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HMS Diana 1794 by CTDavies - Caldercraft - 1:64th Scale - as built - first wooden ship build

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Hello All,


after looking around for a while for a nice model ship project, I was able to buy a started Calder Craft HMS Diana in good condition at a reasonable price. I have been thinking of building a ship model for a little while now, and even started designing a few projects for a scratch build, but in the end I decided I needed to get a good quality kit as a first build. The Diana was on the top of my list because a) it's Royal Navy (British ships interest me most) and B) it's a late frigate, a type I find very attractive. So it was pure luck that one popped up on Ebay which turned out to be within driving distance so on a nice Saturday morning I made the trip and bought it on the spot.


Here she is. The building board was already built by the PO (previous owner). Nothing has been glued yet.


The box top is different than the ones being built here on the forum. Maybe this is an early version kit or one specifically for the european market?


The lower deck had already been painted by the PO. I won't worry about this as I want to plank the deck anyway and maybe add some details


This is what's in the box


The stern section was also already built. All to a good standard.


And here another view.


I have already ordered the AOAS on the diana and hope it arrives soon as I intend to dress out the lower deck a bit, even if it's hardly noticable later.


This is my hobby cellar, all cleaned up (happens very rarely!) for the new build


So, this is my first wooden ship build, so please be patient with me. I have always been a slow builder so this might take a few years - haha.


Feel free to tune in, next I'll show you the beginnings of part one: Hull construction.



Edited by CTDavies
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I googled around a bit and found a low res side elevation which I was able to print out in the correct scale (which made it even more low res).


Then I drew out all bulkhead positions on the elevation and lines plan. I'll explain why later.


The bulkheads match the frames on the body plan quite nicely


The water lines were then drawn onto the keel and all bulkheads



I made templates for each bulkhead from the lines plan showing the angles water lines.


With these angles I could approximately measure out how much needed to be sanded off the bulkheads for the bevels. I'm following the recommendations in the instructions here that the front four and rear four bulkheads should be bevelled before they are glued to the keel. Now you can see why I copied everything onto the drawing I found on the internet.


First bit of bevelling done (phew!)


The nice thing about these templates is they can be used to check the angle of the bevels. I watched my brother do this on his dutch Zweidecker


more done


The plank termination template wasn't so easy. I was able to draw out some basic geometry using the lines plan which was then drawn onto the part


quick check in situ


and after about half an hour of careful sanding


I used a piece of plastic card to check that the bevels run true.


So far I am very satisfied. The front four bulkheads are all done. For my next update I'll do the rear four.






Edited by CTDavies
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Disclaimer (I wonder if this is necessary)

The drawings I printed out from the internet here are strictly for my own use on the model here. No copyright violation is intended. When I am finished using these drawings for this model they will be destroyed. No copies will be made.


Now I've seen I've forgotten to include my name in the title here. How do I work that out?



Edited by CTDavies
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Hi Chris.

It looks like you have only bevelled the lower part of the frames the upper parts will need bevelling as well, I would also highly recommend filling between the first few frames bow and stern with balsa, this helps to get the overall shape and makes planking easier. Also check the transom is right it is very tricky as the other Diana builders have found.

Good luck with her she is a great project.

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Hi Ray, you are of course absolutely right about the upper parts of the bulkheads. I wasn't really sure when and how to tackle these but tonight I thought I'd just go for it. The waterlines on the plans I found only go up as high as -well- the waterline. Initially I thought I'd wait until the AOAS arrives, hoping there might be some further drawings there I could use to make some more templates, but I gave some careful eyeballing a try this evening, with quite pleasing results. It probably took the best of two hours to do one side (pt) of bulkheads 2; 3 and 4 but by working very carefully and double checking and checking things again it all went well. The distance between the waterlines on my plans is close to 15mm, so I'll be ordering some 15mm balsa to fill in the space between the bulkheads as Ray recommended. Not that it's necessary to stick to the waterlines with the balsa infills, I'm just hoping that it might work out to be a bit cleaner that way and therefore maybe easier. Note how there's a gap in the plywood of bulkhead 2.


I also dug out my old camera tonight as I wasn't too pleased with the quality of the images my i-phone took. This one looks a little bit better.


Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to the mods for fixing my title again (1:64th scale),



Edited by CTDavies
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I did a bit more tonight.


The plank termination templates needing some more sanding, as became evident when testing the plank strips on the bevelled bulkheads. The front edges are now quite pointy.


Then I added some more waterlines to the front bulkhead to help transfer the bevelled edge over to the opposite side. The small pencil mark will act as a guide on how much material needs to be removed to make an exact copy of the bevelled side (hopefully)


Both side of bulkhead 2 have been bevelled here


and here all four front bulkheads have now been completely bevelled. I also tested strip planking here as well and still had to remove some material, before I was completely satisfied. I don't know how many times I took the whole thing apart and built it all back together again to check how the planking will fit.


So the first part of step one of the instructions has now been completed. Next I'll tackle the rear four bulkheads. There are some really steep angles on those bevels there!

I'd hate to have to do this on a glued up frame with everything else in the way. Damage would be inevitable.



Edited by CTDavies
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Chris - good to see another Diana build here, you look to have got off to a solid start...will be following closely as I'm not much ahead of you  :)


Nice approach to the bevelling, I found that on some of the frames they needed to be packed out a little with some strip to avoid low points (especially at the waist and stern), I wonder if this is just variability in the manufacturing or an issue for all of these kits.

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Well after being warned by both of you, I thought I'd give the stern a little more forethought than usual, before bevelling and I promptly ran into a dilemma.


It was quite obvious when even looking at the bulkheads that something was not right. The test strips for planking I use as a guide for bevelling just didn't line up against the bulkheads very well at all.



With the plans I had right-clicked from the internet I decided to check each bulkhead working from the back towards the front before I started sanding


16 looked ok...[ish]...


while 15 would also have been passable, but from there it just went from bad to worse (the dotted line is the kits part), here's 15












this made me curious so I decided to check them from the bow as well








and 5


Conclusion: if  the plans I am using here are really the Diana (and I believe they are, although I have no firm evidence), then the rear bulkheads are quite a bit out of shape. The front ones are very close to to my plans. Close enough to pass anyway.


That is even apparent when looking at them stacked like here


I don't have the AOTS here yet, as it hasn't arrived in the mail. I'm wondering if someone here could scan the drawing with the frames for me, so that I could check the bulkheads with it as an alternative source.


I'm thinking of making scratch built formers for the stern here, just to see how they work out, before I start cutting around on the kit's parts



Edited by CTDavies
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I'm pretty confident the bulkheads were aligned correctly when I compared them with the plans. The waterlines were the references I used for aligning.


To put this more into perspective I drew on the bulkheads where the curvatures should be according to the plans. Bulkhead #14 would need to have the most shaved off.


Looking forard to this evening, Bro' Let's see what we come up with



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Well it's done now :)



drove to my brother's house tonight (as we do every Sunday night, to have supper together with the whole family - a nice family tradition)


My brother had balls enough to tackle the bulkheads with his bandsaw.


I'll start cleaning up the cuts and the bevels tomorrow - it's too late here now. I like how they look, though.



Edited by CTDavies
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So, the modified rear bulkheads have also been cleaned and bevelled.


I have now completely reworked the rear six bulkheads (except #16 and not counting 17) and have carefully bevelled the front four. That leaves five in the middle. I'm thinking of ordering a set of Diana plans from the NMM so that I can check those remaining five as well. It seems wrong after going through so much work on these 11 and not do the same for the rest. So far everything has turned out quite well.



Edited by CTDavies
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Yes. there were a few, so I decided to check them first, before the whole thing is glued up. I called the National Maritime Museum to order copies of their historic Diana plans, but they couldn't find them. The lady on the phone thinks they may have gone lost. I'll check again tomorrow or on Monday, see if they have turned up.

But I didn't want to wait weeks before they do and my oder arrives here, so I decided to move on with what I've got. I went about it the same way as on the other bulkheads and found that the remaining five are closer to the plans than the others.


Here they have been trimmed accordingly


and, again, after bevelling, the test fit strips




Looks like I may have trimmed off too much at the very bottom of bulkheads 8; 9 and 10. This will be corrected with the balsa infills later. A large box with several planks of 15mm balsa arrived at the office today. Excellent timing!


Nothing beats a nice good night photo at the end of your successful building session





Edited by CTDavies
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  • 3 years later...
  • 1 year later...

So after a break of close to five years, being inspired by Vanguard Models‘ Speedy (yes, I bought one), I decided to dust off the Diana and carry on where I left her. 
I had always had the intension of filling in the space between the bulkheads with balsa as, a) I didn‘t trust my planking skills and b) to check her hull after modifying the bulkheads the way I did. This was a slow process at first but started to move along once I got the hang of it.E1411FDE-35A7-48F1-8019-76F79A9FF423.thumb.jpeg.40cad3b032e7e3fdde8b9e3f223a022f.jpeg

I found the best way to shape the infills was by carving...


...and sanding with 40 grit sandpaper on a small plank

The bow and stern where also filled in



The thick lower deck wasn‘t in place when I did all this so I could turn her upside down and work on her the ‚Hahn‘ way. This was nearly a disaster as it was very difficult to get it to fit right.



In the end I also filled in the space between the very last bulkheads. The stern wasn‘t easy but manageable with a bit of planning and forethought.


Some glamour shots at the end of the day




that‘s all for now. Thanks for looking,





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I have also noticed that part of the bulkheads might be visible through the open hatches. This will have to be fixed. But first I‘ll have to order a decent razor saw.


Per instructions the lower deck should just be painted in walnut stain, but I would like to take things to the next level here and plank the deck as far as it is visible and add hatches etc. Tosti writes that the planking outside of the Binding Strakes was done in Evergreen Fir which should add a bit of variety but only on the lower deck. As far as deck planking goes I‘m planning on doing everything in pearwood except the Fir decks which will be in Maple. Hull planking (if I get that far) will be Boxwood,




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So after several hours I had cut out all the parts for the carriages. Not only did the tabs need removing, but there was a load of milling debris stuck to the edges which also took a while to clean up. I was about halfway through this all when I noticed that the cannons (and the carriages of course) were in two different sizes. So I spent an extra few hours sorting everything out again.



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Good evening all,

a small update. It took three attempts before I was happy with the hatch coamings. On this picture here the deck planks have again been loosely put in place, just for a sneak preview if you will. I cut away some large chunks from four bulkheads as I realized they would be visible from the upper deck hatches. That‘s the official version, but the truth is I wanted more deck area for planking. As I‘ve said before, Tosti writes that the planking outside of the Binding Strakes was done in Evergreen Fir. So cutting away the bulkheads would give me more space here.


I didn’t want the deck to look as if it was 3‘ thick so I beveled the edges a bit. 


the PO had followed the instructions here and simply painted the lower deck in Walnut Stain.


The bulkheads and false keel were painted black where the hatches are to make them a bit more inconspicuous when the gratings are added later 


Thanks for stopping by,


Chris, in Germany


Edited by CTDavies
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  • 2 weeks later...

Small update, good evening all,

I need your expert opinions here. With the hatch coamings sorted I‘ve been thinking about the lower deck planking. Some modelers have achieved great results with thin cardboard strips between each plank for the tar caulking. This is what I‘ve tried here...


...but I think the results might be a bit too heavy. On the real ship decks the caulking is a lot less conspicuous as you can see here:

Quarter Deck HMS Warrior


Upper Deck HMS Trincomalee


Quarter Deck HMS Trincomalee


I might even leave off the caulking all together as the Navy board models don‘t seem to have this feature. Or I might try dark grey paper.

what do you think?

Oh, yes. I lined the edges of the ply deck at the hatch openings as the ply wood which was almost white was too noticeable.



Thanks for stopping by, Chris

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As you can see I have a wider King Plank in the middle a wider plank for the Binding Strakes, which should actually be two. Outside of these is where the fir planking starts, but only on the lower deck.


My brother, who is an expert ship modeller mostly leaves his wood natural, but I‘m thinking of airbrushing(!) a fine mist of grain filler as some protection, as I‘m worried the untreated wood would pick up dust too easily especially in moist and humid conditions.

Edited by CTDavies
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