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Comparing Amati Swan Class Victory Models


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In the continuing search for my next project I have been looking at two similar offerings in the Amati Victory class of kits: HMS Pegasus and HMS Fly. The designer, Chris Watton, has received fine reviews, I'm told.


On the surface, the two models appear to be very alike. Would those of you who have info agree?


There are only superficial differences that I can see in the website pictures of these two ships. Are there material, or major, differences in the builds?


How extensive are the instructions? Are the plans complete, well organized and clearly drawn?


I've recently completed USS Constitution with which I'm very happy and proud. Also, a Mayflower done in mahogany that looks great, according to biased grandchildren, and a scratch-built Viking Drakkar using Amati plans (they were OK only) that's going to an office in Northern Virginia. Bottom line is, I believe either model would be very doable.


Finally, I've noted that Bob Hunt has a practicum on the Pegasus/Fly. I've done a few of his practicums in the past. Any remarks about this practicum?


Many thanks to all who may offer ideas, impressions, opinions, assistance of any kind.


Chris Miller

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Hi Chris,


The two are basically the same model, but the Pegasus was issued at a later date with a few upgrades (copper sheeting, laser cut gun carriages) There is an upgrade kit for the Fly also available to bring it to the same level as the Pegasus, but overall either one makes a nice ship.


The instructions are fairly reasonable and the plans are well drawn, the bonus being that if you want, you can use the Fully Framed Model (TFFM) series of books and downscale from 1:48 to 1:64 for some of the simplified details, as well as the rigging.



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As above - I prefer Pegasus because of the stern and other etchings but they are virtually identical


The guns on both are often replaced - they are not in keeping with the rest of the kit


I am not sure whether it is a kit difference or merely a change in both with time passing but the earlier Flys I have see all use ply keel and bulkheads - some Pegasus have MDF. 


Again I am not sure whether it is a kit difference or changing materials over time but the later Pegasus have RUBBISH thin ply for the decks etc -  see logs. The Fly s that I had had much better ply.


I bought Mr Hunts practicum - and acheived what seems to be a world first getting a full refund. He has a fine line in impolite emails !

It is terrible - his painting is worse than mine and much of the illustration is of BOUNTY and VANGUARD !!! Yes - its true !

He may have been good once upon a time but no longer.

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I went through the same process when thinking about which to buy.  Regarding the ships themselves, they are very similar, both have gorgeous, detailed plans from the NMM that are available for purchase, and since they are essentially the same ship, you can use the TFFM books to tweak your build.


In terms of the kits themselves, I liked the fact that the Pegasus had all the upgrades in one box.  The Fly upgrade kit was a bit hard to find when I was looking.  I think the Fly base kit uses cast metal carriages, which was a turn-off to me, but I'd note that you might want to consider replacing the Pegasus guns anyway given that they are out of scale.  As for the ply pieces, SpyGlass is right that they are pretty crumbly and not very good quality in the Pegasus kit (I haven't seen the Fly kit to compare).  That didn't bother me as much as I'm replacing much of the visible wood anyway.


In the end, I went with the Pegasus as I liked the figurehead and stern and quarter gallery decorations a little better.  It's been a really fun project, not just to build, but also to build alongside my Swan class brothers and sisters :)


As for the practicum, I have it and would strongly recommend staying away from it.  I wish I had thought to ask for my money back.  I bought it while working on my first kit, the Badger, and it did help me in certain places to see how various items fit together.  Otherwise, it is terribly written, the work done is rushed and sloppy (half the pages have some acknowledgement of a mistake that was made, like reversing the PE decorations, etc.), and many of the pages show a different model than the Pegasus!  Plus, no rigging or other instructions which would have been very helpful.

Edited by Landlubber Mike
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Plus, no rigging or other instructions which would have been very helpful.


Buying the entire series of Swan-class books will set you back a bit, but IMO Volume IV on rigging is well worth the capital outlay for builders of Fly or Pegasus. Chris Watton's rigging diagrams are well done, but with David's book you also get a very thorough verbal description of the masting and rigging process. Here's the link to the relevant page at Seawatch Books. Volumes I-III are written with scratch building in view, and kit builders can probably glean as much as they need on sprucing up the kit by browsing the Fly and Pegasus build logs here at  MSW.


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TFFM 4 is a great resource - I used it extensively for the rigging and sails on my Badger. The authors did lots of research using Steel and other resources which makes it very handy.


It was recently expanded to include a chapter on how to make sails. For those that bought earlier editions, Seawatch Books offers a pamphlet covering that chapter.

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Hi again,


I noticed that a couple of guys made mention of the guns and gun carriages on Pegasus and suggested that they might need replacing.


What seems to be the issue? Is it size, that is, are they disproportionate? Are they too large, or too small?


Or is the construction faulty?


How about replacements? Where do I go (have you gone) to find appropriate replacements? What vendor and item #?


Many thanks. I'm getting closer to taking the step to buy.



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Hey Chris,


There is a good discussion on BE's build log on the cannons, as well as Martin's and Alistair's Fly logs.  The guns are too large and out of scale.  I went with the same barrels that BE used for his Pegasus that he describes here (I bought mine from Cornwallmodelboats):





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  • 1 month later...

I want to let the group know that I have decided to construct the Pegasus (Amati Victory Series). I ordered the kit from Cornwall for a LOT less than it's usually found elsewhere. I ordered it on Saturday online and it arrived on Wednesday morning. Amazing!


Many thanks to all of you. I'll be looking for a couple of good build logs, and I'm sure they're on this forum site.



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  • 2 months later...

I'm on the point of buying EITHER the Fly kit plus the upgrade, OR the Pegasus kit.  Can't decide which though.

Would there be any point in buying the Fly upgrade kit as an add-on to the Pegasus kit?  Or does Pegasus already include all - or most - of the features in the upgrade?

It's been said here that the stern decorations in the Fly kit are better than the Pegasus ones.  Is that (on its own) a good reason for choosing the Fly kit?

I'm not totally sold on the idea of copper-bottoming a model's hull.  None (and I mean none) of the coppered hulls I've seen pictured in MSW convince me.  Everything looks out of scale, and the bright, shiny ones are a real turn-off [personal opinion].  Does the Pegasus kit have other 'extras' besides the coppering?

It's got to be one or the other!  I just love all that mass of rigging!
But which???


Oh, and re those Seawatch books.  If anyone here in the UK has bought them (any of them) and now wants to get rid of them, I'm interested ...

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Brian, while I can't help you with the right answer, in reading between the lines my sense is that you prefer the look of Fly. When I see pictures of them, I prefer the ship without the copper plating as well, but that's just personal preference. Ages of sail have a nice photo of everything that is in the Fly upgrade set and it doesn't look that costly. I don't think you can make a "wrong" decision here - anything you do, you will do well! It might be nice to see a Fly build here just because Pegasus seems to be more in vogue as of late, your build of Fly will stand out a bit! Scott

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