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1:64 Revenge 1577 – Amati/Victory Models


James H
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1:64 Revenge 1577 – Elizabethan Race Built Galleon
Amati/Victory Models

Catalogue # A1300/08

 

 

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The Elizabethan Navy Royal warship Revenge was built at Deptford and launched in 1577. Revenge was a new type of warship, a ‘Race Built Galleon’. She was built following the direct ion of Sir John Hawkins and supervised, it is thought, by the master shipwright, Matthew Baker. Revenge was about 500 tonnes and carried a crew of around 250 men. Contrary to popular belief, the new race-built galleons were not dwarfed by the Spanish galleons but were of equal or sometimes larger size. It is very easy to see the lines of Revenge as a precursor to the Prince Royal of 1610, the Sovereign of the Seas of 1637, or even the Prince of 1670.

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The armament of ships of this period varied greatly; guns might be added, removed or changed for many different types of reasons. Revenge was particularly heavily-armed during her last cruise. On this, she carried 20 heavy demi-cannon, culverins and demi-culverins on her gun deck, where the sailors slept. On her upper decks were more demi-culverins, sakers, and a variety of light weapons, including swivel-mounted breech-loaders, called ‘fowlers’ or ‘falcons’. She was considered the best all-round warship in the fleet, and in 1588 she served as the flagship of Sir Francis Drake, and was involved heavily throughout the Armada campaign. In 1591, Revenge and her captain, Sir Richard Grenville, both earned their place in history when the Revenge was overtaken by a Spanish fleet off the Azores. Sir Richard Grenville fought the Spanish fleet for 16 hours, crippling and sinking many Spanish ships before being forced to surrender. 

 

The kit
Revenge 1577 is an Amati/Victory Models joint venture, as was the HMS Vanguard 1787 that I reviewed recently. However, this particular kit was only released in 2015, having been designed by Chris Watton. Like Vanguard, Revenge is packaged into the same monster-sized box so will look pretty imposing when it arrives, plus it will really please your postman who will have to bring it to your door!

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If you are remotely interested in this particular kit, you will have doubtless headed to Amati’s website for information on this release. That is given as thus:

 

  • 20 sheets of plans
  • 96 pages full colour building manual with step by step instructions
  • Laser cut plywood, hardwood and MDF
  • Double planked hull
  • Highly detailed photoetched brass parts
  • Precious paper decorations
  • Brass culverins and burnished metal casted cannons

 

…now it’s time to look deeper at this kit. 

 

Amati’s artwork for the box is perhaps a little more restrained than that of Vanguard, but still looks equally as impressive, with images of the completed model on the sides of the box. It’s also a fairly weighty box too. When you lift off the lid, you’ll note that the lid is merely decorative, with a single-piece rigid corrugated card box underneath. The lid is secured via large tabs and lifts up to reveal contents. The box is designed to hold large weights within and is very robust. Inside, we have several packets of laser-cut MDF, ply and walnut, a heavy pack with 20 plan sheets, a full-colour perfect-bound instruction manual, bundles of strip wood and dowel, printed flag set, and three large boxes of fittings/components. Everything is packed so as to minimise any movement of items within, and indeed, my sample looked like it had just been packed at the factory.

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Opening the first components box, we see a pack of sail cloth, just in case you wish to fit them to your model. I know the convention is to leave sails off, but at lease the option is provided for you here. The material is very pale and would benefit from some ageing using whatever your preferred method. 

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Two thick clear bags are now seen, and these include parts for the cannon, in two sizes. The main bags themselves contain some beautiful cast guns with decoration on them, and these have an antiqued finish. I would personally paint these in iron, and the embellishments should look excellent if you then buff them up. Unlike Vanguard, this kit provides wooden gun carriages, machined as a single piece. Again, I am more than happy with this inclusion, and they appear to be walnut. A long piece of thin, narrow copper sheet is included to make the straps from. Two further packs include the eyelets, plus wooden wheels and axles. Very happy with those.

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Underneath these bags lie a few clear sleeves of photo-etch parts. Here you’ll find parts for the chain plates and for deadeye securing, doors, grates (maybe they were cast iron on these ships?), and also the Royal crest that adorns the transom. This is built up from two layers of PE and will require some painting. Two name plates are also supplied for the base. You will need to paint the lower relief and then drawn the part over fine abrasive paper to remove anything on the upper relief. 

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The second box contains rope, rigging cord, anchor set, culverins, pre-shaped rudder hinges, brass pedestals to mount the model to the base, brass pins, copper eyelets, etc.

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Our last box has more goodies for the rigging, such as various-sized deadeyes, blocks and belaying pins etc. You will also find here some brass wire, cast figurehead ornamentation, barrels, stair kit, and parrel beads. All components are securely bagged within their own compartments. 

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Amati include some nice timbers in their releases, and here we have bundles of strip wood for the double planked hull (lime for first plank), deck etc. The deck planking actually has a paper identifying tag. Dowel is of walnut, and again, quality is excellent.

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A single sheet of laser-cut ply contains the channels and rear gallery doors etc, and a further three sheets of ply are taken over with more channels, facings for the cabin access bulkhead, and the unusual Tudor circular mast-tops.

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Two small sheets of wood (not ply) contain rudder and windlass parts, chain knees, and the lower keel. All parts are finely cut and will of course require any charring to be removed, although this is a fairly quick job. 

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Two reasonably large sheets of ply contain the beak grate platform, transom, and more bulkhead walls with pre-cut windows and doors. These will of course be individually planked, and various timber fittings and rails added to them. Smaller parts can be found here too, such as cannon shot garlands and rigging cleats.

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A further two thick ply sheets hold parts for the various decks, with the exception for the lowest main deck.

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The largest ply sheets are fairly thin and for good reason, as they contain the upper bulwarks and sides with the gun port positions pre-cut. These will need to conform to the concave curvature of the hull at that point, hence the thinness of them. They are also joined by an interlocking pattern, so you achieve the correct placement of them.

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More laser-cut ply here, with garlands, rudder and forward bow keel section etc.

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Five MDF sheets contain all main constructional components, such as the false keel, bulkheads, lowest main deck, deck beams etc. Whilst the curved sides of the bulkheads look very fragile, several builds here on MSW show that there shouldn’t be any real concern as long as you exercise some care and attention.

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You will doubtless have noticed that instead of the carved embellishments we see on later and Spanish vessels etc, this Tudor warship has coloured panels along the outer bulwarks etc. Thankfully, you won’t need to paint these at all as they are provided as pre-printed items. Now, the paper they are printed on is heavier than writing paper and is of a type which means that the printing won’t fade. I’m presuming it’s all acid-free paper etc too. Printing is super-high quality and against a wooden texture background for a reason I can’t fathom. Still, these look amazing when added and really bring the vessel to life. All paper parts are numbered, and sections of the sheet listed as for right/left side.

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There are 20 sheets of plans for this model, but as well as parts maps which cover several pages, the remainder generally looks to contain information for masting and rigging the ship, plus adding the sails, if you wish. There are other illustrations of the model too, but the hull and fitting out is mostly done using the instruction manual.

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When it comes to instruction manuals, Amati really do go to town. Their latest releases, such as the Orient Express Sleeping Car, contain glossy, full-colour photographic instruction booklets with clear English text (Italian also shown). Each stage of the build is clearly shown, and nothing should be ambiguous with this particular presentation. 

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Lastly, unlike most model kits, this one does include a base, as previously mentioned. This is machined from MDF and will need sealing and rubbing back before painting. The edges of this are profiled too. With the brass pedestals and name plates, this should look very nice when complete.

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Conclusion
This model was released in 2015 and comes from the stable of those designed by Chris Watton. Unlike his Nelson’s-era kits, this little gem doesn’t seem to get the recognition is deserves, although as I say, we do have some logs of the build here on MSW. Tudor warships, for me, really are beautiful in their style and execution. I’m a big fan of the Mary Rose (for which I also have a kit), but this particular vessel is more ornate than the Mary Rose and has the galleon-style features that we expect from a ship of this period. Timber quality is excellent, as are the various fittings, and of course, the instructions means that you shouldn’t go wrong during your build. The pre-cut gun ports and jigsaw bulwarks will also ensure a trouble-free project. Cornwall Model Boats currently lists this model for £364.99, and I think that represents really good value for money for a ship of this size (Length: 885mm, Width: 380mm, Height: 655mm)

 

My sincere thanks to Amati for sending out this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To purchase, head over to your favourite Amati-stockist of online retailer)

 

 

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Another smashing review! I love what the collaboration between Chris and Amati has produced. There is one point, though, that niggles me. I know that Amati has to make a profit on these kits and has to make compromises somewhere, but I do wish that they would be a bit more scrupulous in their attention to including period-correct armament. I'm betting dollars-to-doughnuts that those cast bronze pieces are not representative of typical Elizabethan-era cannon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found this kit to be generally excellent. I modify all my kit builds extensively (including this one), but a significant amount of this kit's components didn't need replacing. I did NOT use the Kit's glue-on decorative (and very distinctive) printed paper patterns; instead, I chose to hand-paint them with much better results. For more accurate rigging, much higher-quality rope and blocks from Syren "upped the game" considerably.

 

Englishman, Chris Watton, is a first-rate kit designer. Amati is a first-rate kit manufacturer. Despite not using the planking, decking and masting wood supplied by Amati, IMHO the Revenge is still a worthwhile investment for builders not enamored with "scratch." My Revenge now sits in a dining room and generates "high fives" - even from friends and visitors who know nothing about what goes into our fascinating hobby. I've attached a hi-res pic to see some detail on what I did to modify this excellent kit and how I've chosen to display her.

Ron

 

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James,

You are welcome.

No masking, I just used the supplied printed pieces to refer to when hand painting. I should also add that the plans and instructions were excellent, typical for every Amati/Victory models build I've done (4). I've attached a better close-up to show the decorative aspects.

 

Cheers!

Ron

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  • 2 years later...
2 hours ago, Eric Arthur said:

I'm fairly new to shipbuilding having built one smaller ship several years ago. My question about the Revenge is, should the hull below the waterline be painted white, or should it be left in the natural planking as shown in this review? I'm wondering which option is historically accurate. Thanks, Eric

I would say that comes under the heading of "builder's choice".  Some do, some don't.

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