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HMS Leopard 1790 by Bluto - FINISHED - 1:80 - 50 gun ship - PoB

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Hi Matrim,


I can't really compare this scale with anything else as this is the first build I've done (I've never even built a ship from a kit before,) but at times it certainly was a bit fiddly ~ especially areas like the stern quarters.

The plans that came with the book were at 1:96 but I felt that was going to be too tight for me and as much as I would have preferred a scale of 1:64 or bigger, display space would have been a problem so I struck a 'mid-way' compromise of 1:80.

As it is, at this scale, it now measures (overall length) 960mm X 760mm (keel to truck).  The case I ordered is 1020mm long by 810mm high.

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Just over nine years and it's now finished ~ well, I still have to make the boats, but for her own safety, Leopard will be going in her case as it will take some time to figure how on earth I'm even going to make a start on the boats.


A couple of months back I took some time out to fashion a base and supports for the ship. Here's the base with two pedestals > IMG_20191113_133930.thumb.jpg.76b23821b2b4d7bc6ff5aff66ecc5b90.jpg

Last year my neighbour was renewing her kitchen and was throwing out her 'old' cabinets and doors. The doors were solid oak ~ not just the frames, but the raised panels as well. Throwing out OAK - - - that should be a criminal offence!!!  (With her permission) I saved the lot and have made a few projects and also still have several of the doors 'in reserve'.

The oak board in the photo above was made from that saved timber as were the two turned pedestals. The pedestals alone won't support the ship as there is no provision inside the keel to make the ship vertically secure, so there is a central 'cradle' (also made from the oak) that will keep the ship on 'an even keel'. >>>    e


I routed a rebate (American - rabbet) all round the base so that the acrylic case will be 'anchored' and won't be able to slide around.

The case has been the most expensive single item in relation to the entire build.  I had considered obtaining acrylic sheets and making my own case but the amount of work involved in making a wooden frame guided me to the easier route of purchasing a commercially made item.

I also got a commercially engraved brass plaque >>> IMG_20191113_134523.thumb.jpg.97a0b035d32ba2e700dbb8968ef96fc9.jpg

(The brass plate is mounted on oak from my neighbour's kitchen!}  


And now, Leopard finds refuge away from the danger of a clumsy ship builder's hands and elbows as well as from the exploring hands of his grandchildren!    IMG_20191121_102526.thumb.jpg.36072b59141d5d1ded1551955c07a6f9.jpgIMG_20191118_140606.thumb.jpg.e8c4ffe92bad6e0d9ef8a08b0f15aa7f.jpg


Although I stated that it's been over nine years in the making, it's probably closer to six years as there have been a few considerably long lay-off periods.

Edited by Bluto 1790
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hello Jim.......coming in today,  I saw that you were finished! :)   I had to take a lookie.......:stunned:  fabulous ship you have there!......and wow....what a coaster ride for the ending.   so easy to break something....some really good repairs........I've not seen the mizzen braces run like that before.  I've always known them to rig to the main mast.  is this the class of ship?   in any case.......in which it is now in  :D  :D   great job and congratz for completing a very beautiful model :) :champagne:

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Thanks to Chris (Watton), Chris (Coyle), Tom, Mark, Christian, Paul and Denis for the comments and the others for the likes.


Paul, I got the case at a place on the south coast just near Brighton. The company is called Striking Displays.  This link will take you directly to their custom/bespoke page where you can input the dimensions of the case you want and you'll get an instant price (not including VAT.)


If it's for your Frigate 'Sirius' at a scale of 1:48 that would be a much bigger case than I got and I don't know if they have a maximum size at which they limit their cases - but it won't hurt to try.

It costs over £60 for delivery as it comes on a pallet in a truck but you may be close enough to collect it yourself (if it would fit in your vehicle!).


Denis ~ as far as I was able, I was following Peterssen's rigging guide and that shows the mizzen topsail and topgallant braces running to the taffrail. I felt that was going to be a bit busy there so I ran them as shown in one of my previous posts. The mizzen crossjack braces are run to the pinrails on each side of the Q/deck via blocks on the aftmost mainmast shrouds.

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Thanks svein.erik for your comment.


Just wanted to see Leopard out on the water so I played around in a very basic editing program I have. (I don't have anything proper like Photoshop.) You'll have to ignore the background above the waterline >>>865529904_AtSea2.jpg.701ad2e7a7eaa66794ca4df234c864b1.jpg

And here's an RC model of Leopard under full sail out on the water >>>


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