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Where do I start?  First, it’s great to find this forum and be able to obtain nearly instantaneous expertise and advice!  Of course the first piece of sage advice was in essence, ‘... first time builders don’t start with HMS Victory!!’... and I fully understand that sound advice. But with your help and good Lord willing, I will succeed.  I do plan to spend some time rooting around on this grand site to find pertinent information of which I’ve already found and am reading some.  But thank you in advance for all the assistance/advice I’m sure to receive (and want!).  That’s always better than ‘I knew that would happen!’ After the fact.


Background: I’ve been an avid fan of the sailing/warships/Nelson’s navy of the late 18th and early 19th century for more than 40 years, having spent some time in Greenwich (UK) visiting the Maritime Museum (during a Nelson celebration actually) and having been able to visit the Victory in Portsmouth in the 1980’s.  I’ve also toured the USS Constitution in Boston - as I’m sure many of you have as well. 


I purchased this kit (if memory serves) in the early 90’s and have been carrying it around with me for some time now.  Having just retired from the workforce, I thought ‘Finally, now is the time!’.  Well here goes. 


As I read in an earlier post, the model directions are a train wreck.  I’ve read through the directions and have laid out the various reference items for easy reference. I don’t speak or read Italian so some of the information is difficult to interpret. 


The below picture is where we stand today having fitted the parts, but not glued anything but the keel (3) sections.  I first found that the supporting horizontal beams did not readily fit into the slots.  I then went through sanding/scraping the slots to ensure the beam would fit.  Couple of observations:


(1) The horizontal beams stick out beyond the first frame at the bow.  I plan to cut off the ends to align with frame #1

(2) Looking from bow to stern, the various frame tops are not in a horizontal line.  That is, starting with frame #10 (through 16) is the frame tops are progressively higher. The result will be the deck will not be horizontal. I’ve verified the frames are all seated correctly but wondering if those frame tops should all be at the same height.  If so, I’ll need to remove and sand/adjust the tops accordingly.

(3) An initial fit check of the deck closest to the stern (#27) seems to indicate an extremely tight fit... I take it I will need to adjust accordingly. 

(4) Anything I should know before I glue everything below after (1-3) above are covered?


Finally, I’m wondering if the kit has simply ‘expanded’ over the years so that it will be ill fitting across the board.... or perhaps the kits are ill fitting to begin with?


All for now; Thanks again for your help/assistance and I hope everyone has a great weekend!



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Welcome to this fantastic forum Rob with friendly and many knowledgeable members (I do not count myself into the knowledgeable group but I am at least friendly 🙂).


I have a comment on Item 2 regarding the gradual  rise from bulk head 10 and backwards. This may be the sheer of the deck (longitudinal deck curvature) and in this case sheer aft so do not start sanding yet. Back in time sheer was used to increase stability and prevent pitching. I know because I noticed the same thing on my Agamemnon build which has both sheer aft and forward and therefore asked for advice in my MSW build log. I do not know how good the Mamoli drawings are but check. In my case Caldercraft's drawing actually showed a clear deck sheer although not commented in instructions. This is probably something which the manufacturers believe us modelers to know. Those of us less knowledgeable, count myself in 😎, has to ask about it on MSW.


Have you found the quick-find index to build logs at MSW? There are a couple of Mamoli Victory build which can be checked for reference.




Enjoy the build and let's hope it will be a happy ship.





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Thank you Henrik!  Appreciate the information and references.  You caught me just in time.  However, I've uploaded some pictures that show the frames do not completely align with the provided drawings.  I'm wondering if this is due to nearly 30 years of accumulated moisture to the wood or as you've said, normal.  However, I will do some additional research before moving forward as I don't want to add the wood back!!  I'll also take a look at the references you provided above which I'm sure will be very helpful!


Thanks again for your help!




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Okay - I've now glued the frames and supporting beams to the keel!  Letting the assembly dry.  Next up is the false deck planking, installation and staining before starting the middle deck work.  One question I'll need answers to is identifying which elements in the kit are the deck planking?  More to follow on that.





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Hi Richard - Thanks and yes, I made some minor reductions to frames (i.e., bulkheads) 11-16.  It appears they were larger than the sizes depicted in the drawings.  However, in reading the instructions, it appears that strips 28 (2) are used to help level the deck. 


Status as of now - I've planked the false deck (24) and sanded it.  I purchased some Danish Oil (Medium shade) and will work with it to see how it turns out.  If well, I'll glue the false deck (24) and begin placing the middle deck.


Planking:  I found the book 'The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships' by C Nepean Longridge to be of extreme help when planking the decks.  His entire book appears to be based upon the Victory.  I've included pictures of progress along the way.  I used the 'Four Step Butt Planking' approach outlined in Mr. Longridge's book. 





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Ok, the false deck is planked, stained (half danish oil 'Medium' and half spirits for a 50/50 mix) and installed.  Now working on the battery deck sections (25 - 27) but noting that they do not fit well.  I've included pictures of where they don't fit. The result was expanding the open deck sections to better fit around the various frames.  Will modify and install the deck sections and then begin planking. 








Edited by Rob S
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Working to install the battery deck sections (25-27) and having a heck of a time.  I know I'm a novice at this, but each/every deck section has not fit.  I've had to make major modifications to the deck slots to align/fit within the frame sections.  I've included several photos on the challenges.  I ended up making the deck slots wider and deeper.  I also had to shave off 5-10mm of the mid dec sides (section 26, right side) so that the deck did not extend beyond the vertical frames.  Still working this and hope to have complete in the next several days.  


Is it normal to have to modify parts to this extend for these kits?  If not, perhaps it was the long amount of time I had the kit before starting (i.e., humidity expanding the wood)?  It seems aligning the frames with the support beams would align the sections properly... so I'm not aware of any major prior errors to cause this issue.  









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Planking the middle deck is now well underway.   Note the Mamoli instructions call for building and installing the two deck stairways to the false deck section below as well as the grates with supporting structures.  However, in reading the aforementioned Mr. Taylor's build log, he found it best to plank the deck first before installing the grates/steps.  This seemed to be the best approach, and seconded by others in this esteemed hobby - despite the Mamoli instructions.


The first set of pictures show the method used to color the plank sides 'en mass' rather than plank by plank.  I found this approach laid out in a planking installation YouTube video.  I clamped about ten long plank sections together in two (2) places and then colored each side of the mass. I also purchased a graphite pencil (picture 2) that was used to add the coloring.  This appears to be easier to apply and shows well on the planks.  It was a soft graphite pencil I picked up at a local art supply store.


I aligned the center through the mid point of the mast/grate sections (26) and extended the line both fore and aft.  The result as of this morning after a few hours of planking.  The sides will certainly be interesting. 







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Great work Rob
i'm doing same kit, i did the mistake of going with Mamoli structure and installed the other 2 deck as i was exiting to see how it will looks like and i didn't plank all the main deck :(, good for you you get alert with it, 
note that on your building you will find many mistake in Mamoli plans and instruction 

Good luck and hope you enjoy your time building this amazing model 

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Recently stained the deck with a 50-50 medium danish oil and spirits - same as the small false deck.  I think it turned out OK; now starting the laborious grate/ladder assembly process.  I just ordered the vinavil glue (from the UK) to mix in water for the grate submersion. This is per the Mamoli instructions.  Also going through the wood pieces to identify the associated material for the grate borders.





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Perhaps obvious to everyone besides me, but just realizing this middle deck is riding high.  Thinking the downside will be the cannons here will be at the top of the gun ports.. Will assess further over the next several days.


I'll be off the site for a couple of weeks as I'm off on vacation starting tomorrow.  However, I'll be taking 'The Ship Model Builder's Assistant' by Charles G. Davis for light reading while I'm gone.  Hoping some of it will rub off!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Regarding the grates on the middle/first deck.  The Mamoli instructions indicate they are rectangles, actually about 10 x 7 squares.or about 24mm x 19mm with the longer side along the deck (stern to bow).  However, the ladder opening is about 26 mm wide. Looks like the accompanying border pieces will expand across the opening.  That said, I don't know how to interpret the instruction table that indicate there are five (5) grates of measurements '1, 5x1,5'.  The instructions indicate five (5) grates but only show four (4) in the accompanying graphics. 


Anyone have any suggestions on this?  In the meantime I'll look at the other logs.  Thanks in advance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow!  The devil is sure in the details; especially when building model ships! We all safely returned from vacation and I resumed building the grates that reside on what I believe to be the upper deck (C Nepean Longridge, 'The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships' - Inboard works diagram).  I also ordered the vinavil called out in the instructions for dipping the grates in once completed.  After melting the vinavil in warm water, dipping the completed grates and letting them dry - I still had a lot of work to do in cutting them to size, sanding and gluing the grate border. 


The Mamoli plans show 10 x 7 (large) and 7 x 5 (small) grates.  However, I used Mr Longridge's diagrams to derive the length/width ratio and attemped to replicate the right dimensions.  However in the end, I built 3 x large grates and cut one into two (2) sections for the smaller ones which were pretty close.

I then measured the deck openings to accommodate the correct border piece length and cut to size.  I had to re-do a few pieces, so hopefully there will be enough to complete all decks.   Need to finish these and begin working on the ladders.








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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for your comments.  Ladders (2) installed as well as the second deck support beams.  All cut to length, ends rounded off via a file/sand paper and glued.  I figured it best to fit all aspects of the second deck sections before gluing them one at a time.  Note that the prow/forward section did not fit and had to be modified to allow it to fit properly.  Good news here is the foremast holes aligned.







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The ladders were difficult to align properly.  I used a couple of sections of string to hold them in place before gluing.


Now the issue I have after modifying the second deck sections prior to installation is the main mast holes do not align.  They are off from one another by 5 mm.  Trying to figure out the best way forward.  Options include creating another opening directly above the upper deck.... or possibly adding a slot to the upper deck for the main mast to fit into.  Third option is to shift the upper deck to the starboard side.  Neither optimal at this point.



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I'm sure it goes without saying that decisions/actions you take earlier in the assembly process can later impact future construction.  In this case, I had to make significant modifications to the upper deck (just above the small middle/false deck piece) I made to make it fit.  Those adjustments shifted the deck a bit.  Later, when I placed the quarter deck pieces, the aft section main mast holes did not align. I ended up shifting the deck to the starboard side... the action did better align the deck sections..The main mast will now fit properly.  However, we'll see what later impacts are later found as we continue the build.


I am having a good time and I do appreciate everyone's comments/advice.


The quarter deck sections are in and now I will be adding the deck planking.   Will keep everyone posted.



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Quarter deck planking is now nearly finished.  Maintaining the four butt planking pattern throughout was a bit dicey especially when crossing the gangboards toward the bow.  I ended up including a smaller width plank in the bow portion (port side). I also noticed the planks are not 100% parallel between the upper and quarter decks.  After finishing I'll then stain the deck before beginning to add the Captain's various spaces.





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Next I've started with the Captain's quarters and have run into a couple of problems:

(1) I only have one (1) piece of the called out (1 x 4mm) walnut laths/material to cover the walls and have run out of material.  Options are to find a supplier for a foot of material or use a thinner piece of existing material and hope I'll not short something else.

(2) I noticed that the number 16 bulkhead tops are actually below the added walls (see picture) and will not reach through the poop deck which could very well impact the poop deck bulwark construction.








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  • 2 weeks later...

The Captain's quarters are now set with doors and windows painted brown, with the exception of the glass segments, and installed. I ended up using a thinner lath to complete covering the walls.  Next up was the poop deck installation.  The poop deck, as with all previous decks, had to be modified to fit.  Of note the up front bulkhead sections did not protrude through the openings. so that may come back to bite me later.  I aligned the deck with the Captains quarters to provide, per the instructions, some overlap over the walls.  I also checked the mizzen mast opening to ensure the mizzen could be installed in a vertical position through the various decks.  I had to adjust/modify the poop deck mizzen mast opening for the mast to be vertical when installed later.  After the poop deck was installed, I planked it and will now treat and stain it like the two decks before it.  









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