Shipyard's 1:96 HMS ALERT

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by David H, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. David H

    David H Member

    Well Folks,

    I have been working away quietly on this all the long wet summer...


    This is the traditional paper and card kit at 1:96, not the larger 1:72 laser cut kit Marta has ben describing. My copy came from
    and includes Le Coureur, which will be built at a later date. Both are little ships of the 1770s, Alert is a cutter and carried a lot of sail on a single mast.

    I have had the Anatomy of the Ship HMS Alert on order for two months. No joy from Amazon yet...

    I have no real complaints about the kit so far and have found Marta's and others work an inspiration.

    Alert is a challenge but not as daunting as a full ship and I felt I was up to learning as i went along and trying new techniques. Respect to those building ships of the line!

    So here we go...






  2. gian7675

    gian7675 Member

    Aha! So this is the HMS Alert you're working on! Cool! :mrgreen:

    Nice ship! And I like the foam idea :thumb: I've always heard of the guys here mentioning the foam idea on the hull. It's nice to see it in action on your HMS Alert build-up.

    Pssst...may i know this foam technique? Did the foam come from a can or something?
  3. David H

    David H Member

    I bought a can of foam filler from my local bargain store, I filled the hull I left it to set for a week or so.

    It is very easy, there is no magic. Cutting and sanding requires patience but we are building card models so patience is not a problem!

  4. gian7675

    gian7675 Member

    Thnaks! May Im know the name of the foam can?

    Btw, your cardboards are really thick! darn...makes mine look like flimsy...and to tell you the truth...they are flimsy. The slightest move and the whole hull moves around :confused:

    What thickness is it?...2mm?
  5. David H

    David H Member

    This was Gorilla Filler, but it seemed to be the same product as other foam filler I have used around the house.

    My hull formers are as close to the 1 mm or 1.5 mm called for by the kits instructions as I could manage. Bitter experience there. Be careful if you deviate!

    For card supplies I check all the packaging that comes in to the home and office with engineers callipers and grade it. I think I got lucky with Alert and the card backing from some new shirts proved to be spot on.

    There are also dozens of triangular gussets used to keep the hull / formers square. I wont pretend I didn't put a huge amount of work in to the hull- I did and the stern is only just OK!

  6. David H

    David H Member

    Little bit more progress on the hull front. The gap between covering pieces 6 and 8 was a little dicey but it was clear that the next set of hull parts would fit as intended.

    The middle paper covering pieces are printed with the positions for the final planking and the clinker planking was a little nerve racking at first but it came up trumps!

    Before anyone asks I have been doing a lot of dry fitting of parts to check dimensions and trying to keep everything the correct distance apart, hence the tiny clothes pegs.

    Purists look away I am shamelessly using filler and paint in search of lovely bottom...




  7. dansls1

    dansls1 Member

    Looking good - and a great trick for avoiding cut lines!
  8. gian7675

    gian7675 Member

    I like the planking :thumb:

    Just the other Shipyard ships (Bellona, Victory, La belle Poule, etc...) have this type of planking on the lower hull? Or only the HMS Alert?

    I see this type of planking on old style sailing ships but in the covers of the Shipyard Card Models, they all have a very smooth lower planking whatsoever.
  9. airbob

    airbob Member

    Beautiful job you are doing on this ship....she is looking marvelous!!!:wave:
  10. David H

    David H Member

    Planking; well Le Coureur, the second part of this kit issue is also clinker built. I don't know about the others published by Shipyard. The clinker build technique does have a certain character and a lot of texture.

    However, I have to admit I have no idea why these "little" ships were clinker built as opposed to carvel built with flush planks - over to the shipwrights out there.

    Good news I have next week of work! This is tempered by having a share of looking after and entertaining the child... still I should make some progress and should be about ready to try a cannon or two.

    But for now on with the hull... Oh I have another cunning plan...

  11. David H

    David H Member

    Sadly not a lot of progress. A holiday week spent on lots of family cycling and building Peanut scale free flight in Depron foam. They fly!

    Still a little movement on the Alert.


    The register for the port sea monster is off so he almost, but not quite, runs of the edge of the printed area. A very small error and hard to see!

    I am also learning a lot about 18th century ship construction... but Amazon have still not supplied the promised book.

  12. Teamski

    Teamski Member

    Crazy! You definately took the bull by it's horns on this one!! Looking really good! My patience would of ran out a long time ago on a ship like this one, that's for sure. I'll stick with the modern stuff, thank you! :twisted:
    Thanks for the pics. Wonderful ship, mate!

  13. David H

    David H Member

    This ship will be the death of me.

    After polishing of the cute fishing cutter Selma and an up scale of Digital Navy's V108 I have returned and have settled down to some fine details before the rigging starts!

    Sorry the picture is a bit poor and does not do the subject justice, the big camera has a flat battery... and the comic book presentation will return during the holidays!

    Three stages in the making of a cannon...


    They are tubes rolled from the parts supplied in the kit, raised detail from 80gsm strips (about 0.5mm wide!) soaked in PVA, dried and turned in the jaws of my Dremel type tool!

    Yes, you can turn paper!

    More pictures soon.

  14. David H

    David H Member

    Well I put a bit of work in and thought it was time to pick up the pace.

    I ended up spending loads more time than I had intended to on these little chaps.

    I might paint them bronze yet. I just don't know if Alert had iron or bronze guns, I suppose the 1770s is far enough in to the Industrial Revolution to warrant iron. (Anyone got the Anatomy of the ship book - Amazon failed me!)

    I will do a bit more weathering and see how they go.

    HMS _ALERT - 11.jpg

    HMS _ALERT - 12.jpg

    The cascabels are plastic tubes with PVA blobs on. Now I have to tart up the gun trucks before trying to rig them on the deck once I finish the fiferails.

    Not too sure I would go this way with a frigate or bigger ship. It could eat up a lot of a man's life!

  15. nibel

    nibel Member

    I always wonde rhow to make cannon looks better. You certainly give me an idea now :thumb: The cannon looks impressive!
  16. David H

    David H Member

    Little Bits...

    Well I have made some progress even though Christmas has eaten away at my time and resources.

    Shipyard do make you think. I would say that the diagrams are only just up to the job of building the windlass and other small subassemblies, but, I may be particularly thick this time of year.

    HMS _ALERT - 12.jpg

    HMS _ALERT - 13.jpg

    The decorative bulwarks were fiddly but straightforward and very satisfying. I did deviate from the kit parts though, the narrow trimming pieces at the top are home cooked and will be trimmed down rather than kit parts which are too small for me to cut out and manipulate.

    HMS _ALERT - 14.jpg

    The treat, lets say I have an appointment with the gun tackle fairy...

  17. David H

    David H Member

    Trying to stick with card as the primary material is a really dumb thing to do. i am sure some one will make an injection moulded ships block in a variety of sizes. Just cut it of the sprue paint it and use it.

    No no no, that's way too easy. Better idea, lets sandwich together a couple of layers of card, drill some holes with a 0.65mm drill, make tiny wire shackles ( I really do not want to count them 3 x 12 guns, 4 x 12 block and tackle, and 4 x 16 for the gun ports).

    The card de-laminates... the thread is being dificult and fraying... you know all the usual stuff! I may look for an alternative material for the blocks, probably wood as shown by Jerzy at


    So what do you think?

    I still have the thick recoil rope over the cascable to do but a dry run seems to work OK.

  18. eatcrow2

    eatcrow2 Member


    This is looking great.. Wonderful set of photos showing the set-up for rigging.:thumb:
  19. David H

    David H Member

    Just a quick up date.




    There is no denying Shipyard kits are demanding, exacting and very rewarding.

    However, the taft rail on the stern was fun and surprisingly easy.

  20. Bluenoser

    Bluenoser Member

    The model is looking fabulous. Nice work.

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