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First model picked

Jeffrey D

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That kit has received good reviews, and because it is new it will likely have fewer of the pitfalls that accompany older kits of full-rigged ships. But it is still a three-masted, square-rigged ship, and that it is a pretty steep challenge for a first project. Not to say that it can't be done (it has been), but in my estimation it is always wise to consider doing at least one less challenging kit as an introduction to modeling it wood, which as a craft has its own particular learning curve. One of the smallcraft models from BlueJacket or Midwest Products will not set you back too much in either or time or money, and the skills you acquire in building one will serve you well for turning Beagle into a nicely finished model. 

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You would be very well advised to heed Chris' suggestions.  The smaller scale solid hull version of Phantom should not overwhelm.  As a pilot schooner, the basic shape is elegant.  The rig is uncomplicated. 

At the 1:96 scale,  it is operating at the border of replication and simulation of detail.  The amount of detail is such that it will leave you wanting to do more - the next time out, if you contract this bug. If done well, this model will do you proud.  The quality is there.


HMS Beagle -  one of the Cherokee class of ten gun "coffin" brigs,  second only to the Cruizer class in the number of hulls built using the basic plan.  In spite of this,  specifics for the Beagle have been difficult to find.   This ship is the one most significant to someone from the Biological sciences with an interest in ship modeling.  For a long time,  Beagle was the subject of a frustrating and unrewarding search.


Mamoli produced a kit, purported to be HMS Beagle.  To my eye, it does not look like a Cherokee plan was used as a basis.  It looks more like a squashed collier and while shortened in the long axis, the depth looks to have been unreduced.  The wood supplied looks awful, the details and parts poorly done and out of scale.  I question if even the most skilled of us could produce a silk purse from this sow's ear.


Then Karl Marquardt wrote the AOTS volume for HMS Beagle.   A lot of is probably a very well informed series of best guesses, since no definitive treasure trove of "the answer to it" data as yet been found.  

I just looked on Amazon for the book and alas,  a copy is really expensive.  I bought a second copy - a reprint edition and not the quality of the original.  I was intending to slice the binding to get flat pages for undistorted scans of the lines.  Luckily, given my reverence for books, I did not have to do this.  As far as I can discover, none of the AOTS volumes come with separate plans that can be obtained my any method. 

It is clinically diagnostic evidence of serious brain damage on the part of a decision maker at the publisher.  -  editorial over!


The new OcCre kit for HMS Beagle looks to be heavily influenced by what Marquardt provided.  The hull looks like a Cherokee class hull.  The wood provided looks to better quality.  The weave n the sail cloth could use a lot of improvement.   A brig hull and a smaller one at that, is not like being buried under a mountain as it would be with a frigate, much more so with a liner, but it is still a challenge.  Rigging three masts - with the bow, it is essentially four masts,  just out of the chute and at a scale that allows some of finer details can become frustrating.   But it is the level of deck detail - Marquardt inspired is my guess - should give pause to a beginner.  You could wind up feeling like you are trying to sprint in a flood of molasses.

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As a beginning ship modeler, a good quality, simple model, elegantly built, will teach you more and give you far more satisfaction for years to come when finished than a good quality, highly complex model, inexpertly built, if you even finish it at all. Kit manufacturers sell dreams that only come true if the dreamer has the skill to make those dreams a reality. As Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations." Trying to learn how to swim by jumping into the deep end of the pool straight away rarely ends well.


Edited by Bob Cleek
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Here is my opinion, buy what you want and build what you want as long as you have these forums as a resource because no matter your furniture wood building experience, which helps, it's not quite the same. I'll tell you your first major pitfall will be planking the hull. So you should look for the best hull planking tutorial book you can find, also check these forums out for planking tutorials, you will need them. So good luck on your first build.  


Great ship kit review James.

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2 hours ago, Jeffrey D said:

Thanks, I have been looking at videos and collecting tools clamps, things I think I might need, there is also a step by step with 30 videos, I think, building this exact model


I'm I'm honest, Beagle is doable as a first model if you ask questions, progress slowly and also have a forward-thinking mind. If you've ever made models before, either plastic or wood, then this model is within your grasp.


My first ever kit, against the advice of some folk I knew, was Artesania's San Francisco, and that turned out real well for me. It's certainly no less difficult than Beagle. I found the whole process a fantastic learning experience, plus the videos that OcCre made will help to create a pleasurable experience. Of course, we are always around to ask too!

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