HMS Victory, 1:64 scale by Steve Anderson, aka, Jasta11ace.

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#1
Part 1

This will be a "sort of build" log of my scratch-built model of the Victory starting in 1991 to present. In the pre-digital photography era the few photos I have were shot with a Nikon 35mm camera. I'm not the most disciplined when it comes to shooting progress pictures. I get so excited about the build that I think there's just a few more things to do before shooting the next pictures. So here's some shots and explanations of my process from the early '90's.

After the usual research and gathering of plans and photos I decided to build in 1:64 scale, or 3/16th"=1'. A good average house scale. My base plans were taken from John McKay's book "The 100-gun Ship, Victory", the Anatomy of the Ship series published by Conway Maritime Press Ltd. The plans are based on how she would've looked after her 1800-1803 large rebuild prior the Trafalger. My original intention was to build this version. After the start of the framing I noticed the original sheer line and rails, still visible today, before the build-up of the bulwarks along the quarterdeck. So back to research for drawings of how Victory looked from 1765+ with stern galleries and such. Meanwhile the build still went on for the hull structure.

V1b.jpg V5b.jpg V1a.jpg
The first step was to enlarge the drawings to 1:64 scale. I enlarged the outboard, inboard, framing, profiles and plan views of the ship then all the frame sections. The keel, stem and stern post drawings as well.

Framing and Shaping the Hull

I used what is probably a unconventional approach to construction of the hull. Since the "Man of War" has more frames than a merchant vessel, and they almost touch each other, I figured that 1/4' thick frames would be very close for an Admiralty style builders model. All the frame sections were laid out on 1/4" thick birch marine ply and cut on a band saw. I cut 1/4" spacer sections for between the actual frames. These were carefully aligned and screwed together in stacked sections until I had the complete hull. (No photos exist of this phase). I used a 1" Makita belt sander to knock down the stair step frame sides close enough to start block sanding by hand. I forgot to mention you must make sure your frame drawings, before cutting, start amidships facing towards the bow and aft towards the stern post. That way when the shaping starts you are sanding to the line of the drawings for the proper shape. It's like making a pattern or wood buck for a mold.

After the hull is shaped and sanded to a finer grit, the next step is to unscrew all the frames and take out the 1/4" spacers. Back to the band saw and cutout all the insides of the frames and notch for the keel indexing.

The Keel, Stem and Stern Post

Next was cutting out and assembly of the keel, etc. From here it conventional construction with the keel laid upright and plumb on the building board, and frames set in position. I cut frame shaped sections out of the spacers and placed these between the frames at the middle and lower gun deck levels for strength and rigidity. Once everything is glued in position with stringers holding the outside into place, I sanded and shaped the inside of the frames.

The Planking

All the planking is Basswood used for its very fine grain. For the bow and stern areas I used my wife's tea kettle to steam the planks for the tighter radius bends.

V5a.jpg V4a.jpg V4b.jpg

Above is the completed planked hull, the cutting down of the bulwarks, The addition of the wales and moldings, upper rails. I made tooling jigs for shaping the moldings. Lower deck 32 pounders are sitting in place. Cannon construction is another project in itself. And of course one must take the motivational paint break to see how things will look.
 
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ADC

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#2
Wow, you started in 1991. That is amazing patience and the model looks fantastic.
 
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zoly99sask

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#3
Wooff!!I was a teenager back than,how the wood aged since you started?
 
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#5
Wooff!!I was a teenager back than,how the wood aged since you started?
Hi Zotan,
Considering that many Admiralty models are around 250 years old, the timbers in my model, over 27 years, have not aged at all. Victory is kept in a building case when not being worked on, never exposed to direct sunlight, and kept at average temperature ranges in my studio. Baring natural disasters, meteor strike, earthquakes, or fire, I plan for her to last over a couple hundred years. Every internal piece is hand fitted to stay in its place before gluing. That insures with any expansion and contraction, due to temperature variations, everything moves at the same rate.
 

zoly99sask

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Hi Zotan,
Considering that many Admiralty models are around 250 years old, the timbers in my model, over 27 years, have not aged at all. Victory is kept in a building case when not being worked on, never exposed to direct sunlight, and kept at average temperature ranges in my studio. Baring natural disasters, meteor strike, earthquakes, or fire, I plan for her to last over a couple hundred years. Every internal piece is hand fitted to stay in its place before gluing. That insures with any expansion and contraction, due to temperature variations, everything moves at the same rate.
Thank you for your response
 

zoly99sask

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I am assuming you are using John McKay’s drawings for your build!?
 
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Part 2

Thanks to all that have started following my attempt at a build log and for your likes and comments.

In Part 1, I forgot to mention another valuable resource in my library. That is the 1955 edition, "The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships" by C. Nepean Longridge. The detailed drawings and foldouts of Victory are exceptional. These were used as cross reference along with McKay's drawings for the project.

Although most contemporary Admiralty models had no cannons, I decided early on to add this level. If I didn't I might regret it later on. My early visions included the possibility of a fully rigged ship and so it would have to have sea going artillery. I seriously underestimated the scope of building a 100 gun ship of the line. The cannons and tackle added a tremendous amount of hours and really tested my patience. I often tell my friends that in the time it has taken so far I could've built three frigates. But the other side of the coin would mean I wouldn't have a three decker, the most awesome war machine of its time.

V3a.jpg V3b.jpg 1 (2).JPG

From early 1993 to mid 1995 I had made the master 32 pound barrel on my lathe, made the RTV rubber molds, and started casting 30+barrels. Carriages were constructed with the cross pieces and trucks. The cheeks I scaled on my computer, saved to a floppy disk, and I had them laser cut out of 1/8" white lexan. The completed assemblies can be viewed in the above photos. Starting amidships in 1995 six cannons have been rigged, have gunport doors, and the middle deck framing has been started. I had also decided to have the guns run out to starboard and the portside guns run in with ports closed or open for viewing, to show the lines of the ship better.

Each gun has three single blocks and three double blocks with corresponding ring bolts and lines. (And like an idiot I made the blocks). There's the breaching rope, etc. Now multiply by 104 and you can see the enormity of the task. Not saying it wasn't fun but I had to take breaks and go back to ship construction.

The middle photo above shows the mainmast stepped. All three lower masts were made to line up through each deck.

1.JPG Victory 3.jpg

In July of 1995 I was relocated to Orlando, Florida for my work for 3 1/2 years. My wife and I decided to take the train first class with a sleeper compartment from LA's Union Station to Florida. I built a carry case with a clear lexan top and Victory made the trip safely in our compartment with us. Victory was laid up in Ordinary for over 6 years, due to other projects, before I got motivated to work on her again. Let's see...more cannons.

In Part 3 we will jump into the 21st Century.
 
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Part 3

One thing about building a ship model is, that no matter what stage it's in, it's cool to look at. In 2002 my father-in-law built an oak and lexan case for the ship which fit over the building cradle to protect it from dust. The addition of the removable case made the ship construction look more museum like. It was the catalyst that got me motivated again to work on the project.

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Above are the rigging stations for each port and starboard gun sets. These are the middle deck 24 pounders. The lower gun 32's were done by the same method. I cut and installed the hanging knees, inner planking, and ring bolts. The beams were fitted but removed for installation of the guns in sets of four. After installation the middle deck area beams for that section and lodging knees were installed. And finally the gun port doors with hand fabricated brass hinges. Then on to the next set. By switching tasks I was able to keep my sanity and the progress was more rewarding. During this period of time the rudder, tiller with ropes for the helm were installed, and the chain pumps on the lower deck.


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Looking down through the middle deck into the lower gun deck.

As a working artist most of my weekday times, with some exceptions, are spent painting aviation art. (I specialize in the First Air War of 1914-18.) So construction on Victory has been confined to weekends if I'm not building something else. After the finish of the middle deck framing and planking it was back to cannons again. This time the 24 pounders.

Again I divided up the tasks and started on closing up the bow. The forward forecastle bulkhead and the top head rails set the tone. The head timbers and rails are probably the most complicated structure on the ship. You can just visualize them cutting through the enemy's line of battle.

MVC00001.JPG Victory 1010b.jpg

The finished head rails and timbers really stoked the fires of my building frenzy.

As C. Nepean Longridge writes in his book, The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships, "One can light one's pipe at the end of the day and rest assured that the job was done properly." So British! Still cracks me up.

Next: Part 4
The ship project gains momentum.
 

Uwek

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#16
Very impressive work, and very accurate and "clean" executed - looks realy good.
One question to the guns. In some photos we can see the guns out, ready for action with open gun-port lids, but on other, like the last ones, the lids are closed.
How you handle this, when the rigging of your guns are more or less installed ?
 
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Very impressive work, and very accurate and "clean" executed - looks realy good.
One question to the guns. In some photos we can see the guns out, ready for action with open gun-port lids, but on other, like the last ones, the lids are closed.
How you handle this, when the rigging of your guns are more or less installed ?
Thanks, Uwe. As you can see below the rigging setup is done outside the ship before installing the whole assembly. The left gun is rigged for run-out and the right gun is behind the closed port door. I mix a water solution with a drop of white glue to relax the lines and the flemished ends. A paint brush is used to apply the solution. When that dries the lines stay in position and the whole unit is installed by attaching the hooked ends to the bulwarks and deck ring bolts. For the carriage ends, the block hooks are crimped shut so the won't come loose during installation or later on.

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Fright

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#20
Incredible detail and workmanship on this one. I like the way you did your cannons in sets and also your work on the tackle itself. Very nice!!!!
 
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