Bulkheads and Deck Preparation

I began this project by first marking out the positioning of the two gun ports and tiller port on bulkhead #1.  Sizing and positioning were based on the scale plans provided.

Gun ports and tiller port marked and cut from bulkhead #1.
Gun ports and tiller port marked and cut from bulkhead #1.

Since this was relatively thick plywood materials, I pre-drilled holes at all port corners, then rough cut the openings using a small saw.  Final shaping was accomplished using a combination of sandpaper and filing.

Ports also needed cut from the curved bow filler piece as shown.  These were a bit tougher to mark out as you can imagine given the curvature of this piece.  I positioned their height based on the heights of the gun ports in the hull plans provided.

Bow filler ports and window cutouts.
Bow filler ports and window cutouts.

For some reason, several of the windows were not pre-cut from the pre-fabbed wall pieces, so I went ahead and cut these out as well, just to get them out of the way.

While I was in cutting, drilling, and sawing mode, I went ahead and marked out the details of the stem.  I went ahead and cut the slot needed for the gammoning to come much later in the project.

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Marking out the stem.

With the major cutting complete, I went ahead and sanded the slots for the bulkheads and frame so that each fit easily into position, and aligned with the deck.  There was substantial warping present, especially in the main frame.  I’ll address this later.

Bulkheads sanded and dry fit to the frame.
Bulkheads sanded and dry fit to the frame.

Speaking of warping, bulkhead #1 – the one with the gun port cutouts shown below was substantially warped as well.  I found that steam ironing it using a standard clothes iron helped substantially.  Any remaining warping can be addressed when I attached it to the framing.  I spent substantial time sanding and adjusting each of the bulkheads along with the framing pieces so that everything fit together comfortably.

Fitting the stern bulkheads and framing pieces.
Fitting the stern bulkheads and framing pieces.

With the bulkheads in place, the pre-fabricated decking plywood needed sanded to accommodate each of the bulkheads.  I realized that if I did this carefully, I could use the deck pieces to correct the warping present in the main frame.

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Dry fitting the deck and bow filler.

This being the case, I very carefully began sanding the slots in the first deck piece to accommodate each of the bulkheads, working from bow to stern.  At the completion of the first deck piece, I was able to adjust the bow filler pieces for dry fitting.

An inside view of the first deck piece and bow filler.
An inside view of the first deck piece and bow filler.

With each deck piece properly sanded to accommodate the bulkheads, the main frame was gradually forced straight.  In the end, sighting down the length of the frame revealed very little remaining warp.  Any warp remaining can be fine tuned using filler pieces between the bulkheads.

All lower deck pieces sanded and dry-fitted.
All lower deck pieces sanded and dry-fitted.

It is extremely important that the main frame be made as straight as possible before planking the hull.  Luckily, the deck pieces assisted me in what would normally have been accomplished using filler pieces between the bulkheads.  As I sanded the slots in the deck pieces, I was careful to measure the distance between the bulkheads at the main frame.  Then, when widening the slots in the deck pieces, I propagated these same measurements down each side of the hull to continually ensure that each of the bulkheads were parallel to one another, and perpendicular to the frame.

 

HMS Victory Revisited

Before I dig too far into this next build, I thought now might be a great opportunity to give a quick recap of my recently completed  (2012) HMS Victory build.

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This build was based on Constructo’s 1:95 scale model.  Constructo is another European company that produces its kits in a style emphasizing natural wood tones and brass highlights.  This was one of the things that drew me to this particular kit.

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Unfortunately however, there was a lot of work that had to be done to create a more realistic model of the Victory.  For example, I reworked all of the stern and quarter galleries with more realistic window panes.

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I also did a lot of work on deck to produce better scale representations of the various fittings throughout.

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Note the signal flag lockers I added on the poop deck.

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There were no ships boats included with the kit, so I was lucky to be able to find pre-fabricated ships boats that very closely resemble the various sizes of boats stowed on the Victory.  To these I added my own framing touches to the extent that I was able.

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I hand painted my own flags using a heavier card stock that could be formed into a wavy pattern.

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Changes to the rigging was the most significant change.  In fact, I all but ignored the rigging plans provided with the kit and instead opted to utilize the various HMS Victory resources available to reproduce her rigging much truer to the original.

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I purchased many different sizes of rigging line to honor the various scales of rope that would have been used on the real ship.

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In the end, I am very pleased with how it turned out. My build log for this model (albeit incomplete) can be found at http://hmsvictorymodel2004.blogspot.com/.  This post officially completes that build log.

Anyone who happens upon this post and might be interested in purchasing this model, please feel free to contact me.  While I do not have a firm price established at this point, I definitely need to make room for my next build – the Wappen.