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AndyXO

H.M.S. Badger Kit by Caldercraft

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I am considering purchasing this kit and wanted to know whether those who have built this model would recommend it-- or other models by this vendor.  Thanks for any comments on this model. 

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This was the first model I built (you can see my log linked below).  I highly recommend it - very well done, great instruction manual, great Caldercraft quality, etc.  The only quibble I had is that some of the thin walnut sheets were kinda crumbly in places, maybe that's been fixed, but nothing that filler and paint can't fix.  When I was looking at possible first models, I wanted to build something interesting that was more complicated than a weekend-type model, yet not too complicated.  The Badger and the Armed Virginia Sloop were great candidates at the time.  There are a lot of new kits on the market with improved instructions, building methods, etc., so hopefully folks with knowledge of them can send you additional recommendations.

 

Other than that, if you buy the kit, I would consider building in a different order.  For me, I think adding the cannons so early on ended up causing me a lot of grief because I kept busting them off when trying to add the rails and other external hull details.  That could just be my building style as I typically build in my lap more than I should.

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Caldercraft kits are well-regarded for quality. I built their Sherbourne kit and thoroughly enjoyed it. The issue with crumbly plywood mentioned above is not unique to Caldercraft. I had the same issue with some plywood parts from Amati, but was able to work around them. It's a not readily visible problem that is easy for the QC people to miss.

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I'll second the positive comments about the Badger.  It was my second wooden build and took me about 18 months (I am a SLOOOOOOWW builder) and I love the way it looks.  It gives a great impression of complexity once it's finished and rigged but it's a straightforward build.  Mike's comments about leaving the cannons off until later are a good idea.  I only knocked two loose during the build but it was still aggravating. 

As far as material quality went my walnut and plywood were ok but the decking material, tanganyika I think, looked like it had been ripped down by beavers with dull teeth.  Still I managed to use it and it ended up looking fine.  Just involved more prep work and careful attention to which side I was going to use.  

All in all a great kit that has gotten a lot of compliments over the years.

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55 minutes ago, shane762 said:

the decking material, tanganyika I think, looked like it had been ripped down by beavers with dull teeth

😝

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