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After receiving the new HMS Speedy kit from Vanguard Models as a Christmas present I was determined to leave it in its box until I’d finished off at least one of the other two model projects currently on the stocks. However as soon as I opened the box I knew I was going to have a hard time resisting the temptation. Chris Watton has done a great job in producing this, the second ship in his new range. I went for the limited edition Model Shipwright version, with boxwood second planking and a host of other goodies. There’s a wealth of information on the kit and its development elsewhere on the forum (Vanguard Models news), and in the first Speedy build log Vane has summarised information about Thomas Cochrane and his famous ship (Vane's Speedy log) so I won’t repeat all that here. Suffice to say, everything about the kit oozes quality. Everything was well packaged and labelled, and supported by ten sheets of plans and a full colour build manual. The sheer number of parts was eye-opening, especially for such a comparatively small vessel. The parts list itemises nearly 1,000 individual photo-etch components - 1,433 if you include the copper plates. Plus of course hundreds of other metal, wood and resin items. The first sign that my determination to be patient was crumbling was when I decided to knock up a building board just to be ready when I needed it. Needless to say, the sight of the building board sitting there on my workbench asking to be used quickly eroded further resistance, and I started construction yesterday. I quickly realised that the building board was more or less redundant. The frames were all a good fit on the false keel with zero sanding, and once the lower deck and the various longitudinal beams were added, the whole structure was perfectly straight, square and rigid. Once the lower deck is fitted, the next task is to attach the last few frames at the bow and stern. At first I was a bit dubious about Chris's advice on these, which is to do the initial bevelling off the model. However in practice this seems to work well, particularly on the half dozen filler pieces which would have been difficult to fair in situ. Today I’m going to crack on with the upper deck and various tricky timbers in the stern. Derek
HMS Speedy – 5th build I got too many kits in the shipyard, but I have been really curious on Chris Watton's new line of model kits. I also very much wants to support the establishment of Vanguard Models so when I got the opportunity to order one of the first boxes of the HMS Speedy I didnt hesitate. It will come in 3 different version and I picked the "no compromise" edition called Master Shipwright which is limited to 20 kits. https://vanguardmodels.co.uk/ . The HMS Speedy will make a very nice addition to my other ships from the "Nelson era". History According to Chris Watton, HMS Speedy was a 14-gun small brig and one of the first generations of new naval brigs, and her lines were more of a hybrid between a sleek cutter and brig. She was a small vessel for her class, but what she lacked in size and raw gunpower, she more than made up for in character. Speedy had a very active history, being captured in 1794 by French frigates and then recaptured in March the following year. After Cochrane lost her (in an unwinnable battle), Speedy was renamed Saint Pierre and presented to the pope by Napoleon himself. It is while commanding Speedy that Cochrane made his name. This was his first command, and the combination of this aggressive commander and Speedy ensured that they would be a thorn in the side of the French and Spanish navies, culminating in the remarkable exploit of taking the Spanish 32-gun frigate Gamo (with xebec hull and rig form). Cochrane led 48 of his crew (almost all of them) up the sides of the frigate, which had over 300 men and eventually took the ship. The kit The first impression of this kit is simply "wow"! Everything packed very nicely and protected. Other kits I have bought has been quickly packed with sawdust and manuals with folded paper etc. Here you can really see that someone has made an effort in protection and layout. I have just briefly looked at all the wood and the parts and its simply way beyond what I have worked with previously. Only problem is that if I get used to this level of quality I wont be able to go back to my other kits. This particular version includes Laser cut MDF, 0.8mm ply and pearwood parts and high-quality boxwood strip for second planking. Machined pearwood block and deadeyes The book Cochrane the Dauntless: The Life and Adventures of Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 1775-1860 More details on the kit will come soon.