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HMS Victory by Bill97 - Heller - 1/100


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OK my MSW friends. I am going to need a kick to get me started on my Heller 1/100 HMS Victory. I know it is going to be a long and enjoyable process so I have to eventually get started. I got the kit a good while ago but have only removed the plastic wrapper and peeked inside. Meanwhile I continue working on a previous build but see the box containing that beauty setting there in my peripheral vision. I have spent countless hours reading the build log of other Victory builders. That may be part of my reason for delay. Each time I have my mind set on how I want to proceed once I start I see an idea or technique someone has used and think “Wow that is what I want to do!” So I guess my concern is doing something a certain way then later seeing a better way and being disappointed. 
My initial internal debate is the process used to paint the hull, especially the stern?  I think by far the design of the stern and the paint scheme is so distinctive on the Victory. You see it you know it is the Victory! So beautiful!  If you are now building, or did in the past, what was your method to apply the black and yellow ochre. 

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Posted (edited)

<<KICK>>

There you go, Bill.  You're welcome.

 

As I'm sure you have seen, there are numerous truly excellent Heller Victory builds on this site.  Daniel/"Dafi's" build "To Victory and Beyond," is by far the most "beyond" build of them all; he really has taken it to levels of plastic modeling that very few people ever imagine.  And, my recollection of the early phase of that build is that he had started it, shelved it for a period of time, and then came back only to realize how dissatisfied he was with his paint scheme.  If ever there was a Victory build with a good painting tutorial, this is it.  Of course, there are countless other tips, insights and techniques that he has to offer.  Here's the link to Dafi's build:

 

 

Brace yourself for the monumental undertaking that Heller Victory is.  Oh, and by the way - SafeMaster did a phenomenal alteration of this kit to her 1765 appearance.

 

Take your time.  Make a plan, and everything will come out beautifully.  I will follow with great interest!

Edited by Hubac's Historian
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Thanks Hubac. I have looked at Daniel’s work!  Breathtaking!  Even thought about purchasing some of the etched pieces but not sure if I will do that or not. Really want to get the hull painting impressive. Will see how I do. I am rounding the corner on my Airfix Wasa. Once it is complete the Victory comes out. I have prepared myself that this will be monumental and I plan to take as long as I feel necessary to experience it. I am not even going to use the words “complete it” because I have no idea when that might be. Once I get into it I will look forward to, and welcome your advice. 
 

Bill

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So I have seen the hull/stern painting done a few different ways. I find yellow to be one of the more difficult colors to get a good solid coverage with, especially over another color. The way I am thinking of doing it is to prime the hull and stern with a light color primer (maybe white). Then a combination of airbrush and hand paint all the yellow ochre. Once that is complete, mask all the areas that are to remain yellow, and then airbrush the black. This seems like it would be an OK process for the sides. However with process I guess I will need to very carefully hand paint the black between the spindles and around the windows on the stern?  Is this how you guys would do it? If you have a better suggestion please share. I can see me getting into analysis paralysis with this beauty! 🤪

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Hi Bill,

 

I used a koh-i-noor rapidograph technical drafting pen to fill in the black areas for the stern and quarter galleries.  I painted the yellow first and then filled in the black areas.  I'm not sure if UV rays fade the ink, but so far it looks good after a few years.  I used permanent black ink.  If you have not used one of these pens before, don't press too hard, the pen tips for this size pen are delicate. I used a 3x0 size pen.  A 2x0 would probably also work.  You also need to clean the ink from the inside of the pen if you don't plan on using the pen again for awhile, otherwise, the ink will dry up inside and make it very hard to clean, and in bad cases, unusable.  

 

Has anybody else used these pens for small areas?  How were the long-term results?

 

Don

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I used a black Sharpie ultra fine point permanent marker between the stern balustrades then covered with matt varnish. Still looking good after several years anyway.

 

Bill, I highly recommend you buy at least two of Dafi's etch sheets, namely those that provide the chainplates and the stanchions. You will be disappointed with those in the kit. Or, in the case of the chainplates and preventers, their absence. Be prepared also to buy after market deadeyes and blocks and thread; all those in the kit are useless.

 

It's the finest plastic ship model around, but it is a bit of an ordeal at times. Took me five years.

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Thanks Ian and Kelp. The ink marker is a great idea. I have the one in the photo in different sizes. You think this is basically the same thing?

 

Ian I need to study Dafi’s etch sheets to see if I know for sure which are the ones you are talking about, and how to purchase them. Could you tell me for sure which two you recommend? Maybe if Dafi is out there he can comment here, if that is legal on MSW. I already have the after market deadeyes, blocks, and thread. 
 

So many builders have mentioned how long (years) it has taken them. Do you also work on other builds at the same time?  Leave the Victory for a while and come back to it? Or just stay devoted to it beginning to end?

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Hello Bill,

 

I bought Plate 3 "Channel Irons" and Plate 4 "Decks".

 

Plate 3 provides the strops, chains and preventers for all the lower deadeyes and also the strops for the deadeyes in the tops and associated hooks for the futtock shrouds.

 

Plate 4 provides all the hammock cranes with eyes (which you will be thankful for when you get to the hammock netting) as well as a much nicer binnacle and cabin skylight. Also a nice detail: boarding pikes and racks for the fore and main masts. I didn't use the gunlocks or stunsail irons myself.

 

In my case there is no room to work on multiple builds. The first three years I only worked on her in the winter. After that I found myself becoming less tolerant of the heat and humidity (age?) so I started having sessions in the A/C when outside was ridiculous. I'm not a fanatic about daily progress and I might have spent some time maybe 3 or 4 days a week (guessing).

 

Too bad Pete Coleman's "Victory" site is gone. Blue Ensign had his usual detailed build log from which I learned a lot.

 

One warning, which will not affect you for some time: the numbering of the lower gun deck beams on sheet 6 is in the wrong order. I seem to recall the bowsprit bees port and starboard are also swapped.

 

Looking forward to another Heller Vic build log!

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Ian does plate 3 and 4 have the chainplates and the stanchions as you recommend in in your earlier post? Like you I only have space to work on one at a time and that is my plan. 

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Ian I communicated with Daniel about purchasing plates 3 and 4. A question I have for you and Daniel, if he reads by build log. I know the plates are brass. Is the idea to leave them brass when added to the ship or paint or treat them in some way to change the color. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a question for any of you that have used Daniel’s brass plates, or seen them used by other builders. I have not yet started my build of the Victory. I have just A small bit remaining on my Wasa and then I am ready. I have decided I am going to use Daniel’s brass plates number 3 and 4. May possibly use others. Don’t know yet. My question is if any one has seen the pieces from the brass plates used as is without painting or burnishing? I know if I did the Victory would not look authentic but I wonder if I did build it that way if it would present a visually interesting model with the uniform bits of shiny brass on the ship. As I said, just curious if you may have seen it and/or your opinion. 

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Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 9:00 AM. Today I officially opened the box to my Heller 1/100 HMS Victory to begin construction. Prior to this it was just to peek inside to marvel at the contents while working on another ship. Now I will begin the quest!  No idea what the date will be when I post FINISHED. From what I read it will surly be quite some time from now. WOW! What have I willingly and excitedly got myself into? No doubt I will refer to MSW to find guidance and encouragement. Looking so forward to this build. As others who have built the Heller model will attest to, the instructions are complex to say the least?  Hoping it is not a sign of what is to come, I already have a question in step 1.  Parts 42-55 (Port and Starboard glazing) are instructed to be painted bright red.  See the 3rd picture. They are clear plastic like windows. Why would you paint them red?

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Thanks Hubac’s. As with my just finished Wasa, I hope you don’t mind my frequent questions. Always helpful. 
By the way, I find it interesting and fun to see how far around the world MSW members extend so I like to check the profile of those I communicate with. I saw on your’s that you are also a furniture builder. I to am a furniture builder and have been for many years. Love doing that as well!

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Posted (edited)

Ha - yes!  I was making furniture for our home for a good number of years until we ran out of space for larger pieces.  That’s when I decided to get back into model making.  And, no, I never mind questions.  I may not always have a good or clear answer, but rest assured that someone, here, does.

Edited by Hubac's Historian
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Great Hubac May friend. I have spent the day just reading through the instructions and identifying the specific pieces referenced in each step. This is complex but will be so enjoyable to build. I will definitely watch a lot of YouTube videos, especially for painting. Wish someone published a more detailed step by step instructions manual. 

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Yes. That is Alex Modeling. I am watching his complete series. Watched a number of his other builds as well. Interesting the way he went back and modified his Victory build to except the Dafi parts. I noticed in his painting the hull that he does it as two separate pieces. My process is to paint my deck sections, then paint the necessary portions of the inside of the hull, then put it together. After letting it dry I then putty and sand along the seam and anywhere else that needs fine tuning. At that point is when I start painting the hull as one piece.  What process do you follow?

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Yes, Alex certainly seems committed to making as fine a model as he can with Daniel’s PE set.  I am tempted to ask Daniel whether his Victory deadeye chains can be adapted to Soleil Royal, as that would save me a ton of tedious scratch-chandlery.

 

As for painting, I like to paint large parts, like the hull halves as individual components and then join/fill/fair, and finally, re-touch.  Particularly with these large 1:100 models, the assembled hull is cumbersome and can be difficult to steady and maneuver when you are trying to pick out details with a brush.

 

I have had to paint significant portions of the stern, on my current project, after assembly, and this was an extremely tedious labor, in order to maintain the same standard that I had set, previously.  In some instances, this could not be avoided, but I realized after the fact, that I could have painted my window sub-assembly, for example, off the model, and before installation.

 

Unlike Alex, though, I do most of my paint work by hand.  Using an airbrush makes it easier to do your main assembly of the hull halves and lower deck, before painting, much less laborious.  I suppose it boils down to what you are comfortable with.

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Are you working on the Soleli Royal now?  If so, what scale?  I have looked at that ship plenty and will be curious of your thoughts. Beautiful ship, especially the stern. 

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Posted (edited)

Simply from the standpoint of the actual ship still being in existence - Heller Victory is the finer kit, and probably the finest plastic sailing ship kit in existence.

 

Heller Soleil Royal is an extremely close copy of the Tanneron model in the Musee de la Marine, in Paris, from the mid-1830’s.  Out of the box, as a representation of what French ships may have looked like in the last  5th of the 17th C. - it is the best commercial kit available.  It is seriously flawed, in numerous respects, yet Heller made an admirable attempt to fill-in the numerous blanks left by Tanneron.

 

Airfix Vasa and Prince are technically more accurate, but only because they could measure directly from the real ship (Vasa), and from the Science Museum model (Prince).  Likewise, there are very few contemporary models of French ships, from SR’s time, from which to draw conclusions/comparisons.

 

While the English made full  “dockyard” models, in wood, to sell the proposal for a new ship, the French made wax models for the proposals of decor, in the mid-to-late 17th C., and none of these earliest models still exist.  There is only a fragmentary patch-work of original drawings and portraits from the 1670s and 1680s.

 

The Heller Soleil Royal is flawed, but salvageable; this idea is the entire thrust behind my build-log of this kit.

Edited by Hubac's Historian
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Hubac I am impressed with your knowledge of ships of the era. Very interesting read. I really enjoy it. A while back I built the Revell English Man O’ War. Which I believe is the only one of my six builds I have displayed in my home that is not a replica of an actual ship you could visit today in a museum setting. Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand the model is simply a creation of the design/concept of these type ships of the period. Glad you told me the difference in the Victory and the Soleli Royal. I checked your build-log for the Soleli. Beautiful job. And you said you did all the painting by brush?  No use of airbrush. Very nice. 

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Ok I am ready to roll and start some serious painting. I will of course prime everything first. Studying the hull for reference points where the ochre stripes divide up the black I find raised areas that run the length of the hull. In some places it is at the bottom of a cannon port. As you move along it drops below the port and then ends up actually almost to the top. Looking at pictures I am thinking this would be correct for the top and bottom of the ochre stripes. 

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That is a very nice English Man-O-War.  The sails are particularly good.  As for the authenticity of the design, Revell loosely approximated the known portraiture of England’s race-built galleons.  It is not an extremely accurate representation, but it makes for a very attractive model, all the same.  Like all the big kit manufacturers, at the time, they capitalized as much as possible on one design by spinning it off into another complementary design - in this case, the Spanish Galleon.

 

Yes, that is the case that I have hand-painted my entire model up until now.  I will be airbrushing the ground colirs for the upper bulwarks, though, as I really want to avoid muddying up all the detail.

 

As for your yellow ocher stripes - I may be wrong, because I don’t have the kit in front of me, but I believe that Heller moulded fine lines that show exacty what the top and bottom boundaries of each stripe should be.  To follow the run of the wales would be more consistent with a significantly earlier period of time, and not the 1805 time-frame that the stock kit represents.  It is up to you, of course, to proceed as you wish.

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Thanks again Hubac’s. Appreciate the compliment on my Man O War. My wife hand stitches all my sails for me. You may have seen my process on other build logs. Your thoughts about the galleon models is what I gathered when I started the Man O War. I considered doing a Spanish galleon but realized it would be so similar I decided against it. I do see what I believe to be the fine molded lines for the ochre. Will let you know how this go. 

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Hubac since you do so much of your painting by brush do you have a favorite fine tip brush?  I understand acrylics can be rough on paint brushes even if they are cleaned well after use. My fine tip brushes that I use for small detail only last a short while before they begin to curl a little or lose their fine tip, and then I buy more. The stern of the Wasa I just finished really put my fine tip brushes to a test. Needing to restock for this project and looking for a recommendation of a high quality fine detail brush. 

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I'm painting my models entirely by brush. Simply i love it. for me the most interesting is the softness of the brush. Softer brush for finest details. My favourite is D'Artigny, but any of fine brush will be good.

 

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My smallest brush is 00, this is ~1mm wide and it is good for miniature details. Also i have a flat cut 2 size, this is sharp enough for almost all task, however painting for the Trumpeter 1:200 Titanic would be a painful job with it :)

Also the thinning. Thinner paint is easier to paint, i'm using mainly Humbrol enamels with artistic thinner (terpentin).

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