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Duchess of Kingston c.1780 by James H - Vanguard Models - 1:64 - FINISHED

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Good morning!


As my Amati HMS Victory is currently on hiatus due to needing a good number of sheet replacements, I'll start work immediately on the future Vanguard Models release of the Royal Yacht, 'Duchess of Kingston'. As with my other VM stuff, this will be for the kit instruction manual. Chris conceded that (1) he hadn't taken enough photos of the original build, and (2) the design had changed significantly enough from his own build to merit a new build anyway, so the manual is representative of the final product.


Yesterday, I received a large box with the final production parts, and also a second set of earlier parts, including PE sheets. The photos here are of the production parts, and I'll cobble together a dry fit of the bits later, to give you a very quick idea of how this goes together, before work starts proper.


This kit must've taken an age to produce with all the sheets of pear, plus the pear overlays and beautiful engraving too. Here's what you can roughly expect to see in a final production kit:











Maple deck




Ply parts







Pear parts










Other laser parts




Strip wood





Photo etch










Resin parts




Fittings etc.







Rigging cord





Acrylic display stand (with engraved name plates)




It's interesting to see some of the design ideas, such as the stern/transom where the resin ornamentation sits atop the pear panel, and that panel has recesses engraved into it to allow the PE window frames to sit within!


I'll post a dry fit image of the hull a little later on...

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What a lovely kit again from Vanguard Models.


James, you did not post a picture of the finished model and I hope you do not mind me doing it: 



and for historical accuracy, the lady that inspired and gave her name to that beautiful vessel: 




Now, how many hours have a day for you James? It seems that you are faster than FLASH and Superman re-united in your endeavor.




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I already have all production photo etched parts with me, and resin castings for stern decoration, figurehead, winch and other castings are on their way to me. All materials are with me, but will wait until I am sure all fits as it should before starting production laser cut parts.


A November release is anticipated.


I can tell you that designing the photo etched decoration took an absolute age...

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Time for an update.


Of course, these photos are part of the instruction manual, so I've taken a selection to show where I'm currently up to with DoK. There are three 3mm MDF sheets, and I took my time to remove all of them and clean the tabs up with a knife and/or sanding stick. All parts are engraved with a number, and I knew all would be used in this quick bench session. First up, I built the temporary cradle. There's a gorgeous acrylic one for final use, complete with engraved nameplate, so this one is the scrapper that I'll throw away at the end.







As the model is single deck and won't have the usefulness of another lower deck into which the masts can align, a simple part is slotted into the keel before any work starts. It's most accessible to add at this stage. The part is a nice, snug fit. This is the main mast position.





Before any bulkheads are fitted, I first mark a rough bevel line on the first and last three bulkheads and then grind this away with my Dremel. A number of other parts are also bevelled at this stage too, such as the outer cheek parts and the front of the inner longitudinal beams. All bulkheads are now slotted into place.







For the foremast, a couple of parts are added to the outer cheeks. These will create a round base into which the down will sit. These are then slotted into place.






Now, those longitudinal beams are now added, starting with the inner two...






...and followed by the outer two:






At this stage, I painted wood glue into the joints and left the whole lot for a few hours to cure. I prefer this method when there are so many slots and such perfect tolerances.




Construction of the stern gallery areas starts with slotting in three frames, easily recognised with their engraved position ID. These just slot straight into position as shown, and are then glued.






Four extra pieces are added just before and after the midships cabin area. These are to support the floor/deck at either side. The cabin floor is also fitted and clamped until set.










Both the main and upper false decks are now glued into place. These are 0.8mm ply and you need to bend them and allow them to fit into the slots in the bulkhead tabs. This holds the deck parts remarkably flat across all bulkheads. As an insurance policy, I also add a couple of brass pins to the forward upper deck as there are no slots there to hold in position.




One nice little touch are the temporary beams which now slot into the bulkhead tabs. These are to give everything some real rigidity whilst the hull is worked on from this point. Afterwards, the beams and tabs will be broken out and discarded.




A few extra pieces at the stern, but not quite all. The model is now setting before I start to sand the hull to shape and add the ply bulwarks.




More soon... 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I promised an update, and here we are. 


I've actually done far more than you see here because most of the deck fittings (bitts, cannon, coamings, steps etc.) are now built too. I'll show some of that work in the next update.


There are a LOT of photos in this update but they only represent a fraction of what will be included in the manual, as Chris has asked me to detail photo stuff much further than is normally done. The manual should be epic when done!



Ok, on with fairing the hull. This one, I found, much more straightforward to sand than Flirt. It certainly didn't take the same amount of time to get the results I wanted. Of course, a lime plank was used to test the flow of the hull with the sanding.











With the sanding done, the inner prow is fitted. This is cut from 3mm pearwood. The fit of this is positive and it slots without any ambiguity and is perfectly straight when added, but I still added a few clamps to the mix too.






The prow is added at this stage so that the 0.8mm ply bulwarks can plug into it and set the level for the whole length. This one is dead easy as the top of the bulwark should be more or less at the top of the bulkheads. Easy!  Oh, if you get worried about the usual inflexible ply and ripple at the bow, then you won't get it with this model. The ply doesn't go to deep, and the shape of the bow is much friendlier than some hulls.




First planking is done with 1mm x 4mm lime, pinned as I go along with the very fine Amati pins that Chris supplies. The planks also tuck underneath the lower stern counter, so that's probably the trickiest area, but I didn't find it too bad for the first time I ever attempted doing it.










The inner keel is supplied in three further parts. These are self explanatory as you can see with the fore and aft parts. They will only plug into the hull in one position. The stern post is now sheathed in its outer pearwood facings (1mm thick) with laser engraving. This can now be glued to the model. Remember, apart from the sternpost facings, you won't see any of the other work...it'll all be covered over.

















The stern counter parts are now fitted and sanded. The lower pear is 1.5mm pear and I soaked that for 90 minutes and tightly bound it around a cylindrical 2kg weight and left it overnight to fully dry. The curve was perfect for the model.






More engraved pearwood now with the external bulwarks. It's vital that these are glued in exactly the right position, and the various holes adjacent to the windows and cannon ports, align with those in the ply bulwark. The bulwarks are first soaked and bent around the ply, then clamped and allowed to dry overnight. The dry parts are then glued to the model. Pear can swell quite a lot so you really do need to leave anything soaked, for an overnight drying session. 






With the bulwarks in position the keel outer facings can be added. These create the rabbet for the planking, that Chris introduced with his Zulu and Fifie fishing boats. The parts are located with pear tabs and I also add brass pins thought the horseshoe to doubly align things.








Second planking is done with 1mm x 4mm pear. I Managed to get three un-tapered planks in before tapering began. With this model, I only found the need to taper just one plank at the stern! As there is more real estate to cover there, I wasn't going to complain. All pear planking was done with Gorilla Glue CA gel.






Once the hull is sanded smooth, I marked a temporary waterline on the hull and many slight gaps below the waterline were filled with diluted acrylic filler, and all sanded smooth. Above the waterline, any gaps were pretty much either invisible or non-existent. 






With the hull prepared, the temporary beams are removed, along with the bulkhead tabs. The remnants are sanded flush with the false deck. 







Before the maple deck is laid, the inner pear bulwarks are soaked and clamped around the inner ply bulwark and left overnight to dry. 




A little edge sanding is needed to make sure these maple decks fit snugly. They are quite flexible, and they need to be to be able to get the parts into position due to the bulwarks that lean inwards. They are still nice and easy to fit though. Dilute white glue is applied to the maple deck sections and then they are stuck down, with clamps around the edges. 








Upper bulwarks now put in position. 




Small oval MDF plugs are supplied to help align the main, inner bulwarks. With everything set, a sanding stick is used to level the tops of the bulwarks, even though they were very close anyhow. 




I used my tiny set of tungsten carbide files to clean up inside the gun ports and the rail decor areas.






I'll post another update next week with more hull work and I'll show some deck fittings too.


More next time...



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