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HMS Racehorse by AndyW - Sergal - Scale 1:48

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Be gentle........I also appologise for the preamble,


This is a partial build log so a bit of history behind it first.


About 10 years ago I was still into my SIBs..




My first clipper about 15 years ago, and a couple of others I still have.






I was bought the Racehorse as a gift, at the time advertised as a good beginners model. (wish at the time I had the resources of this site). I soldiered on with the construction and lost heart in it, inexperience, bad instructions, the decks ended up out, the hull was oddly shaped particularily on one side, so it went into a storage box to be completed later.


I moved on to other artistic endevours, airbrushing and pinstriping.




Flying Cloud under full sail (circular disc) copy and some changes of a battle scene airbrushed.


Anyway, a recent conversation with a collegue gave me the drive to take a new look at the model, so out the box she came.


Wont go into the previous attempted repairs, but start on the new. The build is a double plank kit. This was heavily rubbed down, and filled, bow reshaped, third layer of planks added.


Sanded and......this extra layer of planks added some more issues. Then issues with bending some of the woods....the usual, snaps and much cursing :).


My wife has given new drive to complete the model, its my 50th in July, she has seen my enthusiasm again in my ships, purchasing a Victory kit for me, along the lines it will take me a while to build and I will have more association with it.


So through need, the Racehorse is not historically accurate, I am attempting to build a model that I will be pleased with in the end, she has also become experimental in seeing what works.




Have adapted the paint scheme, the rest will be satin varnish.




Decided to copper the hull, (not correct lol) one side completed.




Other side completed, started some brass work, will weather/age the copper as bright copper doesnt work for this, while I have seen some beautiful versions of this model varnished, there has always been elements that havent looked right to me.


Then will be back to working round the deck.

Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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  • 2 months later...

like a bus, none for a while then all at once :)


Added the bowsprit, gammoning and lashing.




Then some other pieces of furniture.






Then had a think, as the plans showed the gammoning applied in two different ways.




Meanwhile I played with the anchors.




I tried the supplied etched inserts wor the windows and hated them so trying scratch built arrangement instead.




After a rethink and to add more contrast to the rigging reworked the gammoning and the brass, to something more satisfying.






A bit more on deck features









Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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Hi, my first kit was the Resoloution by Corel but didnt want to spoil it so got the Racehorse and built that first. Unfortunatly have to agree that it is an awful kit. I stuck with it, made a lot of modifications and it turned out reasonably well.


so stick with it as it is useful for practice. It is about as Inaccurate as it can possibly get but you can find pictures of earlier bomb vessels that are very simular. Interestingly the vessel Nelson was in was Carcuss, the sister ship to this was called Thunder. The nearest vessel in design was an earlier Thunder, I decided to rename mine Thunder of 1747.

Current Build(s):

  • H.M.S Diana 1794 - Caldercraft 1:64 Scale


Completed Builds:





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Hi, yes it does make for good practice, as for any accuracy think a lot of this model was done from imagination by Sergal.


Apparently, when she was captured from the French she was a three masted 18 gun frigate, but because of the 18 guns Royal Navy designation was a sloop, she was then converted to a bomb vessel, back to a sloop, then a bomb vessel again then renamed. As to when the third mast was removed or if it was.


Tried to look up the Thunder option, then seriously considered ripping a lot of it apart and building the Granado. But have decided to see her through to the bitter end.



Channels fitted.




Add dead eyes, deck fittings, some satin varnish,









Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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  • 4 months later...

You and me both, Medic!  I set mine down for about six months and am only now getting back to it.  Andy, how did you fit the channels?  I've been pondering on it today, and have almost decided to cut holes into the hull to insert the tabs on the channels.  What did you do?  

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Morning to you both, been on a long haul flight so just catching up.


I do have some updated pics , as I have started the rigging.


For the channels I cheated lol.


I removed the little back tabs as I found that if you left them on the brass holders for the eyes wouldn't fit, so basically the channels had to be flush to the hull.


After removing the tabs/lugs, I shaped the back edge slightly to hull form, then fitted two small dowels to give extra strength.


Beauty of this you now have, dowel, full back edge contact and contact along the length under the strake, so nice and solid when glued.

Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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Just give it your all Andy, and use it to hone your skills.  The end result will look good.

David B

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Ok so as this my first kit i'm finding everything difficult for i am just a simple nurse. Firstly can someone explain the channel thing to me slowly start with what it is... maybe i know as something different but more likely i have know idea.



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Dg yes that has become the goal, I have the victory sitting in the box, but determined to still make this a nice model.


Medic, this kit was described as a good beginner kit, it isn't, it can lead to frustration, my instructions were very vague and not really in the self explanatory line.

So many have made changes, and completed things my way as there was so many inconsistencies.


With regards to channels, see the "sideboards" at 90 degrees to the hull, with the dead eyes mounted, these are the channels on this kit.

Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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Got the memory card out to up load some new progress pictures, so either I changed cameras which is a possibility, or for some reason forgot to take the pictures.


Anyway hopefully tomorrow I shall get some, the after shrouds are now rigged, still have the rat lines to do.


The anchors are also fitted as are the stays at the bowsprit.


Here I have moved away from the kit supplied rigging on the whole as it appears too small for the scale. Also I used 2mm for the anchor hawse.


Another addition was also to do away with the kit supplied brass spade eyes is the best I can describe them, for wired eyes instead. These make a big difference to the overall look.


Promise pictures tomorrow.

Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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There are a couple of books out there that will be a big help both of them can be found on Amazon for a decent price. 

Ship Modeling Simplified by Frank Mastitni and Ship Models From Kits.  These two books will help you get started.

David B

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Thanks for the heads up David.  I picked up a good book on rigging by Lennarth Petersson 'Rigging Period ship models'. And have a couple of step by step DVD's by Modellers Shipyard, but for me nothing substitutes talking to a guy who's done it. And in this particular example the 'done it' is HMS Racehorse.



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Mark, I would also add to David's list is ship modelling from stem to stern, published by Roth, invaluable with the amount of information, tips and guides.


The thing with this model, it seems a strange model for Sergal to have adopted, limited history so limited information available.


When captured from the French she was classed as a frigate, she had 3 masts, the third mast was removed by the Royal Navy and the vessel re classed.


The plans can be contradictory so bear watching, to be honest I gave up on the instructions and have built in general straight off the plans.


I don't understand the capstan on the poop deck, why would you run the anchor hawse the full length of the ship, most ships of this type appear to have had a horizontal capstan arrangement at the forward end.


The brass window inserts I ditched as they looked terrible.


When attaching the dead eyes, pre drill, cut the length of the pins, these are too long and can cause no end of heart ache.


Scratch built the window frames






Dead eyes attached to Chanel and start rigging the shrouds




Fore end rigging, use of brass eyes instead of the spades.










As you may have noticed the rigging looks different to the picture on the box, I wanted contrast.

All the brown rigging is carried out with 1.0mm thread at the moment, including the gammoning of the bowsprit, that's the term if you aren't familiar with the binding of the bowsprit.


Despite the time invested I nearly tore into this and rebuilt as the Grenado, lots of info available, but, I am using this as a training excessive for the Victory, which is waiting patiently for me to build on completion of this one.


Will be a couple of weeks before any more progress but feel free to ask if I can give any pointers at any time.

Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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Thanks Andy,

I hope to finish the 2nd planking shortly so should post pics then. My current cunudrum is to paint or not to paint. Like you so aptly put it Andy I to am using this build as a training exercise my first in fact. I don't wish to get bogged down in historical fact or fiction, but to be honest I prefer the raw earthy tones wood. The question then still remains to paint or not to paint.



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Potted history, funished the 2nd planking and hated it, but rather than match stick the model as it was a gift :), it went back in the box my wife now reminds me for nearly 10 years actually.


My hull shape was wrong, much filling and sanding and a third layer of planks added, which also lent itself new complications. The decision to paint was to allow the disguise of certain imperfections or modifications that I had to do.


But the wood in the kit is very nice, I am using ronseal satin yacht varnish. The beauty of the wood enriches and intensifies .

Current Build HMS Racehorse 

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  • 1 year later...

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