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HM Bomb Vessel Granado by Timmo - FINISHED - Caldercraft - Scale 1:64, 1756

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The Granado is my second wooden ship build.  This follows the cutter Sherbourne which you can follow the link to in the MSW gallery.

The Granado was chosen for a vessel offering more than a single mast but still able to be displayed in a reasonable space.

Firstly a tribute to all the prior Granados on MSW's former incarnation - they proved immensely helpful and I owe a huge tribute to you all in helping to spot impending difficulties and work around them thanks to your efforts. 

After wantonly pillaging MSW for help with my first build it's time to add to the basket of knowledge that MSW members have so graciously given to me.

This build is by no means complete but hopefully of use to others as I found previous members' posts.

So on to the build...

The build was started in April 2012 and at this stage I've just completed the second planking above the wales and filed out the gunports.

The Caldercraft kit is all the usual business like efficiency with little in the way of complaints. The fittings are top quality with turned brass cannon, limewood for the first planking and walnut for the second.




No, it's not a botch. The lens curve making the stem appear out of alignment here.




One thing to watch for on this kit is setting the gunport patterns correctly. I thought I was being very clever in measuring the placement from the base of the keel. It resulted in patterns not quite meeting the tips of the bulkhead patterns. As a result at least half of the gunports had to be raised slightly.

Better to just fit them to the tops of the bulkheads. Oh well.




Another thing to watch for is the sweep ports. The instructions don't mention them until after the gunport patterns have been installed despite the plans showing them as illustrated. From there it's the somewhat more difficult matter of cutting them through from the outside and matching them up with the inner spirketting - no easy task. If your want the sweep ports showing on the inside then tak e gauge of where they should be before installing the gunport patterns and adjust once the lot is installed. It's not difficult but comes down to reading the instructions all the way through before taking any steps.




I found it made more sense to skip ahead in the build and install the lower stern counter before the upper hull sides were planked. It allowed the upper stern counter to be shaped to fit and also allowed the wales to be shaped to fit around it. The black used here is probably a bit too dark to see the chase ports to best effect. That might be looked at later.




The mortars went together nicely after some cleaning up. The mortars themselves are nicely cast brass that just needs some time with a file to bring out the best. Some brass wire handles were added as per Peter Goodwin's excellent Anatomy of the Sip Grandado book.

The example here is the stern mortar - the smaller of the two on board.

Following shots show the mortar surrounds in place which are identical for each of the two mortars aboard.







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The Granado has nine sweep ports each side but the instructions make no mention of them until much further into the build. This is a good point to jump ahead and add them if you want as it's hard enough to cut them in on the inside at this point as it is. They are reasonably prominent on the inside of the bulwarks but are not included on the gunport patterns.

If you want them you'll have to mark as shown on the plans and cut them in yourself.




The instructions offer either open or closed gunports. Obviously if you have them open you'll need to cut the square port all the way through. There's also the option of just adding the closed port and hinge to the outside of the hull with no port being cut on the inside. This is one difference I've noticed between the Victory kits, which appear to have the ports included and presumably pre-cut.

I like the busy feel of the added ports so in they go.




The ports align with the top of the inner bulwark spirketting - the strip that runs along the bulwark between the gunports and the deck. Before this was added the top edge was marked in pencil and the position of the ports added. The edges were cut on the inside with a scalpel and drilled through from the outside.  A square file and more scalpel work cuts the hole. Given the roughly 3mm size of them and the difficulty of access from the inside it's difficult to get them square further than a couple of mm in but give they'll likely be closed on the outside and painted inside it shouldn't be too noticeable.







Edited by Timmo
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Looking really nice!  Thanks for the excellent descriptions, pictures, and suggestions.  I have this kit, will probably do it next, and I wasn't around for the previous Granado build logs you mentioned so yours will be a nice reference I can tell from the quality of your work.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Bow ports lined with any gaps on the inside edges filled and sanded







The spirketting was pre-painted and installed with clamps to hold it down. Not entirely happy with the fit along the deck but it's barely noticeable from anything but direct horizontal view, which will be increasingly difficult to see as guns etc are added to the deck.










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The sheer rail presented a couple of minor problems - Firstly it had to bend in three planes to follow the line needed across the upper edge of the gunports and around the bows and they needed to be placed level and correctly for the forecastle deck to sit on. Some test fitting and marking is advised here.





The strip provided is 10mm walnut with the width to take the taper needed on the underside as it slants upwards on the underside towards the bow.

The strip was soaked and clamped in placed for the cruve before cutting. Note how it doesn't clear the gunport on the left as it should. For this reason and to avoid too harsh a taper to get it to align wioth the gunport edge the sheer raile was installed in two pieces - from the bow forward and then another strip from there towards the stern. The edges were sanded in.






Sheer rail cut and tapered on the under edge.




Sheer rail installed and sanded flush along the top edge of the hull.





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Very nice! Cutting the gunports must have been a good deal of work.  Look forward to seeing more, I've always liked bomb and mortart vessels. Rebecca

Thanks Rebecca, they are interesting vessels with arhat some indifferent about them. Compared to those on MSW who build 2/3 deckers with dozens upon dozens of gun ports this is nothing!

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Great work We are about at the same place in our builds. But as summer arrives in the NH and winter in the SH I feel your model will launch before mine 

That been said I had forgotten to put in the Ore ports so holes to drill and file square next 

Looking forward to following your build 


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I'm filling in for someone else at work so am on 2-10pm shifts. It's quite surprising how much i can get done in a morning before having to head to work - that includes cooking dinner for the family, hanging out washing and occasionally seeing my beloved. When working 'bankers hours' of 8am-5pm i'm just too tired to do any modelling at night. On those weeks it's 2-3 hours on a sunday afternoon in the garage for modelling if i'm lucky with my three lovely girls roller blading or scootering around me. good times.

Anyway onwards to some building.

Today involved some gratings. The Granado has only two gratings with the largest on the fore deck almost under the forecastle.

This is a lot less than the four included on something much smaller like the shrebourne. The other is yet to come on the poopl deck.

A simple jig involving two timber strips keeps the grates in place during construction. The top one is my old faithful ssquare edge sander made from a sushi chop stick sanded square with sandpaper glued on- great for evening up gunports.




Forward grating fixed. It was sanded to a very subtle curve across the top surface. The coamings were shown in the instructions with mitred edges. They look nice but anatomy of the ship shows square edged corners. plainer but correct so that 's what i did.The 3x2mm walnut is a dramatic difference in colour but looks ok. The hard top edges on the coamings were rounded slightly

The main hatch cover was also constructed. I'll wait until the reinforcing planks(walnut) are dry fitted until fixing to make sure they match in width.



Edited by Timmo
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A small deviation from the instructions to install the quarterdeck bulkheads rather than the forecastle.

These are formed with thin ply held in place by grooves in the curved bulkheads. Simple but effective but also potentially tricky to install as there are many parts requiring dry fitting together before glue gets anywhere near it.

The bulkheads themselves rest between two lateral bulkheads with slots cut in the ply decking pattern where they fit. These slots always appeared oversized to allow room for movement in installed the QD bulkheads and the deck planking was run over the edges to allow ,ore room for trimming back once the bulk head positions were established. There's not much room for manoeuvre here as the decking must meet flush at the bulkhead sides otherwise there will be gaps around the edges. The bulkheads are faced with .5mm walnut when finished so there's a little bit of room for mistakes there but not much.


Bulkhead and panel dry fitting beginning with the port side




If it won't fit force it - and here's the result. The tight fit of the starboard side panel resulted in the ply crumpled when it couldn't get any further. Another panel pattern is easily cut and shaped better to fit. The panels are specifically shaped for each section and the only ones needing trimming are the two side most. Trimming the others will result in more problems that it will solve..




Most panels dry fitted



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Thanks for the kind words chaps. I hope my trials and tribulations here help others like previous Granado buils ofn the old MSW site did for me. It's on to a bit of an artistic section soon with the quarterdeck panels. We'll see how it goes.

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Ha! Just noticed this long forgotten message to self. I've started chalking up major milestones in my builds now with a note inside the box lid as a legacy of my plastic modelling days when a kit would usually take a year and a diorama about two to complete- depending on size.

What do you know, it's been about a year (April 2012) since I started the Granado and first planking done by June and second by the end of August. By way of explanation much of the time since August has been work - the day job variety) or working on the mortars and gun carriages.




Now the quaterdeck bulkheads fit it's time to paint. They've got a fairly noticeable plywood grain which doesn't look right at this scale. I put some primer on it to fill the gaps and sanded but have also since filled with putting to give a smooth finish for the paint.




Colour testing in the meantime. The Admiralty paints French blue is vivid but quite dark. I've paid attention to models in the UK National Maritime Museum (Great website when you are thousands of miles  away) and learned friends on MSW like Blue Ensign who is aiming for that same slightly faded look that I like.  Each to their own but in my opinion from building German WWII panzers the darker the colour the lighter the shade of it needs to be the smaller the scale gets otherwise it's overwhelming.


Here's some test panels. From left is straight admiralty French blue. In the middle is a bit of white mixed in, right is the blue mixed with some Tamiya JN Grey paint which is the only remotely suitable other colour I had in the paint drawser. I'm leaning towards this at this stage.





The panels have some nice bellicose images on them, drums, flags, cannon and the like. The kit provides these as decals. I'm not keen on these for two reasons- the potential for decal silvering and that they are flat black. Judging by the common colour scheme of yellow decorative painting on blue seen on 18th C warships it seems a little dull to use black. Also the Granado anatomy of the ship book shows them in yellow, albeit on a red ochre background for the panels, the same as the bulwark sides. It's blue for me though. Better sharpen that paint brush but if it doesn't work there's always the decals to fall back on.



Edited by Timmo
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Hi Timmo, that Admiralty French Blue is far too strong for my taste, although I think it looks better against Walnut than boxwood. I spent ages trying to get that slightly dusky blue with grey overtones, but once I had it I had to make sure I had enough tp complete the build and for any touch ups.


I think your third option looks the best and may even stand the addition of a little more grey. Colour perception on photos tho' is always difficult and you're in the best position to judge.


You're right about scale colouring, on smaller models such as my 1:150 Seventy-four the black needed toning down with grey to stop it overwhelming the model. On Pegasus at 1:64 the standard Humbrol black looks ok at least to my eye.


David Antscherl in Volume 11 of the ffm gives a  good 'how to' on design painting and mentions something called White Transfer paper available thro' art suppliers for drawing the design outline, which can then be  wiped away once the design is painted. He also refers to the option of painting the designs on paper which is then stuck to the boarding.


This is a technique I believe was used on contemporary models. The advantage is I suppose you can bang away on the paper design until you get a result you like without messing up the the actual bulkheads.











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Some decal advice if you want it..


After painting your wood panels, spray on a shot of Testor's Glosscote if you can get it. This will seal the wood and provide a highgloss surface that helps the decals slide into position, and avoids having too much air trapped in behind. When the decal is dry, dab on some MicroSol softening solution. The trick with that stuff is to be very patient, and not to freak out if the decal goes all wrinkly (that's part of the process, don't touch the decal). When it's dry it should have relaxed back to being flat. Use a sharp hobby knife to prick any bubbles that remain, and spot apply more MicroSol as needed. When you're happy, you can do one of two things, spray on another layer of glosscote and then a layer of Testor's Dullcote this will seal the decal and make the edged disappear. You can also get away with just a coat of Dullcote. Either way is up to you.


Keep up the good work :)



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Thanks Blue Ensign, further experimentation awaits on the blue. I'm conscious of not having too glaring a contrast between the yellow ochre design and the blue. I'm thinking something like humbrol 74 linen as a base for that as it will also have to match well against the rest of the yellow items on the build- ie the stern gallery carvings. Any suggestions there welcome.


Hi Andy,

I've got all that decal setting solution etc to hand from the days of getting tank and aircraft markings to set on plastic kits so it's still an option.

I'd like to think that if someone can create all those tiny scale cherubs etc on something like contemporary dockyard model of HMS Bellona with just a paintbrush then I should at least give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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Hi Timmo,


When I was trying to decide on the background shade for the  decoration on Pegasus I trialled Admiralty Yellow Ochre, Humbrol Pale Yellow(81), and Humbrol Linen.(74)


 I discounted Linen as being too bright and pale, the Yellow ochre looked ok, but by a nose I think the Humbrol Pale yellow looked best against the blue ground.



Left - Yellow Ochre; Centre – Humbrol Pale Yellow 81; Right – Humbrol Linen.74


It has a slightly sulphury tone to it and seems to look more like a painted frieze than the stronger yellow ochre which stands out more.


Once I had fixed the decoration I used artists oils over the base coat to create  highlights and shadows to bring out the relief.


Hope this helps. :)







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Hi Andy,

I've got all that decal setting solution etc to hand from the days of getting tank and aircraft markings to set on plastic kits so it's still an option.

I'd like to think that if someone can create all those tiny scale cherubs etc on something like contemporary dockyard model of HMS Bellona with just a paintbrush then I should at least give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Ahh.. very good. I wasn't sure what your plans where, but go for it! :)


I'm always a fan of the changes people make to their models to make them one of a kinds. You could always start with the decals as a base and work off of them from there.



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