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Posted (edited)

I have just ordered the HM Alert (V2) from Vanguard Models and I am looking forward to receiving the kit next week (UPS delivery scheduled for Tuesday 6th April).


I am currently rigging the Duchess of Kingston (Vanguard Models) which should be completed in a few weeks time.


I choose the Alert for my next build as I think it will fit the gap between the completion of the DOK build and the release of the Sphinx kit from Vanguard Models release in few months time.

Edited by glennard2523
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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, James H said:

A lovely kit. You should do this one pretty quickly.

Hopefully the Alert build time will fit in perfectly with the Sphinx release date, no pressure Jim😃.


I am planning a slightly differerent build sequence for the Alert and I will also use the Alert to refine and improve my modelling skills.

Edited by glennard2523
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The Cutter Alert kit arrived safe and sound this morning. I have made a very quick video of the kit's contents which can be found on YouTube.


Work will be slow to start with on this kit as I am currently rigging the Duchess of Kingston which should take me around another 4 to 6 weeks to complete.




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Posted (edited)

As I had completed the work on the DOK main mast rigging earlier than planned today I thought I would start the Cutter Alert build process with a complete dry fit of the bulkheads and various securing patterns to the false keel.


I placed sheet 1 of the 3mm MDF on my cutting mat and fitted a brand new blade fitted to my craft knife, I was all set to make the first cut.



However before making the first cut I noticed the sheet was not laying flat on the mat. On closer inspection I noted there was quite a significant warp to the sheet and more to the point it ran along the length of the false keel. I also checked sheet 2 3mm MDF sheet which was also warped.





Sometimes this is not an issue with kits as the assembly process will naturally straighten the parts during the assembly process. Having a quick look at the build manual I was not sure if this would be the case with this kit. There are two securing patterns (part 12 bow and bulkhead securing pattern and part 14 bow pattern) which may take care of any warping issues. I decided to air of the side of caution before removing any parts from either sheet and applied some water to both sides of the MDF sheets. I then clamped both sheets together with a heavy metal plate on top. I will now leave the sheets to fully dry out, whilst clamped. Fingers crossed this does the trick.


Edited by glennard2523
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7 minutes ago, Oboship said:

Good luck with your new kit!

I'm looking forward to your build log as Alert will be my next build as well.


Thanks Uwe.

I hope to produce a detailed build log, detailing all aspects of my build for the Cutter Alert which I hope other modellers will find helpful and informative.

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Any warp in that sheet shouldn't matter when the frames are assembled. It will pull straight.


I'm more concerned about where that moisture will go to (or not) with a large metal sheet over damp MDF.

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17 hours ago, glennard2523 said:

I will now leave the sheets to fully dry out, whilst clamped.

I am going to butt in here. If the MDF is wetted and then clamped as you have shown, drying will be problematic. The only place for the moisture to escape is the exposed edges. This method can bite, and I am speaking from experience. May I suggest you get room temperature air circulating across those wetted surfaces?




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Posted (edited)

My main priority at the moment is completing the DOK rigging therefore I will only be tackling some easy sub projects on the Alert. Today I decided to build the winch drum and pawl bitt assembly. I have uploaded a video to YouTube which contains more images and commentary of the build process.


Winch drum and pawl assembly - YouTube


The winch drum is a nice resin item, however there is some excess resin left from the mould.



I used a craft knife fitted with a brand new blade to excess the resin.



The winch drum needs to be painted a dark wood colour. I opted for a walnut finish. I used an iron metalwork black for the teeth.



There are 4 x carrick bitt iron straps and 2 x pawls which are photoetched parts which need to be painted black. I opted to clean these parts in acetone and then used a photoetch burnishing solution to blacken them.



All the wooden parts, with the exception of the two belaying pin racks, need to be painted red. I have decided to use Red Ochre for all the deck fittings. I decided to paint the pieces in situ before removing them for the 3mm sheet. The edges can be painted red during the assembly phase.



As I removed the wood parts I did remove the laser char from the exposed edges this will be better when the edges are painted red. The various parts required for the build were checked against the build instruction. The 6 x belaying pins required for the 2 racks will be fitted when I'm ready to start the rigging phase.


The parts are now ready for the assembly phase.



The winch drum assembly and pawl bitt head assemblies are complete and ready to be joined together using the 2 belaying pin racks



The two belaying racks were fitting to the winch drum assembly and their positions adjusted so the two pawls lined up with the winch drums teeth.









Edited by glennard2523
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I completed adding the foremast shrouds to the DOK build this afternoon so I had a little bit of time to kill so I decided to build another deck item for the Cutter Alert, which was the Jeer and Topsail Bitt.


Jeer and Topsail Bitts Assembly

This assembly comprises:

1 x mast bitt cross piece (3mm wood)

2 x mast bitt and standard (3mm wood)

1 x jeer and topsail bitt windlass (resin cast item)

2 x handles (photoetch parts)


The wooden parts were painted ochre red. Once the excess casting resin had been removed from the windlass resin part the central barrel part was painted walnut brown and the spindles and gears were painted metalwork (iron) black. The two photoetch handles were cleaned in acetone and then blackened using a photo etch burnishing solution. The parts are now ready for assembly.



Before committing the parts to the glue process, I tried a dry fit. I noted the windlass spindle would not locate in the respective holes of the mast bitt and standard wooden parts. I ran a 0.8mm micro drill bit through the holes which solved the problem. I used some wood glue to secure the mast bitt cross piece to the mast bitt and standards, ensuring the jeer and topsail bitt was fitted at the same time. Once the wood glue had cured the two photoetch handles were bent to 90 degrees along the fold line and glued (ca gel) to either end of the jeer and topsail bitt windlass spindles.


This was a simple build and produced a very pleasing deck item as can be seen in the photos below.




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7 hours ago, VTHokiEE said:

Nice work Glenn; I’m not certain it matters or that you care but the handles (at least according the the instructions) would be placed 180 degrees opposite each other.

Thanks for your comment.  I hope you enjoy the rest of the build as it progresses. The instructions simply state:


"The handles (PE-33) are to be bent and glued to each end of the shaft on F-2".


The picture in the manual does however show the handles placed at 180 degrees opposite each other. I opted to have the handles placed inline with each other as I liked it that way. I don't think it matters either way in my opinion.

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I took a 15 min break from the DOK this morning to build another deck item for the Cutter Alert, namely the two deck hand pumps.


Deck Pump Assembly

There are two identical deck pump assemblies. Each deck pump requires the following parts:

1 x 40mm length of 4mm dowel.

2 x hand pump upper side bracket (photoetch part)

1 x hand pump upper main body (photoetch part)

1 x hand pump top cap (photoetch part)

2 x small pins


The photoetch items for both deck pumps were cleaned in acetone and then blackened using a photo etch burnishing solution. The 2 x 40mm lengths were cut from a piece of 4mm dowel. The parts are now ready for the assembly phase.



I started the assembly process by gluing (ca gel) each hand pump top cap to the top of their respective dowel, ensuring the hole in hand pump top cap was positioned in the centre of the dowel.


Next the hand pump upper side brackets were fitted to each side of the hand pump upper main body using ca gel. The small pins were used to ensure these parts were correctly aligned. The small pins were also glued in place and the excess pin material was trimmed flush with the side of the hand pump upper side brackets.


I always like to test fit items before adding any glue to ensure everything is a good fit. When doing this I noted the hand pump assembly did not quite fit in the hand pump top cap locating slot. I solved this by running a needle file through the top cap locating slot. After a few quick passes of the file the hand pump assembly was a perfect fit and could be glued in place, again using a ca gel.


2 x Completed Deck Pump Assemblies


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I'll follow this with interest Glenn - another kit on my potential list for the future.


On 4/7/2021 at 4:45 PM, glennard2523 said:

clamped both sheets together with a heavy metal plate

Have you found yet another use for the quadhands here? Certainly looks like the base!

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35 minutes ago, DelF said:

Have you found yet another use for the quadhands here? Certainly looks like the base!

I used the quadhands base to aid the clamping of the sheets. I am only doing bits and pieces on the Cutter Alert at the moment when I feel the need to take a small break from the rigging of the DOK. It should be a nice build. 

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I have built the Aft Companionway Assembly which was a nice simple task. Aft Companionway Assembly Video


The wooden parts were removed from the sheet, and the laser char removed from the visible edges.



To make the assembly easier I decided to make a simple jig to hold the frame in place whilst the parts were glued.



PVA glue was applied to all the joints and the assembly aft companionway frame was then securely positioned in the frame.



Once the glue had had time to cure the frame was removed from the jig. It was checked to make sure it was square.



The completed frame assembly



A thin layer of pva glue was place on the top edges so that the two roof parts could be fixed in place



The roof parts were clamped in place while the glue was curing



The first coat of red ochre paint was applied, which highlights any defects which may need attention, as can be seen in the photo below.



A second coat of paint was applied after a quick fix with a sanding stick. It looks much better now.



The photoetched handle was cleaned in acetone and blackened. It was then fixed in place. The deck item is now complete.




Edited by glennard2523
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Batch Hatch Assembly

Today I have built the batch hatch. This only comprises two wooden parts. The hatch fits inside the combing. When complete there are two eyebolts and rings to be added to the hatch.


This is a picture of the Batch Hatch Assembly (minus the eyebolts and rings)



I thought I would try enhancing this part, so I added some thin wooden strips to simulate wooden construction. The instructions require the wooden parts to be painted red. I added an oak stain which I think think looks quite nice.


This is a picture of the modified Batch Hatch Assembly (minus the eyebolts and rings).


Edited by glennard2523
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