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Cutty Sark by hof00 - FINISHED - Sergal/Mantua

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The Cutty Sark is on my shelf as my next project... there are loads of referrence materials on line for all aspects of the CS.
And this site has many members who enjoy helping with pretty much any questions you may have. One piece of advice is take your time with the build and enjoy the voyage.

Edited by markjay
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post-13575-0-41663000-1436572602_thumb.jpgI purchased the Sergal version of the Cutty about 2005 and put it away for a year or so.

In the intervening months I managed to get my hands on the extras that I thought that I would require, PE sheet that didn't come with the later version of this Kit, Bulwarks/Deckhouse Sides/Etc.

I also ordered some laser cut Deckhouse Sides/Nameboard for Bow/Stern/Etc from "Double O Laser Products" in the US who make these specifically for this model. (And others.)


I also immersed myself in research and study regarding the Cutty, Log of the Cutty Sark and the supposed "Bible" for anyone attempting this model, Cutty Sark by Mr. Longridge.


Accurate Plans were also essential and the source here was the Cutty Sark Society in Grenwich.

(Plans that came with the kit were not hat "Crash Hot" especially with regard to Mast/Yards/Rigging)


I had also purchased the A/L version of this kit but my Cats put paid to this chasing a Bush Rat around the house and managed to destroy most of the wooden components after it fell off a reasonably high Shelf!!

So, I ended up with yet another source of information, A/L Plans and other bits and pieces. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I now had a great source of extra bits including Rigging Thread, Chain, Eyebolts, Etc, Etc.


So, a deep breath and in to it.


Structural components for the hull were beautifully Laser Cut, clean and most importantly nice and straight!!


False Keel got the bearding line marked on it, bulkheads numbered and glued in position. (The fit of these components was superb)

The Decks were the next o be fitted, no issues here either, really nicely engineered.


Bulkheads did not require to much chamfering, mainly just Stem/Stern.


The first layer of planking supplied is what I'd term as a Hard Balsa and long enough to happily go from Stem to Stern with just the right amount of flex to get around some of the compound curves of the hull.


I started the first planking at the top of the Main Deck and worked my way up to the top ofr the Bulwarks taking care not to affix planking to the bulkhead protrusions above the level of the Deck, these protrusions would be removed at a later stage.

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1st planking continued and I also "Fluffed" around with the Deckhouses as it sort of gave me a sense of achievement to get these underway and helped me visualize their future placement.


Rail Stanchions are from Bliiings as I did not like the look of the kit supplied items. I used these throughout, they gave a very pleasing result.


It was also nice to place the Masts and Bowsprit in position.




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To continue, 1st planking complete and now my attention turned to the inside and outside of the Bulwarks, Main Rail, Internal Bulwark Stanchions and Brass Bulwarks.


Deck planking was completed, Cargo Hatches created, (NOT Gratings!!), and Waterways added.


I discarded the kit supplied Main Rail Stanchions and opted for Brass wire. Each one of these had a 2mm Brass Ring Silver Soldered on about 2 mm from the level of the Deck.


Cargo winches also assembled.





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On to the second Planking.

No real issues here, Nice 0.5mm Walnut. I secured this with Aliphatic Resin and used an Amati Plank Benders heat to cure the glue, in this manner, the second planking progressed well.

It was also time to mount the model on its base to enable the waterline to be drawn.







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To continue....

Next "Cab off the rank" to prepare for Coppering.

Sanded the Hull and sealed with Sanding Sealer, 3 coats.

Copper Plates affixed with thick CA.

My first attempt was an unmitigated disaster, I wasted about 250 of them, the problem being was that somewhere while marking the Water Line my making gauge must have slipped!!

So, a step back.... Just as well I had ordered more of these a few months prior.


Second attempt much better.






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Once coppering complete, time to mount the Hull on its base so that various detail bits could be fabricated/affixed.

Name Boards/Hull decorations were sprayed Black. Once this was dry, I used a Wallpaper Seam roller and "Dry Rolled" Acrylic Gold to pick out the detail. 







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An important point here is that the Min deck Deckhouses should not be attached until the Fore and Main Dead Eye's are attached!!

The Poop Deckhouse is different, so go ahead and attach it....


Regarding Main Pin Rails, there are many more Dead Eyes than holes in the Rails. (Fore, Main and Mizzen)

I decided to leave the forward most five holes for the Chain Plates and filled the rest.

Next, I created a template to drill the remainder in each Rail.


With this version of the kit, there are no Chain Plates supplied but instructions are shown for looping wire around the Dead Eyes. I gave this a go and, the result was o.k.


Various other pieces added, Anchors/Accommodation Ladder/Davits/Etc.


Masting was interesting, the kit plans show the 3 Mainmasts tapering, this is not the case and I had to get the Mast Caps modified, very careful Drilling of the Main Tops followed to cater for this also.


I used the kit supplied lifeboats but made my own Gig/Longboat from Block Balsa, planked and painted, since they are both upside down on their skids, no internal detail was required.





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Hi Marc,

This is the "New" version....

(Purchased 2005?)


Nice to think that's improved!!


Had to get the Brass stuff from the manufacturer..


I have made many Modifications, so I guess improved?




(Bit of a "Bash")


Happy to share /answer you questions.


Cheers....HOF. (Harry)

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Masts, Yards and Rigging were my next challenge.

As mentioned previously, The Fore, Main and Mizzen Main Masts were not tapered, all good, just had to modify the Mast Caps/Main Tops to accommodate.

Material cut for all Masts, Yards, Gaffs and Boom. (I had already completed Bowsprit/Jib-boom.


I placed these on the Lathe to taper them, leaving excess material at each end of these to enable the Chuck to grip.

Carefully turned down using a combination of File and Sand Paper.


This was where Longridges book became really useful with the positioning and number of Yard Bands and Jack-Stay supports. (Supports for want of a better word.)








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In addition to adding detail for the Yard components above, all blocks and Chain runs for Chain Sheets were added.

Yards were stained  Sikens "Ebony"


I deviated from what I think the norm is when it came to Masting in that I treated the Top and Topgallant  masts as different assemblies to be added to the Main masts upon completion. This made, I thought anyway, things a little simpler when tying Ratlines after the Yards were mounted on their respective masts.


anyway, seemed to work....






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Various bits of Deck Fittings were completed, pinned and affixed to the Deck, Fife Rails, Pump, etc.

I did not use the Kit supplied Fife Rails but scaled up the A/L version, and cut from 2.0mm Walnut. There is only one Fife Rail at the foot of the Fore Mast and two at the foot of the Main Mast.


The castings/Components that came with the kit were not that good, so a trip to a Manufacturing Jeweler, described what I wanted and done!!


I did not paint this, nor other components, not exactly "Scale" but I like to see some shiny Brass bits....





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Hi Harry,


I saw your beautiful pictures in the Gallery….so it’s really nice to see you take the time to maintain a build log.


Simply beautiful work  :)



On another note; I’ve been following many Cutty Sark builds as this will be my next build.  I’m still trying to determine which kit I will use (AL, Billings or Sergal/Mantua). 


I realize the primal chase in your work shop made the choice for you between the AL and Sergal kits :)   


Could you comment on the quality/detail of the Al vs Sergal kits….which would you have chosen had the chase not occurred?

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Hi Thomas,

Thank you very much for your kind words!!


I did incidentally have the Billings C/S as well but gave this away to a very old friend of mine who's late father built Model Ships. He wanted to have a go and since my Sergal C/S was almost complete at the time, I passed it on.


In New Zealand, we seem to be pretty limited in what we can get our hands on.

In the main, A/L or Billings, anything else, Import!!

The Internet of things is just fantastic!!


Right, comparisons?


Artesania Latina C/S


I did like the A/L C/S as this was the flavor of kits that I had built up to then. (A/L Bluenose/Mare Nostrum) 

The A/L C/S was nicely engineered, all hull components went together really well. The thing with the A/L kits is they give you more than enough material of every description, so, if you do make an error or two, there's usually more than enough material to fix.  :)


A/L is a Single POB, the Hull Strakes are 2.0mm thick and do not go from Stem to Stern. The castings/Fittings were of good quality, (Just one thing that I wish they would stop using is the "Muntz" metal bits, these are o.k. but if you need to try to straighten/adjust these they will break.)


Lots of different Rigging size material and lots of Chain for Sheets/Lifts/Etc.


Plans were excellent for 1 to 1 sizes and careful study is required to figure out what Yard goes to what Mast, I guess this is required of any build anyway.

Instructions dealt with the Hull only, once you've done that, they say refer to the pictures.... (There is an old and new version of the A/L C/S, the old was the Spanish Manufactured one, without sails, and the new is, I believe, a Chinese manufactured one, with sails.)

The New version is just as good as the old. (I am a "Cutty Nut" and have this in my cupboard. :) )

There is room for improvement in every kit, the rear "Main" deck house is too narrow, should be the same width as the fore deck house. I could go on but it is the individual who will add/modify/or not. I did use the Mast/Yard and rigging plans from this kit allot....

At 1/96 scale, it's not too huge for a Cabinet.


I found a really good kit, as far as I got with it anyway.


Billings C/S


Right from opening the box, I didn't like it.

Again, Single POB.

Laser cut components of good quality, False Keel to be made up, 3 Pieces, inaccurate rigging plan, same as Sergal, and I didn't like the way that the Deck/Main Rail components were to be assembled. Again, I guess it's up to the individual how much time and effort they wish to put in. (I did notice that there is a current Billings C/S Build Log on this site.


Rigging Material is "Wanting" for the lack of a better word.


Maybe that's why I gave it away....


However, I did use the plans/Mast/Yards as a "Sanity" check for the Sergal build.


I did not like the plastic components either, maybe I'm too fussy.


Sergal/Mantua C/S


I stated this, as you know, after the Bush Rat chase pretty much destroyed the A/L build.

I didn't really know what to expect. as stated in this Log, 

Things went together for the Hull really well, I was very pleased how it evolved.

The Hard Balsa 1st planking was a breeze to work with as was the second Walnut planking.

Nice Brass castings for Deck fixtures, etc.


Now, there are two versions for this, an old and a new. the new doesn't have the Brass PE stuff for the Bulwarks/Deck Houses/Etc. and doesn't have anything to take it's place.

I desperately wanted this so my Wife, at the time, called Mantua, (She spoke fluent Italian), and got them to send to me.

If your going to do something like this build, you could get away without it but I would strongly urge you to purchase the Laser cut offering from "Double O" Laser Products for this Kit. I did anyway for the Name Boards/Deck House sides.


Anyway, I digress, There were lots of Modifications done in my particular build, Bulwark Stanchions, Etc,Etc. (I guess I went "Overboard" a little but it was a challenging "Overboard." :)


I used the A/L Rigging Thread exclusively, Brown in different diameters for Standing Rigging and Beige for the Running Rigging, apart from Chain for Sheets/Lifts/Etc.


Hi had read in other Forums that the Yards/Masts were not accurate lengths for the Sergal C/S so I scaled mine up from the AL plans. Rigging Plan, I found a little confusing to say the least so my real reference were the Plans from the C/S Society in Greenwich. 

Lots of modifications to the Main Rails, there went many Backstays in the Sergal plan....


I found that overall, the kit was of good quality.


I guess if you are looking to get something pretty accurate, OOB go with Artesania?


I did like the difference in scale with Mantua, larger of course, easier to get my fingers in to tight to reach places and has a bit of "Presence" when complete.


I found that no matter which you choose, research is really good, Longridge's book and Basil Lubbock's Log of the Cutty Sark.


Plans from the C/S society were a great addition also, (Once I had taken them to a Photocopy/Print shop to increase the size to something that I could read!! :) )


Anyway Chap,

My two cents worth and my opinions only, someone out there would probably "Counter" my estimation of things.


I do wish you all the best in your decision/choice. 

Happy to help if I can.


Cheers....HOF. (Harry)

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Just amazing comparison, exactly what I was hoping for.  Great details and you’ve made my decision much easier….you out did yourself Mate  :)


Your description of the AL version fits perfectly with my AL Bounty.  Lots of extra wood, good fit on the parts, very nice details, good accuracy to the real Bounty (based on my Anatomy book) and virtually no instructions (just plan sheets) after you finish the hull. Which isn’t a problem for me personally…. because part of the fun is researching and figuring out the end game puzzle.


I’m very happy with the AL Bounty kit thus far, and I like the length of the AL Cutty at a shorter 1032mm (40 inches).  I guess some would say my Bounty build is a hybrid “bash” as I love adding details wherever it makes sense to me.  So I’ll probably do the same with the Cutty.


As you may suspect I’m leaning toward the AL version (but the jury is still out), but in any case I’m going to purchase all the books you noted as well as the CS plans from the Cutty Sark Museum.


Link to museum: http://shop.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark/books/cutty-sark-plans/product/cutty-sark-general-arrangement-plan.html



Can't thank you enough....and I’ll be following your build with great interest  :)

Edited by thomaslambo
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  • 2 weeks later...

Oky Dokie, to carry on....

As stated previously, yards were prepared, (Tapered, Bands, Jackstays, Etc.fitted, I also attached all the blocks Running Rigging that I could think of and decipher from various Plans.


(Stirrups for the Foot-ropes i initially used very thin Galvanized wire but this proved really brittle so ended up using the thinnest Copper Wire that I could find from a "Beading" shop. this was attached to the Jackstays in the appropriate locations and painted Black)


For the Chain Run Blocks and Sheaves. I got the A/L versions Cast in Brass.


Same treatment for the Main, Top and Topgallant Masts.





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Masts were not "Glued" in position but held in place by the tension of Standing Rigging. (Much easier to replace if, God Forbid, there is a breakage!!)


Running Rigging already installed did not get in the way too much and had to be installed so that there was plenty of length to Belay later.


Hallyards for the Yards, installed at this stage, assisted greatly with the Vertical positioning of the Yards


Harmonising the Yards was a bit of a mission, (Getting everything "Square"), as the rigging "Works." (Pull on one side and the other side moves out of "Square."





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Something that was important to consider at this stage was a Cabinet for this "Beastie."

Did I have the Room?

As the Ship was complete in terms of O/A length, breadth and height, it was time to design and build.


I used recycled Rimu, a New Zealand Native wood. (Very expensive even if you can source it new!!)

The wood has a wonderful "Warm" look and feel.

My goals that I had in mind for this were ease of maintenance if Glass got broken, Lighting options and a low Center of Gravity. (Being prone to Earthquakes.)


The Size of the Cabinet, 1470mm long, 570mm wide, and 850mm high. The base is about 60mm wider and longer and is a fairly hefty40mm thick and supported by six 160mm legs. with the Glass installed it weighs approx 50kg. (I put Carpet Sliders on each leg, really important with the weight.)


I used 6mm Safety Glass in the top, (Pleased I did as the Cats like to get up there from time to time), and 4mm glass for the ends and sides. I got the end and side glass coated in a clear Laminate to avert the danger of a "Shatter!!"


The timber is coated in  several coats of "Tung" Oil and Bees wax to finish.


Lighting is LED warm White strip lighting at each corner.


The whole thing was bolted and screwed together.


It also gave me an additional incentive to finish the Ship!!


The Cabinet is quite large and only gives a clearance of 100mm at each end, about 30mm from the top of the top of the Main Mast and about the same for the widest Yard. (This was by far the easiest part of the build!!)




Edited by hof00
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