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HMS Victory by Dominic - Constructo - 1/96

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Good morning from the UK.


Been a while since I have been on here, and I was persuaded to return so here I am with a new project/new log.


I found this as a bit of a bargain on Ebay, almost £90 off and just couldn't resist. Constructo's HMS Victory 1/96. I've been looking through Paul's log of the same ship, and I could only hope to come anywhere near the workmanship he has put into his, although I will be making a few modifications to mine along the way, and detailing her in the colours she now stands in at Portsmouth.


Having seen this beast up close, I've been wanting a crack at a decent model of her for some time. I did start AL's version a number of years ago, but abandonded it due to lack of skill, as stupidly it was only my second kit. I've since built/currently building several others and my skills have improved a lot compared to what they were, so having another go.


I'd just like to point out though, my skills, compared to some on here, are pretty weak, and I also build for what looks good, not for what is historically accurate. So if something isn't perfect to as it would be on the real thing, please bare with me, planking for example.



I'll start the way I usually do, and post photo's of what comes in the box. There are a few things I have reservations about and will note them where needed.


































The one thing that I like about this kit is the quality of the pre-fabricated wooden parts; blocks, deadyes etc. Especially the deadeyes, the holes have been drilled quite well. In AL kits a lot of them are off centre or uneven.


Also, this is the first kit I have come across than includes a base. It's crude, and in this case will serve me as a temporary stand, but at least they included one.


As can be seen in the last photo, and I believe it was noted on Paul's log, was the inclusion of optional veneer for a 2nd planking. I will plank with the intention of not using it, and be left with some spare stock, but at least I know it is there if the first planking doesn't go to plan. They note that you won't be able to replicate the alternate colours which in my case is niether here nor there as I plan on painting anyway.


Back soon with an update, thanks for reading!




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Thanks for posting Pictures of the box and contents. I love Constructo kits because of the quality of the parts and woods used. The instructions leave a bit to be desired and sometimes the plans lack a bit of clarity, but their kits make into nice models. You just have to remember while building a Constructo kit that they only supply the basics and if all you are looking for is a nice wall hanger then you will not be disappointed. If you are looking for closer to a museum quality model, then you will have to put in extra time, materials, research and expense. Good luck with your build, I look forward to following it.




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Hi Mike. Thanks for the comments.


Personally I've found, from flicking through them, the instructions not too bad, I've seen worse anyway. You do have to read a line twice sometimes as the translation hasn't been fantastic, but with this one the inclusion of the colour photo book comes in handy.


I agree on replacing some parts, the helm for example, I will replace for wood. It's a personal bane of mine having a cast helm instead of wood. Same witht he cannon hatches, they will be getting scratch built from wood, as the ones included are cast. It also annoys me a little that there isn't a full compliment on auxiliary craft. Only two, which go on the rear davits. I believe she had 5.


My other gripe with this is the rear prince of wales feathers. It's brass PE instead of cast, yet the figure head is cast. Why? What where they thinking? Trying to find a casting at this scale to replace that with has so far proven fruitless, but I have plenty of time before I reach that point.

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The first thing I wanted to get out of the way, was fitting some mounts now, while it is still easy to do so. Should have been in the form of bolts really, but I have some stock of dowel from manzonia, which is quite a hard tough wood, so elected to use those instead. Should they prove too weak to support her when finished I will simply remove the protrusions. I plan on coppering the hull so they wont be visible at the end, and just use a traditional cradle.


Was basically a case of cutting two slots in the keel, being aware not to foul the ribs, and fixing the rods in place with a two-part expoxy. (Once complete thise will slot into turned columns fixed to the display base, at the moment, I am making use of my temporary base.)






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Thanks Gundorph.


Today mainly I have been doing a lot of prep work, dry fitting etc. Not actually glued anything together as yet, well aside from the mounts.


I've removed, numbered and dry fitted all of the frames, along with the dummy cannon support beams. I had to sand the slots at the very fore to account for the angle, and I didn't notice until after I had removed the support beams that on the forward ones there is a length issue. To compencate for this, I've added a few scraps of wood to provide a wider surface than just the width of the forward bulkhead.


There are still a few areas I am uncertain of for strength, with the upper ones fore and aft, the ends of the beams have no slot, so I will need to have a look at the plans to see if adding some more supports there is going to foul anything else further down the line/and check if there is even a cannon in these weak areas. (If not, then it doesn't really matter).


I've also painted white the upper knees, which will be partly visible on the finished model.














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Had a busy day yesterday. Finally got some glueing done. I've faired the forward and aft bulkheads, I did the bulk of this "off keel" and finished off after the frames were fixed in place. Still got some finishing off to do but will do that once the lower decks are inplace.








Next up was planking the lower internal decks. I've tried many different methods of simulating deck planking, caulking etc, and one of them have really worked for me, so I've come up with my own method. I first tried this on my model of Hermione and it turned out really well.


It's not 100% accurate, as far as the layout of the planks go, I will look into saving that for the more visible exterior decks, but for the interior decks it will look fine.


I pre-cut the planks I need to length, and in bundles I wrap strips of tape around them to prevent splitting, and drill the treenail holes. The false deck gets sprayed flat black, and the planks get very carefully laid down with a slight gap between them. Takes a bit of patience and a good eye, but the result is pretty good, I'm happy enough with it anyway.








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Thanks Jim.


I finished planking the lower decks and stained them with dark oak, followed by a coat of clear gloss spray varnish. I like my decks to have a nice rich orangey colour to them, purely personal preference and artistic licence.


Fitting them, I had noticed that the forward two had no supports, they were literally meant to be balanced along the central keel. This I felt was asking for trouble, so I quickly made some small supports out of some spare stock, and fitted these to the bulkheads prior to fitting the decks, then fixed the decks in place and allowed to dry.










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Hi monkeyman.


Yes, most of it will be done as is on the stand, though obviously not all. It's not yet fixed on the stand, just the support beams are fixed in place. It will need to come off for the lower planking/sanding/coppering and painting etc. But the finer detail work it will be on the stand. Planking especially it will come off the stand. I may create a reverse stand for the planking though, using the mast holes to slide some beams into, although I've noticed early on on this kit the masts don't go as deep into the hull, so that may or may not be an option. I've lost count of how many rib tops I've broken having a hull upside down whilst planking :(


Just through experience I've found it should make things easier. Up until now, like you, my hulls used to be in my hands, or laid on sponge on my desk, or even just sat loosely in a temporary cradle. I've found that my once nicely finished hulls get battered a bit during the course of the build though, so I am hoping that doing things this way will help prevent that.


Once complete, that base/columns will be replaced for something a little more fancy.


As my build log progresses, you will probably notice I rarely follow convention. I have come up with my own variations on methods that suit my style, they work for me so I go with them :D

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In between housework, kids, school runs, nappy changes I've been plodding along with this. I've been able to get the next deck's dummy cannon beams fitted and have adjusted/sprayed and fitted the next false deck. I've also begun planking that deck.


Will add some photo's later.


On another note, I've dug out the prince of wales feathers from my older AL version of this, with the hope of being able to use it instead of the horrible PE part supplied with this, but the difference in scale is a lot greater than I first thought. Initially I just held it up against the stern of the keel/frames and size wise it didn't look too bad, but then later when I opened the PE bag and compared them, there was quite a difference...makes me wonder if the supplied part is infact too small anyway.


I'll put some photo's up later for some opinions...

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Yes, most of it will be done as is on the stand, though obviously not all. It's not yet fixed on the stand, just the support beams are fixed in place. It will need to come off for the lower planking/sanding/coppering and painting etc. But the finer detail work it will be on the stand. Planking especially it will come off the stand. I may create a reverse stand for the planking though, using the mast holes to slide some beams into, although I've noticed early on on this kit the masts don't go as deep into the hull, so that may or may not be an option. I've lost count of how many rib tops I've broken having a hull upside down whilst planking :(


Yeah, good point. I've just never saw such solution and never thought, that it might be this way. This is why I wondered :-)


I myself use Amati Keel Klamper to avoid breaking stuff:


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I have the desk mounted version of this, the one that is designed to be adjustable each end independantly for angled strips etc.


I was going to order the keel clamp when I ordered the kit but finances wouldn't allow an additional £50 on top :(

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I think they would both be ok for models upto the 600-700mm range, but I think anything larger I would be worried about it being able to support it. This one is over 1000mm in length when built.


Not seen that Dremel one before, might take a gander thanks

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Enjoying your log, I was building this same kit several years ago and had got to the point of planking when a fall from the build desk caused concederable damage and I just put it away.  I would later sell and I believe the fella went on with damage and all and pretty much finished her.  Looking forward to more of your mojo.  The deck work is most excellent.


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I agree, it did help to see her finished after what the beast cost.  I did @ a latter date aquire another Victory but this time a Corel Kit.  A retirement project down the road.  But in the mean time, I shall enjoy yours.

Cheers Rick

A Scott Cousin in the US

Edited by Ship Shape
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Alas I am not Scottish, I am English, I just live here...but thanks for the sentiment :)


Anyway, the pics update I promised earlier.


For planking the upper decks, I went with a 3 butt shift system, seemed to be the most commonly used method on ships, certainly the models anyway, and combined with my afore mentioned method of caulking.


I tried a test with some spare planks, cut to 80mm lengths with the shift every 20mm/alternate planks:




The false deck pieces trimed, marked, shaped and fitted to the bulkheads:




I prepared my planks by getting a single length of the planking wood, marking out at 80mm intervals. I gathered this marker plank together with several more and using strips of masking tape I taped the bundle together, applying the tape at the marks.




Clamping gently in a vice, I then drilled the treenails though the tape, which prevented the wood from splitting and also allowed me to create planks in bulk, as well as keeping things as similar as possible.





And finally, beginning along the centre line, I began applying the planks...




There isn't really much else to say or see at the moment. I'll post some more photos once this stage is finished :)





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Thanks, will have a look for it. (Although Dremel tends to carry a high price tag in the UK)


The middeck planking is finished, and after trimming and sanding smooth, has been given a coat of Satin Oak to match the lower decks. Edges have been trimmed back to allow smooth run of the planks and the knees have been touched in again with matt white.


I've also this afternoon clamped in the transom peice, after having a little mystery with it. I dry fitted it and marked the excess with a pencil, but when I turned it over to cut the marked area off, I noticed it was curved as it should be, but at a slight angle and not square.


My first thought was I had a skewed frame, which would have annoyed me as I checked double checked triple checked when this was fitted to ensure it was square. It turned out it was. So my second thought was that the pre-cut transom piece was wrong...measured at various locations and nope, that was almost perfect;y mirrored as well.


They can't both be right and wrong?


I must have spent about 30 or 40 minutes checking and checking and checking and nope, both were fine. In the end I had no choice, so I just trimmed the marked area and glued in place.






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I made a start on the first two sets of internal stairways last night. Does anyone know for definate if they had any hand rails? The few shots I can find on Google of the internal stairwells some of them show handrails but they look "new" and I'm not convinced they were part of the original design...


If they are though I would like to be able to add some before I get much further in.


A few pics of the process I followed, which is basically after gathering the parts I need, pre-cutting the steps themselves, which are annoyingly made from 0.5mm to go into a 1.0mm slot. Still could have been worse, could have been 1.0mm into an 0.5mm slot.


Following that I prepped the sidewalls and gave everything a light sand. Fixed everything together except the very top steps, which are wider, as I will fix these when I attach them to the hatch frames.


I ended up having to take a shim off one of the stairs as it ended up 21mm wide instead of 20mm, trying to do this on a very delicate structure wasn't easy especially as the side rails were an especially strong wood, which is nice, most kits they are usually quite cheap and bendy.


Once finished I gave it a coat of Oak stain.








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Had a productive day today. I've been able to completely finish the two stairwell frames, along with the gratings and frames, stain them and fit them to the deck. Just remains the shot lockers.


Before I started on the frames though I wasn't happy with the front edge of the stairs. Those gaps in the stair frames were annoying me. I decided to use some spare veneer to cap them, and after sanding and staining in, they look a lot better.







Then I started prepping the parts for the lower section of the frame, the stair well of sorts. They should have been mitred really but I haven't had much luck with mitre joints in the past, so stuck to the manual and cut them square and fixed them together. Excuse the pink bricks, I have two girls lol.






I checked them in their respective places on the deck and adjusted the gaps as needed. Got a little happy with one of the gaps, but not a major worry as this won't be visible in the end.






Once that was done next I started on the main frames. I decided to give mitre'ing the joints a go, and for once, they didn't turn out too bad, was quite happy with them in the end.





Whilst they were drying, I assembled a set of combs. I'd worked out I could get all 4 grates from a single 15x15 set. Not much else to say on this really.




This is where I got a little enthused and forget to take photo's, so these are the finished frames in place on the deck, after assembly and some adjustments to the length of the steps.








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You mean the simulated caulking? I sort of cheated. I've tried various methods, 2b pencil, sharpie (which I did get away with on one model as the wood wasn't blotting the ink), strips of card, black thread.


In the end I went for the simple but effective solution. I prepped my planks as normal, cut to length, pre-drilled the treenail holes in bulk, sanded the edges etc...and simply sprayed the false decks black before hand. Then I just carefully laid the planks with a slight gap. The pale colour of the wood and the contrast of the black beneath makes this actually quite easy to do as they contrast against each other, and the result is, well you have seen the result :)


It's not perfect...but then niether are the real things ;)


Link to my original post: scroll down past the first set of photo's:




Oh and this one expands a little more:



Edited by fifthace
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Hi Dominic, my wife bought me this model kit last year as a early retirement present, always wanted the Victory. Here's the problem, I have only made one model before, about 30 yrs ago, so I have jumped straight in at the deepest end. I have just started the model and felt that I needed help, so went on the computer and found your blog. Luck would have it that you have just started building the Victory, excellent, someone I can get tips from. I have already snapped the end off the gun side then read that you made the hole slightly bigger because of the angle. Love the way that you have done your decking I will definately try your method. Due to available time my model will take several years to do, however I'm in no hurry I just want to try and get it right. I will be following your build closely and would be grateful if you can continue  giving as many tips, helpfull advice and pictures as possible. I must admit the planking, whenever I get there, looks like it could be a bit of a challenge for me, will study your method intensely. I'll stop going on now but if it's ok with you, if I need help will ask you through this blog, regards Dolly. 

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In the end I went for the simple but effective solution. I prepped my planks as normal, cut to length, pre-drilled the treenail holes in bulk, sanded the edges etc...and simply sprayed the false decks black before hand. Then I just carefully laid the planks with a slight gap. The pale colour of the wood and the contrast of the black beneath makes this actually quite easy to do as they contrast against each other, and the result is, well you have seen the result :)


Ah, I see... I never saw such method of caulking and it's actually not even caulking at all - more like spacing :-)


I didn't came to any perfect method for myself right now, but I've tried black paper. Pretty time consuming right now, but no gaps. As I can see, your method leaves gaps between the planks, which is... well... a bit strange for me.


There was a guy who added an ink of some sorts to the glue and got a good results. I'm thinking of trying this myself next time.

Edited by monkeyman
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