Early in January 2014 I was kindly given the commission to build a model of the RTTL 2751 for a private customer. The customer was very helpful by supplying loads of extra info to assist with the build which along with the plans would prove to be very useful when it came to the extra details to be added to the finished model.
The first stage was to study the plans etc before drawing out the keel and frames; once they had been assembled the next job was to start the planking. The planking itself was to be diagonal as on the real thing the first planking laid was done using Lime wood this would prove to be very fiddly but when completed and sanded to get the final shape well worth it. With the first planking completed the next step was the second planking which would be done in Walnut, the second planking would also be laid diagonally but in the opposite direction to the first planking this technique would result in a very strong hull. This particular model was to be a static model so the next stage was to sort out the main deck covering taking into account the rear winch deck housing, so after taking several measurements the deck could be fixed into place. Once the deck was in place the rear winch housing could be built below decks and the very highly detailed winch itself built and fitted into place and the area finished off. With the basic hull shape finished the work could now start on fixing the prop shafts into place as well as the rudders having measured and re-measured everything to get the correct alignment. The hull detail eg rubbing strips etc can now be added as well as exhaust outlets and various other fittings prior to sealing the walnut planking before painting. Once the hull had been sealed the anti-fouling colour was applied followed by the Matt White (Admiralty paints) above the boot line, this was done after running several tests in order that the plank detailing could still be seen when painted to enhance the end result. Once the hull had been left a good time the next job was to apply the custom made lettering from Becc accessories as well as the roundels on the bow sides and the boot line itself.
Now with the hull painted and detailed the work could start on the main deck areas, with the hull protected I proceeded by very carefully marking on the positions of any superstructure prior to fixing in place the deck planking which proved to be very fiddly but accuracy is everything to enhance the finished effect. Once the planking had been completed the deck lines could be enhanced and then the planking sealed to protect it as the build progressed. We could now move onto the superstructure, I decided to start with the main superstructure housing as this would require the most work (due to the various shapes and curves and sliding side door) as it was to be fully detailed inside the cabin as well all the areas surrounding it. The internal cabin detail was part of the remit from the customer who very kindly supplied several internal photos to assist with this process which although fiddly was certainly well worth it when the job was finished. With the internal detail finished the cabin roof could now be shaped and detailed inside before fitting into place, this was then followed by the upper bridge area and the rear cabin roof.
With the basic construction of the forward superstructure complete and having checked several times its dimensions the superstructure could be painted and fitted into place on the pre marked deck area, this structure would fit inside the lines of the deck planking as would the remaining superstructure fittings applied later in the build. Now the main superstructure was fixed in place the fender locker could be constructed and detailed with its opening lids and several fenders this was followed by adding all of the scratch built fittings for the lower part and sides of the main superstructure. This process then continued by adding as much detail as possible to the cabin area and open bridge area to enhance the overall finished effect. I then decided to construct the middle superstructure followed by the winch housing cover again adding as much high detail as possible based on the information obtained both internally and externally where possible. This now completed the work on two sections of the superstructure apart from the roof detail etc on the forward cabin area which would be done at a later stage in the build.
Now I could start work on scratch building all of the various deck fittings inc vents, cowl vents, davits and much more as detailed on the drawings and other information supplied, this would take quite a long time to complete. Once the fittings had been completed they could be very carefully fixed into place on the deck this process when finished was followed by applying a coat of varnish to the deck area etc and around the fittings to finish off. With the model now 80% finished and several months later I could now enter the final stage this was to finish off the cabin roof detail inc the hand painted roundel and various other fittings. Once the work on the cabin roof was finished the next task was to construct the very complex and detailed mast and aerials on the cabin roof, this although challenging was certainly very satisfying when finished it was then very carefully fixed into place on the main cabin roof and painted to complete the cabin roof area. I was now entering the final stages of the build one of which was to then attach the rigging detail as well as the flag supplied from Becc accessories, once the rigging was finished the final task would be to very carefully check over the entire boat and make sure everything was as it should be and ready to go off to its new home to be enjoyed for years to come.
Now with the boat completed the next job would be to create its rolling cradle, this was done using information very kindly supplied by the customer and in itself proved to be quite a challenge using photos. So after a few trials and a few changes I finally ended up with the finished product which it has to be said when married up to the finished boat is very pleasing to the eye.
Overall this commission certainly offered up some challenges on the way and was well worth all the long days and occasional long night and hopefully will be enjoyed for many years to come at its new home port.