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HMS Victory

By thurinus

Finally finished my first age-of-sail model kit - Revell’s 1:225 scale HMS Victory. I started this in 2011 originally intending it as a throwaway practice kit, but later decided to see how far I could take its accuracy and detail. I left it as a half-built hull for about 4 years, taking it with me through three moves, before picking it back up in mid-2015.

Although this was supposed to be the best plastic kit of Victory at this size, its parts were shot from an old 1959 mold. Many parts were ill-fitting, missing, or buried in so much flash that I had to fill them in or fabricate them anew with Magic Sculpt. The signal flags that came with the kit that were supposed to spell out Nelson’s famous signal “England expects that every man will do his duty” in Sir Popham’s naval code instead translated to “Caution before village because ??? place bend resist ??? P America O”. Yeah.. made no sense, so I excluded it.

I deviated from instructions when painting and rigging, using online and book references as much as I could. I did away with the included plastic shrouds and sails with ones I tied and made myself to make it look more realistic. I managed to include almost all of the standing rigging, but had to cut numerous corners with the running rigging due to scale limitations. I opted to go with furled sails because I wanted to display more of the rigging, but made the mistake of raising the yards, which should be lowered when sails are furled. The sails are made of facial tissue lightly soaked in diluted white glue, gathered, and tied.

On top of the new scale modeling skills I had intended to acquire with this kit, I learned a lot of maritime history, engineering, and jargon. I’m sure it’s not the best example build of this kit out there, but it’s a hell of a lot better than many I’ve seen during my research, so I'm pretty happy. A frustrating yet rewarding build - I may seek another challenge one day, perhaps a plank-on-frame kit, but not anytime soon!

The bottom row of images show a few select build log pictures
  1. The kit laid out as it came out of the box
  2. How it was left in 2011
  3. Ratline being tied. My fingers should give a gauge of the size of this kit
  4. Rosy, my crafting companion and my 2 reference books: The 100-Gun Ship Victory by John McKay, and The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships by C. Nepean Longridge.

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© 2015 - 2021 thurinus
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deeed's avatar
That is very very cool..... Just need a bit bottle to put it in! jk
No really, sounds like a heck of a researching project as well as a modelling one and it turned out fantastic!
thurinus's avatar
I think I'd go insane if I tried building that in a bottle... haha. And yeah the research was quite rewarding. I used to think that these ships were just messes of unnecessary lines. Well I still do, but I can at least account for 2/3 of them after all that :P
tracyjb's avatar
The bizarre encoded signal was not something you'd mentioned before...amusing.  The model turned out great, in any case.  It sounds like, in addition to learning a lot, it was quite the test of patience, dexterity and resourcefulness.  You should be proud. =)
thurinus's avatar
Thanks! And yes, all of that. Couldn't have said it better myself :)
NazFX's avatar
Incredible job! I've always really admired model ship-building but know nothing about it XD
thurinus's avatar
Thanks! With your experience in building customs and working with thread, I think you'd know more than you think. If you ever feel compelled to pick up a kit, I'd be happy to give a tip or two :)
NazFX's avatar
Much appreciated! 
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