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The Earl of Pembroke refitting as HMB Endeavour, Deptford 1786

A few images of the ship itself as WiP were posted a few weeks ago, and the ship and diorama both are now complete as a project.

The ship base kit is Mantua’s 1:60 version, with considerable scratch work. The crew figures are 25mm white metal selections from Amati.

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Since the original posting, I’ve added the previously back-ordered figures and a few barrels/kegs. There are now 35 figures in the completed diorama. The final ten images following the 18th century engraving represent these final additions.

39 additional images. Click to enlarge.


41 responses to The Earl of Pembroke refitting as HMB Endeavour, Deptford 1786

  1. One word: Wow!

  2. Well Rob, having left beautiful Maritime Greenwich to live in sunny Queensland I am almost duty bound to comment! Which is not at all difficult! What a unique idea for a build, and how well you have brought it to life! You have captured the murky waters of south-east London beautifully. Such an entertaining, finely detailed and dynamic thing to look at – brilliant!

  3. Unbelievably good work Rob. Excellent detailing and a pleasure to view all the components you’ve incorporated into this diorama. Well done.

    • Thanks, Tom. The ship was an incomplete kit someone had in their attic since 1986, and a great deal of the deck work/furniture, along with various racks and crates are scratchbuilt. The crew figures are quite basic and don’t allow much opportunity for fine painting, so generally colours blocked in and a weak wash of Lamp Black and spirit to pop the detail a little.

  4. Hi Rob, I was in the car when I first spotted this masterpiece and could not comment properly. It’s amazing what you did here, I can imagine the research it takes for a project like this. I know SouthEast London quite well and you really captured the shipbuilding and -refitting that took place there. Kudo’s to you!

    • Thanks for taking the time to check in again, Michel.

      The Endeavour has been one of my favourite ships for a few years, even though it’s not a first-rate ship of the line like the Victory or Agamemnon.

      I like the rather pugnacious look of the bark, and knowing too that this little ship undertook such a journey, and to what end, just adds to the allure.

      I think the idea of catching it during its transition stage from hauling coal along the Northumberland coast to setting out as the Admiralty’s sole ‘Scientific Vessel’, demanded attention as a modelling project.

  5. Nothing to add without repeating what’s already been said.
    Just a question to the scale, Did the scale Change with the conversion? 22mm-figures would match more a 1:72 scale according to my calculation.

    • They are in fact 25mm, not 22 (as first stated and now corrected) which Amati recommends as suitable from about the scale of the ship here to 1:72. I have a small number of 22mm figures on order (delayed) which I thought might add to the variety of poses so will review that option in due course. These latter figures are in crouched poses which offer little visual difference to those seen here. Apart from this there are a few available in 1:35 which are too far out. As I mentioned, there might be a couple of mm difference here to the actual correct ship scale but they do offer a sense of human proportion to the scene, and with so little available these period crew are the only game in town.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • Thanks for the answer. If you do not already know, you may find many figures in 1:72 at https://www.fredericus-rex.eu/ especially among the “Valdemar” figures (but not exclusively) you may find figures for ship-dioramas (loading-crews, craftsmen, tool-sets etc.). Even if they are mainly mediaval, they cold be easily converted for other periods.

        • On theminiaturespage.com I recently found this:

          “Technically, 1/72 is supposed to represent a true 25mm figure.
          This has of late become 1/60 (or something like that) as 25mm changed definitions.”

          As the Mantua Endeavour is at 1:60 I’m pretty comfortable with the crew at 25mm.

          By the way, I knew of F/R but didn’t recall that they did crew figures. Probably wouldn’t need them now as other 25mm figures are on back order, but cheers for info.

  6. Yet another exemplary piece of work from one of the “master ship builders” (at least here on iModeler) – we’ve seen so many outstanding examples of your craftsmanship here, one wonders just how you manage to display them all without the accumulation of that nasty ol’ household dust with which so many of us have to contend. Your display cabinets (if there are any) must be quite massive. Again…..you must have the patience of Job and the talent of Michelangelo to create such museum-quality pieces. I wouldn’t even attempt such a project. Congratulations on another real eye-catching project, my friend.

    • Cheers, Craig. It’s now plonked on a side table in the corner of my modelling room, with a few strips of cling film draped loosely over the top – very high tech!

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  7. This is truly a work of art, Rob. And I love the story this dio tells! You really have to be (and are, obviously) a construction expert as well as a woodworker to pull off such a great effort as this.

    Bravo!

  8. What Michael said: Wow! This is a beautiful diorama that not only tells a story but can educate one regarding shipbuilding/refitting if you study the photos. I really like this.

  9. What an excellent build! your builds should be in museums .

  10. Well Rob – it’s often a long time between your posts, but always well worth the wait, and when you see the detail and scope you put into your projects, it’s no surprise that it takes awhile to get one done! Amazing! I especially like the greenish, slimy/mossy look you got on all the submerged timber. Really, all of the bases detail just makes this look so natural – the grain of the shore, etc. It’s so well done you don’t think of it as a “base,” but you can really only see the entire project as a “whole” – it just wouldn’t seem complete with out all of it’s other elements.

    I also don’t know how you continually come up with such imaginative ideas for your work – you are one creative individual!

  11. What can I say, one of the best ship dioramas that I have seen, being someone that indulges in scratch building, I can appreciate the amount of effort this has taken, you are to be commended on a fine effort. WOW……………………

  12. Nice job Rob. Like it.

  13. Very nice Rob. Great concept and execution.

  14. Exceptional work. I enjoy all the subtle things that add to the entire dio. Should be in a maratime museum for sure.

  15. Really interesting and informative diorama of a historically very important ship. Love the slimy greens!

    • Thanks, Stellan. For the pit water I used a two-part clear resin from GlassCast, which is the only two-part resin I’ve found that is virtually odourless and doesn’t produce chemical heat while curing. It’s so crystal clear that the timber colours seem to take on new depth of saturation. Thanks for the comment.

  16. The colours you’ve used really add to the atmosphere, Rob, slimy is the word. Brilliantly thought out, as usual. Is it going to Telford?

  17. WOW! Super talented!

  18. What a fabulous build, as all of yours are Rob !!! I especially like how you have incorporated so many details with the crew at work, the water in the slip way, the life boats and cannon, etc.

    The actual art work of the ship from that era is another fine touch.

    Imagine how these ships were built by hand, before the modern power tools we have today…………… Getting the ship shored up safely must have been a massive undertaking in it’s own. Those timbers are not light !!!!

    These original builders were craftsmen, just like you are.

    Well done my friend.

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