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Gunboat William by Pieman - Caldercraft - Scale 1:32

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Well, as promised in my new member introduction, I will start a build log for my first attempt at ship modelling. I chose the Gunboat William after plenty of deliberation, but a couple of things made me think it might be suitable. It seems fairly simple and straightforward with not too much rigging etc. But most appealing to me was its size. At 1:32 scale I'm hoping everything is much larger than on many of the models often recommended as a first choice. The main disadvantage I could see was that no complete build logs exist on MSW so I will be 'flying solo' and needing plenty of help and guidance as I progress! The manuals/instructions are excellent and I have found an excellent review written by Keith Julier in the March 2006 Model Boats magazine which will help no end. My progress will be slow and my first couple of posts will be 'catch up' as I started about ten months ago. As seems customary, I will first post a couple of photos of the box and contents.


Cheers, Jack











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Nice looking kit, waiting to see more progress :)

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Me too! She looks nice!



Current build(s):

Continental Gunboat Philadelphia by Model Shipways



Completed build(s):

Model Shipways Phantom



Member of:

The Nautical Research Guild

N.R.M.S.S. (Nautical Research and Model Ship Society)

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Good luck with William. I believe there used to be at least one build log, even finished one, but all before GMC (Great Modelshipworld Collapse :)), so lost...

Anyway... I am not familiar with the review you are mentioning, but I would love to!!

I was planning to build this one on my own and purchased original Admiralty plans from Greenwich (luckily they do exist). They are great source of information. You will find the kit way too simplified and missing several very important features (not so difficult to add, if one knows them) but it depends how much is the historical accuracy important for you.


"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


Completed: Smuggler




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Okay, just few notes. I have just had a look into my copy of Admiralty plans for Williams:


- One noticeable thing missing is the presence of gratings and ladder just aft the main deck opening. It is really weird that the whole boat as presented by Caldercraft has no ladder or any way how to access the lower deck from the main deck! :)


- Different chimney / stove position.


-Armament. [EDIT]:

The one provided in the kit features proposed fitting from 1795. The boat was rebuilt in 1796 and has different armament (two carronades, one for, one aft). The question is, how is the Caldercraft's representation real and if the boat ever operated with such a configuration? Caldercraft's configuration comes form plan "as proposed to be built" which does not automatically mean it was also build upon it. Plans showing the boat with final configuration look different. 


- If you will attach the flag to the boat, use the Blue ensign (not red or white). According to rank of the Admiral to whose competence the boat (or her station) belonged


The thing is that Caldercraft uses Admiralty plans as the base for the kits. But these plans are very different. Several of them depicts just ships "as proposed" , not "as fitted". If the producer takes as the base the incomplete plan which do not show really all the details of the ship, well, then it may look quite different. It is very interesting to compare Caldercraft's kits with the contemporary Admiralty plans. One will often find it is not as shiny as one would imagine just from the pure claim "built on Admiralty plans"

Edited by juhu

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


Completed: Smuggler




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Many thanks for the replies and 'likes'. Juraj, your comments regarding the full size William are very interesting. This is my first attempt though and I will be building the kit 'straight out the box' as I think this will give me the best chance of actually finishing!

I stumbled across the Model Boats magzine after searching Gunboat William on Ebay. The article is much more than a review, more like a build log with plenty of pictures. It will be very useful.






The first part of the build was straight forward, sanding the bearding line, assembling the keel pieces and adjusting the bulkheads for a nice fit on the keel. A little sub-assembly on the rearmost bulkhead was completed and the bulkheads glued in with Titebond.


After fairing the bulkheads and adding filler blocks at the bow a start was made on the first planking. Laying the first plank took took a lot of deliberation and experimentation! The planking tutorials on here suggest to start planking from the keel, the kit instructions say start at the top and work down the hull to the keel. I opted to follow the instructions and after lots of messing about with different types of pins, small hammers, pin pushers (which I did not get on with at all) different size pilot holes etc. etc. I finally got the first planks laid either side of the hull. This, after adding a batten each side to stiffen the whole thing up. post-10735-0-37270100-1477219515.jpegpost-10735-0-71852600-1477219541.jpeg


I will add more shortly.



Cheers, Jack

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Well, I am continuing slowly with the first planking. I have been steaming the planks at the bow to ease them round the curve and using plank nippers at the stern to help get the planks tucked up below the stern cross member. Apart from the first three planks, I have followed the advice given in the Model Boats article and joined the planks lengthwise. I would have had real difficulties gettting the bow and stern bends correct and the correct distance apart on each plank without doing this.


I am fairly happy with the stern but I think I am running into trouble at the bow! I have tapered the last couple of planks down to about half their width but I am struggling to get them to lay flat down to the bulkheads. As you can see in the photo I am getting a bit of the 'clinker built' effect. I am thinking that at some point I might be better to start planking from the keel? Any advice on how to proceed would be gratefully accepted!


Cheers, Jack






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From what I can see in the photographs the planking looks really well done. You cannot really avoid some clinker effect as your first planking is thicker planks. The only way to avoid would be a lot of steaming and pre-shaping. In real practice each plank would possibly be cut to suit the position, which would not be practical with the supplied material. You can however divide your hull into sections and then divide up the bulkheads by amount of planks required at the middle of the hull. from this you can work at the taper of the planks and shape each to suit before application.


I don't tend to start at top or bottom of the hull but at the wale position.

Current Build(s):

  • H.M.S Diana 1794 - Caldercraft 1:64 Scale


Completed Builds:





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Jack, glad I found your build.  This looks like a lovely kit so very interested in how she comes together, you're off to a solid start.  All the CC kits seem to have their foibles despite being of generally good quality, sure you'll overcome the challenges.


"Which it will be ready when it is ready!"
In the shipyard:

HMS Jason (c.1794: Artois Class 38 gun frigate)

Queen Anne Royal Barge (c.1700)


HMS Snake (c.1797: Cruizer Class, ship rigged sloop)

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