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San Felipe by Sherry – Scale 1:96

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Well, here goes……my first nervous steps into the world of the scratch build! This will be my second model and as such, I think POB is a wiser choice. Maybe the next build will be POF, but that’s in the distant future.


I really have admired the beautiful and ornate galleons of the 17th and 18th centuries and was finding it a hard decision as to which one to build. The problem was solved when I received the plans for the San Felipe. They were 1:75 and I changed the scale to 1:96 so it would not take up as much real estate in our home and thus be displayed more easily. I know it will be more challenging to achieve the detail I want at this scale, but I will give it my best and am sure I will have help along the way from the talented and knowledgeable members here!


While researching the San Felipe, I stumbled upon some doubt as to whether she really existed or not. My conclusion is this: I am satisfied that the evidence for both sides of the debate is sketchy at best, so I have no solid reason to believe she didn’t exist. At any rate, I feel she is a wonderful and beautiful example of the Spanish galleon of her time – real or not!


Here is some of the history I have found on her:

The SAN FELIPE, launched in 1690, was one of the most beautiful Spanish galleons of the XVII century. She was the lead ship of the famous Spanish Armada and able to take on the most formidable ships in the French and British navies. The San Felipe's was used in the war against the British and French to protect Spanish settlements and harbors, to transport treasures, and to safeguard the long and hazardous passage back to Spanish ports. In 1705, she participated in a furious and heroic battle between 12 Spanish ships and 35 British ships. After 24 hours of battle, she was captured by an English ship, but was so badly damaged that she could not be salvaged as a prize. She went down to the bottom of the ocean with several tons of gold.


The story goes that the ship model is based on reconstruction drawings published by the Italian Vincenzo Lusci in 1966 who referred to some 19th century Spanish historian. Lusci described the San Felipe as a first rate ship with 104 - 110 cannon that was launched in La Coruna in 1690 and was lost in 1705 after a battle with 35 English ships.

Edited by Sherry
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I am still in the process of gathering materials and tools for this build, but I have made a bit of a start.

I have the 3/16 plywood for the keel and rib/bulkhead parts, as well as basswood for the knee of the head etc.


The first challenge was cutting thin wood with the table saw - I didn't have any bearings to use as roller guides, but came up with an alternative that gave me two very true pieces of wood. So far...off to a good start. If you can't tell in the photo they are very polished round headed brass tacks.





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OK, here you go.  From that glimpse of the plans, it looks as if you've picked a formidable challenge for a build --- let alone scratch.  But I'm certain of 2 things:  it will be both a learning experience and will result in a model you'll be proud of.


I'll just pull up a chair here.......


Best of luck 'New builder'.  Perhaps time for a new name????

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Hi Sherry,


I thought you give me an call when you get started…...

Now I found out to someone else build log that you started a beautiful project….

Can you ask Mark and Augie to go a little away so I can sit first row to watch you?


Mark has a small package of popcorn ,so is it oke when I put the popcorn maker in the corner ?

And in the other corner a hotdog stall?

I wish you all the luck with this challenge and I will follow your progress.

The start is good so I think that you can bring this to a good end.




p.s Here are the to stalls….you have to see where you put them.







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Hello Sherry,


Welcome to the darkside.


From what I've seen you have the skills and the talent to build this ship into a beauty.

You already made a nice start. Just take your time and enjoy the build.


I'm sitting next to Mark, because he has the popcorn.




Good luck and take care,



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At last a Spanish ship!


Here I am being from Madrid close to the MNM and I am building one from Her Majesty Service ship... Shame on me!


Here´s a link with some photos of the San Felipe completed http://www.modelismonaval.com/galeria/category/75-san-felipe-de-san-martin and here is the homepage of the museum. You can sail on it in english and you can ask for plans. Send me a PM if you´re interested on and I´ll explain you how to get them. Link to the museum: http://www.armada.mde.es/ArmadaPortal/page/Portal/ArmadaEspannola/ciencia_museo/prefLang_en/


And here´s a link with a video (youtube) with a very good music from Master & Comander:


Good Good Luck with this endevour!



Edited by harvey1847
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Thank-you everyone for stopping by!


Augie: I am going for the gusto! A brave new name change and I'm using your idea. Hopefully you won't mind. :)

Frank: It will take perserverance for this build! Thank-you for the vote of confidence.


Sjors:  If I called you when I started the build I would wake you up!  :o

I will make a long front row so you and Augie and Mark can all have a good seat! Pull up the popcorn maker and the hot dog stand...you will need lots of food because this build will probably take a long time.


Anja: I will save a seat in the front row with lots of popcorn! :)


Daniel: Thanks for the links!

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