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1:48 HMS Granado - CAF Model


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1:48 HMS Granado
CAF Model

Available from CAF Model. Check article for pack prices

 

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Lieutenant Thomas Elliot commissioned Granado in July 1742 as a sloop for the Channel and North Sea. HMS Granado was launched at Harwich in 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession as a sloop-of-war. During this war she captured a French privateer. During the Seven Years' War she served both as a sloop and as a bomb vessel and participated in naval operations off the coast of France and in the West Indies.

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Granado was paid off in June 1763. She was surveyed on 6 July. The "Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy" first offered Granado for sale at Woolwich on 23 August. She sold on 30 August at Portsmouth for £575.When the Navy sold her in 1763, she became the mercantile Prince Frederick. Around 1775 she became the northern fisheries whaler, Prudence. Around 1781 she became a government transport and was wrecked on 20 May 1782 on the coast of India.

 

The kit:
CAF have currently released their 1:48 HMS Granado (full hull kit) in two packs, and this first part of the review will look at Pack #1, comprising of TWO boxes of parts. The price for Pack #1 is $327.00USD, as is Pack 2 which consists of a single box. I'll look at that set in the second half of this article. There will be a Pack #3 released in the near future, which will fit this model out to the status of an Admiralty model, with guns on deck and all the various other features we would expect to see, such as the mortars themselves. 

 

 

HMS Granado Pack #1

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Pack # contains everything you need to build the keel and hull framing for this famous bomb vessel. That means there is no interior at this stage, but don't think that you won't get a whole lot of timber. With all the boxes in this kit, once those parts are removed from their boxes, I simply find that I can't get them to fit back in again. When CAF originally sent this kit to us for review, a number of parts sheets had particularly bad scorch marks on the reverse. I highlighted this to Tom, and he was aware of the issue with a number of those that had shipped to customers, and he quickly replaced those and sent them out for this article. I also have to say that HMS Granado took about a week to reach the UK, from China. As with everything from CAF, the shipping package is totally robust, wrapped in thick corrugated card and sealed with about 1000 miles of tape! That would present a delicious headache for any custom's department! Nonetheless, it arrived intact. What you get in this pack will create the CAD image you see above. Oh, and of course, you also receive a large plywood jig into which you will add the many frames to your keel, once built. Remember, this model will not feature a bowsprit when complete, as is the nature of such models, so even though this is 1:48, you may be pleased to know that the full-length if Granado is actually only 670mm! Plus you don't have masts and spars to worry about. For displaying, she'll be far easier than most model ships. 

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There is actually something else for you to consider with this model. You can either build her as a complete hull, or you can build her split into an upper and lower section, exactly like the well-known model at the UK's National Maritime Museum. Here you see what I mean:

 

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The plans make provision for all frames and keel to be split at the appropriate places, and you will see this in the instruction images further on in this article. I do feel that to do this presents some serious challenges and that is on top of this model only being suitable for very experienced builders. BUT.....if you want that challenge, then it's there for you. Inside the boxes, all parts are amazingly well packaged so that they fit the box, and they are also all shrink wrapped. As the shrink wrap is nice and tight, it's worth keeping the parts in that for a while after you receive the model so that the timber can normalise and risk of any warp is reduced when you open the parts. All part sheets are engraved with the sheet number, and you must then refer to the manuals for the part identification. This helps keep the sheets compact and the numbers of visible part faces.

 

Timber-wise, the kit is made up of both laser cut and engraved parts, plus a good number of CNC cut parts sheets which feature slot milling on both sides, so that all you need to do is square of any joint corners which will inevitably be slightly rounded. A small number of parts are also CNC machined to shape, so you just need to clean them up. We've seen this on such kits before, and it saves the modeller a lot of guesswork in trying to think in 3D.

 

I did say these packs were full of timber, and they are also quite heavy.

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The timber varies only very slightly in colour on the occasional sheet, but the quality of the wood is excellent, with no natural problems with grain banding or knots to be seen anywhere. As I said, all sheets are also perfectly flat. I'm not quite sure what the timber is for these sheets, but the grain is very tight and not particularly visible, which is a bonus for modelling in the scales we use. The timber sheets in the first box are numbered as sets, i.e. 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C etc. and the sets are of different thicknesses. You can also see on the sheets, just how fine the laser cutting is, and one image showing the reverse of one sheet so you can see the minimal scorch. In fact, that sheet is probably the worst of them all, so it's not bad at all! Many parts sheets are also engraved with bevelling lines, taking a lot of the hard guess work out of things. 

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You can also see from that last image that not only is that scorch on this (the worst sheet!) isn't very bad, but CAF has also turned the sheets over to create engraved bevelling lines on the reverse. 

 

Box Number 2 of 2

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All parts in these boxes have already been unwrapped so I could ensure everything was ok to proceed with this article. This larger box contains the many plywood parts for the hull jog, providing an accurate way to install and align the ribs to the keel. The jig itself will also serve to work into Part #2 of the kit set, when you come to fit out the hull interior. Here is an idea of what the jig will look like when complete:

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Here are the pictures of the cradle parts:

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This is a project in its own right. Even though everything is tabbed, proceed nice and slowly and use a metal square to make sure everything is upright and 90 degrees to adjacent parts. Ply quality is also very good with no warping on my same, and all laser cutting being nice and fine. There are also more timber parts for hull construction, provided as CNC-routed parts. Also a little strip material too.

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Manual and plans

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The manual for this set is an A4 production of 26 pages, incorporating the aforementioned part maps for part ID. The construction side of the manual is created from a series of CAD illustrations, shown in colour for ease of use, and with some good English notation. The manual clearly shows how to proceed with building the model as a split hull too, but I think to try and make this a removable section is a little too optimistic due to all those frames needing to key into each other simultaneously. Here are some images from the manual:

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And as for the included drawings, these show the hull elevations as shown below, and also the completed frames. I won't show the latter as it could be used as a copy to produce parts without buying the kit. It does show various lines in different colours, to help you align and identify the various frame sections. 

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To give you a general idea of how the hull in constructed within the jig, here are some images from CAF:

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I will very shortly post the next box series #2 in this topic. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Part 2: Building the hull interior:
Available for $327.00 from same link as previously posted:

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Now you've built the jig, the many frames and decided how you will finally display your model (split or whole), it's time to fit out the interior. Like Chuck's Winchelsea, doing things this was does split up the cost for the modeller, so when you're happy with the work you've thus done, you can then think about getting this package. 

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You're certainly not done with ply yet though. As your hull still languishes in the jig, this pack will give you the parts you need to ensure that it all stays where it should so the internals can be fitted. These are done with a series of adjustable parts which are fastened with screws, and hold those frames securely up against the inside jig slots. I've included some images from the manual so you can understand what I'm actually talking about.

 

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The interior of Granado is to be fully appointed with all the cabins, stowage, ammunition store etc....exactly as you would wish to see with an open framed and potentially exploded-display model. More laser cut timber is included, as are a few more parts of CNC-routed parts.

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A good quantity of strip wood is also included, all nicely selected and sharply cut:

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Stove

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CAF have supplied Granado's stove as a 3D print assembly with some photo etch parts to accompany. You will need to remove the supports from the interior hot water tanks and taps, but the brick faces themselves need just some minimal cleanup. 

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Photo Etch
Just one sheet is included in this release, but there are plenty of parts to use. Again, the PE is cleanly produced with excellent definition and minimal gates to cut through to release the parts. Remember to use a good etching primer before you apply any paint to brass parts. Trust me, you'll be thankful for that tip!

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Fittings

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Just a few fittings here. We have screws for the internal jigs, some brass pins and also the shot for the mortar.

 

Plans and Manual

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Another A4 manual is included in this release, and this one weighs in at 21 pages, inclusive of the part maps sheets. You will see here how much material is actually included in pre-cut form, such as the internal hull planking, which can be problematic for the average modeller....not that I suggest an average modeller attempts a project like this.

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This last image shows what you will be left with when this package is complete.

 

 

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And finally, some images which will show you what to expect when the hull starts to be kitted out in the next available package due fairly soon:

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Conclusion
By no means a beginners model, and also not suitable for anyone who classes as intermediate. This really is aimed at those with a lot of nouse and the ability to forward think about 50 steps ahead, plus employ some critical thinking. When build up properly, this model should be an absolute show-stopper, and I reckon there's a good couple of years work involved if you want to get the very best from this kit. At around £500 so far, that actually represents some great value for money on a per hour basis too. Materials quality is excellent and the manuals look easy to understand. Tom is also easily contactable and always willing to help if you should find any problem. 

 

Watch out for the next instalment on this as soon as we can bring it to you.

 

Our sincere thanks to Tom at CAF Model for the sample shown in this article. To buy direct, click the link at the top of this article, and remember that you will need to add both packages (A & B) to your cart if you wish to purchase at same time, so save some postage costs. 

 

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