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HMS Snake by Vane - Caldercraft - Scale 1:64

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HMS Snake - 2nd build

After picking up my modelship building hobby again (after many years of dorment) I decided to buy my second kit to have something to alternate with when doing the rigging on my first build Corel's HMS Victory in 1:98. 


It took a while to go through various brands and to decide which one to invest in. My first choice of doing the Victory was kind of naive and a typical newbie mistake. Dont get me wrong, I really love it and it has turned out ok. But I never finished it and modelling is learning by doing and everyone should start more easy is my recommendation.  After discovering Caldercrafts Nelson Navy series it become a choice between several ships I found very beautiful. First I was tempted to go for the Diana or even the Agememnon but eventually i decided not to do the same as before and doing something too advanced. In the end it become a choice between the two mast HMS Cruiser or the slightly more advanced HMS Snake.  I settled for the latter. It is basically the same model but the Snake is some kind of "special edition" of the Crusier with 3 masts and carronades.



According to Wikipedia, HMS Snake was launched in 1797 as the only member of her class of 18-gun brig-sloops. She captured or destroyed two French privateers and one Danish privateer. She also captured numerous small merchantmen, but spent time escorting convoys to and from the West Indies. She was sold in 1816.

The Snake was the sole vessel of her class. This class was very business like with a flush deck and nine cannons or carronades each side, they were very fast and seaworthy. As originally built Snake had a full ordinance of 32 pounder carronades. Carronades replaced the carriage guns because at close quarters the short range carronades proved devastating to their opponents. Class dimensions were: length 100’; breadth 30’6”; displacement 382 tons with a crew of 121. Her designer was Sir William Rule. He produced two designs, one for a ship-sloop (Snake), and one for a brig-sloop (Cruizer) that differed only in their rigging. His designs were in competition with those of John Henslow, who produced the ship-sloop Echo and the brig-sloop Busy. Rule's brig-sloop design won. The Admiralty ultimately ordered 106 Cruizer-class brig-sloops. In 1811, the Navy converted Snake to a brig-sloop, making her indistinguishable from the Cruizer-class brig-sloops.



The kit


I order it from Cornwall model boats who shipped it quickly to Sweden. My first impression of the kit is really Good. Lots of details and pre fabricated wooden pieces. Caldercraft seem to have quite alot of different design solutions than Corel. The plans where more detailed but at te same time they come in huge size making them abit difficult to handle in my small kitchen "workshop". Two things on the negative side. The box was full of sawdust, perhaps not a major issue but it kind of gave a non quality impression. The second issue was that some of the Wood especially the walnut was not great. Very rough and edgy. A couple of the sticks were basically 50% of the material they should had been. This comes as a surprise considering that Caldercraft seem to be at the high end of kit manufactureers. The rest of the material seem to be fine.












Edited by Vane
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Caldercraft has a different solution than Corel with pre cut gunports.  Nice to not to have to measure these up, but also abit tricky to get in place. Unfortunately, here is where i did my 2nd mistake. Wasnt sure how high i should place these at the bow... got too low.  Hopefully I can correct it with some extra wood on top of them later on.


Edited by Vane
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Good Morning Vane

It looks like you are off to a good start, correcting mistakes seems to be quite common

in some of my work. Its all good practice.

Contact Caldercraft and tell them about the lousy wood, send a photo, they

might replace it no harm to let them know.

Cheer Chris


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Hi, I made up one of the cannons sat on some decking strip to double check the heights and to make sure the cannon would be placed central to the port.


If you think yours is too low remember that you can plank it higher at that end but you may also have to do so for the gun port.


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So next step... let the planking begin!


I enjoy this part of the process where you really can see the ship taking shape. I usually tapet both ends of the Wood and hot water to make it flexible. Pins and glue and not too picky about the details since it will be covered up.







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Next step is the 2nd planking. I will use walnut, and put the better supply at the top and the rougher strips at the bottom which will be covered by copper.  


This planking will be trickier since i want to do it without using pins that leave marks. 


First I started with the back.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Another stupid mistake.... instead of adding planks in full length i decided to put smaller pieces of walnut between the gunports to avoid some carving and drilling. It didnt come out well so i only did it on one side. The planks didnt end up straight and there are some minor gaps.  Hopefully this can be filled out before sanding.



Edited by Vane
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I almost did this to save some time.  Cutting out the gun ports was a heck of a time,  Just need a really sharp knife and some patients. 


Filling and sanding hide all but the most heinous of crimes ;)

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Considering Brexit, I am going to place a larger order at my supplier in UK. You never know when it will be possible to trade easily with UK again so I am even adding my favourite Caldercraft kit to it as well... even though i wont start building it in a long time.


So one of the thing i need to add to my order is wood. So my first question is if I should go with maple instead of tanganyika for the decks?  


And what sizes should I then order?


Edited by Vane
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I'm currently planking the deck on my Snake and the Tanganyika is not so fun to work with, look's good though.  I used Maple in the a previous build and had no problems working with it.  It is a very pale wood though.  As for size it's best to match the size given with the kit unless you have access to dimensions of planks for the period.  I do know they were hand sawed and were about 24-28 feet long, when converted to 1/64 is about 12cm long. As for the width I've never found info on that unfortunately so 4mm could be incorrect. 

Edited by Duncbe
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That is some solid planking right there.  Just needs some sanding to deal with the glue spill over and it will look fantastic. 


At this speed you're gonna pass me! With three builds going no less.

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Tonights project...

I didnt really like the flat steering wheels provided in the kit so I ordered some more advanced from Cornwall. Perhaps these are not completely accurate but i think they will look better. 


A question, I have seen some people placing the wheels inside the holders but the plans says they should be on the outside. What is the correct way? 







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  • 2 weeks later...

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