H.M.S. Victory, Mantua/Panart kit in 1:78 Scale – Part 2

This may be the most overdue “Part 2” of series of posts ever. I started this HMS Victory model just under 2 years ago. I’ve been working on various other projects in the meantime, but kept plugging away little by little. Actually, I suppose this kind of qualifies as a “Part 3”, since I did write a post about 3-D printed parts of for the model.

To catch up on the ship modeling activity here, I decided to replace the stem and sternpost with properly built up pieces instead of using the one-piece all-in-one plywood piece using boxwood. I’m not sure how this will affect the final build using the kit supplied parts, but I expect I’ll figure that out when and if I get that far.

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I thought ahead about mounting the model this time and added nuts into the hull. These, I later epoxied into place. I also added some wooden reinforcement pieces over the area to protect from cracking.

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I decided to add a little bit of middle gun deck detail since parts of it may be visible through the upper gun deck hatches and the entry ports amidships. I’m sure I went too far, but I couldn’t help myself.

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Figuring that there should be some hint of an interior when looking in through the stern gallery lights, I cleared out that section as best I could, adding flooring and openings for the quarter gallery doors. I also opened up the windows in false partitions at the forward end of these stern galleries, which should allow enough light through to make people want to look, though I’ll probably keep down the details.

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I also decided to build a full-length upper gun deck. This necessitated laying down sub-decks that I could then plank over. This turned out to be a bit trickier than I expected, because the cannons on this deck need to line up nicely in their respective gun ports, so the shear of the deck was very important.

I planked the hull using the kit supplied wood and then decided I’d need to remove the bulkhead extensions from the upper gun deck on up. This necessitated the addition of some reinforcing strips on the inner side of the hull planking. With that in place, I could plank the upper gun deck using boxwood strips.

IMG_1169Note that I didn’t want the hull inner reinforcement to interfere with the cutting of gunports, so I marked the locations of the upper deck gunports and temporarily marked the locations of the other gunports as well, though I expected I’d have to adjust these for accuracy.

The problem I saw with marking the gunports was the use of the template provided in the kit, which is a nice 2-dimensional cardstock template for use on a heavily curved 3-dimensional surface. For the most part this worked, but created distortion at the ends, where the hull curves are the greatest. One particularly odd issue is the position of the entry port in the middle. The template has the bottom of the entry port lined up with the bottom of the gunports, whereas on the real HMS Victory, their top edges pretty much line up. This didn’t make much sense, and the corrected entry port will be a lot closer to the deck level.

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Next, I drilled small holes at the center of each of the upper gun ports since I have to make sure that the ports are the right height for the carriage guns. I made a cannon pattern using a copy of the drawings for the Victory’s 12-pounders in the Anatomy of a Ship book.

Once satisfied with the alignment, I went ahead and cut the gun ports. I just used a sharp #11 X-Acto knife to cut them to the size drawn in using the template. Afterwards, I measured out the exact size I wanted and started trimming the gunports further. My plan now is to make them large enough to add gunport sills using stripwood, probably Swiss pear. This requires the ports to be enlarged enough to accommodate the extra wood.

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To finish up the gun ports, I made a square stock plug the right dimensions and used it to test that I had the gunport sizes correct.

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The one shown is for the upper gun deck ports. The middle and lower gunports are a bit larger and require a separate plug.

Once I get all the gunports cut and properly lined, I’ll plank the inside of the hull of the upper gun deck to give it strength as it’s a bit delicate right now. Then, I’ll start the outer planking of the hull.

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