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General Category => Maritime Modeling => Topic started by: WP Rayner on October 06, 2021, 07:18:44 AM



Title: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 06, 2021, 07:18:44 AM
And now for something completely different, building the Mantua Model 1:98 HMS Victory plank-on-frame model. I purchased this kit in 1979 and have been hauling it back and forth around the U.S. and Canada ever since. Mrs. R, cherry-cheeked daughter of Queen Boadicea and a Navajo warrior, has mandated that it is now time to build this model. This kit is still produced, though now all the pieces are laser cut. In this original version, you have to cut all the pieces yourself, lots and lots and lots of scroll saw and jewellers saw work.

The first step was to construct a build board to provide a stable base and reference platform while assembling the model, particularly important when building up the hull. I built mine from 3/4" Birch ply and Maple based on a design in the book pictured, The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships by C. Nepean Longridge, without a doubt the best reference book on building a model of the Victory. Construction is straight forward, the plywood base has two Maple stringers on the underside for added stability and ease in picking up and moving the board. The grooved Maple strip along the centre-line supports the keel (and ultimately the entire model) during construction. The travelling frame, useful for taking and checking measurements during hull construction, can be positioned at precise points along the hull and is made from Maple and held in position with press-fit brass pegs. The porcelain knobs were salvaged from an old china hutch. The challenge in the construction of the build board was accuracy in layout and construction: the frame has to be square to the centre-line at all positions along the board.

The L-shaped piece in the foreground is the start of the keel and a modification I'm making to the model. The kit keel is plywood and I've modified it to accept the walnut version which will look much better on a finished model. It's made of several pieces, joined by miniature scarf joints and tree-nails. Currently working on the bow pieces, Gripe and Knee of Head, which are also Walnut.

(https://media.fotki.com/2v2aYscfMx6Rn44.jpg)


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Lawrence@NZFinescale on October 06, 2021, 11:23:50 AM
I grew up a few miles from Portsmouth (England) and Victory has always been in the background of my life.

But I'm no expert.  If you haven't seen HMS Victory - Her construction, career and restoration (Alan McGowan, 1999), it is worth a look. 200 pages with very good drawings and photos.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 06, 2021, 12:20:09 PM
If you haven't seen HMS Victory - Her construction, career and restoration (Alan McGowan, 1999), it is worth a look. 200 pages with very good drawings and photos.

Thanks for the reference Lawrence, I'll see if I can track it down. I last saw the Victory in 1980 on a trip to the UK, drove down from London in a Triumph as I recall. Dr. Longridge's book was first published in 1955 and there are later editions, mine is from 1974. The book chronicles in exhaustive detail the construction of the original ship as well as Dr. Longridge's model which was in the Science Museum in London. I don't know if the model is still on display or not.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: finescalerr on October 06, 2021, 12:39:30 PM
I have that book. At one time I was foolish enough to think I might build plank on frame sailing ships but quickly realized my error. -- Russ


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Bill Gill on October 06, 2021, 04:08:07 PM
An impressive build table.
Walnut instead of plywood sounds good for the keel, but will the bottom be copper clad?


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Design-HSB on October 07, 2021, 01:53:15 AM
I have not yet built a ship model on spanners.  But arched car roofs, which went very well.  The slipway looks very professional.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Lawrence@NZFinescale on October 07, 2021, 12:31:50 PM
I have that book. At one time I was foolish enough to think I might build plank on frame sailing ships but quickly realized my error. -- Russ

That might have been briefly in my mind too.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Lawrence@NZFinescale on October 07, 2021, 12:34:33 PM
Quote
Thanks for the reference Lawrence, I'll see if I can track it down. I last saw the Victory in 1980 on a trip to the UK, drove down from London in a Triumph as I recall. Dr. Longridge's book was first published in 1955 and there are later editions, mine is from 1974. The book chronicles in exhaustive detail the construction of the original ship as well as Dr. Longridge's model which was in the Science Museum in London. I don't know if the model is still on display or not.

It's easy to find secondhand on line.  Abe books or amazon.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 07, 2021, 01:24:17 PM
Thanks Bill and Helmut, much appreciated.

An impressive build table.
Walnut instead of plywood sounds good for the keel, but will the bottom be copper clad?

I'm undecided at this point about the copper cladding. I'm taking some artistic license with the model, example the Walnut keel and I plan to use Walnut to highlight some other construction details on the model, so it won't be an historically accurate model. Visually, I've never really liked copper cladding on a model, but fortunately it's not a decision I have to make for some time. Additionally it will depend on the availability of the correct thickness copper foil. With the exception of plywood and Maple, basic woodscrews and bolts, everything I use in the workshop has to be mail-ordered in. We live in an absolute desert here as far as model-making supplies are concerned.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 07, 2021, 01:36:57 PM
Quote
Thanks for the reference Lawrence, I'll see if I can track it down. I last saw the Victory in 1980 on a trip to the UK, drove down from London in a Triumph as I recall. Dr. Longridge's book was first published in 1955 and there are later editions, mine is from 1974. The book chronicles in exhaustive detail the construction of the original ship as well as Dr. Longridge's model which was in the Science Museum in London. I don't know if the model is still on display or not.

It's easy to find secondhand on line.  Abe books or amazon.

I did find it on Amazon, though it's not currently available and priced at $250.00 new, it's out of the question. Used copies work out to around $65 each, whether Amazon or Abe, factoring in shipping and currency exchange. Even that is a little steep for our pocketbook as we live solely on our pensions. Thankfully, I've had Dr. Longridge's book for as long as I've had the model in addition to a lot of other classic ship-building publications and reference photos from various museum sources, so I should be good given that I'm not building an exact historically accurate model, but exercising some artistic license in the use of specific woods. Nevertheless I appreciate your interest and the reference suggestion.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Peter_T1958 on October 09, 2021, 01:08:06 AM
Hello Paul

I know, this is still far away. Nevertheless some very interesting reading concerning the colours of this ship:


https://www.nmrn.org.uk/news-events/nmrn-blog/hms-victory-be-re-painted-battle-trafalgar-colours-after-210-years

https://www.nmrn.org.uk/news-events/nmrn-blog/hms-victory-her-true-colours


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Barney on October 10, 2021, 09:27:58 AM
A very interesting subject - So what sort of size will this little treasure be -
Barney


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 10, 2021, 10:03:21 AM
Thank you for the links Peter, very informative and a useful reference. As you say, that process is a long way off at this point and I'm not entirely sure I'm going to paint the model as I've always preferred a varnished wood appearance on ship models.

Barney, when fully rigged, the overall size is approx. 40" long by 30" high, a fair size. One thing for sure, it will need a whacking great display case.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 10, 2021, 08:56:22 PM
Wow, that's going to be huge!

When we used to go to the county fair, one of my favorite things was the woodworking exhibit, which always had some fantastic model ships as well as life-like bird carvings and other neat stuff.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Lawton Maner on October 22, 2021, 06:47:28 AM
Currently there is a restoration project going on to the full sized ship.  When they removed the masts as part of the project, they discovered a coin from when the mats were first stepped under one of the masts.  Probably the main mast.  Do not forget to include this detail once you get to the stage where you step the masts.

Start of project looks great and I believe will be instructive to those of us who consider a boat to be "A hole in the water into which a rich man pours money".


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 23, 2021, 06:28:17 AM
Currently there is a restoration project going on to the full sized ship.  When they removed the masts as part of the project, they discovered a coin from when the mats were first stepped under one of the masts.  Probably the main mast.  Do not forget to include this detail once you get to the stage where you step the masts.

Start of project looks great and I believe will be instructive to those of us who consider a boat to be "A hole in the water into which a rich man pours money".

The coin under the mast is a long-standing tradition and is still practised today. It is an offering to bring good luck and safe passage. Believe I have an old English Farthing tucked away which would seem appropriate for the model. Boats are indeed holes in the water into which you pour money, but fortunately, being definitely not a rich man, the only expense for this one is the exorbitant amount of time it will take to build it.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Lawton Maner on October 23, 2021, 07:34:57 AM
     The coin is still a sign of good luck even with the construction of steel hulls.  When the keel of the Frigate California was laid in the late 1960's thee was a new coin placed under the dedication plate on it, and a penny was tossed into the first melt of steel for the castings to come from the foundry. 
     
     The fixture you built for erecting the frames an intriguing bit of work.

     As for the copper cladding on the hull, since you are using walnut and other non-traditional woods for the construction, could you partially cover a small portion of the hull with copper leaf to represent the cladding. Here is a link to a vendor that has the foil ( https://www.riogrande.com/product/copper-metal-patent-leaf/681126 )  The use of the cabinet woods is forcing the observer to focus on the construction techniques in addition to your skills. 
     


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 24, 2021, 02:30:32 PM
     The fixture you built for erecting the frames an intriguing bit of work.

     As for the copper cladding on the hull, since you are using walnut and other non-traditional woods for the construction, could you partially cover a small portion of the hull with copper leaf to represent the cladding. Here is a link to a vendor that has the foil ( https://www.riogrande.com/product/copper-metal-patent-leaf/681126 )  The use of the cabinet woods is forcing the observer to focus on the construction techniques in addition to your skills. 
     

Thanks Lawton and thanks for the link to RioGrande... been a long time since I ordered from them. There's a jewellers' supply house in Toronto that is also quite good, I've ordered several items from them over the past couple of years. Cladding part of the lower hull in copper is a good idea, perhaps one side in copper and the other in finished wood, my preference is for finished wood. But then if my planking skills aren't quite up to par, then the copper cladding will serve to disguise it somewhat... ;)


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: finescalerr on October 24, 2021, 11:30:34 PM
Gimme a break, Paul. Your planking skills will be outstanding. -- Russ


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Design-HSB on October 25, 2021, 02:53:08 AM
Paul, I'm afraid their planking will be so perfect that it's too bad to cover them with copper.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on October 27, 2021, 08:07:34 AM
Thank you Russ and Helmut for your confidence in me... much appreciated.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on January 03, 2022, 11:48:37 AM
Small update on the Victory. Finished scratching the keel, sternpost, and inner post assembly. Joints between the sternpost/keel and inner post/keel are reinforced with .030" dia. Boxwood treenails (the ends of which are visible on the bottom of the keel). The rabbets running along the keel and up the sternpost accommodate the lower edge and ends of the planks so they fair neatly into the keel structure. Had originally planned to make the keel from Walnut but couldn't source any walnut locally (at least in a size I could work with) so used some Mahogany I had in stock.

(https://media.fotki.com/2v2ameDjVx6Rn44.jpg)

The aluminum block in the background is my sanding gubbins. I lapped one surface flat on the surface plate then glued sandpaper onto that lapped surface. Like a miniature jointer plane it works perfectly for sanding small surfaces, joints, and edges flat and true. Now working on cutting the individual pieces that make up the stem and bow portion of the keel.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: finescalerr on January 03, 2022, 12:49:48 PM
Ho-hum, merely another example of your usual level of perfection. -- Russ


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on January 17, 2022, 09:43:51 AM
Work continues on the keel, this time the Bow timbers. First photo shows the main Bow timbers cut and ready for glue-up... bit of a jigsaw puzzle! Lot of careful scroll saw and razor saw work.

(https://media.fotki.com/2v2aTRNcyx6Rn44.jpg)

Second photo shows the assembly after glue-up and a light sanding. There remain five more curved pieces (stemson and boxing) to be cut and assembled to the inside edge (left-hand curved edge in photo) before this assembly can be joined to the existing keel.

(https://media.fotki.com/2v2aTRNFLx6Rn44.jpg)


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: finescalerr on January 17, 2022, 11:31:09 AM
I can't believe you did that with hand tools. I'd need a CAD program to make anything look like that. -- Russ


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on January 17, 2022, 12:21:49 PM
I can't believe you did that with hand tools. I'd need a CAD program to make anything look like that. -- Russ
The scroll saw is electric, which I used for most of the curved cuts, jeweller's saw for the tightest curve. The long straight cuts were done with the scroll saw, the short ones were cut with a razor saw. All analogue work, no computers involved. I started with vellum templates copied from the original plan, cut out, and then glued to the stock. I then used the templates as cutting guides.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Ray Dunakin on January 17, 2022, 07:19:11 PM
I can't believe how precise the joints are! Everything fits together perfectly!


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Bill Gill on January 18, 2022, 12:08:13 PM
Paul, excellent joinery to look at. Do you "shave" the joint faces with some kind of fine "plane" for the final fitting?


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Peter_T1958 on January 18, 2022, 01:21:35 PM
What an incredible precision! I can well imagine that working  with wood in this way  must be very satisfactory...


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on January 18, 2022, 01:59:25 PM
Thanks Ray, Bill, and Peter. Yes, it is satisfying, at least when it comes out right!

Paul, excellent joinery to look at. Do you "shave" the joint faces with some kind of fine "plane" for the final fitting?

Not really Bill. I use my aluminum sanding gubbins (in the background in the sternpost photo a couple of posts back). I lapped one surface of an aluminum block on the surface plate to get it absolutely flat, then glued on a piece of sandpaper. With that I can remove saw marks from the straight cuts, kind of like a miniature jointer plane. I use a sanding drum with a fine grit paper in the mill to remove saw marks on the curved cuts. The drum sits into a cavity (slightly larger than the drum's outside dia.) in a block setup on the mill. The top surface of the block is 90 degrees to the drum surface, so this works quite well truing up edges. The original cuts of course need to be as accurate as possible, the sanding just removes marks left by the saw. Too much sanding will destroy the accuracy of the joints.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on January 20, 2022, 01:17:46 PM
Bill, here's the drum-sanding setup I was trying to describe. Simply a scrap block of MDF with a hole bored in it, slightly larger than the diameter of the 400 grit sanding drum. Using very light passes, it removes marks left by the saw and trues the curves up nicely. Surface of the drum is 90 degrees to the surface of the MDF.

(https://media.fotki.com/2v2aTWGUnx6Rn44.jpg)


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Barney on January 20, 2022, 01:23:55 PM
A very nice bit of machinery and of course excellent woodworking skills 
Barney


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Bill Gill on January 20, 2022, 01:37:36 PM
Thanks, Paul. Nice set up. It's the skill in employing the tools that's most impressive.
If you're ever looking for a second hobby, I watched this 20 min YouTube interview about a guy who hand grinds and polishes VERY precise reflective tint telescopes out of a solid blank of opitical glass:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxwhCmO90UQ


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Ray Dunakin on January 20, 2022, 10:12:12 PM
Nice rig!


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Bernhard on January 20, 2022, 11:35:57 PM
Good idea! Simple, but good effect.

Bernhard


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on January 21, 2022, 09:38:26 AM
Thanks Barney, Bill, Ray, and Bernhard.

Bill: I watched the mini-telescope making video... incredibly impressive stuff. Really can't understand how he does it. Amazing skill. Not looking for another hobby tho. Apart from all the projects on the modelbench, I have three antique clocks to repair and restore and the kitchen redo to finish. Barely leaves enough time for 9-ball and snooker!

Here are a couple of photos of a little machine that Santa left. It's a mini-belt sander of unknown manufacture (probably China) and it's surprisingly well-made and precise for the modest cost (less than $100 CDN). Apart from the switch housing which is bent aluminum, it's all made of well-machined aluminum blocks and plates, assembled with socket-head cap screws throughout. All pulleys sit on ball bearings and there are seven speed settings. Fully adjustable, it's perfect for sanding small parts and with the addition of a 25 degree or 30 degree angle block (clamped to the adjustable table), I've used it to sharpen knives, chisels, and small plane irons. Belts are 3/8" wide, belt tension and tracking can also be adjusted. It's a great little piece of kit.

(https://media.fotki.com/2v2aTdCMjx6Rn44.jpg)

(https://media.fotki.com/2v2aTdLA2x6Rn44.jpg)

As an aside, I've started working with photo-stacking. These photos, the keel timber photos, and the sanding drum photo setup were all shot with my Samsung phone camera on the tripod. The multiple shots were then stacked in Helicon Focus which is simple and fast. Load the photos (I've been using 6-7 images per stack), press the button, and the software takes 2-3 seconds to render the final image... brilliant. There are lots of processing adjustments that can be made of course, but I just use the default setting.


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: Carlo on January 21, 2022, 01:17:26 PM
Hi, Paul -

I have an identical little belt sander, and it does work very well.
However, I can't seem to source the 3/8" X 13" belts for it.
Better still, I think a 1/2" X 13" belt would just fit the pulleys.
Do you know any sources for belts for what seem to be this "odd" belt length of 13"?

Carlo


Title: Re: HMS Victory 1:98
Post by: WP Rayner on January 21, 2022, 01:38:15 PM
Amazon has them Carlo, at least here in Canada. You can get a pack of 24 belts, 4 each of 6 different grits, for just under $17.00 CDN.