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Advice on next build please


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Hi all,


I've been lurking on the forums for a while now, and I have particularly enjoyed watching the build logs in progress.


When I was a lot younger I started but never finished the Constructo Union. I'm not sure if it's still the case, but when I was making this model it had a solid hulled.


I've recently come back to the hobby and I have just finished building the Constructo Albatross:




I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, particularly because this was a planked hull which was a step-change in difficulty from the solid hulled models. Interestingly, I suspect that the kit that I bought may have been sitting in the shop for quite some time because various sites on the Internet seem to suggest that the wood is water or laser cut in this model, but I am certain the pieces in the kit I just completed were die cut.


Anyway, I'm now looking for some advice on what might be an appropriate next step to continue challenging myself and improving my ship building skills. I don't want to build another Constructo kit because looking at the build logs there seem to be lots of options for kits with a huge amout of greater detail and the prospect of a highly accurate model excites me.


As a secondary requirement, not vital but might be nice, I was thinking that it would also be fun to build a famous ship.


There were a couple of kits that I had thought might be good, so any particular feedback on these would be appreciated;


1) The Model Expo Syren - as far as I can see everyone raves about this one. From the pictures it's also a great looking model. The only thing that was giving me pause here was that the pictures that I have seen of the Syren don't have any sails. I love the look of a ship with all sails fully rigged and unfurled. Does this model come with sails?

2) The Euromodel Aiax - this just looks like a beautiful model. I couldn't find any build logs on this forum for it though. Does anyone have any experience with the Euromodel models?


If anyone has any other suggestions I'd appreciate it. I'll keep looking in the meantime!


Thanks to you all in advance!




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Hi Daveor


Euromodels have great kits but they are not for beginners. Most of them are without instructions and if there are any, they are in Italian.

They are not really kits like those from model expo. I like to call them "material boxes". A collection of drawings, wood and other materials in a box.


A lot of the kits are also single planking.


However...... They have the best materials available.


I real love Euromodels kits but I think that you need some more experience before starting on a Euromodels kit

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Hi Daveor,


The Model Expo kits certainly get good reviews from the folks here who have built them, and the Syren is a particularly nice model with excellent instructions by our very own Chuck Passaro (MSW site administrator). There are many fine build logs of this, but I recommend you take a look at Augie's log. I should imagine you could add sails if you really wanted to, and I'm sure Chuck could provide advice.


A similar size ship would be the Brig Badger by Caldercraft/Jotika. This brand is one of the better kit manufacturers going around. Again, several good build logs here for you to review.


Another brand you might look at is Victory Models. This is a subdivision of Amati and is essentially their "premium" range. They do a nice version of HMS Pegasus. Once again, take a look at some of the build logs here to see what's possible with this kit. (Have a look at builds by Blue Ensign and Realworkingsailor).


In the end, you need to choose a model that excites you. Good luck, and be sure to start a build log here once you've made a decision.

Edited by gjdale
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Hi and thanks for the feedback.


First of all thanks to robboxxx for the thoughts on the Euromodels kits.


I've had a look at the various models suggested by Grant and to pick out one, the Victory Models HMS Pegasus looks amazing. However, I feel it might be a bit expensive for a second model. While I was looking at the HMS Pegasus I also took a look at the HMS Fly which is now my current hot favourite.


Thanks for the input and I will continue looking.



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Just be aware that the Pegasus is essentially an upgraded version of the Fly (as I understand it). In modelling, as with anything else, you tend to get what you pay for. In the end, the choice has to match your budget as well as your desires! :)

Edited by gjdale
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Hi Grant,


Thanks for your email.


I agree with you. I've been thinking about this a lot today - cost is a factor for me but I also want to get something that I'm going to be excited about building. Since my last post I noted that there are several optional add-on sets of photo etched and cast parts for the HMS Fly model which I was thinking about getting which would make the Fly and the Pegasus models almost identically priced.


I also need to bear in mind that I'm almost certainly going to need some new tools and possibly some books on basic techniques etc. I assume I'm also going to run into some unanticipated costs as the build progresses.


This is a big leap forward for me so I want to take my time and try get the right thing. It's a lot bigger leap than I anticipated actually!



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Hi all,


I wanted to keep you updated on my progress on research and selecting a new model. I thought it might be interesting for someone else who is in my position of having completed one model and looking to get more serious about the hobby...a research log of sorts! :-)


So to begin here is the entire list of everything I own related to this hobby at the present moment;



  • A Dremel
  • Craft knife with spare blades
  • Two small pliers
  • Mini hammer
  • Bent-nose precision tweezers
  • One small flat file
  • Two woodworking augers - I used these to press pilot holes for drilling with small drill bits
  • Precision drill bits from 0.3mm to 1.6mm (larger drill bits available from general DIY tools)
  • Sewing needles - Used these to make hems and seams in sails
  • Plastic ruler
  • Cutting mat - I have intermittent access to this because it has been "borrowed" by kids :-)


  • White wood glue
  • White spirits
  • 1 x 14ml tin matt black enamel paint
  • 1 x tin ronseal quick drying clear satin varnish (bought in local hardware shop)
  • Fine grain sandpaper
  • Various spare bits and pieces of wood and fittings left over from completion of last model

As I have been researching which kit to buy next I have realised that I am missing a lot of very basic knowledge; I don't know enough of the names for all of the various parts of ships, I don't know enough about rigging, I certainly don't know the correct knots to use in various places in the rigging. I also know that the tools and supplies that I have above are not going to be sufficient to make a decent job of a more complicated model.


Therefore, I have decided that an appropriate first step is to invest in some books. Looking around the Internet I found quite a good build log site (hmsfly.com) which had some suggested books. I reviewed them on amazon and they seemed interesting, so I have ordered the following books;

  • Period Ship Kit Builder's Manual by Keith Julier
  • The New Period Ship Handbook also by Keith Julier
  • The Art of Rigging by George Biddlecombe
  • The Arts of the Sailor: Knotting, Splicing and Ropework by Hervey Garrett Smith

I will read these books, continue my research and post another update soon.



Edited by daveor
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Four additions:

Use a metal ruler (for cutting)

And clamps, clamps, clamps, clamps and clamps. I use metal 'spring" clamps, rubber band clamps, cloth pins (straight & modified)

Band aids 

paper towels (those used in the kitchen) for cleaning up spills (also when whet great to clean up wood glue)

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Hi robboxxx and thanks for the input.


I have started a shopping list of tools and I will add your suggestions. On the point of clamps, I was also looking at getting a keel clamp - a lot of photos in a lot of different build logs seem to have them.


Is that something that is worth having do you think?



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I have one and never used it. I use a piece of plywood with two wood strips that clamps the keel. Sometimes I modify the leftovers from the material the bulkheads are made of and glue them to the plywood. this way you have a very stable cradle. 

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Hi robboxxx,


Thanks again for the input.


I'm thinking that I'm going to buy the Victory Models HMS Pegasus kit over the next week or so. I've pretty much decided that it's the next kit for me.


Originally I had thought that I would create a shopping list of all of the tools and other things that I was going to need to make the kit but now I'm thinking that I'll get the kit and then start dealing with the issues that arise.



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Yes. That's the way to go. Start your build and you will soon discover what's needed..... My first tool was a scroll saw (hand, not electric) because I figured that I would need to scroll saw a lot....... Never used it.


That is a beautiful model you are starting on. I envy you.


As soon as my San Felipe, Royal Louis and Fair American are build I will give that one a try.  :P

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Good choice Daveor,


It looks to be a really nice kit. There will be no shortage of advice and guidance available from some skilled and knowledgable folks here too.


Good luck with your build and I'll look forward to seeing your build log once you start.

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