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Mercury by SimonV - Victory Models - Scale 1:64 -(99% scratchbuild)

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 Hello all.

After completing Bluenose this will be my 2nd build. This time I wanted something with guns. There is a lot of very tempting kits and finally decided to go with Mercury, which attracted me even when I was buying my first kit.

The first impression is that this kit is of very high quality. Instructions are one of the best I have ever See, especially I like separate plan sheets for rigging which will be quite a job to do.

My plans:

-I like natural finish of wood as seen on NMM Greenwich models. This mean that most of the model is going to be unpainted, and I am going to change A LOT of materials provided in kit. For most of the build I am planning to use pear  wood, maple And some walnut. As Ebony I will stain pear wood. Today I received wood from Germany (2nd picture)  :).

-There will be no coopering on hull, reason is above.

-Deck planking. Laser engraved plywood deck looks good, but not good enough for me. I will most likely use maple, but have pear For backup. As this is my second build and still don't wont to overcomplicate it I am thinking to use "normal" straight Pattern for planking like on brig Syrene for example, instead of curvature shape.

-Armament. From personal aspect I like the look of guns instead of carronades on deck more. Don't ask me why, just like them :D . So I am still in research if there is any possibility that Mercury carried guns before carronades or has sister ship. This can be Seen on HMS Cruizer (guns) vs. HMS Snake (carronade) and Le Cyclope vs. Le Cygne. I have already purchased 6pdr Guns but will wait with that. If anyone could help me with this information I would very appreciate it.


-Sails. I am planing to do Mercury with partially set sails

Well, that's it for the moment.



Edited by SimonV
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Some progress has been made.


Rabbet was done with proxxon milling attachment. A special template was made to achieve right curve. 


To achieve tight fit between ribs and keel I decided to use 10x10mm pieces of wood on ribs. 


Next step is making a new stem from pear wood.







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Thank you Jason for nice words  and welcome to my log  :) .


After quite a lot of research I was able to get original Russian plans for Brig Mercury in 1:100 scale. There are 4 A3 format sheets and I think that they were base for Chris Watton design. Also some things are different, more detailed, and I decided to go ahead with this plans  regarding details. 


This is going to be slow build ( have 2 daughters, 1st is 1month old, 2nd is almost 3 years) so please be patient  :rolleyes: .


Edited by SimonV
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  • 2 months later...

Time for update, not much, but it is something...

On stem rabbet was done with special template as guide. 2 M3 nuts were installed into the keel for future secure stand attachment. Also I decided to use reinforcement blocks between ribs to achieve more sturdy construction.

Now  it is time to start with first planking  :) .








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  • 2 months later...

I decided that I will not use plywood gun port patterns. First reason is that it wasn't possible bend them vertically after several hours of soaking in water. Second reason is that I want gun ports on exact location regarding plans.All that means a little more work  B)







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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Simon:


I've always been intrigued by this model - looking forward to seeing it come together - with the wood replacements and extra details you're adding it should prove to be real beauty!


One quick question - you mentioned in your first or second post that the kit came with a scribed deck - is there no separate decking supplied with the kit? The reason I ask is that I have Corel's Berlin up on the shelf and it comes with plywood decks that the modeller is meant to scribe - this is different from the common method of supplying a thin plywood sub-deck on which individual planks are laid. If Mercury is like Berlin, I'll be interested to see how you arrange the deck planking.



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Dimitris, thank you for nice words and welcome aboard :) .


Martin, I will try to explain my set up for stem rabbet.

First I made exact copy of stem from scrap piece of wood (in my example 5mm MDF plate). On that “copy” cutout is made on place where rabbet should be. Width of  cutout must be the same as pin guide on milling machine. After that is complete, template is attached on “real” stem. Alignment is easy, because shape of template is exact same as stem. Now I put this assembly on milling machine facing template upside down. Everything is now formerly laying on guide pin and piece of wood which serves as baseplate (pin should not be longer than depth of cutout in template). Feed rate is controlled by hand. I hope that helps.


Hamilton, deck has laser engraved lines . Actually it looks very authentic and with staining  with proper color will look good.

My plan is to use deck as sub-deck on which individual planks will be laid. Where I see real challenge is that planks on this model are not straight, but laid in curvature shape like on real ship. I already get some ideas from  Dr. Mike DVD Model Ship Building Secrets.


Thanks again to all of you for stopping by and comments :).



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Hi Simon


Makes perfect sense,  I've just had one of those 'why didn't I think of that' moments, so simple when you think about it!  That's going to come in handy for my next intended build, scratch model of Marie Sophie from the Underhill plans, got to finish 'Revenge' first though. Many thanks.





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  • 5 weeks later...
While finishing first planking, I have decided to break a routine and play a little bit with oils, waxes,... for final finish.


On the first picture all used materials could be seen and on second samples on wood. For all finishes 2 coats were used, always rubbed with 0000 steel wool between coats and also on final coat.


I tried my best to represent actual colors on picture, but nevertheless all efforts (shoot in RAW, additional flash lightning, manipulation in LightRoom) colors in real looks little different - better. 


Final decision will wait a little bit, because I am also trying different methods for aging. Currently I am leaning towards nr. 1. 


A little note to "odd" look of nr. 1. and 5. On corners bitumen mix was used for aging and I made mistake rubbing it with steel wool.



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Ian, welcome aboard :)  .
@Nirvana. I am slowly preparing my workshop for future fully scratch build project (or more of them). Proxxon tools are great tools for their value. Also I modified almost every one of them and get better and more precise tool. Only sponsor is my wife who allowed me all these toys :)  .
Today I made better, more realistic, picture of final finish, using different light source, camera settings and post-production.
On sample 1. Hard wax is used to simulate caulking. Nigel described this technique here.



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  • 4 weeks later...
First planking is finished and sanded. No wood filler was needed.


For correct location of gunports and "oarports" I refer to plans and not kit templates. After numerous times of measure - mark - check, correct (I hope ) locations were marked. After additional checking all gunports are within 0,5mm. 


Note: After comparing actual locations transferred from plans and kit templates there are quite a difference. From my opinion templates are not correct.







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Finally working with some pear wood again  :) .


Gunports dimensions were done to correct size with templates for vertical and horizontal dimensions. Openings were done bigger, because they are going to be planked with pear wood inside for more authentic look. 


Currently I am having a lot of fun planking openings  :) .





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  • 1 year later...



very nice build.


If you cut the parts of the components for the stem, you have to look to the grain of the wood. It should be always in the longitudinal direction of the part and not perpendicular as seen on your stem. Take this for the future and don't changeit on your model, after coppering not much will be seen from this.

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  • 1 month later...

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