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Cutty Sark by Vladimir_Wairoa - 1:24- English Clipper - FINISHED

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Hello guys,


I took the plunge to build cutty sark beauty in this massive scale,

but... i am about to finish it now, hovewer I thought I could still get some help or share my limited experiences and technique

...,most likely thinking if I had known amount of work, i would not have started probably.

but very glad i did. I am ships "afficionado" since kid time, and being from country wihout sea, obviously. :)) I hope its ok to post backwards, but i will go from beginning, knowing what went smoothly and what i regret ...this was a longest journey of my life, probably knowing about that ship more that I want by now :)) I followed logs of some so I am obliged to share and hopefully provide fun. Original idea was to use as less bought parts as possible, to make most of ship myself, and i decided to go without rigging and masting at this point. it is huuge. 3 meters long   ! , beam about 450 mm.

I settled at builing it from 2 water level up, as I always liked sea level ships more, being able to install water later on and for practical reasons to compensate a massivness so it is not that big to move. I do respect deeply small scale builders and I confess I am not able to put eyes and fingers to that torture :) or passion´, whatever you call it,

FInally, I will mention a troubles of big builds, that have their own quirks as their advantages for detailing making atc....but bending those big lumbers is challenge....

following Campbell plan ,

thank you


1. not really engineering approach :)   transferring plan, all 19 bulkheads will be approx 15cm from each other that will  I hope provide very solid skeleton for 3 mm think single planking....  







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Good morning folks.


3. shipyard construction. My workshop turned to shipyard. photos look a bit scary, but in this case precision is ruler of all, I spent a lot of time hand planning and measuring bottom of surface to ensure straight platform and even distance from every section. fastened with screws and glued first. spruce leftovers from roof construction of house. when I saw magnitude of the platform, I almost fainted. :) ff sake what did I step into.... kingsheads almost ready. Rabbet line turned out to be too shallow after checking, so I had to widen it for 3 mm planks. second pic- this is like what half of platform  look like - second half to be joined. next - bulkheads. enjoy.20191204_172025.thumb.jpg.0c6f34ba0a85ae9e126119523a4dc237.jpg








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Good morning guys,

part 4. many rainy days included. :)

bulkheads out of cheap pine wood. cut manually and planned manually. jeez.

Instalment bulkheads is most funny, but tricky part as well. constant checking of measurements etc...

hope you enjoy. I fastened stem, quite satisfactorily for me at the moment, but stern part is very fragile at this point, not sure how to go further. will see.

all remain fragile at this point bulkheads only glued to central line but secured at the bottom enough to be firm. thinking of stabilizing and securing sfter planking from bottom part, not sure how at the moment, to keep it reasonably light. its heavy anyway. its is straight enough for me at the moment, after checking horiyontal vertica lines, i could have cut off work from the basement. ...most fearsome part , doing it manually.

finall correction of bulkheads and planking fo follow



















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Posted (edited)

Holy cow! By that I mean your model is going to be the size of cow! Amazing. I am building my Cutty Sark at 1:75 scale which means yours will be twice the size. And I thought I had my hands full...

At any rate, you have done an amazing job so far. The engineering alone of building a ship to this scale is very impressive and I wish you all the best in going forward. I have to follow along as this is one of the most impressive builds I've seen.





Edited by petervisser
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Posted (edited)

Dear fellow builders,

thank you a lot for encouraging words.

chapter 5. deck instalment. I used nails, did  center deck evevation, masting holes, bowsprit hole,  zero plank is installed. ouch. and her sexy bottom from some old wood glued together. I put it together with screws, it strenghtened stern part by good margin before planking.  

she starts to show off her curves doesnt she  :) as a distraction before planking I started deck houses out of junk cardboards,, last pic from the windows, its christmas time.

last peaceful breath of air before planking. next part will be full of  painfull irreparable errors :(

from future look I regret enormously that I did not fill up space between last bulkhead and stern to make olanking easier but will see next ...

all best


























Edited by Vladimir_Wairoa
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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone.

chapter 6. planking. sanding etc..fillup of stern _ skip in time to finished stern

let me please know what you think.

many thanks



from now on i will sneak peak every time one some small familiar detail without whole frame as not to spoil it, -  from very opposite side of build  :))

heeey she is born, showing her sexy curves, hooray !










































Edited by Vladimir_Wairoa
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good morning folks


no 7. after many mistakes I have to live with, /you saw a bit compromised stern ending, ...installing steel bulwark. This operation scared me by lot, as metal sheet must be rounded to fit and must follow first plank gap to ensure its straight and I went for quite solid sheet almost 1 mm to ensure stability of construction . . otherwise it wont be straight. good news is, if maintained so, outcome will be OK. fitted with nails and fastened with 1 plank afterwards. meanwile i broke nose if ship, ouch , so work again,,,,,there is little unwanted dip in bulward right at the nose - for this reason i was not able to turn sheet counterwise any more.... it will be more wisible with topgalant rail installed but will see....first nose making. I used violin iron bending, as it went so so, as its quite thick. 6 mm to be rounded both direction. I did break one , but finally managed it. Intended to make it as original so, ornamentation is to be easily removed if future come up with " another art " :)

stern was obviously most difficult as I had to cut  "sheet scarf" I first made wooden guide, kind of mould, and for the stern bulwark I used 2 layers of thin plywoods and metal sheet between them to make a shape. challenge it was I almost cried..20200116_144200.thumb.jpg.1161f6c3efa824f0c35c1bba14fde139.jpg at the end I did straightened it with help of modern device :)) grinder. hooray.

sorry for my english. its 10 years without practice. :(

thank you for previous comments etc...




























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Posted (edited)

good day to everybody. 

thank you all for your interest so far..  soon im about to ask for advice.

struggle continues. no 8.


from now on its is almost clamping clamping gluing clamping ...and clamping :)

Installed forepart and she got first coat.


its called ugly engineering? well when i am older i will improve this part.




at this point bulwark is rougly done. There is slight innacuracy and balancing from Campbel pan as well as original ship as bulwark metal sheets should be applied to stanchions after deck is finished. at this scale i thought (probably correctly to find in impossible to maintain even lines with going original ship building route, there is very little such firm surface to secure ach of 48 stanchions supporting bulwark so that they will be straigt from oll vertical and horizontal lines etc...that would be horrifying effort. so obvious shortcut to the goal is to install bulwark on bulkheads and attach stanchions afterwards...the price paid is this one - BUlwarks should be drown a tiny bit more in body of deck - from photography point. well it is ommision that can be tolerated. as not critical one. I guess so.  


I m not going to pretend exact build. first it is not, and it was not meant to be from start as  my goal.  there must be compromises that I had to make, etc.... it is not by far without many mistakes as all of you spotted long ago right? so I am right installing foredeck without planking below - it wont be visible right? :) 


and surprise" tomorrow - topgallant rail. I opted for Walnut ! finish instead of teak. - i like pics from 80 ties more. darker and with combination with blonde deckhouses reliefs . That will be maple , lime and wallnut. thats it.




nose in place...20200113_111522.thumb.jpg.7d08af6bc136e7a6a0ab1353110c4592.jpg



foredeck...plywood 4 mm , oak and cherry 20200112_161014.thumb.jpg.697543d56e51787f8f93ccb64b0eaf5f.jpg20200112_160947.thumb.jpg.1fb63bc6cd4bb7271e731acb3c4b59f7.jpg..some drawings...20200111_190211.thumb.jpg.7b98e605d02acd2d7029dd8c7c23e23a.jpg

we said it is a cargo ship right? how many tons of tea or wool? not sure but in this case look closely.


there is electroengine weighing at least 30 kgs, another electroengine weighing 20 kg , 4 packets of wood each weighing 10 kg so another 40 kg, and some hand planners,old piece of rail ,  automobile wrenches and all this is supported only by bulwarks. so they dont bend . it is a cargo ship :DDD 20200124_170657.thumb.jpg.dd7c2d77daa35e513324a19d16943514.jpg20200124_170736.thumb.jpg.9f4f8c83e4d44948591026a24d5ca773.jpgwalnut decoration in place, it will be worked on by dremel further. I made a tenon- joint on straigh parts so it will remain hopefully firm. 

there is one fearsome details I have to explain. in pic below you can see brass stanchions supporting wooden rails...those are temporary to check 4 cm line. and you can see rather incorrect bowsprit hole....that is temporary. i will correct it later as I had to "rework bowsprit " eye"  to little more agressive angle . have fun and thanks. 20200113_114042.thumb.jpg.ef751b4e49f2d6aa6370402215ea7e79.jpg





 bulwark colored white. bulwark openings to be cut later so this is just prime coat. ther  are to be far more. There She is in her batman black and white color....:)

there are still some unstraigt lines in iron sheet in front because rails are not yet installed.  working on it. so far  metal T stanchions are glued to the little bulwark in foredeck.  looks like she need a proper dress up from now on . very different work to follow.  :) . always thank you for any comment etc...





Edited by Vladimir_Wairoa
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Congratulations Vladimir on all your work. She looks impressive. Are you going to fit masts and rigging?


Keep up the good work. I shall follow this with interest. I visit the Maritime Museum at Greenwich as often as I can (I use the archive there) and when I get off the Underground I walk past the Cutty Sark. If you would like some pictures let me know. Not sure when I will be going again though, with all this virus trouble at the moment.


All the best,


Mark P

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Posted (edited)



Mark, Omar, and Others,


thank you for interest. Well best thing I could have done was to put her on this forum becuase since than I return back and repair what I did make hastily. This panel website and Your sneak peak look makes me commit to her even more.

U thought how to proceed further , It is shortcuts Omar what I post , otherwise, it is long project, Im trying to get into real state of her, so ....Mark, I envy you, I lived in Ireland in 2007, making plan to visit London with friends and I put Greenwich to the list, but for some reason that did not materialised so....never been there yet. Regarding masting that is right on the spot what I am about to think nowadays.

I am thinking firmly that rigging would make her justice as well as I dont f. up the stern and nose decorations as those are prominent parts I guess. I never thought of putting sails on her but more people start telling me to it. I did measure her again , and guess what ? It is not 1:30 scale but 1:24 !!!!! as hull is 270 cm.-.....I had wrong numbers at the start. holy ****. at this moment Im thinking this - If I rig her , it would be only vertical rigging to make suitable compromise...so I can move her thru doors....

but even in this main mast height would be 1.80 cm plus her hull cca 27 cm and that would not make it thru doors. I have room 5X 5 meters so she can live there comfortably besides I am doing most of work now in my room, she moved to dry dock:))) First ideas was to build some glass table around her so she can  lie in living room as a glass table next to the couch. I dont want to put her next wall as there will be only I side visible. something like center of the room but glass would be dear...ouch...that is far future...I would definitely love to see her rigged vertcally at some pooint but probably not this year. I want to finish her to the point of cedoration without rigging. great paradox is that Covid 19 now gave me desired time to slow and put some more effort...not that I am happy about it. sort of. now controvertial topis. Big model is like big painting in gallery. step back and wow, come closer and make sure  you did it right because photo wont fool you, but everyone knows that. :))) I made one grave mistake I had to repair , will put some pics of it.that is pain of every starting builder cut thru finished part, but so far it is repairable and very important. I had to remove bowsprit eye as made it too thick. causing metal sheet turing arout it was too far causing nose looking more like titanic than cutty sark. making new out of seasoned maple wood I had from violin making, repairing it now.



I read somewhere that model boats building is art. that curiosity grabbed me to ty it as I did not understand what can be artistic in more engineering work than art. Now I understand better. Of course there will alwazs be polemic how far should one proceed with material and leaning away from oroginal design - but we all know especially with far smaller scales, that big portion of model building is inventing with materials and ideas to help to make similar or exact part as original. I am mentioningit as  Specially cutty sark artistic parts are important domination of the boat from drawing desk of the original inventor of the ship orrect? she was designed to be trading success , and her beauty should have promote her trade ability, showing off potential of the company doing thade finantial stability etc....and her postvictorian era decor make a significant part of the boat. Curvy ending of her railing tops, rounded angles and corners.....and most dominant halfround decor of the deck buildings, all this typical for Heydays of postvictorian era but reaminding me start of "la Belle epoque" ! ....

sometimes wire helps to replicate wood etcetera - in this case with small models of this ship right? 

There are ornamenatal parts in most especially wooden boats  and in my opinion what is artistic about all this is the vision of maker  - to the point how to achieve a pleasing look - there is big constroversy if the goal is to replicate MOST realistic look or choose lets say mode of decoration similar in painting art lets say  there was realistic romatic and van gogh or picasso era for example - same for example deck cecoration would be same by measures and technical drawing parts but visual detailing will be diferent from the visual point - hyperralistic or just blurry or imaginary - or slightly cleaner or hollow similar to japanese carpentry look.  I will leave this to theoretical debate i dont want to continue about it. my opinion is,  but i am mentioning it so you can better understand what aproach did I take with replicating deck buildings etc.....


no 9. Dressing up a lady /3 parts - carpentry, metal work, machinery /


carpentry - I have to say I did not have exact idea of final look how to achieve important 3 dimensional layers of decckhouses decoration structure, but I knew I have to acheve that somehow to be visible , specially at this big scale you would call me looser if made it just cartoonish :))) I tried to inlay small columns finally.  furthe ideas came up one after another...not that precise but hope I did replicate important parts....barebone blonde layer, maple and lime wood, first layer /should simulate original layering but without smallish framing decoration at the corner of each rounded columns lines - thus my deck houses replicate more illusionary art rather than hyperrealistic approach . third layer . casettes with inlays. finally I used a mahogany framing for the columns to give justice original wood of shp so it is there :) I inlaid doors and stern deck, but I did not replicate it exactly...hope everyone can live with that ...:)


  I used cap from old windows hinges to make cap of wooden stanchions . - and rest for rudder .

















































Edited by Vladimir_Wairoa
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6 hours ago, Mark P said:

Congratulations Vladimir on all your work. She looks impressive. Are you going to fit masts and rigging?


Keep up the good work. I shall follow this with interest. I visit the Maritime Museum at Greenwich as often as I can (I use the archive there) and when I get off the Underground I walk past the Cutty Sark. If you would like some pictures let me know. Not sure when I will be going again though, with all this virus trouble at the moment.


All the best,


Mark P

Hi Mark, thanks a lot, if I mast, rig her, I guess I would  let you know if I need detail pics apart of those I found on web.

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Posted (edited)

Good evening Everyone,


no 10. Machinery and bulwark stanchions and windows.


There is no plethora of eyes or iron parts on Cutty, but what it is is marvelous piece of vintage casting industry glamour. Unfortunately I am really beginner at iron work, but I did try my best , with an window that I could possibly rework some of it. I would like to learn specially how to blacken or burnish brass, as I did not find any cloloring or spraying satisfying enough to be acceptable. If someone has a tip or can lead me to some tutorial on web on that topic i would be really thankful. I did mix iron with some  wooden parts  to easy an effort....thank you for any comment etc...I have to highlight one piece that I like most . 

Bilge pump with its vintage S wheels is an eyecatcher and really characteristic on this ship. I decided to color S supports parts black but left wheel frame on its brass color. I find it pleasing to look at. :) what I have dilemma are the actual eyebolts going into deck. 

sould I make original simple round eyes as on actual ship? I have those modern eyes at hume with pins already installed, but seems weird a bit from aesthetic point. what do you think? :)

For the winches or how is it called I used most parts from old bolts and rivets I found at home, also for various size bollards. I put brass nail with cap into bolt to replicare brass ending on bollards. There is still many parts missing on boat like sheaves, and small bollards on rails, I am not going to make now intentionally, as Lifeboat and lifeoats elevation ramps.... I intend to make after I decide whether to rig the ship or not ...and Capstan is out of scale slightly. Catheads are not yet completed so I will post those later on. tomorrow I will post decoration and that would be catch up to where I am about to be now. From now on it will be sparer posts depends what progress do I make. well, if not rigging, only muntzter sheathing remains rudder,,  two parts on back deck with window, installing doors and that would be it :) I wont post decking capitol as It is nothing to write home about. as I am not at decking yet, I will probably include some pics, I did install individual planks around hatches , building ,rest is from lime wood strips 70 mm wide. I can make individual planking later any time, and this would provide solid base especially as original decking is elevated a bit with metal ending frame ....






































































Edited by Vladimir_Wairoa
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Posted (edited)

Good day everyone,

chapter 11. rework.


Hope everyone is looking after themselves in these times... I spent whole day reworking on bow part of ship. 

There was mistake I made when assembling steel sheet of bulwark attaching to the knightsheads, ....and not twisting sheet enough to make proper curvature of ship. I did not pay enough attention to that as I focused on building ship further. But...than I installed foredeck , etc.....and all the time I had strange feeling I am not building cutty sark but she has kinda of Titanicish nose,..I can live with many failures or ommitions, but .bow curvature is important part of design

 I couldnt take it anymore so I decided I had to remove knightheads and install smaller one to make correction on curvature .

I used piece of well seasoned maple from violin neck / very stiff  - to make sure it will handle pressure even thin, and fastened it with screw throughout after glued. I can live with it at this point., and at the final surgery went smoother than I thought. what is corrected good is that bowsprit is now not drown deep into deck but short in deck as supposed to be.... at the price topgallant rail ends a bit front of knightheads ... that is unfortunate but I dont care for that. thanks for any comment.




old bow curvature :( vs new proper bow curvature :) 

















Edited by Vladimir_Wairoa
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12 hours ago, Sailor1234567890 said:

That ruler on the cutwater really gives an idea of scale. 

Hello , yes scale is massive, but sometimes it is too small for me, and sometimes too big. I am at the point of thinking how to mast / rig her. definitely will do standing rigging, and would like to go only jigs for running rigging.......surely not other  sails ....but to the point it is not cumbersome to move comfortably. Despite its longitude, she is surprisingly light / apart of stern. Im thinking of mast her up to topmast. most likely not topgallant. I would like to install jigs...but that is concerning me with forepart of ship. definitely much longer. I could be able to install 1 and that would be pointless. :) so still thinking.  ouch

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