely well built and the directions take a beginner thru the steps assuming you know very little about ship building and terminology. I really appreciate the instruction detail and there are plenty of photos to help visually with the build. The initial building of the bulkheads on to the false keel was very easy. The bulkheads fit snugly into the keel and required no squaring. Here is the ship assembled with the bulkhead and sub structure put together.
  25. I’ve been encouraged to start a log for my build of this beautiful kit, the “Lady Isabella” by Chris Watton and Vanguard Models. This is my first ever wooden ship model. So I’m thirsty for knowledge and eager for thoughtful input. I’ve been a life-long architectural and plastic kit modeler, and wood worker, so I’m fairly handy with my hands, but I need to learn so much about best practices in this discipline. I’ll be posting up a few photos soon as I have the time over the weekend, and I’ll catch you all up to where I am in the process. Many thanks to my new and helpful friends, Chris Watton and James Hatch who have been very encouraging and patient with all of my newbie questions. I am having the most fun with this build. Looking forward to sharing a bit of my joy with you all. -Erik
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