Earlier on this year I was fortunate enough to land the commission to finish off the above mentioned model produced by Marten Howes & Baylis, the model itself was for a private customer and about 50% complete with the chart house in place as well as some of the deck detailing, so my first task was to study the large amount of instructions supplied as well as sorting out all of the remaining fittings into some sort of order. Once all the fiddly stuff had been completed I could then decide how best to get things going so I decided to start with the rear saloon.
I have to admit at first glance it all seemed a bit daunting but once I had studied the drawings etc and the build method I could start work with the very intricate job of building each panel in several layers of Pear wood as per text and then assembling them all taking great care as things progressed making sure everything fitted perfectly. After several weeks of work the saloon with all its very detailed panelling was now finished and ready to be put in place bearing in mind any deck curves and the fact it has to be removable when the model is complete.
The next job was to make up all of the pear wood deck fittings inc companion ways and deck hatches this itself was a fiddly job but the end results proved to be very pleasing to the eye and certainly once in place started to bring the VIGILANT to life. With most of the deck fittings now complete the next task was to construct the engine room skylight and cover area, this certainly proved to be again a pretty fiddly job but well worth it when you see the end result, and this now completed all of the pear wood fittings on the ship.
I now moved onto the forward deck area to complete the anchor davits and all of their fittings as well as adding as much extra detail as possible inc rope work etc. Things were moving on nicely now so the next job was to cut and fit all of the Bulwark supports and paint to match as well as any other deck fittings not yet in place. Now that the deck area had been completed I could move onto the masts and the rigging bearing in mind that a lot of the rigging has to be removable for transport reasons as well as access to the radio gear and steam plant at a later date. Once the rigging had been completed and the main mast light and stern light had been wired up to work I could move onto the final task to make up and fit into place the two ships boats as well as the boat supports and all of the associated fittings.
With the project now 80% finished the job of making up the two ships boats could begin; it has to said these proved to be very comprehensive builds in their own right including a massive amount of detail often missed out when it comes to the ships boats. The build process was helped by the very detailed instructions as well as a few photos of the finished boats for a bit of additional guidance and after 3/4weeks the builds were completed. Once all the extra little bits of detail had been added to the ships boats eg ropes etc they could be fixed into their cradles mounted on the boat rails on the saloon roof, the task was then completed by rigging all of the lifting gear attached to the davits. The only job left to do was to attach the awning stanchions and hand rails this was straight forward enough taking care to remember the long rail to the rear of the saloon roof had to be removable.
The VIGILANT was now complete with just a final check over to make sure everything was just perfect as well as writing a detailed system for removing the various fittings and superstructure to allow full access before being returned to its owner.
Overall this was a very enjoyable build with a lot of tests thrown in along the way.
Special thanks to Brian of Marten Howes & Baylis for his help with a few issues during the build.