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Found 9 results

  1. Bought this very old Corel Unicorn kit for pennies a while back....whilst doing the rigging on Bellona, I need something else to do as rigging gets on my nerves. Will post some pics soon.
  2. ***NOTE - in January 2016, I decided to close this build log. I'll be building the Lyme as a new scratch build using the NMM plans, rather than try to bash the Corel Unicorn kit*** ***NOTE - in August 2014, I decided to build the HMS Lyme, the sister ship to the Unicorn, by bashing the Corel Unicorn kit. So, the log until then will be referring a lot to the Unicorn*** Hi my friends, now that I finished the Badger, I'm moving onto my second build, which will be the Corel Unicorn. The kit is scale 1:75, which ends up being approximately 33" in length and 29" in height, and some sites rate it as an "intermediate level" build. It doesn't look like it is too complicated a kit, but I plan to attempt a number of enhancements to the build which should raise the difficulty a bit. I was sold on the kit after coming across my friend Ian Major's beautiful build on here, so I blame him for my foray into this model -- hopefully my build comes out half as well as his In addition to Ian, ZyZux and Ollyweb have build logs on here, and Petervisser has a completed Unicorn in the completed kits gallery - so, plenty of good company as I no doubt will need help along the way. As other builders of the kit will tell you, it looks like Corel was very confused about the history of the Unicorn. Not only does the box imply the ship was built in 1790, but in the instructions, Corel says that Fredrik Henrik af Chapman designed the ship in 1700. Only problem is that Chapman was born in 1721 The instructions are correct that the "Architectura Navalis Mercatoria," which reproduces 62 plates from Chapman's ship engineering work (including the Unicorn), was published in Stockholm in 1768. Not only do the instructions have the history wrong, but the design of the ship with the narrow waist seems to be incorrect according to the frigate history outlined in Robert Gardiner's "The Sailing Frigate." In any event, the inaccuracies of the kit are well documented in the MSW link below. http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/2444-quality-of-corel-kits/ The Lyme and the Unicorn actually played an important part in British naval history. According to Gardiner's "The Sailing Frigate," the Lyme and the Unicorn were the first "true frigates." During the 1740s, the fifth and sixth rate vessels in the British navy were deemed inadequate, so it was decided that the navy would copy a captured French ship. British 24s had a heavily framed full-height lower deck while their French counterparts had a light platform lower deck with reduced headroom positioned just below the waterline (which compressed the height of the topside) along with an unarmed quarterdeck and forecastle and minimal barricades or rails. According to Gardiner, the fine lines and light framing made for fast and weatherly ships. The British ultimately copied the lines of the privateer Tygre, and launched the Lyme and the Unicorn in 1748 (these were referred to as the Lyme class). Apparently, the design was of such great success, that eventually 20 ships were built of this design. Some other tidbits in the Wikipedia links below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Lyme_(1748) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Unicorn_(1748)
  3. Started about 7 years ago and lost confidence after completing the hull. Restarted a couple of weeks ago . Here are some of the early build photos Have added cannons and top deck and I am proceeding with the bow and stern .After studying Chapman's Drawing I decided to reposition the Unicorn behind the Prow.. Will post some more updated photos shortly Mike
  4. Hello Everyone, First of all thank you all for the amazing posts you have shared and all the great tips. Ive been reading and following all of these inspiring builds and am stalled out and need a push and some suggestions. I started my build over a year ago and trying to figure out how to make the keel and stem look better before I continue with the rudder. And on deck, I lost a ladder I made last year (yes made it cause it was fun to play with J ) and am on the fence with the one other ladder ive made, they don’t seem to be the right scale unless you’re a giant. Im on a cargo ship in the Indian Ocean at the moment so am not sure how picture uploading will go due to satellite internet but will try. Many of you know the difficulties of this Corel kit, im thinking many items are a bit large like belaying pins blocks buttons etc.
  5. After too many years of arm chair ship modeling interest, I have rejoined the fold, in a more active roll, at the prompting of colleagues in our newly formed ship model forum in Rochester, NY. Having been away for so long I needed a project to reawaken my skills, I chose a Corel kit of HMS Unicorn dating back to the 1980's I acquired from the defunct Bliss Marine. I have had an off again, on again relationship with the kit as I came to realize there were flaws in its authentic nature. Research on MSW and through the internet made me aware of its flaws (something like that pretty girl you got to know that wasn't that pretty inside if you get my drift). In the MSW section on"Model Ship Kits....Reviews" I documented observations I made regarding the hull comparison to the Chapman drawing in 'Architectura Navalis Mercatoria". In summary "I didn't think we could have a long term relationship" (in boy/girl parlance). As a result I stared to put it aside until I received from Campbell Ross, in Alberta Canada, some of the ship's log for the Unicorn of 1747! He was quite familiar with the vessel as he is from England and had lived close by the preservation site of the current Unicorn. That turned me around. So as with anything in life I began breaking down what was troubling me about this vessel's authenticity. In a nut shell (and this relates to the hull only): * The stem is a bit odd in shape by comparison (it has been modified to come closer to Chapman and it has been extended to enable placement of the figurehead on top of the stem reach (this should also allow a more realistic head-rail treatment)) * The stern is too steep by comparison it has been modified somewhat to address this. I may extend its upper width if I don't get in trouble with the counter. * Chapman's depiction shows 26 guns on the upper deck, while Corel shows 24. To get to the 26 guns Chapman depicts a gun port just forward of the side gallery (starboard). Odd it should be that close to the gallery windows?? Secondly the Chapman plate shows a gun port forward of the fore mast. Corel does not. * Lastly mast spacing is not the same (more on this later) * An update (2/24): I over-layed the new keel over the Chapman drawing (at the same scale) before reattaching. Didn't think to do this earlier. Although modified as stated it does not match to my satisfaction. The Chapman plate depicts a more "bulbous" bow below the waterline. Hmmm, another compromise as it is much too difficult to modify the false keel and new keel at this point. Having the Chapman source is a two edged sword isn't it? So in compromise I have redone the false keel by cutting "the keel" off at the bearding line (there is none on the kit) and rebuilding it as shown in the photo. I used cherry laminated to bass to achieve a "look" I am headed for. In my next installment i will address the gun port solution (if there is one) and the assembly of the bulkheads onto the false keel. Over time the false keel has warped so I will have to address that as well.
  6. You have seen build logs for exceptional models on MSW - now for one from the opposite end of the skill spectrum! Brief history of the model to date. I have been working on this kit of the Unicorn on and off since 1975. It was probably one of the first sets produced since its diagrams are dated February 1974. The manufacturers “quantity surveyors” were obviously not up to speed evidenced by the shortfalls in some of the materials. For example, the kit supplies 32 cannon but included only 12 wheels for them, the material for planking the decks only covered two thirds of the upper deck let alone trying to cover the fore and quarter decks. The instructions were interesting. They were supplied in 3 different languages (OK), but there were three copies of the parts list all in Italian. From the logs that I have seen of later builds of this kit no mention was made of these issues so I assume it was an early life problem. The kit problems compounded by living long periods in hotels in a variety of countries as part of my work made progress very slow – in fact it ground to a halt. For some years the model became the base from which miniature Daleks could wage war or what ever it was my children were doing with it. Throughout these Inter Galactic Wars the ship demonstrated that she was a tough old bird sustaining very little damage. On my retirement I decided that I was going to produce some 7mm scale locomotives for each of my four children – you know the sort of thing – something to remember the old fool by. However my daughter basically said that I could keep my locomotives, she would much prefer “that old boat”. So construction restarted. I was in the process of fitting the deck furniture and preparing the spars ready for rigging when I decided to try to get an answer to a problem that had been confusing me for some time. This related to the rack that sits astride the jib (sorry guys – I did know its name from a previous posting – but I forgot what it was). In the kit diagram number 2 item 142 it is shown with 11 holes. The rigging schedule indicates 10 holes required. The plastic casting supplied has 9 holes. Doh! In searching for information I found build logs for two excellent renditions of this model which introduced me to MSW. Sadly I don’t know the names of the builders. I do hope their logs can be regenerated. I have copies of some of their pictures which I use for reference. What I found raised more questions in my mind than answers. I decided to maintain my “Lurker” status for a while whilst researching the job in hand and also learning the MSW etiquette. When I started I didn’t know my futtocks from my rat lines. Now at least I know that futtocks is not a naughty word. I have attached (I hope) two photographs of the model as is. The first is a view of the starboard side of the hull. The other Unicorn models had their hulls painted. Mine is "au naturelle" relying on the colours of the different woods supplied in the kit. The newer additions, all in beech, stand out having not been exposed to the elements. An example is the steps down the side of the hull which stick out like a sore thumb - compounded by their crude outline. The lower part of the hull is planked in mahogany. Over time this had faded from its original reddish brown to almost white so I used walnut wood stain to return its colour. I also stained the keel at the same time. Appart from that the other woods are untouched. So you can get an idea of what an unpainted model may look like after 40 years. I had painted the frames of the plastic windows gold but this needs refreshing. The decorative castings around the rear of the ship were far too big so I filed them down to their current size. They still overhang to the rear. There is some sign of corrosion around the castings but they should clean up OK before they are painted. I am debating with myself whether to paint the detail of this castings in reds and blues or to stick with all gold to match the rest of the "au naturelle" look. You may notice the poor old figurehead has lost the end of its horn. This was damaged before I received the kit. I will at a later stage amputate the rest and form a new brass one to be screwed in. The second view is looking down on to the deck. There is still evidence of long term dust around the cannon which I need to address. (Any views on how you keep a ship clean that is not in a glass case?) The two previous Unicorn build logs differed in their rigging. One using a modified schedule from the kit the other used the method given in the book “Rigging Period Ship Models” by Lennarth Petersson. I have decided to go with schedule based on the latter. I have now bought the book. It is a fascinating book in its own right. It documents the rigging of a contemporaneous model of the frigate Melampus. Strictly Melampus is a much later frigate than Unicorn so I should base my rigging plans on information given in “The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War, 1625-1860” by James Lees but I I am afraid I balked at the £145 asking price on Amazon. The current position is that I need additional wood to make fittings for the proposed rigging. That is on order. My workship is being revamped so more work in ernest on the model should begin in a couple weeks starting with deck rings as per the Winchelsea plans. In my next posting I will pull together the information that I have gleaned for Unicorn including links to reference data. The historical information supplied in the kit can most kindly be described as fanciful! I will also offer my views on the accuracy of the kit plus any points around my model that may be of interest. Ian M.
  7. Greetings!!! After resting from ship modelling for 2 months, I am finally back! (Not a long time tough... ) I've been lucky enough to win this kit from an auction at a cheaper price right after my Race Horse, and it's in great condition. She arrived my door 2 weeks after that, and I've been studying the plans and instruction since then. Thanks to Ianmajor and Mike who had discussed about this ship earlier in other topic, so I can now plan for some modification on this ship. The wide waist of the Unicorn really makes this model a good ship to add more fittings on. Anyway, here's some quick peeks to the kit. Brief Introduction According to Corel Kit Historically, the frigate Unicorn has left as no tales of outstanding war feats or important enterprises, those which often mark the career of a man of-war so that be remembered even after his disappearance. All we know is that this ship has been designed by F.H. af Chapman for H.M.S Fleet in 1700s. On the other hand we have many accurate data regarding its construction. In fact, Chapman, member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences in his admirable volume "Architectura Navalis Mercatoria" printed in Stockholm in 1768, gives an extremely detailed account of the calculation relating to the design of the ship and not only the constructional ones, but also those relating to the study hydrodynamic-resistances. All this together with a most beautiful drawing of the frigate, which have used to develop this model. The results of Chapman hydrodynamic investigation are clearly visible in the lines of the hull which are quite advanced for the epoch in which the ship has been built. So... In conclusion, even Corel doesn't really understand much about the ship! You can try search through the internet or wikipedia, and you will find there were around 6 Unicorns between 17th to 18th Century!! LOL!! Here's the link. Anyway, I do agree with Ianmajor that this HMS Unicorn is the one as mentioned in wikipedia which serviced from year 1747 to 1771. "... the Unicorn having a beakhead bow, a unicorn figurehead , two-light quarter galleries and only five pairs of quarterdeck gunports... " This line describes real close to the ship Check here if you're interested to know However, whether it's historical accurate or not, I'm gonna kit bash it Time to unbox!! The instruction plans of Corel is a bit... err... mehh... The font used is too small... might need magnifying glass (just pretend the sunglasses as magnifying glass ) Anyway, the picture instruction are good Excellent wood quality Some well cut strips.. Same goes to dowels Shiny figure head Terrible capstan... Despite the excellent quality of the wood strips and dowels, some fittings are badly shaped.. This is one example. Smaller blocks and gratings are to be trashed too I love this!!! Even the cannons are already blackened! And the stern gallery... hmm I don't blame the manufacturers for this, there's no way they can provide their customers well carved galleries.. planning to remake them. It's challenging, but learn a new skill.. y not? I'm overall satisfy with this kit. at least the wood quality is much better than Sergal ones.. oh ya, the ship cradle is included too! I've just done putting on the bulkheads, but haven't taken pictures.. Will upload them soon! Cheers!
  8. Greetings to all, I decided to start a build log for my current work on Corel's HMS Unicorn. I started this kit a long time ago,nearly completing the hull planking before taking a hiatus. After retiring and moving to a house with a small work area I started on the project again. This was also spurred on by finding this forum and reading the posts of others like Ian and Mike,who worked their way through the problems found with this kit,which was one of the reasons work ceased. I have now finished the hull and gun deck planking. The rudder. . I am working on the transom and galleries. Next the gallery roofs and bottoms need to be finished. I will post the progress of the build in more detail from this point forward. John

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