HMS Vanguard 1787 - Victory Models - 1:72

aew

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#21
The following build sequence is a shameless copy of Mitsuaki’s construction of the head assembly (or, as he puts it, the work was inspired by his excellent example).

I used a miniature router bit in my mini pillar drill to profile the relevant parts:

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I also copied his carving of the main bow rails, but didn’t replace the original parts.
These are the various pieces ready for fitting:

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I used a combination of tweezers and clamps to hold the bow rails in position:

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Things went amiss when it came to the catheads! I’d previously just drilled a number of holes in the ends of the beams to thread the ropes through but this time I thought I’d try and make them look a bit better, so I clamped a piece of wood to the base of my drill to act as a fence and machined three slots in each piece:

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After I’d finished congratulating myself for making a nice neat job of the machining, I suddenly realised I’d completely messed things up; there was no way I could now thread these with the blocks!
After trying to think of various things I could put in the slots I finally got carried away and did it properly:

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I think it’s another of those things where I know it’s there, but it’s not going to be visible. Anyway, this is how they turned out:

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Finally, here are some pictures of how it turned out:

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Like Mitsuaki, I added additional brackets behind the catheads:

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The base of the forecastle bulkhead rail and the cathead beam aren’t fixed yet, they were just positioned to check how they will line up.
 
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aew

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#22
I opted to paint the ship in the ‘Nelson Chequer’ style which gave me a strong incentive to leave the gun ports closed. However, I’m going to compromise and have them closed on one side and open on the other.
There are etched brass hinges for the lids which have an extended section at the top which I assume is intended to fit into a hole drilled in the hull such that the lid is fixed in the open position. I was going to cut these off but I remembered Caroline saying she’d made the gunport lids actually hinge on her Agamemnon.
Instead, I filed the extension down, cut it a bit shorter and rolled it to make a gudgeon:

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I’ll fit the lids by making some 0.3 mm brass staples.

In order to fix the hinges to the lids consistently, I made a simple jig to drill holes where the lifting rings will fit; just some strips of wood taped in place:

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Honest, there is a drill in there, it’s 0.35mm.

There’s a bit more to the next jig I made. I glued a couple of strips of wood to an off-cut of MDF to act as side and back stops. I then placed a lid on it and drilled through the holes into the MDF block to accept a couple of pieces of steel wire.
I dropped two hinges over these wires and then glued another notched piece of wood at the top to accept the other ends of the hinges:

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This allowed me to apply superglue (CA) to a hinge, locate the end hole over the wire and drop it roughly in place. If it wasn’t exactly in line, it was held clear of the lid. Only when it dropped into the notch did the glue contact the lid.

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Once again I admit to copying (being inspired by!) other people’s ideas, in this case Len’s Bellerophon build. He gave me a link to Gil’s method of making small splices and the idea of using small heat shrink for the leather rope protectors.
In the end, I didn’t use the heat shrink though. It claims to be 1.5mm and shrink to 50% of that. I don’t need a calculator to work out that that’s 0.75 mm. Instead I used the insulation from some multi-pair telephone cable. It very easily slipped over the 0.1 mm rigging cord (and that’s nearer 0.2 mm actually) and has an outside diameter of 0.9 mm.
If you compare that with the heat shrink it’s obvious that even the inside diameter of the heat shrink doesn’t come close to it:

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I used some 0.3 mm brass wire to make eyes to hold 2 mm brass rings on the lids. I only fitted rings on the outside of the starboard doors but those on the port side, which will be open, will have rings on the insides as well. (The kit doesn’t include any rings, only some comparatively large brass eyelets which I assume you are supposed to bend over.)
This is what the finished lid looks like:

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And this is how the lower gun deck lids look in the closed position:

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Although I’ve made the lids for the port side, I’m not going to fit them yet as they would be sure to get bent or broken.
I still need to make some lids for the upper gun deck but I’m going to do something else next, just for a change.
 
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aew

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#23
I wasn’t particularly impressed with the cannons supplied with this kit. The carriages are castings and while the quality is reasonable, the design is somewhat strange with a stepped construction and ribs down the sides. I decided to see what they would look like with a little bit of attention.
I filed off the casting marks and drilled them to fit the eyelets supplied. The barrels have a bronze finish and if they are thoroughly cleaned they can be blackened. This is how the first one looked:

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I wasn’t particularly happy with it, in particular the eyelets were much too large so I made up some from 0.3mm brass wire and some 2mm rings:

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I’m not sure why the drill is in the picture! It may be the one I used to drill holes through the base of the carriages so I could pin them to the deck.
The eyelets also got a bath in the evil brew:

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As you may have noticed in the first picture, I attached rings above the cascabels for the breeching ropes. I held the end of a pair of tweezers in the vice and then used a clamp to grip a brass ring in the tweezers. With the ring held at the correct height, I could apply a drop of glue to the barrel and then slide the carriage into the correct position:

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There are some small cast saddles supplied that are obviously meant to be fitted to the carriages, but they are rather ‘heavy’ looking and don’t actually fit. The carriages have two small pips either side of the trunnions and these would have to be filed off to let the saddles sit correctly on the carriages. Although that wouldn’t have been much of a problem, I decided to make some new saddles. I cut a strip from a thin brass sheet (0.1mm or about 4 thou. thick) and used a simple little jig to drill holes at the right spacing:

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My jig then got a new lease of life, I filed a groove in it and used a drill bit to press the brass strips into shape:

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So here’s my kit of parts. Sometime ago, I bought some 2mm blocks to make up the tackles for the guns. I’m using single blocks at both ends to avoid having the tackles appear vastly out of proportion. I had some photo etched eyelets left over from a previous build which I’ll use in the bulwarks and deck. I made up some hooks, again using the 0.3mm brass wire, which will be attached to the blocks by the standing end of the falls. I also used the wire to make hooks and strops on the other blocks. The saddles have now been blackened.

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Drilling holes for the eyelets wasn’t too difficult, although the ones that lined up with the MDF bulkheads took a bit more time and care:

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It was about this time that I started to realise things were not going quite according to plan, although I didn’t yet realise why!
These are the guns on the starboard side, the gunports are closed so the guns are run inboard. With this configuration, there isn’t really room to fit the train tackles and I was considering leaving them off. I was reasonably happy with the appearance, but the side tackles looked a bit on the large side:

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When I started making the tackles, I’d realised I didn’t have enough blocks so I’d ordered another 50 2mm blocks. When these arrived, they were much smaller than the ones I’d used!
Although I considered using the tackles I’d already made up, there was no real option, I was going to have to start again, so I removed the tackles I’d made and ordered another 50 blocks!
This shows the two tackles for comparison:

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With the new blocks, I was able to fit the train tackles:

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The following pictures show the guns in position. Each gun is pinned to the deck with a single brass pin through the base of the carriage. The pin isn’t visible either from the sides or through the gun ports. A drop of superglue was later applied to each of the rear carriage wheels to keep the guns in line.

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The blocks I originally used were from a parts box containing various size blocks, deadeyes hearts etc. Since fitting these guns, I've now found a bag of 100 2mm blocks in the Vanguard kit box - obviously the ones I'd actually ordered for the job!
I shouldn't need to buy any 2mm blocks for quite a while.
 
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aew

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#24
What I thought was a minor job didn’t turn out to be so easy, fitting the cannon balls. These are shiny metal castings and the quality can only be described as awful! At least there are plenty supplied so you can choose the best of a bad bunch.
The difficult job was simply painting them black, I placed them in a plastic cap and painted over them all together. When they eventually dried, quite some time later, that got me a lot of speckled balls stuck together in clumps. Rolling them around separated them easily enough so I repeated the process. After three repeats, they were all more or less black.
After a bit of thought about how to fix them in their racks, I applied a fairly heavy coat of varnish to the inside of the racks (a bit like filling a horse trough!) and just placed them in that. At least that worked, although it’s a good job the cannon balls don’t have to actually fit the guns!

The other jobs were to fit the rails around the hatches. I realised a while ago, after I’d fitted the upper gun deck (you need to study plan 4, the cutaway elevation – it’s not in the instructions), that I needed two stanchions on the lower gun deck. When I eventually came to fit these, drilling holes at the bottom of the stairway was a bit of a challenge. It was actually possible to get to the requisite spot with a pin chuck, but the holes were angled forwards and to the sides. Bending the pins at the bases of the stanchions to the appropriate angle solved that.
Actually fitting them was the next challenge. There are 6 stanchions in all so I threaded a cord through all 6 (being careful to get the end ones the right way round), knotted the end and applied a drop of glue to the end. It was then a case of using a pair of tweezers to position the first stanchion over the hole at the foot of the ladder and the using a blunt instrument to press it into the hole.
That resulted in a bent stanchion that had refused to go in the hole!
After I’d retrieved the stanchion and straightened it, I re-drilled the holes to the actual size of the pin and repeated the procedure with a drop of superglue on the pin. That worked fine and I fitted the other 4 stanchions around the top of the stairway. Once I’d done that, I was able to pull the cord through to tension it. Using a piece of wire, I was able to apply a drop of superglue to the last stanchion to anchor the cord and cut off the excess.
That brought me to the next major step – fitting the upper deck.
This is how things look now:

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The instructions say to fit the beams under the deck before fitting it, but I found it easier to fit them after fitting the deck:

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I’ve made a start on planking the upper deck, but basically to get things lined up. I need to fit the hatches and plank the bulwarks before I can continue much further with that.

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aew

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#25
I’ve now completed the deck planking on the upper deck. As I said in the last entry, that required me to first plank the bulwarks and fit the various gratings and hatches.
The wires I’d fitted for lights under the poop deck come up in front of the screen bulkhead so they might possibly have been visible where they run up the bulwarks. Just to be on the safe side, I rebated them into the plywood side and planked over them so that they now emerge at the top.
This is how things look towards the stern:

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The unpainted bulkhead is where the screen bulkhead fits. This needs to sit on top of the plywood deck, not the planking so I stopped the planking at this point. It was easier to fit the planking without the bulkhead in place so I dry fitted the bulkhead if and when required for measuring purposes.

I made up the bulkhead in three sections, the two side pieces slide down into position and the centre section can be fitted afterwards by locating the two tabs in the deck with the bulkhead tilted back slightly, and then tilted forward to locate on the tabs on the side sections
This is how the bulkhead looks:

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The back of the bulkhead and the area behind it will only be visible, if at all, through the gun ports. I’ve painted the back of the bulkhead and the bulwarks and planked that section of deck just in case someone peers inside!

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This picture shows the bulkhead in place, though it’s not yet glued in position:

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The following two pictures show the deck at the pointy end:

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When the various ships boats are fitted, this view of the upper gun deck will be largely obstructed.
 
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aew

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#26
Fitting the LED in the binnacle was a challenge! Even though I’m using 3mm LEDs (about the size of a match head), they were slightly wider than the side panels of the binnacle. I could have carved a slight rebate in the plywood but instead I filed a flat on each side of the LED base flange.
The main problem was to get the connections inside the binnacle and out of sight. I used some off cuts of deck planking to hold the LED. The LED leads go through holes in the top piece and are bent outwards to hold it. A couple of thin strips and a bottom cover piece were glued underneath to sandwich the leads, making a little shelf:

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Cutting the leads short kept the connections in the base of the binnacle.

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The two wires are bent back at 90 degrees so that when the binnacle is stood up, the wires will lie under the deck, towards the stern, and won’t be visible down the hatchway.
(Looks like I need to trim the plywood under the hatchway as well!)

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Some more bits added; this shows the ships wheel together with the ladder, stanchions and some additions to the binnacle:

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aew

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#27
At this point I decided it was time for a change so I went back a couple of pages to a job I’d skipped over; building the ships boats. There are four of these, they’re POB construction and double planked!
The one you’re supposed to build first is the 34 foot launch. This is the largest of the four so that seemed a sensible way to start. Len had passed comment about the lack of depth in the 18 foot cutter and the need to modify it to get some realistic leg room so I thought I’d experiment and try building the launch without its plywood floor. That didn’t seem to present a problem, here’s how the launch looks with the first few planks in place:

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I’d considered using cling film over the upper sections of the bulkheads to stop the planks sticking to them but found it wasn’t necessary. I did, however, cut part way through the bulkheads level with where the top of the plywood floor should be
As you can see, I haven’t fitted the keel:

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With the second planking completed, the keel slotted into place nicely:

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This is how it looked cleaned up and with the wales fitted:

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The next step was to fit some 1mm square ribs inside the hull. The thwarts fit between pairs of ribs so I started by fitting one of the ribs adjacent to each thwart.

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Rather than fit the plywood floor, I’d intended to fit short cross pieces in the centre of each bulkhead. Once I’d broken off the bulkhead extensions, I found it easier to trim them level with the top of the false keel and make the cross pieces full width.
This should work for the cutter. I can cut the bulkheads level with the keel and lay the floor directly on the bulkheads. That will get me the equivalent of about 150mm or 6” more leg room.
Here’s how it looked with the cross pieces and the rest of the ribs in place:

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I must have got carried away at this point because the next pictures are of the completed launch!
Here’s how it looks:

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The 18 foot cutter is actually stowed in the launch. In order to accommodate it, the thwarts have to be removed from the launch and stowed separately, so they’re not glued in place.
 
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aew

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#28
This entry is just a case of more of the same, namely construction of the other three ship’s boats.

Next one on the list was Nelson’s personal little run-around, the ship’s barge. This is how it looked with the hull planked and ready for the interior to be sorted:

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As you can see, the plywood floors have not been fitted and the keel is still to fit.

By now I’d more or less decided that that’s how I was going to build the smaller boats, so they were also under construction:

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I found that it was easier to use a wide plank as the uppermost plank and cut of the excess later.

This is how they eventually turned out:

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aew

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#29
At this time I did a little more work on the quarter deck.
There are ten guns in this area, six of which are fully visible and four which can be seen under the poop deck. Although these guns are smaller than those on the gun decks, I decided to fully rig them.
In addition, there are another four guns behind the screen bulkhead. These will only be visible through the gun ports and possibly through the skylight above so I don’t need to rig those.
This is how the first ten looked after a little bit of filing and painting:

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As before, I’ve drilled the carriages to fit eyelets and rings for the tackles. These will be made from 0.3mm brass wire as the ones supplied are much too large.
The carriages have also been drilled through the base so that they can be pinned to the deck.
Rather than gluing a ring above the cascabel as I did with the larger barrels, I tried soldering the rings in place and found this much easier.
That little exercise accounted for another sixty 2mm blocks so maybe it’s just as well I ordered so many!
Here’s how they turned out:

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The quarter deck barricade is built up from several pieces including some small turned columns. There’s no indication of how these should be fitted and the diagram tends to suggest they are simply glued in place. However, the pins at the bases of the hammock cranes are longer than the thickness of the rail into which they fit. I would be necessary to either cut the pins shorter or drill the tops of the columns to accept the pins.
The columns are only 2.6mm diameter at there widest point and 1.5mm diameter at the narrowest point so there’s not much to play with.
There are eleven required and twelve are supplied so I decided I could afford to try drilling one.
I used a 0.5mm drill in a pin chuck to mark the centre of the column base and then fitted the column in a collet in my mini drill and drilled right through the column. Although that was a success, I needed a larger hole at the top of the column if I was going to pin the hammock cranes to the columns. The hammock cranes are brass etchings so the pins at the bottom are more or less rectangular section rather than cylindrical. Trimming one up with a morse file suggested I could get away with a 0.8mm hole in the top of the column so I set a 0.8mm drill in a pin chuck with only a few millimetres protruding and opened out the already drilled the tops of the columns by hand.
Here’s the resulting kit of parts:

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I’ve only fitted the lower section so far, I’ll fit the top rail and hammock cranes when I fit the rest of the rails.
I’ve also fitted a few other items on this deck, some cleats on the bulkheads and the main bitts. These seem surprisingly small, much smaller than those on the deck below and also slightly smaller than the fore bitts.
This is the current state of play on the quarter deck:

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aew

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#30
Now it’s back to the fore deck.
There are rails and timberheads on both sides of this deck and also across the front. These are the three sections assembled:

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And this shows the rails in place:

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There are four guns on this deck and two sections of rail have to be cut out to clear the guns. I cut these out after the rails were glued in place.
Despite the fact that the guns aren’t fitted yet, I seem to have lost two cannon balls!

Somebody got carried away when they decided how much clearance to leave in the fore bitt cross beams. The slots were more than 1 ½ times the width of the uprights. The only option was to make some new ones:

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And these are the new ones:

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I’ve just noticed in that picture that the top of the fore port support hadn’t been shaped, it’s just as supplied. I’ve just remedied that omission!

Next job was the chimney for the stove. It’s made of two pieces of dowel cut at 45 degrees and glued together. There’s a brass disc provided as a baffle at the end of the chimney.
I thought that if I just pinned the disc on the end of the dowel, it would be obvious that the chimney was solid rather than a tube so I carefully drilled a short way into the end of the horizontal section of dowel.
It was a complete waste of effort. With everything matt black, it’s impossible to tell whether it’s solid or not!

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Next on the list was the belfry. It’s made up of five plywood section and a couple of brass parts. I don’t like plywood edges showing, but in this case I opted to try a stain/varnish on it with reasonable success:

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This picture also shows two further sections of forecastle rails.

And here’s how it looks now:

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aew

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#31
There are some rails to fit around the mid deck and some ladders down to the gun deck. The mid deck gunwale strip is just shown as a length of 1 x 5 mm walnut but I found I needed to extended it with two curved sections as each end buts up to a decorative moulding.
The ladders were more of a problem. They’re shown on the plan as being 17 mm wide but there isn’t room for ladders this wide. I eventually settled on making them 14 mm wide. They look OK at that size but that does put them very close to the guns.

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At this point I attempted to sort out the cradles for the ships boats. I’d looked at these previously and glued one of them in place but hadn’t identified the others.
There are six required, but eight supplied. I eventually modified a further three of those supplied and made two completely new ones to complete the set required.
Next job was to break off the one I’d glued on and re-position it! The three boats are a tight squeeze between the two rows of stanchions that run down each side of the deck, but because the two medium sized boats are different widths, the launch isn’t mounted on the centre line – which is where I’d put it.
This picture shows the cradles in position – and in need of another coat of paint:

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Rather than carry on with the rails at this point, I decided to work on the poop deck so that I could do all the rails together.
Apart from the mizzen bitts, the only other deck furniture on the poop deck is a skylight. That’s simply made from four plywood side pieces and a roof. I glued some pieces of acetate to the back of each side piece before assembling it, but glued in the acetate for the roof after the plywood piece was fitted:

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This is the completed skylight:

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Next job was to plank the deck:

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The two margin planks are wider strips I had left over from a previous kit.
And this is the deck planks fitted into it:

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The poop deck rail is made up of a number of wooden sections so I decided to assemble and fit this rail. As with the rail on the quarter deck, I opted to stain and varnish the cap rail rather than paint it black.
This is how the poop deck looked at this time:

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Before I can move on to the next stage, I need additional material.
I’ve sent the admiral shopping!
 
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aew

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#32
The next job was to fit the various stanchions, handrails and hammock cranes.
The plans only show the hammock crane frames with cord threaded along the tops of them. I wanted to show them with the netting in place, but couldn’t find any suitable material. I found something close, but the edges would have just pulled apart as the warp and weft weren’t bonded together. I tried running a line of PVA along the edges to prevent this. Although that worked, as soon as the material was handled. The threads moved relative to each other giving a very uneven look to the net.
In my search, I did find something much closer to what I wanted, namely a fish net (garden pond size). The problem was that this was made of a plastic material and even if I’d had enough of it, it was green.
This was the point at which I sent the admiral shopping with a sample cut off the fish net and a request for something similar in a more appropriate colour. She came back with a piece of material big enough to wrap the ship in about three times over for the princely sum of £1.20. The material was white and physically just about perfect.

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The first challenge was cutting it accurately! I cut the first edge with scissors, but it was painstakingly slow and I was going cross-eyed keeping on track.
The solution was to sellotape it to the cutting mat and then cut through both the tape and the material freehand with a sharp knife. (Surprisingly, using a straight edge didn’t work).

PICT_V_3202
pict_v_3202_.jpg

I found a needle that was large enough to take the thread I was using yet still fit through the holes in the brass etchings.
I could then lace the edge of the net to the first side of the frames:

PICT_V_3203
pict_v_3203_.jpg

I trimmed one side of the net flush at the end, but left the other side slightly longer to close off the end. I could then continue lacing the net down the other side of the frames. I made off the net at the other end in a similar manner. I later applied a few spots of clue at the cut ends of the net where the edges met.
This was the end result:

PICT_V_3204
pict_v_3204_.jpg

The pictures actually show the second set I made, along the side of the quarter deck. The one I made first was for the front of the quarter deck, but I didn’t take any picture of its construction. I could make that one off the model and this is how it looked:

PICT_V_3205
pict_v_3205_.jpg
As you can see, I glued alternate columns to this rail, the intervening ones are glued to the lower rail. That made it much easier to fit later.
And this is how it looks fitted:

PICT_V_3206
pict_v_3206_.jpg

The ones along the sides of the boat deck were a little more of a challenge. There are cross pieces at the top of each frame. Apart from the need to make small cuts to allow the netting to fit round each of these it was surprisingly difficult to pick out which holes in which edge to thread the needle through.
I eventually folded the back section of netting down out of the way and used a length of planking to hold it there. I also found that putting something dark behind it made it much easier to see. (The strip of used wet & dry was the first thing to hand!)

PICT_V_3207
pict_v_3207_.jpg

The netting isn’t plastic, it’s actually woven but has some form of coating that keeps its shape. Whatever it is was responsible for the dusting of snow down the ship’s side!

The last section of rail was the section across the front of the poop deck. The logic behind the construction of this escapes me. For some reason, there are large holes in the lower rail rather than small ones as in the quarter deck rails. That meant I couldn’t simply pin the columns with brass wire.
I settled for turning down the bottom section of the columns to fit the holes in the rail:

PICT_V_3208
pict_v_3208_.jpg

This rail also carries the sand buckets and requires twelve hooks to hold them. Again I opted to make these as the ones supplied were much too large. There are also two eyelets at the ends for the handrails of the stairs to the quarter deck.

PICT_V_3209
pict_v_3209_.jpg

The buckets supplied are quite nice but the handles were just lengths of brass wire clipped off rather roughly to length at each side. After I blackened the handles and cut off the excess, I found that they could easily be dislodged so I glued them in place.
These are supposed to be sand buckets to I was trying to think how I could simulate the sand, but without much success, then I decided to cut small pieces of dowel, paint the ends yellow and drop them in each bucket.
This is how they look:

PICT_V_3210
pict_v_3210_.jpg

There was what could have been a minor disaster when I fitted these buckets. I covered up the stairway in case I dropped one of them and, inevitably, I did drop one. It rolled a fair way forward and disappeared down the hole for the main mast.
That shouldn’t have been a problem as that only took it to the gun deck. However, it didn’t stop there; it continued down the hole in that deck and landed in the bowels of the ship at the level of the lower gun deck!
At this point, the model received a severe test – I spent the next few minutes holding it upside down and shaking it!

Anyway, here’s how it looks after the missing bucket fell out and normal orientation was restored:

PICT_V_3211
pict_v_3211_.jpg
 
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aew

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
174
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Location
Leeds, WY, England
#33
Time for a long overdue update to this log. My excuse is holidays and other projects.
The truth additionally includes a lack of enthusiasm for the carronades supplied.

At first glance, the carronades looked quite nice with a lot of detail on the carriages:

PICT_V_3301
pict_v_3301_.jpg

When it actually came time to fit these, a lot of problems came to light.
The first was that a quick search on the internet didn’t turn up any that resembled the carriages supplied!
Looking at the rigging of carronades, I needed to fit at least six eyelets to the carriages but there were no holes provided and in some cases (e.g. the base front right) the appropriate piece of the casting was missing.
If you look at the two ‘assembled’ carriages on the right, one is fully run in, the other fully run out. The range of movement is very limited and is insufficient to show them run out. I cut the forward peg off one carriage and this did solve that problem, but I still didn’t like them.
I’ve modelled the guns run out on the port side and run in on the starboard side so I wanted to model the carronades the same way. If I’d had them all run out, I’d probably have used the carriages supplied but the ones that are run in leave the pivot exposed and, frankly, I think that looks awful!

So, the carriages had to go. I started by gluing some pieces of strip together to make the carriage bases and cutting some mounts for the trunnions, also from strip:

PICT_V_3302
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The mounts for the trunnions were later thinned down and lowered. It was also necessary to chamfer the top inner edges to clear the carronade barrels.

The barrels are supplied with elevating screws and two short lengths of brass tubing. I assumed that these were for the trunnion and the breeching rope. There is a groove under the barrel to take one piece of tubing (the larger of the two), but the smaller piece didn’t fit on the back of the barrel. The elevating screw was in the way.

I started by soldering the larger tube in the groove under the barrel. When I’d done that, I tried the barrel in one of the carriages supplied.
Looking at the barrel from the rear, the elevating screw reminded me of a famous tower in Italy! A closer inspect showed that the threaded hole in the back of the barrel had probably been drilled by someone working in that particular tower.
I decided that if I got the elevating screw vertical, no one would notice that the touch hole was slightly offset so I made up a simple jig to hold the barrel. The elevating screw fits in a hole drilled square in a piece of wood. A wooden shim supports the end of the barrel to keep it level. With the barrel in position A small round file was used to level up the groove.
The next step was to drill a hole in another piece of wood with a nice square corner so that the drill would be perfectly horizontal. This was the result:

PICT_V_3303
pict_v_3303_.jpg

The black object at the top of the picture is a 12 Volt lead-acid battery that made absolutely certain nothing was going to move!
Once I’d soldered those pieces of tube in place, I ground a groove in the back of the barrel sufficiently deep to allow me to slot the other tube in-between the barrel and the elevating screw. Once that was done, it was just a case of putting it all together:

PICT_V_3304
pict_v_3304_.jpg

No bars were provided for the elevating screws so I used a small copper nail with a blob of solder on the cut end to match the head at the other end.

PICT_V_3305
pict_v_3305_.jpg

Remember some time ago, I ordered 50 2mm blocks for the guns on the main gun deck, and then misplaced them? I ordered another 50 and then found the originals. At that time I said “I shouldn't need to buy any 2mm blocks for quite a while.”
Well I was wrong – I used 48 rigging these carronades and had to order yet more for the guns on the fore deck! 
 
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aew

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
174
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Location
Leeds, WY, England
#34
Well Vanguard is now almost fully armed. I’ve just added the final four cannons on the fore deck:

PICT_V_3401
pict_v_3401_.jpg

PICT_V_3402
pict_v_3402_.jpg

I’d painted all the carriages of the cannons on the lower decks red, but as the carriages of the carronades on the poop deck were yellow, I decided to paint these yellow also, so I've now got a mixture of red and yellow carriages.
The captain gets to choose the colour scheme!

Finally, here’s a general view along the deck:

PICT_V_3403
pict_v_3403_.jpg

Close up photos show too much!
I cleaned up the fore bitts and the side of the hatchway after looking at this one.

The reason I said ‘almost fully armed’ above is that I’ve a job left to do that I should have done much earlier: that is to fit the two gunport lids in the stern.
That’s the next job.
 
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aew

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
174
Points
28

Location
Leeds, WY, England
#35
Thinking ahead slightly, I have a question for any Victory Model builders.
I’ve looked through various logs and have seen a few where the rudder has been attached, but I haven’t found any details of how this has been done. The written instructions are no help, they simply describe gluing the photo etched parts in place or replacing them with card, followed by painting information.
The instruction book shows a perfectly reasonable picture with what appear to be bent pins or brass wire used as pintles in the rudder.

PICT_V_3501
pict_v_3501_.jpg

However, here’s the problem:

PICT_V_3502
pict_v_3502_.jpg

These are the brass etchings supplied, the ones at the top left, 318 – 324, are the gudgeons. The centre sections are exactly the width of the stern post and rudder. If I apply a 90 degree twist to the centre section, I can’t see them still fitting as that will inevitably shorten that section. I’m interested to know if anyone’s done that and with what degree of success.
At the present time I’m thinking of soldering brass eyelets to each of the straps. The pintles shouldn’t be a problem as they’ll fit into the rudder, but they can be soldered also.

So the question is – How did you do it? 
 
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aew

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
174
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Location
Leeds, WY, England
#36
Here’s what I did:

I cut short sections of brass tube with a length equal to the width of the photo-etched straps. I threaded them onto a drill bit and clamped them over the centre of the straps. (The odd pieces of wood are to stop me melting the clamps when things get warm!) It was then just a case of soldering them in place.

PICT_V_3601
pict_v_3601_.jpg

This is how they turned out:

PICT_V_3602
pict_v_3602_.jpg

Making the pintles from bent brass rod shouldn’t be a problem, however I’ll put them on one side for the moment while I finish the stern gun ports.
 
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aew

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
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Location
Leeds, WY, England
#37
Time for a little test to see how securely everything is fastened down:

PICT_V_3701
pict_v_3701_.jpg

Two of the ship’s boats failed the test and fell off but the launch, despite not being secured in any way, stayed in its cradle!

The reason for standing it up this way was actually so I could work on the stern gun ports. I simply forgot that the boats were loose!
Still, no harm done and I was able to cut out the ports:

PICT_V_3702
pict_v_3702_.jpg

These gun port lids are in two halves, opening up and down from the port. I can’t see why there would be lifting rings on the outside of the bottom lids, but they’re fitted on Victory (although those seem to be single lids opening downwards) so I fitted them anyway.

PICT_V_3703
pict_v_3703_.jpg

This is how it looks with the lids in place:

PICT_V_3704
pict_v_3704_.jpg
 
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aew

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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
174
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Location
Leeds, WY, England
#38
Right, back to the rudder.

Coppering the rudder was an interesting challenge. I opted to start and end each row at the forward edge as that was going to be the trickiest part. In the event, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.
Once I’d done that, I fitted the etched strips that carry the pintles. I was thinking it would be easy to simply drill through the centre holes into the rudder and insert bent pieces of brass rod for the pintles. However, there was a slight flaw in the logic. I could only drill a relatively shallow hole before hitting the nails holding the etched pieces in place. I could still use the bent brass rod but it couldn’t be a simple push fit in the rudder. Instead, I soldered each one to the brass strap.
This is how it looked:

PICT_V_3801
pict_v_3801_.jpg

I’ve never succeeded in nailing the straps on from each side. I’ve tried angling the holes so that the nails miss the ones from the other side but I always ended up with short nails that fell out!
I find the easiest way to fasten the straps to the rudder is to drill right through the rudder and rivet them in place. I have some very nice copper nails that are perfect for that job. (They’re sold as copper nails but I have wondered if they are actually intended as rivets because they don’t have any points on them!).

I actually think the riveted side looks better than the side with the nail heads. The heads are very nicely formed, but they look quite large at this scale.

PICT_V_3802
pict_v_3802_.jpg

Next step was to fit the gudgeons. I started with the one nearest the keel and fitted that one the same way by riveting it through the keel. Once that was fitted I hooked the rudder to it and used it to locate the top one. That could be simply nailed in place.
Here’s how it looked with all of them in place:

PICT_V_3803
pict_v_3803_.jpg

The lower ones are fully riveted, the upper ones are part riveted, part nailed.
They are all parallel to the water line, regardless of how they look in the photo!

And yes, the rudder does fit:

PICT_V_3804
pict_v_3804_.jpg

P.S. After seeing this picture, I’ve just removed the rudder and painted the under side of the wooden strip bordering the coppering!
Strange that the bare wood shows up in the last picture but isn’t visible in the first two.
 
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aew

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
174
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Location
Leeds, WY, England
#39
We’re approaching one of the landmark stages now where things suddenly start to look a lot different, fitting the masts.
Before I do that though, I need to fit the channels. The instructions say that these are under a lot of stress and should be pinned to the hull. I don’t think that’s actually the case, the shrouds and chain plates are under tension and compress the channels against the hull. However, there are a number of eyelets on the channels so there will be some stress - so I’m doing as I’m told!
There are some etched brass channel support brackets provided for the fore and main channels. These have a single hole fixing to the hull but are presumably meant to be simply glued to the hull. I opted to drill an additional fixing hole to attach them to the channels:

PICT_V_3901
pict_v_3901_.jpg

Using the same copper nails as I used for the rudder, I riveted the brackets to the channels. This picture shows the underside of the main channel with the brackets in place. It also shows the bracket for the stunsail boom at the forward end:

PICT_V_3902
pict_v_3902_.jpg

There is another piece to fit at the other end that supports the outer end of the boom, but that can be fitted later. (It’s end is in the form of a ring, which doesn’t seem practical, I think it should be open at the top which is what Lennarth Petersson shows in ‘Rigging Period Ship Models’.)

This is how the channels look with the brackets bent to shape:

PICT_V_3903
pict_v_3903_.jpg

That’s actually an earlier picture of the fore channels, taken before I fitted the stunsail brackets.

There are a number of eyelets fitted in each channel and I wanted a method of fixing these securely, I didn’t think simply pressing them in or gluing them would be strong enough. I’m not sure how these would actually have been secured. They could have been threaded with a nut under the channel or could have had an eye in the lower end with a pin driven through it.
I made some small rings from copper wire and fitted them over the stem of the eyelet under the channel, soldered them in place and cut of the excess. That held them quite well but in the end I opted to bend the ends flat under the channels:

PICT_V_3904
pict_v_3904_.jpg

This picture shows the starboard channels in place:

PICT_V_3905
pict_v_3905_.jpg
 
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aew

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
174
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Location
Leeds, WY, England
#40
Now that the channels are fitted, it’s time to fit the deadeyes and chain plates. These have to line up with the shrouds so I fitted the sections of dowelling that will form the lower mast sections with the positions of the tops marked on them.
There’s some debate about the correct length of the mizzen mast. The length of mast below deck level is incorrectly marked on the plan, it’s some 20mm longer than it should be. There are two possibilities, either it just needs the bottom of the mast shortening by 20mm or the deck level is incorrectly marked on the plan and the dimensions of the mast are correct.
I think it’s the latter as that puts the height of the mizzen top about midway between that of the main and fore tops. Also, if I find I’m wrong, it’s easier to chop 20mm off the foot of the mast rather than glue 20mm on! Either way, the angle of the shrouds won’t change significantly.
The upper edge of the yellow tape is the level of the tops:

PICT_V_4001
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Next job was to make up the chain plates. These are supplied a brass etchings and are nicely made. The strops for the deadeyes are particularly nice and much easier to fit than I expected. I found the quickest way was just to push my tweezers into the bottom loop to spread the strop. Once the deadeye was inserted, the loop could actually be squeezed back together between my finger ends but I did a final nip on all of them with a small pair of long nose pliers.
Although the middle links are also nicely made, I opted not to use them. They are etched with a gap in one side to allow assembly. Unfortunately, this gap is too wide to bridge with solder and I didn’t want to leave it visible so I made up new links from 0.3mm hard drawn brass wire. That allowed me to solder the ends after assembly:

PICT_V_4002
pict_v_4002_.jpg

Here’s the first set for the fore channel:

PICT_V_4003
pict_v_4003_.jpg

I opted to spray the deadeyes matt black. At this point I realised I should have done that before I assembled them as I wanted to blacken the brass parts rather than paint them, so that’s what I did with the rest of them.
When I first tried to spray the deadeyes on their own, I blew them in all directions, even when spraying from directly above and at long range! However, I found a very simple solution; I simply placed them on the back of a post-it note!

Now to decide where they fit.
I fastened an elastic band to the mast at the level of the top, threaded a piece of wire through one of the deadeyes and hooked it on the other end of the elastic band. That allowed me to mark the position of each chain plate fixing hole:

PICT_V_4004
pict_v_4004_.jpg

The 7mm deadeyes have an additional strap at the bottom of the chain plate to provide a two hole fixing. These could be lined up later and the second hole drilled appropriately.
Fitting these chain plates is probably the first time I’ve actually found a use for the pin-pusher I bought several years ago!
This is how things look with all the chain plates fitted:

PICT_V_4005
pict_v_4005_.jpg

The channels are supposed to be edged with a 2mm x 1mm walnut strip but I didn’t fancy my chances at bending that around the channels. I found some strip wood in my scrap box that was a bit more flexible, but I don’t know what it is. Anyway, after a good soaking and some persuasion with a hot soldering iron, I managed to bend it to shape:

PICT_V_4006
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This is how it looks on the fore channel:

PICT_V_4007
pict_v_4007_.jpg

Just a bit of black paint required now!
Honest, that cannon will miss the shroud (but not by much!)
 
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