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Duchess of Kingston - Beauty of the Seas - Wooden Sailing Ship 1/64


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Buenos tardes marineros, it's time to leave the trotten shores and start something different. A year ago, I purchased a wooden sailing ship kit direct from Chris Watton's homepage, called Vanguard Models.
It's a kind of Yacht in the typical scale for Chris's ships of 1/64. At first, I would have preferred a larger scale, but viewing the kit, it's amazingly detailed. Alert and Speedy, two military vessels, were on my list too, but I chose the Duchess of Kingston, because she has risen decks and great decorative ornaments all around.
The kit is mainly wooden, but there are resin parts, photo etch and metal parts included as well. There is no need for aftermarket and the only things I added, were better blocks made from pear and a rowing boat, made from wood.

Here is a link to the duchess of Kingston page on Vanguards website, where the complete manual (which is truly brilliant) available as PDF-file.
Royal Yacht, Duchess of Kingston – 1778 – VANGUARD MODELS

There is a build review available written by James Hatch on our fellow forum Model Ship World.
Duchess of Kingston c.1780 by James H - Vanguard Models - 1:64 - FINISHED - - Kit build logs for subjects built from 1751 - 1800 - Model Ship World™

This is how the kit looks in it's appetizing box

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Cheers Rob

 

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First steps were to prepare my bench for the Duchess of Kingston, which I will shorten to DUK for this WIP. I installed my disk sander and was ready to go.

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The parts I needed for the framework of spars on the false keel, were laser cut in MDf of different thickness. Cleanup is reduced to a minimum, due to the precise cutting and minimal attachment points, which are best cut with a sharp hobby knife and then sanded smooth. All parts are clearly marked and even the directions are printed on.

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I started with the basic framework, where the first three and the last three spars needed beveling, to give a smooth bed for the later to install planks. I did that with a rotary grinder on my micro drill. It is very important, to add all the frame parts exactly, like they have to be, as the fit is very tight. After putting the spars and keel and framing parts together, I applied thinned PVA with a brush, which is far more convenient, than applying glue onto all the intersections beforehand.

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Cheers Rob

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Rob

Can't wait for each and every update, as your build is going to be ground breaking, for at least me.  I went to the Vanguard Site and looked at the photographs of the completed models and OMG, she is magnificent. I downloaded the instructions and quickly looked through it and the model easily requires a different menu of skills then we plastic modelers have in our tool chest.

You're off to a terrific start and I'll be following every step of the way.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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I've been a member of MSW for many years now.  Before getting back into plastic I worked on wooden ships.  This Chris Watton kit looks absolutely fantastic.  Not only is the subject beautiful, but he is an expert kit designer.  You'll have a lot of fun with this one!

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15 hours ago, harv said:

Ok boy !!....harv

 

4 hours ago, belugawhaleman said:

Watching this one for sure!

Muchas gracias, Señhores, only starting with the DUK means fun, and I'm prepared for more fun to come, along a steep learning curve. I'm way out of my comfort zone, but the kit is amazing and helps with quality and perfect documentation.

Cheers Rob

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15 hours ago, Peterpools said:

Can't wait for each and every update, as your build is going to be ground breaking, for at least me.  I went to the Vanguard Site and looked at the photographs of the completed models and OMG, she is magnificent. I downloaded the instructions and quickly looked through it and the model easily requires a different menu of skills then we plastic modelers have in our tool chest.

You're off to a terrific start and I'll be following every step of the way.

Thank you Peter, definitely no sprue cutters or Tamiya extra thin needed, but the whole journey seems to be a pleasure ride, with higher attention than normal, because of the used main material, wood, but until now, nothing to worry about. 
As you have moved out of your comfort zone with the Ford GT, maybe there will be a future wooden ship. If so, a Vanguard ship is the way to go, as the perfection of the kits and manuals helps to get used to the new surroundings.
If I succeed with the DUK, I will buy the Sphinx kit, as I wanted to build a larger military sailing boat since I read the Captain Hornblower stories in my teens.

Cheers Rob

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15 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

I've been a member of MSW for many years now.  Before getting back into plastic I worked on wooden ships.  This Chris Watton kit looks absolutely fantastic.  Not only is the subject beautiful, but he is an expert kit designer.  You'll have a lot of fun with this one!

I thought about a membership of MSW as well, but decided LSM is the place to be for me, as I like to jump between my preferred subjects, but not so much like to be a member in different forums. There were not so many wooden ship builds here, so this might be a good place to attract a little attention here to this beautiful niche.
There are some builds of the DUK on MSW and lots of great information, which I generally like to absorb on my way.

Cheers Rob

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Since yesterday, I finalized the framework of spars and let the glue cure. As you can see on the pic, the aft spars are pre-bevelled and will be sanded to their final contour later, as a fitting bed for the planks. You will also notice, the part numbering and orientation, which helps a lot with the photo based step by step instruction.

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The framework, which is really sturdy looks like this, when finished. The wooden stand is only for the construction phase, there is another one made from transparent acrylic included into the kit.

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First decks are on and fittet like a glove. The main deck is only a base for a later to follow planked version on top of this one. You had to bend the plywood, to get it into position, but the wood is very flexible and nothing broke. The inner deck shows engraved planking structure, but will not be seen later as it is the cabin floor. It is slightly bended and therefore clamped down.

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Cheers Rob

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Speaking of vessels, today arrived my largest surfboard by far. This supertanker is an inflatable standup surfboard. Today, I was too tired testing it as I had a long regular surf session in the morning in chaotic and demanding waves and run through the mountains yesterday. 
At least, it was an excuse, not to continue with my smaller unmanned vessel :D .

Cheers Rob

Unpacked

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Packed

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Will follow this one with interest :popcorn: !

great choice of kit. Vanguard is the Tamiya ( at least the latest ones) of wooden ship kits. Great research, precise engineering, and accuracy. You should really have an enjoyable time.

Hubert

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2 hours ago, DocRob said:

Speaking of vessels, today arrived my largest surfboard by far. This supertanker is an inflatable standup surfboard. Today, I was too tired testing it as I had a long regular surf session in the morning in chaotic and demanding waves and run through the mountains yesterday. 
At least, it was an excuse, not to continue with my smaller unmanned vessel :D .

Cheers Rob

Unpacked

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Packed

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My wife has a similar SUP board and she swears by it. Are you going to train the dog to go out with you?

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Very nice start!  
 

I’m still finishing up the second planking on my 1/64 HMS Speedy by Vanguard Models.   I kinda got all screwed up after the first few planks and had to peel a few off I didn’t narrow the ends as much as I should have to flow with the curve of the chine rails so off they came. An expensive smack in the face with boxwood planking. I’m looking forward to see this come together, Rob. I also have both of Chris’s fishing boats, as well as a couple more warships by him. 
The decorative scrollwork on this terrifies me, actually, so I’m looking forward to see how you handle it. 
 

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Ooh, how exciting!  A shipbuild.  I have been a member on Modelwarshipbuilders forum for a long time, but lost the fervor for it.  I am looking forward to your excellent progress, Rob.  I'm more into steel ships, but there's always a ton of stuff to admire when someone is building a wooden ship.

:popcorn:

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12 hours ago, HubertB said:

Will follow this one with interest :popcorn: !

great choice of kit. Vanguard is the Tamiya ( at least the latest ones) of wooden ship kits. Great research, precise engineering, and accuracy. You should really have an enjoyable time.

Thank you Hubert, I had the same thoughts about the comparison of the DUK-kit with Tamiya's finest, directly after opening the box then and even more now, when I started the build. I chose the Vanguard kit as the first attempt in wooden ships since a long time, as the perfection of it is absolutely helpful and the manual is full of good tips and hints.

Cheers Rob

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9 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

Very nice start!  
 

I’m still finishing up the second planking on my 1/64 HMS Speedy by Vanguard Models.   I kinda got all screwed up after the first few planks and had to peel a few off I didn’t narrow the ends as much as I should have to flow with the curve of the chine rails so off they came. An expensive smack in the face with boxwood planking. I’m looking forward to see this come together, Rob. I also have both of Chris’s fishing boats, as well as a couple more warships by him. 
The decorative scrollwork on this terrifies me, actually, so I’m looking forward to see how you handle it. 

Thank you Ernie, bummer with the Speedy's planking. I'm a bit afraid of the planking too, specially with the tapering and beveling of the second planking, in my case that's pear wood. Let's see about the decorations, which will be demanding and there is another part of the build, which is frightening me a bit. It's about the finish of the wood, where I might try shellac for the wooden appearance, but have to find a way to prime the wood properly for painting and airbrushing with colors.
The Amati Fifie, which I believe is designed by Chris is on my list as well as the Sphinx, but only if I succeed with the DUK.

Cheers Rob

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9 hours ago, GazzaS said:

Ooh, how exciting!  A shipbuild.  I have been a member on Modelwarshipbuilders forum for a long time, but lost the fervor for it.  I am looking forward to your excellent progress, Rob.  I'm more into steel ships, but there's always a ton of stuff to admire when someone is building a wooden ship.

 

Thank you Gaz, building wooden ship is quite a change for me, but not completely new to me. I build a Billing Boats trawler in my twens and some wooden RC boats, when I was even younger. Some years ago, I started to build a wooden Kutter, but temporarily set the kit aside with the first planking finished.
I have two 350 scale ships in stash a German Zerstörer and the Queen Elisabeth (the warship along with an Italerie :icon_eek: 1/35 Vosper boat along loads of AM for all these kits, but shied away from ships until now. That's especially funny as I love the sea and all connected things. Last week, I thought about purchasing the new released USS Arizona from Eduard, which is old Hobby Boss plastic, but has lots of goodies added, which may leave only a wooden deck to desire.

Cheers Rob

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12 hours ago, GusMac said:

My wife has a similar SUP board and she swears by it. Are you going to train the dog to go out with you?

I never tried an ISUP until now and due to stormy conditions it will have to wait in the bag for some days. I thought, it's a nice break for calmer days, where proper surfing or bodyboarding is not possible. Due to the changing climate, we had more of these calm days with small waves and almost no wind lately.
There's lot's of pittoresque coastline to discover on my island.
My dog loves the sea as much as me, but only up to the belly. He runs into waves and back out, but doesn't like to swim, so for now, no passengers planned.

Cheers Rob 

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There are more stabilizing and pre-forming elements to be added, like these beveled supports in the critical curved aft part. For the beveling, I marked the wooden parts, slotted in place, with a pencil, removed them and used my very effective disc sander to grind the angles right. All the beveling is not final and one of the next steps, is sanding the whole hull framework to accept the planks properly.

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Next, I added the aft deck and glued it down, slightly warped and therefore forced to contour with brass nails and rubber band. I have to think about a nail pusher of some sort, because getting the brass nails into the wood is not that simple, as the wood is quite durable. I need lots of nails for the first planking and I will construct something from brass tube with a wooden handle.

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Some stern support details where added, to help getting the shape of that area right later

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Again clever thinking by Chris were the temporary bulkhead support beams, which allow to sand the outer contour of the hull to be sanded and later planked without breaking the fragile parts during handling. They were glued in place and will be removed later along with the bulkhead tabs above the deck, to accept the planked decking.

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Now it's curing time for the glue, to have a durable base for the following hull sanding.

Cheers Rob

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I always have to be prepared, so I build my own pin pusher to easier set the tiny brass nails in place and be able to push them into the wood without the nail slipping away, while holding it with tweezers or pliers. I used Albion Alloys brass tube with a inner diameter of 1,1 mm and micro sawed it in my tiny mitre (which will come in handy for making my own turnbuckles). I inserted a 1 mm brass rod of appropriate length and glued it into the tube with CA. This assembly was then glued into a round wooden grip, et voila, pin pushing the easy way. 

Cheers Rob

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Looking mighty fine Rob. I remember cutting the hill segments out of sheet of plywood by hand after I transfer them on it from a set of drawings. I never finished. :)

did you know that mr. Kopecek passed away recently?  His saws are legendary. 
 

cheers

Martin

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I actually enjoy these models, Rob.  I just hit a setback with mine when I screwed up my second planking and had to redo it.  It happened in the area most visible: below the main wales but above the copper bottom sheeting, so I at least want that area to be as flawless as I can make it.

Basically I just got in a hurry.

The other area I was VERY careful on is the sternpost. I found out it's very important to thin the first planking as needed otherwise the rudder will be too thin.  

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Rob

I just can't tell you how much I'm enjoying following your progress. Your work as always is flawless and precise .. the mark of a true craftsman. Kudo's on making your pin/nail pusher - nothing like Necessity being The Mother of Invention and being prepared.

Keep 'em comin

Peter;

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