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HMS Victory by ca.shipwright - Panart Art 738 - 1:78


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After many years, several models, and in health and in sickness, I have decided to resume the HMS Victory. This log is based on the practicum by Bob Hunt. For those of you not familiar with Bob's work, this is a total kit bash involving completely finishing the main gun deck and aft cabins and replacing kit supplied wood with exotic wood which I mill myself. The primary source is the AOS HMS Victory by John McKay. And thanks to my wonderful First Lord of the Admiralty, I am also the proud owner of Arthur Bugler's HMS Victory, Building, Restoration and Repair. as well as books by Alan McGowen, and Neppon Longridge.
 
To make a long story short, I worked up to planking the starboard side down to the waterline where the copper plates began. Not being very happy with the result, I ripped everything out back down to the bulkheads and center keel. And, then I did it again. Needless to say the bulkheads' profiles were pretty well shot by now, and beyond salvage. Very discouraged, to say the least. My skills were just not ready to tackle this monster build. So, the Vicki went on the shelf.

Along the way, I found I was hypersensitive to Ebony. This was more discouragement as all of the Victory blacking that was black was to be installed with ebony as were the rudder sternpost and stem. Ebony can be toxic both as a topical and respiratory allergen. With ebony out of the question, I tried several ways to "ebonize" wood, but, until a few days ago, nothing came out very satisfactory. I was reading on one of the wood workers' forums about using India ink, which I had previously tried with poor results. The solution- no pun intended- is to use an archival grade, acid free India ink. So I bought a jug. I took some boxwood strips, which is what I am planking with, and put two coats on with a paint brush. Let them dry, wiped them down with a t-shirt and then applied a coat of solvent based Wipe-on-Poly. This looks like it may be the solution. I will know more when I try to do the paint with wood using a glued-up split color plank tomorrow. More on this to follow.

In the interim, I asked to purchase a complete set of the laser cut plywood hull pieces from Mantua in Italy. I am waiting to hear from them on Monday. If they don't want to sell me the set, I will just suck it up and cut them myself on the band saw and scroll saw and finish them on the oscillating sander.
 
The good news is the hoarder that I am, I have all of the templates needed through Chapter 5 cut out of copies made on manila file folders.

Regards to all
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Greetings,

The first update. Heard back from Mantua Models today. It seems that the quote that I originally received for 65 Euros was "a fake mail." Today they quoted me 137 Euros which included 47 Euro in postage. I thanked them for their prompt response, politely declined, they refunded by PayPal payment immediately, and it was off to the wood store where I got all I needed for $41.00

 

Now it's time to trace and fabricate the 16 parts for the hull. Good thing I saved those templates! Not so bad, I could use some wood time in conjunction with all the Endeavour rigging to be done.

 

Regards,

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Darrell,

I did some testing with the India ink and Wipe-on-Poly satin. Before the satin was applied, the 2 coats of the India ink came out dead flat black. The one coat of satin brought just a hint of gloss. This lacks that depth or oil like sheen that Ebony has. I am going to try another coat of satin and also try some gloss Wipe-on-Poly to see if I can deepen the luster.

 

Regards

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Greetings everyone,

A further update on the Victory. We traced all the bulkheads, center keel and bracing on 6mm Baltic Birch plywood using the cut out templates. I opted not to glue them down on the wood because I can see the line better than the edge of the paper when I cut. I rough cut out the profiles on a band saw which is way more powerful then my Delta scroll saw. Baltic Birch is very dense. All good so far.

 

One immediate challenge is slots in the center keel, bulkheads and braces. The Mantua plywood is 5 mm. The Baltic Birch is 6mm. This is going to require some adjustment in the slot width- need to widen it 1 mm. What I have done is use the forward line of the slot as a base and widen it towards the rear on the center keel. As for the bulkheads themselves, I put a center line on all of them using the center of the width of the upper and lower center cutouts as the reference. Now I will run up the center line from the bottom and nibble away on each side until a test piece of the plywood fits snugly.

 

Using an extended line from the center keel slot, will allow me to keep the bulkheads vertically perpendicular to the keel. Fore and aft will be done using a 90^ clamped to the bulkhead and center keel. I am going to glue the bulkheads to the center keel, and the bracing with Wellbond glue (dissolves easily with alcohol).

 

I used the homemade shaper to sand the bulkheads to the final profile. Worked like a charm. I think someone in the Endeavour group posted this.Thank you for sharing it.

 

I drew all of the bulkhead modifications on now so I can complete the cutting with one set up of the scroll saw.Next up, is cutting out the center portions and modifications of the bulkheads as per the Bob Hunt's practicum. For those of you not familiar with this practicum; it is designed to kit bash this model by completely finishing the main gun deck and aft cabins, not just the midship portion as per the kit's design.

 

Some photos attached.

 

Regards

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The previous post shows a homemade shaper table clamped in my woodworkers front vice. A generic mototool drives the sander. Thank you whomever you are; I can't rember where I saw this, for posting and sharing this apparatus. It works great.

 

Regards from the "Plagerizer - in - Chief."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Back again,

 

All of the bulkheads, center keel and hold downs have been fabricated. I used a Forstner drill pit to get big access in the lower portion of the bulkhead cut out. I had to make the top hold down 3 times in order to get the slots to line up. Somehow my template did not come out correct. I took a strip and placed it over the plans and took the slots off that way. I also gave up on the scroll saw and cut the slots on the table saw, standing the strip on edge with a backer board and the blade set to the depth of the slot. Two passes gave the required width. Only messed up a couple of the slots. I should have done both hold downs together in one pass. In a perfect world I would have done the center keel as well but the stem and stern are too high. I dry fitted the whole assembly and much to my surprise, all of the bulkheads landed on the bearding line on both sides. This was a major event and I gave my self a Stella Artois at-a-boy.

Next the glue up and some pictures.

 

Regards to all

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  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings,

As a follow up to the previous post: Score bulkhead extensions 2, shipwright 0.

 

Now for an update:

 Had a good weekend in the shipyard. That leaning #2 bulkhead (see previous photos) irritated me so much, I spent half a day digging into the assembly to straighten it out. I used ethanol to loosen the Welbond and a dental burr to widen the slots. Worked like a charm.

 

I was able to complete the bow filler block, the wing transom, the upper/lower counter block and the stern rudder post. All came out very well in my humble opinion.

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He new to this Forum - in fact the whole Modelshipwrightworld

 

This build is going beyond the call of duty - fantastic

Had the same problem with my Caldercraft Victory - not happy with the hull was quoted 200 UKP (Including discount) for the parts i needed. DEcided to press ahead hopefully the Plates and Paint will hide the slight blemishes

 

Have just started a new Blogg on it

Dont forget Anatomy of Nelsons SHip by C Nepalm LOngridge

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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings,
Finally got enough done to post an update.

First, you never know how the bulkheads are going to work until you start planking. This is when the defects show up. As you know, I decided to make my own bulkheads and center-keel as well as the rest of the hull formers and sub-decks myself. This became quite a job and there are some discrepancies in the parts. I don't know how or why they didn't work better, but, perseverance and cussing and we prevailed.

I think a big issue was the fact that I used 6mm plywood and the kit used 5mm. A silly little mm, but, it adds up when you consider that the 12 bulkheads means a variance of 1.2 cm over the length of the ship. This made for adjusting all the slots to make them bigger and re-cutting the sub-deck slots around the bulkhead. Not a problem because all of this will be covered by planking.

I consider it a moral victory that I wound up within 1/8 in. of Bob's published numbers.

The big delay was in making and remaking the transom sides. Finally figured it out with Bob's help. Looking at the photo, it looks almost exactly the same as Bob's in the practicum. I consider this a huge win. I hope I'm right.

There are two places where there is a slight bulge in the planking. I may have shimmed the bulkhead to much. This will be corrected. I have to say, I looked and looked at the fairness of the hull over and over and didn't see this until the photos.

I took a break from building and milled all the pieces for the gun port frames out of boxwood. I really like making sawdust. It must be some primal feeling that I get as well as the smell of freshly sawn wood. Much like the satisfaction of freshly mowed grass on the golf course.

Photos to follow in this post and the following.

Greetings,
Finally got enough done to post an update.

First, you never know how the bulkheads are going to work until you start planking. This is when the defects show up. As you know, I decided to make my own bulkheads and center-keel as well as the rest of the hull formers and sub-decks myself. This became quite a job and there are some discrepancies in the parts. I don't know how or why they didn't work better, but, perseverance and cussing and we prevailed.

I think a big issue was the fact that I used 6mm plywood and the kit used 5mm. A silly little mm, but, it adds up when you consider that the 12 bulkheads means a variance of 1.2 cm over the length of the ship. This made for adjusting all the slots to make them bigger and re-cutting the sub-deck slots around the bulkhead. Not a problem because all of this will be covered by planking.

I consider it a moral victory that I wound up within 1/8 in. of Bob's published numbers.

The big delay was in making and remaking the transom sides. Finally figured it out with Bob's help. Looking at the photo, it looks almost exactly the same as Bob's in the practicum. I consider this a huge win. I hope I'm right.

There are two places where there is a slight bulge in the planking. I may have shimmed the bulkhead to much. This will be corrected. I have to say, I looked and looked at the fairness of the hull over and over and didn't see this until the photos.

I took a break from building and milled all the pieces for the gun port frames out of boxwood. I really like making sawdust. It must be some primal feeling that I get as well as the smell of freshly sawn wood. Much like the satisfaction of freshly mowed grass on the golf course.

Photos to follow

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  • 3 weeks later...

Does the change in the bulkheads mean you no longer follow Bobs practicum? I had a look at doing this build and read bobs free chapter 1, but I don't know how harder it may get, so would welcome any feedback as to ease or non ease as such.

 

Many thanks

 

Terry

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Greetings,

It appears that that little 1 mm that I wrote about last has jumped up and has bitten be you know where. When laying out the gun port openings on the main deck, several are directly over a bulkhead. This requires removing the top of the bulkhead which supports the upper deck. I cannot see a remedy for this other than to cut off the tops and re-glue them to the inside of the planking. This will give me some support for the upper deck., but, not a lot of strength. Maybe Bob has another idea. If not, then it looks like Mantua is going to get their money for the replacement parts.

What a bummer.
 
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It looks like there will be a cascade of problems associated with that 1 mm. Mantua got the money and I got the replace parts for the framing in 4 days. Great service! Assembled all the framing, counters, bow filler blocks, and cut the rabbet. I have misplaced my ebony stern post. Hopefully it will show up or I will make another out of boxwood.

 

When I was cutting the bow filler blocks, the top view as taken from AOS was wider than the first bulkhead. This caused me to scratch my head and what the h***. I then copied the entire forward portion of the main deck and lay it across the ship from the bow to mid ship. Surprisingly, it was at least an inch wider than the Mantua hull framing. It looks like Mantua took some liberties the the kit design. The entire ship's beam is at least 1 inch narrower the the AOS drawings. She is still a monster.

 

Terry- I was following Bob's practicum with my homemade framing parts. This is not an easy build, but, Bob's practicum is so detailed that you almost can't go wrong if you read the section once, and then read it again. If you do purchase the practicum, and I highly recommend it, there are a couple of errata that I can fill in for you. Not having the correct dimensional material and my lack of skills all added to the continuation of the problems. The biggest was that almost all the gun ports had to be cut into the bulkheads. This was not a task I was willing to try. And, it would have seriously degraded the structural integrity of the hull.

 

Photos will follow soon

 

Regards

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Thanks Micheal,

 

I read the chapter 1 practium a few times and there seems to be some pretty drastic cutting going on, but I am looking for a project that will make me work so to speak. I think your views on the ebony I may grab as I suffer from respitory issues so I dont fancy the dust issues on that. Will be good to see you move on with this project, it will be a couple of months before I gather everything together to make a start due to funding, but I intend taking this on once I have finished my brig supply.

 

Regards

 

Terry

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Greetings,
Time for another update. I started over last week after receiving the new framing from Mantua and have just about caught up to where I was before.

There are several pictures and I will have several photo posts along with this.

The ship is coming along rather nicely. A couple of millimeters off here and there to be adjusted later.
The first photo shows how much less the beam is on the model than the actual ship according to the AOS.

The blue bands that are holding the bow blocks together until the glue sets are the disposable tourniquets that the blood suckers err phlebotomists are using now. They work real well on any non parallel surface.

There are many recurring measurements on this ship that introduce a chance of small errors from repeating viewing. I remembered a method from my wood working days of cabinet and furniture making that helps. They are called story sticks. You put the distance on the stick one time and draw the line on the work piece. It's a lot easier that moving a ruler around each time and gives me more consistency.
 
 The jars have all the pieces for the gun port frames that I made while I was waiting for the parts to arrive.
 
You can see two braces that I installed on the quarterdeck bullworks. I got tired of breaking these pieces off because there was no framing support. They are thin enough to disappear when the inside planking goes on.

Here come the photos
 
 
 
 
 
_______________
Michael Zemmel
Midlothian, VA
Completed: AVS, MS Benjamin W. Latham
Building: Corel HMB Endeavour, Panart HMS Victory,
"Buy all your toys before you retire"
ma.zemmel@gmail.com
 
   
 
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  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings,
Another update. I completed the port side of the main deck gun ports. I thought they came out rather well. Slimming down the interfering bulkheads and cutting one off is a real pain. I can't wait to see how much trouble this is going to be on the quarterdeck and middle and lower gun decks.

I had my first service problem with my Byrnes saw in it's 15 +/_ years service. The switch went out. First, the polarity reversed and I continued to use it even though it wasn't safety smart. Then it died. 30 minutes to buy it and 15 minutes to install the replacement switch. And, away we mill.
I need to get a start milling the .045 in planking. There's a lot to do.

A little wood filler in the gaps and a good sanding should take care of most of the defects.  Most everything will be covered the second planking. The rest of the markings have been added to the upper sills.

It is worth noting; maybe: At first glace the gun ports on the three decks appear to be symmetrical. Not so. I was looking at the Corel template and they had some of them offset. I thought it was poor manufacturing. Not so again. I took a look in AOS and sure enough there are offsets between the decks.

 

Next up completing the gun decks and quarterdeck gun ports p/s. This is going to take some time. Next

update might be a while.

 

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Chapter 3 is done!!!!!!!
Main deck and quarter deck gun ports installed and sanded to 320. Camera showed some additional filler to be added.

Got a full eight hours in for the first time ever. It's amazing what you can accomplish in a full days work. I even skipped lunch. Very unlike me to miss a meal.

A question in my mind is whether or not to delay applying the red and black color to the gun port frames until middle and lower deck gun ports are installed to keep them from getting messed up with the continuous handling? Or, do it now?

Also do you wipe on poly before and after or after adding color, or both?

Also milled all the parts for the middle and lower deck gun ports as a diversion.

I made up several of the boxes for the middle and lower gun decks. I think I am correct when I say that the critical measurement is the opening length and width of the gun port which is 13/32 inch on the upper and quarter decks. This should carry over to the lower decks. I actually kept the die for the gun ports but the center piece is a 1/32 " to narrow. I want to see if this can be adjusted. More on this after the testing.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Finally, the port side gun ports have all been installed, sanded and filled where needed. All that's left to do is the final sanding and adding the red and black color to the appropriate ports.
 
I am going to wait for the color until after the starboard gun ports are at the same place. Maybe I will only have to do the color one time this way. Ever the optomist .
 
Now for some decisions regarding the dummy cannon:
Should I blacken them or leave them brass?
Should I mount them before I close up the lower hull? I want to use epoxy for this.
Looking at the top view of the cannon, note they sit a little proud of the hull. I get this affect by not seating the mounting pin all the way to the rear. I actually like this look.
 
I know, my ship, my rules. But, some input would be appreciated. Might save me from making a mistake that will show further down the road.
 
Regards to all

 

I'm will try to re-post photos 7222--7227 as well as the current group.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Greetings,
All gun ports are in; filled, sanded, and painted. Thus ends Chapter 4.
Into chapter 5
The ship is all lined out. The wales stripes and moldings are on as well as the butt joint location lines.
Now it’s time to mill some .045mm and 1/16th in. strips. I am going to use the India Ink as an ebonizer- 2 coats followed by a coat of wipe on poly before any trimming for painting with wood. I tried a Sharpie black but it left a purple hugh to the black. Not at all satisfactory.
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I wish the red from the Sharpie had come out better. The only good thing is that only 1/32nd of an inch will show. I also used India Ink on the quarterdeck gun ports and the timber heads. Now for a complete hull coat with the Wipe on poly and on to the planking.
 

Now for some decisions regarding the dummy cannon:

Should I blacken them or leave them brass?

Should I mount them before I close up the lower hull? I want to use epoxy for this.

Looking at the top view of the cannon, note they sit a little proud of the hull. I get this affect by not seating the mounting pin all the way to the rear. I actually like this look.

 

I know, my ship, my rules. But, some input would be appreciated. Might save me from making a mistake that will show further down the road.

 
Regards
 
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