HMS Victory, 1805
HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is best known for her role as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
She additionally served as Keppel’s flagship at Ushant, Howe’s flagship at Cape Spartel and Jervis’s flagship at Cape St Vincent. After 1824, she was relegated to the role of harbour ship.
In 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, England, and preserved as a museum ship. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission.
There is of course much that’s been written about Nelson and HMS Victory in the past 212 years, and if you’re interested there’s a wealth of information on-line about the ship and its times.
I can also recommend John Sugden’s magisterial two-volume biography of Nelson, “Nelson: a Dream of Glory” and “Nelson: the Sword of Albion”.
This is the Constructo 1:94 model of HMS Victory (80833). The overall dimensions are (L) 1110mm, (H) 800mm, and (W) 400mm. I should add here that the dimensions are as stated on the plans; my own model differs about 5mm in all respects.
The build took just over 1000 hours across six working months. Although described as a ‘kit’ it should be noted that in practice the model consists of lengths/sections of timber in various wood types, a set of numerous architectural-style plans and a few fittings in brass and white metal. All cutting, shaping and fitting is the responsibility of the modeller.
Additions/substitutes to the project were 2mm ball bearings used as static cannon shot for ammunition racks, the BECC Model Accessories’ set of fabric ‘Nelson signal flags’ (“England expects that every man will do his duty”) and rigging thread (various diameters/types) from Caldercraft, as the material supplied with the Constructo kit wasn’t fit for purpose.
I used more than 150 metres of rigging thread in the project. The deadeyes and lanyards are hand-tied, as are the clove hitches for the ratlines/shrouds; there are about 1500 of the latter.
There are a number of wooden models of HMS Victory available, some simplified and others highly complex. The Constructo model retails for £330. In scale, price and complexity it’s similar to that provided by Corel, while a more diminutive 1:200 version from Mantua is just over £100. In contrast, the Caldercraft version retails for £740, but at 1:72 the dimensions are larger still, and highly detailed indeed.
The ‘accent’ figure is a 1:12 resin bust of Nelson from Hawk Miniatures. I had planned to paint it in full military detail, but with the ship itself so decorative I opted for a more sombre effect, using a bronze enamel from AK Interactive’s Extreme Metals range. After painting, the figure was buffed with graphite powder and an old soft toothbrush.
The small square of timber ‘floating’ between the bust and the pedestal base is in fact a small piece of original oak from HMS Victory itself. During the ongoing restoration projects in recent years old timber sections are salvaged, cut down and sold as souvenirs to the general public, with provenance of the Portsmouth Naval Yard Museum, to help with restoration costs.
Apologies in advance for the photographs. A model this size is difficult to transcribe into images without losing some of the continuity of the lines.
28 additional images. Click to enlarge.