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HMS Speedy 1782 by RMC - Vanguard Models - 1:64 Scale

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Before Granado I built HMS Vanguard  designed by Chris Watton.  His design, his plans and instructions proved to be outstanding.  The result after only five years was a truly wonderful model (I may be biassed).  There is a build log if anyone is interested.  Chris has now set up his own firm and that was the attraction in my choosing Speedy.  I hope this log may help those who are just starting the hobby.


In putting the frame together it is crucial that the bulkheads are square with the keel.  The laser cut parts in the kit are superbly accurate, but even so the there is slight 'give'.  I use a small set square to check the angle and clamp a bit of square timber behind the bulkhead to hold it while the glue dries




The bulk heads at the bow and stern are bevelled to accommodate later planking.  This is one way to get the right angle.  (In the kit the first 3 bulkheads are to be bevelled.  I suggest the 4th bulkhead should also be slightly bevelled.



This is how the bow bulkheads turned out.  There will probably need to be some minor adjustment during the planking.







Making sure the deck supports are square.



A hypodermic  needle is a really good means of putting PVA glue into  difficult places.



Here are the bulkheads and supports almost complete.



The 'fit' of the parts is perfect.




Here is the main deck fitted.  This is quite an awkward job.  The precision of the cut parts means there is no margin for even the slightest error in assembling the frame.  The instructions suggest temporarily nailing the deck down to make sure the deck is securely glued to the supports.  As you can see I have used a couple of clamps and a couple of weights to do the job .... and it looks like pasta for dinner tonight.









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I have begun the installation of the gunport patterns.  It has turned out to be quite difficult.  The bow pattern was very reluctant to bend to shape - at least the shape I wanted it to be.


I first gave the pattern a preliminary bending over night.  This made the horizontal bend a little easier.  The difficulty of course is withe the vertical beding to follow the line of the bulkheads.




The instructions suggest pinning the patterns to the bulkheads.  I made a halfhearted attempt, but the pins were very reluctant to go into the very hard ply bulkheads and I didn't persist.  Fortunately I have some little clamps (?) which are able to do the job relatively painlessly.  One problem is that when the patterns are attached to the part of the bulkhead below the deck where the curvature is greatest (near the bow), the part of the pattern between the bulkheads tended to bulge out.  The problem was solved by clamping a piece of wood strip towards the bottom of the bulkhead to keep the bulge contained.



All of this took most of the day with the usual exclamations - Oh golly! why did that happen? (or words to that effect).   I hope the rest of it goes a little more smoothly.  Below is shown  the first pattern glued (PVA above the deck, CA below) and clamped.








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Thanks Joe.


Hi Jason.  I bought the thing some years ago and can't now remember where on earth I bought it - that's age for you.  it's been quite useful, especially for planking.  I'm on my way down to the south coast in a few minutes, but when I return next week I'll see if I have some record of purchase.

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If you overtake me in days for what I have spent months on - I shall sulk!!

However just a quick point on the gunport strips - the pic seems to show the top of the forrard BH being higher than the strip - shouldnt be !!

The notch on the forrard top of the strip should fit hard up against the top of the slot in the stem cutout

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My aim was to have the top of pattern flush with the 8th bulkhead.  This meant the top edge of the slot in the strip is about 1/2mm from the stem.  No big deal.  If you look at the instructions there is a note to the effect that it doesn't matter if the top of the pattern is not flush with each of the bulkhead tops.   The way I have done it, the pattern falls naturally to the 8th bulkhead without stress and is a perfect fit.

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Yes indeedy the BH tops dont need to be all flush with the strip - because they all come off. All mine seemed to be low between stem and 8th.

BUT the gunport strip against the stem position is special - the bow sprit passes over the stem and between the  raised ends of the strips and the capping rails come along above at the same point.  Not sure where your .5mm lies but my strip is sitting 2.5 mm up - maybe worth a check that the line is OK for those two features , pages 30 and 48 of the manual illustrate

But as you say easily adjustable when planking.





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  • 1 month later...

Long time etc.  Other things have intruded.

I am only now getting to the finish of the first planking.  it's fairly straightforward but time-consuming.  On the odd occasion when an entire plank is to be soaked I use a length of plastic pipe filled with warm water - works well.


Here is progress.









I have a suggestion for the side front bulwark pattern.  It's too late for me, but it may help someone just starting.  I commented earlier that when installing the pattern, it tended to bulge out because of the (vertical) curvature of the hull.  I suggest two cuts, each about 1mm wide may solve the problem.  See the blue markings below.




One final comment - as far as I can tell, there is no direct photo of the finished stern of the mode in the instructionsl.  It would be helpful in showing the painting/decoration.





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Hello RMC,


very informative build, thank's a lot for shairing! I'm still at the process to get the gunport-patters to a good fit. I'm realy struggling here.


Funny, I also was thinking about to cut some lines into it, where there are waves. But then I don't have those phantastic clips to hold the underside down.


Perhaps that is my biggest problem at the moment: just the lack of good enough tools to hold the upper- and downside equalliy to the bulwarks while bending.


But then your log is also very good example of the fact, that it can be done. Give again some more motivation to my own build! 🙂

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I tried notching a bulwark as an experiment some time go - not very successful. What you can do with this thin ply is actually to put a vertical curve in just using  finger pressure while it is damp  But again the notch in the stem piece can be  a great help i put three very thin slivers of wood in to enhance the notches curve while fitting.


Dont worry about tools  and clamps - drill and pin temporarily.  You can put pins through a scrap strip though the BH top   and pull it tight with pliers ( The top is coming off later so it doesnt matter damaging it a bit)



And the same at the bottom if you angle the pins  through the bulkhead . 

Messy pic i took a bit of planking off my old damaged hull to illustrate


and you can undo the pins and redo through the holes after another soaking - much better than clamping but needgood needle nose pliers !


Sorry if not a"pure"  method - but practical !

Edited by SpyGlass
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a query since I am at the same place . You dont seem - from the pics - to have narrowed the stern down to allow the second layer to sit against the sternpost.   


And with my shaky hands, I wouldnt have dared to do that planking on the stern until i had thinned the stern

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There is no need to thin the stern.  Later the stern post (part 110) will be attached. It is the same thickness as the rudder.  Moreover there will be a gap between the stern post and the rudder to allow for the hinges which enable the rudder to turn.

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You have missed the point  - the stern post and the rudder are the same thickness as the keel ply. If you dont take the first planking down  and also a bit off the keel ply  then your second planking will overlap the stern post - not butt up against it. 


Its not totally clear in the manual but the instrctions on page 14 top right refer


The maths are easy - keel is  3mm thick - first plankings is 1.5mm both side 

= total width 6mm so you are 3mm wider than the stern post.

Plus you need to take some more off for the ends of the second planking (1mm each side) to lie flush with the stern post - so you end up with the end of the keel only being 1mm wide!!  


The book says 1.5mm and that makes sense, lay the second layer slightly proud and sand it down to the stern post after second layer fitting

 Mind if you are going to copper you neednt be so careful

Edited by SpyGlass
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  • 1 month later...

The second planking below the wale is complete and sanded.  It has come out reasonably well, though not without difficulties.  The timber strip is very reluctant to bend and without my planking screws, the planking would have been very difficult indeed.  The most vital planks are those above the waterline.  Those below will be covered with the copper.  I have decided not to use the laser-printer deck.  It's just too perfect.


here is progress.


























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  • 4 weeks later...

Progress has been very slow.  lots of things have intruded. 


Painting the interior of the stern counter proved a real pain.  I strongly recommend  painting the components BEFORE assembly.  Moreover the paint was very reluctant to stick to the surface of the parts, particularly the laser cut surfaces of the vertical supports.  It took four coats to provide a reasonable result.


Not a very good picture I'm afraid.




As I mentioned earlier, I have decided not to use the laser printed deck.  Here is the beginning of the substitute decking.  The timber I chose - tanganyika (sp?) - imay not have been the best choice.  I'll see how it works out.  It's only 0.5mm thick, so if it doesn't work I will install the laser printed deck over it.














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  • 1 month later...

The decking is finally complete.  Other things have intruded over the last month or so.  The result of the planking has been acceptable, and I think looks less artificial than the laser-cut deck supplied in the kit, but I guess that is for others to judge.  In any event a lot of it will eventually be obscured by guns, fittings and rigging.












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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the kind comments Hardee and Ben. 


With the covid lockdown in areas of Sydney I have been unable to travel to our house down the coast south of the city.  There I have a special sander I need to finish the planking above the wale.  I don't feel like buying another one for about 10 minutes use.  In the meantime I have been working on all the deck fittings and the ship's boat.  Photos when I have the opportunity.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here finally are some photos of the ship's boat construction.  It turned out to be quite difficult and time-consuming.


The jig for the frame very clever.  It enables it to be put together very accurately indeed.





Here is the hull painted and the gunwale added.  I did not find the pear wood easy to work with.







The interior frame for the seats and the ribs are ... er... challenging.  The 1mm pear is, I think, unsuitable for the ribs.  it needs to be bent considerably and doing it in situ risks damaging the hull.  I used some 0.5mm, far more bendable timber strip.DSCN3916.thumb.JPG.a53baf7c0087c1afb8423f7247977908.JPG



Again the gunwale proved difficult.  Getting the pear to the right shape was done a piece at a time, entailed time and a very full vocabulary.










I had put a little extra 0.5mm thick wood trim on top of the stern.  It finished it off nicely.  Of course it came back to bite me.  The handle of the rudder would not go over it.  Fortunately the solution to the problem gave, I think, a better result.  You can see it in the last few photos







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Still waiting for access to my miniature sander down the coast south of Sydney.  In the meantime I'm trying to do all the fittings and am almost starting on the masts and yards.  Here are the ships guns.  They were quite time-consuming, but have turned out well.  I now have to get some 2mm blocks to rig them. The swivel guns are now finished - photos later.







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