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HMS Indefatigable - 1794 (prototype) by James H - Vanguard Models - 1:64

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A little history (edited from wiki!)


HMS Indefatigable was one of the Ardent-class 64-gun third-rate ships-of-the-line designed by Sir Thomas Slade in 1761 for the Royal Navy. She was built as a ship-of-the-line, but most of her active service took place after her conversion to a 44-gun razee frigate. She had a long career under several distinguished commanders, serving throughout the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. She took some 27 prizes, alone or in company, and the Admiralty authorised the issue of four clasps to the Naval General Service Medal in 1847 to any surviving members of her crews from the respective actions.


Indefatigable was ordered on 3 August 1780 (long after Slade's death), and her keel was laid down in May 1781 at the Bucklers Hard shipyard in Hampshire owned by Henry Adams. She was launched in early July 178,  and completed from 11 July to 13 September of that year at Portsmouth Dockyard as a 64-gun two-decked third rate for the Royal Navy. She had cost £25,210 4s 5d to build; her total initial cost including fitting out and coppering was £36,154 18s 7d (around £6.6m in today's money). By that time, she was already outmoded for the role of a ship of the line as the French only built the more powerful 74-gun ships, and she was never commissioned in that role.


She was broken up in 1816.


The kit
This is quite literally hot off the press with regards to what you see here. Indefatigable is being represented in this new kit as the razée, and quite rightly so. I do have a lot of affection for the stuff built at Bucklers Hard, having visited there a couple of times myself. It's a beautifully tranquil place in England's New Forest, which really does betray the hive of activity it used to be. It even has the original shipwrights houses and the pub there, as part of the tour. Just to think, Indefatigable was definitely built in one of these two slips, as was Agamemnon etc. I took these photos a couple of years ago.






This is very stuff for Indefatigable, as all I currently have are the cannon, carronades, and also the cutter. It will also become very obvious that when building these models, I never do anything in chronological order as seen in the manual. I work on whatever Chris has completed and sends over to me, with other work infilling between main tasks. I try to waste as little time as possible in order to keep to fairly tight release schedules. For the first time you'll see me work on stuff like this before the big hitters are sent to me. Even then, I will feed back with my findings and things will possibly be changed to reflect my own build. 


Not too much to see at the moment, and work won't start proper for a week or so, so keep checking in to see if things have progressed. Here's the two sheets of 2mm pear which contain the gun carts...






I also have three bags of guns. These are:

  • 12-pound long
  • 24-pound long
  • 42-pound carronades


I do need to wash these guns in some isopropyl, especially the carronades as the initial washing left then with tissue debris on them. Also, the carronade carriages will also have 3d-printed wheels! 







Indefatigable will have many of the design traits of Sphinx, but this time incorporate more traditional planking around the upper bulwarks and gun ports etc. Indy will also feature a traditionally planked deck too. 


Here are the parts for the cutter:




Chris might want to chime in here with other notes on the design too. 


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This will be a more conventional kit. I cannot go as far as did with Sphinx for two reasons. The first being that the sheer size of this would make it way too expensive. The second reason is that this kit will be aimed at more experienced modellers, more used to planking. Decks will be planked with strip and most of the outer hull will also be planked from the quarterdeck bulwarks down. This will be more like my Amati Victory designs. There will still be a silly amount of laser cut and PE parts, though.

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Very promising kit. I like the details on the gun carriage wheels.

The 3D printed guns are very crisp and usually better detailed than brass guns. I understand that brass guns would impact negatively the final price of the kit with so much armament, and 3D printed guns will reduce, weight, cost and already have the right color.



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38 minutes ago, yvesvidal said:

Very promising kit. I like the details on the gun carriage wheels.

The 3D printed guns are very crisp and usually better detailed than brass guns. I understand that brass guns would impact negatively the final price of the kit with so much armament, and 3D printed guns will reduce, weight, cost and already have the right color.



Hardly any difference in price between brass and 3-d printed resin guns. In fact, brass barrels would probably work out cheaper. I prefer the 3-d printed versions, as they are all made directly from the master file and extra detail can be incorporated into the designs. Carronades are usually a real pain to do properly, more so turned brass types. I have tried to design the carronades to be as little hassle to build up as I can, there are 18 in a kit, so opted for a 'slot and glue' assembly method, so making assembling the 18 sets less of a chore, but still detailed enough for very close up shots.


If I thought turned brass cannon would be better, I would use them, there is no shortage of companies more than willing to do them. But I prefer the 3-d printed version. The extra weight of brass would be minimal, as this is dwarfed by the weight of plans, manual, PE and laser cut materials.


Please do not think I choose resin over metal because of price, nothing could be further from the truth. I just use whatever material I think is best for the part and  scale accuracy. If I were asked to do a one off commission, I would still chose SLA 3-d printed resin. I chose this method despite the time and costs involved.  Others will have different opinions, some like the weight of brass, but I do not care about that so much, as long as the end result looks good and can stand up to close scrutiny. 

Edited by chris watton
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1 hour ago, BobG said:

Fantastic! What are the overall dimensions?

I am yet to draw the full profiles, but the hull itself will be around 885mm long. I guess dimensions will be roughly the same as the 64th Aggy I did over twenty years ago, except 20mm or so less in height but at least 50mm longer, as I will give Indy a flying jibboom. 

Edited by chris watton
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

Just to let you know, I haven't stopped working on Indy. This (beginning) stage takes a lot of time, and a lot of hull assemblies before the final hull design is decided - more so for Indy, as it has that darned little poop. At a later stage, I will try to explain in my thread the reasons for certain decisions I have made regarding appearance for this model.


There will be 9 different thickness of wood for this kit, so it won't be cheap. Also a full outfit of 5 boats.

Edited by chris watton
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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Time for a quick update. This will be the last one before work starts very shortly.


I'm making this update over TWO posts due to number of pics. These are just camera photos and won't represent anything you see in the manual.


Indy turned up with UPS this morning, and the box is large and heavy. In fact, the box isn't large enough yet as the masting, rigging, manual and plans also need to be included, as well as PE etc. The box was packed out as it was. This one took up two seats on my sofa.







Take a look through and you'll notice some little things here and there. One of those is that the main gun deck carriages are tabbed so they slot into the deck and can't be knocked free later in the build. This is only an optional feature as the modeller can, if they wish, plank over the tab slots and remove the tab from the carriage. That would be up to the individual but this is a perfectly good solution that will be invisible when implemented. If also means the guns will be perfectly spaced too and the barrels therefore evenly protrude from the hull. Those barrels will also be fitted after the hull is painted, so attaching them later won't dislodge a gun cart.






This is the engraved maple deck which won't be included as standard, unlike the other kits. This kit will have traditional planks for the deck, but it is quite likely that this option will be provided on release. If that happens, then the gun carriage location slots aren't likely to be there, and you'll simply open them up if you want use that kit feature. Oh, these parts are BIG!! My cutting mat is in 1cm squares, as a guide.




Not fantastically clear here, but the ply sub decks are engraved with planks. This isn't the finish. It's designed to give you a template onto which to lay the kit planks. That will save the modeller having to mark up stuff themselves.


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I've grouped most of these photos into thickness of sheet, and there are a lot of various thicknesses with multiple sheets for them. You can see the tabbed gun carts here too. Those tabs are on the forward 'bulkhead', closest to the inner bulwarks.








You're going to have to make FIVE ship's boats for this one!



Inner bulwarks are split into three sections to cover the entire length. There will also be doorways from the cabin into the quarter galleries. 








;) 3D printed stuff, like belfry, anchors etc. and I do see some copper tape there too.




Quirks of prototyping. Various cabin floor sections. 




LOTS of strip too.




Decals for name and depth markings. Also, there is no white edge on that text. It's merely the light catching the ink edging! I have checked.



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42 minutes ago, d'brat said:

And the instruction manual(s) will probably be as long.  Absolutely amazing.  


That is a certainty! 

The manual for Sphinx is 152 pages with about 1000 photos and 27500 words. Over 900 construction stages. I think Indy will easily top that with another 50+ pages. It remains to be seen yet, but there are no corners being cut whatsoever. 

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