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Frigate Diana by ObviousNewbie - OcCre - Scale 1:82 - Second wooden ship build

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To quote one of my favourite movies:"Here we go again.." After building HMS Terror, I was completely hooked, and as Corona is still roaming the streets, I managed to get my hands on Frigate Diana, also by Occre. Here's some history I picked from the Occre site:


"The frigate Diana was launched on the 10th of March 1792. It formed part of the series of frigates known as "Mahonesas", as they had been built in the city of Mahón.Thanks to its design, it could sail faster than its predecessors. It took part in the war against France along the Catalan coast although, during the war of Independence, its base was in Cadiz. As a member of the naval forces of Havana, it took part in battles against the corsairs in the Antilles and made various trips across the Atlantic. It was broken up in 1833 in the naval shipyard of Cartagena."




Apologies, I did not make an unboxing video 🙂 , but I was a bit stunned at the amount of stuff in there, from the hull planking strips (long enough to cover the hull this time😄 )to dowels 10mm in diameter (Terror's thickest dowel was 6mm), to a 1:1 profile drawing of the entire ship, causing the Admiral to comment:"And where do you intend to put that?"


Studying the plans, I luckily found a lot of techniques also used in Terror, but plenty of new stuff here as well: no hull paint to cover any second planking mistakes, much more detailed work on the bow and the deck. Pretty challenging for a newbie like me (again). So I took a deep breath, cleaned up the shipyard and got unpacking:




Lesson learned from Terror, part 1: sand the deadwood before glueing the bulkheads:



then dry fitting all bulkheads and check for issues. Nothing major, just bulkhead 2 misbehaving a bit, nothing some sanding couldn't fix. Then tried fitting  both decks:



Again, no major issues here, fits were spot on or close, no burn marks on the wood. And then, after second inspection, glue half of the bulkheads:




And that's where we are today. Tomorrow the other bulkheads, and then on to deck planking 🙂 . 


Thnx for dropping by!


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Hi all, thx for checking in. Some progress during heatwave days, all the bulkheads are glued, and I proceeded to the planking of the lower deck (gun deck?)



The plans called for a planking scheme half way, and pencil the edges in, but from experience with my previous build I decided to plank with individual planks. Patience is a virtue 🙂 didn't really like the scheme, saw some examples in here of other schemes and got inspired. As the plans did not give a length for the individual planks, I extrapolated from my Terror plans, where the planks were 60mm (1/75th scale). So on 1/84th, that amounted to about 55mm, ideal for dividing into 5😄 . And so I did, here's the result, first sanding done, not varnished or glued into position yet:




After this was done, checked the alignment of the mast and bowsprit holes. Nothing major, main mast hole was covered slightly by a bulkhead, but easily corrected:




She's a big girl..


And that's where we are today. The shipyard will be closed for a couple of weeks due to a slight case of holidays; so looking forward to get out of the house after all this Covid mess in Belgium. Stay healthy, stay safe, and see you all in September!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all, back from relaxing holidays, opened up the shipyard to finalise the deck planking. Glued the gud deck halves in place first:



And then proceeded with the crossbeams to support the main deck:




Then installed the sidewalls that will hold the gun mounts for the hidden cannons. Instructions called for secure fit as to allow for drilling, so I added some nails to ensure the strips do not move:






Then started on second planking, and I made my first blunder: after drawing the heartline correctly, proceeded with planking the aft of the main deck, working my way forward. But instead of continuing on the heartline after the opening in the deck, I added planks on the side. Took me about 6 planks to realise I was completely losing my straight line. Removed the planks (glued with white glue), straightened out the damage on the false deck and kicked myself repeatedly for making such a stupid mistake.


In the end, planking continued without anything major:




Now for extended sanding and levelling, and then painting the gun mounts and the interior of the gun deck.


Happy building!

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12 hours ago, clearway said:

Welcome back. if modelled with gunports closed you would have saved putting the planks along the gundeck😁. There does seem a lot of discrepency with plank thickness on decks though (got to love occre)🤪.



Hi, thnx for looking in! Well, the object of the second model was to try things I didn't get to do with Terror, and the cannons are a part of that, so gunports will be open. Still trying to figure out how to template the opening angle so they all align, but that's still far away. I sanded down the main deck, a lot of elbow grease, but this is where we are now:






There's improvement, but the difference is still visible in some areas. I have no experience with other brands, is this an issue they tackle better than Occre?

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Busy week, not much progress, but managed to work on the bulwarks:



This time, I managed to actually bend them correctly on the first try 🙂 . Made a sketch of the bow to ensure the curvature would match. Still looking for a better way, as this is not 100% accurate.


Nevertheless, after 36 hours of drying (busy days), they were ready to be installed:



Preparation really paid off here, after about 2 hours, both them were fixed:




Letting the glue dry out now, then it's on to fairing the hull and planking. Longest bulkhead is 108mm, so 20 5mm strips per side and some change. As the Rear Admiral is moving to university, weekends are planned full, so more boat time next week, hopefully...


Enjoy the weekend!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, thnx for checking in. Made some progress last week, although life kept me busy (what else is new). 


After fitting the bulwarks, fairing was upon us. No mayor issues, except the bulwarks did not sit flush with the bow, so I attach small wedges to make sure the planks that would go on there were level:




After that, planking began in earnest. I was a bit nervous, thought I'd forgot everything I learned with Terror. But you seen get into the groove (sorry). First up were the three planks under the bulwarks:




These will also serve to support the wales, so they needed to be in the right position. The plan then called to start from the keel up, with the garboard planks up next. My previous experience with steaming wasn't totally successful, so I took another route: soaked the strips in hot water for 90 minutes, then used my third hand to allow to bend and dry:




This worked quite well, soak in the evening, let dry overnight and start in the morning 🙂 Worked my way up and this is where we are today:




Progress is slower than Terror, but I'm spending more time ensuring a good fit for the planks, avoiding as much tension on the plank as possible. Also, I aim for symmetry as much as possible, working on one side, and then repeating on the other. This allows me to keep track of how the two sides are planked and make corrections if necessary.


While planking I realised I never planked a bow before! Terror was a stack of plywood planks to be sanded down. So first try for that (that's why ObviousNewbie still holds as a nick, too many things I still need to do for the first time😄 ). Ensured a good overlap, I'd rather sand a bit more than find out the strips were too short. This is how the bow looks so far:




As always, your feedback is much appreciated. Tomorrow on to the second half of the hull and planking the bulwarks..

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hi ObviousNewbie good morning, 

i see your planking good, this kit is large and more complex than the Terror! you use a lot of pins as me 😊, i think it's the best way. Be aware with the raising planks between them, you will need to sanding it a lot.

I'm yet using steam to curve the planks but it need some hours i think, i prefer it because so when it dries they are not leaving gaps. Your method it's interesting i'll try it with next model 🤗



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, Thnx for checking in. Finalised the first planking last week and gave Di her first sanding down:






Still some smaller bumps to take care of, but she's smoothing out 🙂   As this was my first full bow planking, sanding was a bit of a nervous affair, but I think it worked out:




Dryfitted the stem and the bowsprit to check alignment, so far so good:




Next step: inner bulwarks. Still haven't made up my mind of using the plywood as provided by Occre, or use the plank surplus. Any thoughts? Idea is to leave the colour natural, with clear-ish varnish only. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the occhre red used only on English ships at this time? Can't really find a definitive painting guide to these ships..


Also, question: wood glue works wonders on untreated wood, but will it do the same on varnished wood? I'm asking because I thought about varnishing the lower part of the hull in a darker colour, so when I apply the second planking (sapelli) and I make any errors, there's no ugly white gap showing. Terror was a doozy in this area, as the hull was varnished black, but I want to keep the sapelli colour as much as possible for Diana...


Thnx for your help!

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congrats for the nice planking! 

regarding the bulwark templates, I used them, but if I was to do it again I would plank the bulwarks. For the gundeck it's not an issue, nothing will be seen. But on the forecastle deck there is an opening for the catheads:


which is a rather dubious feature. A flat piece of timber laid across the deck, connecting the the two sides.. can't imagine it is correct. The point is, the bulwark templates already have a hole for this board, which I decided not to install, and found it difficult to fill the gap nicely in the bulwarks. But the decision certainly is yours, I recall the templates are fine and fit as they intended. 

For the color scheme, I decided to go with natural wood look and the bulwarks (and guns) stained red. You can check my build log if you like this look. Must admit, I know nothing about Spanish ships, and I followed British reference material. 

I don't think varnishing of the hull before second planking is a good idea. Wood glue sticks to wood and anything in between results a weaker joint, But don't be afraid of the second planking, your job done is great.

keep on the good work,




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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update: progressing slowly on second planking:




Took a new approach to this as I wanted to make sure the sapelli did not leave any gaps. Basically I put down CA gel at regular distances (closer whenever a tricky bend came up), and in-between used PVA for glueing the rest of the strip. It's probably overkill, but it keeps the strips in place nicely, basically using the CA as nails until the PVA dries.




4 more strips to go, and the way the Cover numbers are going in Belgium, I might have more time on my hands as of next week...


Stay healthy, stay safe!

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Hi all, quick and probably stupid question: second planking is finalising and I'm prepping for the installation of the limber boards. Clear instructions for the bow portion, but I'm a bit unclear about the stern, as the bulwarks are not in a straight angle. A rudimentary schematic showing the stern:




As for the question: do the limber boards get installed following the bulwarks (option A), or do the limber boards follow the alignment of the deck (option B)? This will allow me to sand the tops of the bulwarks correctly.


Thnx for your input!

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Hi NotsoObviousNewby


You're doing really tremendous work on your build.


Regarding your questions I would say:


- Option B



- The feature with a beam across the deck linking the catheads is something I find only on ships of the line where that beam also forms part of the forward bulwark of the fore deck. I'm not quite sure if its main use is strengthening the catheads or  just stabilizing the forward end of the deck or both.



That beam - painted red - is shown by the skipper on my Bellerophon. It is level with the catheads.


However I didn't find such a construction on frigates and smaller vessels, where the catheads usually lay diagonally to the deck beams and lead trough the deck perhaps to be fixed below the deck beams. I'm not sure about the exact construction as all my clever books are somewhat vague about it.

OCCRE perhaps isn't always true to the original and may have something mixed up here.



- If you allow me to criticise something which irritates me quite strongly and will also irritate you as you improve your knowledge and skills fast and steadily:

In my opinion there is a grave mistake in the lay of your second planking of the bow. You should never allow planks to terminate against the side of other planks - do not hesitate to taper your planks and to use stealers and drop planks. The planking tutorials here on MSW are clear about that.

This rather ugly mistake is seen occasionally on these pages. Perhaps it seems easier and quicker to plank that way and perhaps some less scrupulous manufacturers even recommend it, but I find doing it the right way means hardly more work but is much more satisfying and pleasing to the eye.

Please excuse me for that rather harsh criticism but perhaps you still could correct it and your very promising build would certainly deserve a correct planking.


Regards from an SlightlyAdvancedNewby


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Hi Peter Thnx for your replies (I'm Robert, by the way), and thnx for the compliment!


1 hour ago, flyer said:

Regarding your questions I would say:


- Option B


Thought so, that seems to make the most sense, but with my limited experience, what makes sense to me doesn't necessarily mean that's right 🙂


1 hour ago, flyer said:

If you allow me to criticise something which irritates me quite strongly and will also irritate you as you improve your knowledge and skills fast and steadily:

In my opinion there is a grave mistake in the lay of your second planking of the bow. You should never allow planks to terminate against the side of other planks - do not hesitate to taper your planks and to use stealers and drop planks. The planking tutorials here on MSW are clear about that.

This rather ugly mistake is seen occasionally on these pages. Perhaps it seems easier and quicker to plank that way and perhaps some less scrupulous manufacturers even recommend it, but I find doing it the right way means hardly more work but is much more satisfying and pleasing to the eye.

Please excuse me for that rather harsh criticism but perhaps you still could correct it and your very promising build would certainly deserve a correct planking.


No offence taken, I was pondering that question for a long time before setting off planking Di. Indeed Occre's instructions don't see any harm, but I'm getting to learn that instructions are sometimes more guidelines 🙂 . I went through the articles elsewhere on MSW, beginning with Chuck Passaro's text, and to be hones, he lost me about one third of the way. I understand the calculations involved but I just can't bring it all together yet.


Frankly, I'm also trying to build up a bit of self-confidence here, I only started out at the beginning of the year, armed only with some experience of plastic modelling some 40 years ago. And maybe yes, I took the safer, more cowardly route by going with what I know, but Di already had so many new experiences I didn't want to take the risk with something as elemental as getting the hull shape right(ish).  As planking has finalised, I don't see how to correct this, but a new approach to planking is on the cards for the next one.


Hope you understand, I still feel very much like a newbie, especially when seeing all the marvellous work done by other members.


Thnx again for your comments, stay healthy and safe!

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Hi all, thnx for checking in. Some work done and a milestone achieved: second planking is done:








Di needs some extra sanding here and there, but she's starting to look the part!


Starting on the cathead construction now, which is a real puzzler. Going to go with my gut instead of following the instructions, which don't seem to make sense.


Also thinking of the rubbing strakes, which are made from African Walnut. Tried some cutting and bending on a test strip, and basically this wood behaves like your average concrete when compared to the rain I'm now more or less used to. Any tips on how to handle this wood, cutting and bending wise? My crimping tool is basically useless, and I'm having a hard time cutting it with an exacto...


Thnx in advance for any suggestions. Stay safe!

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10 minutes ago, clearway said:

steaming/ soaking in water for a few hours will work.

Thnx for that! Just another question: I’ve read that glueing planks while they’re still wet is a nono, but I also saw some logs where bulwarks were put into place to dry. So what is the best way: soak them, then bend them into shape on a mold and leave to dry, or bend them and secure them in place?

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you made great progress on the second planking. looks very nice.

regarding bending the thick wood, I can think of a couple of options.

- soak it for several hours, than take a fairly large pot from the kitchen, clamp it slowly and wait until dries. than remove it, soak it again, and clamp it to a smaller one with a bit more severe bend. I had some success this way in the past, working progressively towards the required bend, but it takes a lot of time. all previous advice about using heat/ steam will help the process.

- if you are going to paint your wales black, you might use the leftover strips from first planking. they bend easily, and the rough grain can be sanded and filled before painting. this is the path I chose.

- you can also source some replacement walnut strips from Cornwall if everything fails and if you are for the natural look. they are not expensive and the one they sell bends way more easily than the Occre wood. 



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Hi all, thnx for checking in. DavidG, chose the hard way, also as a learning experience: fitted the African Walnut. In retrospect, your second option would have been the optimal one, as I'm painting the strakes anyway, and that would not have left me with a nasty carving mark 😞 think I can minimise it though.




Placed the top strakes and rounded off the corner strip:




Now working on the gunport sides, the catheads and the railings...

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