HMS Mercury 1/72, Shipyard models

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Hi all, this is my first post in this forum although not my first model. I’ve built a number of ship models in numerous mediums from plastic kits, resin kits, to wooden kits and some scratchbuilt models. The Mercury however is my first card/paper model. After seeing images and some builds of these kits I was blown away with the detail and more importantly the actual subject itself. After a long think on it and after a number of years dry spell from the hobby, I jumped in and bought the Mercury kit from my local hobby store as it was ok special. Still very pricey though rather comparative to higher quality wood kits.

I’m actually a few weeks into the build now, though I’ll post some of the few images I took of the progress until now.
 
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The Shipyard kit of Mercury is very well put together and quite comprehensive. Unlike their paper models, this kit includes the masting set complete with a nice reproduction of the sails. All items are laser printed and cut on various sheet thicknesses of card and unpainted- paint and mixes are provided as a guide. What I do like, is some items like the frame structure and larger pieces like the bitts and keel etc seem to be on a recycled wood type of material. I’m not entirely sure of what it is as it may in fact be a form of card but while soft and similar to balsa, it provides added strength.
 
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I never took an image of the kit before I began so here’s an image curtesy of Shipyard itself showing what’s included.

I also forgot to mention, the decorations are resin pieces pre painted in a bright gold which will require some subdued colours, gun barrels both cannon and swivel are in brass. However, what I’m finding now is the U brackets for the swivel guns aren’t provided in either card or brass items as are neither the brackets for the gun barrels locking them into the carriages. These will be easy enough to make up however. Two rolls of copper tape are also provided for the copper plates.

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I’ve always been drawn to frigates of this era, and especially in pre Nelson Chequer colour scheme. The Mercury itself was an Enterprise class frigate of 28 guns launched in 1779.

Im also drawn to the freize work on the uppers in the blue bands. Shipyard provide these areas printed to be glued onto the model. An issue with this is mixing blue paint to match that of the pre printed part itself and that the card appears to have a semi gloss sheen to it. The option I’ve seen most builders of this kit go is to not use these just paint the areas without the freize. You could of course paint the frieze yourself.

Enough of that for now, I’ll post some images of the build up to date today. Again I don’t have too many in process images as I get into a groove when I build and just build, so if there’s something of interest I haven’t posted in an image or comment, please ask away and hopefully I’ll be able to assist.
 
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So this was the start of Mercury about a month ago now. Frames, orlop false deck and the gun deck installed. I painted the deck in shades from darker to lighter with the provided paint watered down considerably until I was happy with the result.

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building of the internal bulkheads are made of three layers laser cut, with inserts to give the appearance of the paneled walls. A brilliant idea and what all wooden kits should also do to get sharp results.
 
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build up of the fun ports and glued to the outer first skin. I made a bad decision here as it made life difficult when I glued in the corresponding internal bulwark. I should have glued the port linings to the internal bulwark sheet as lining up would have been far easier I believe. They still went together fine in the end but was a little bit of a hassle.
 
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So after the first week, I had all gun ports lined and the first layering of the hull completed. Again apologies about the lack of hull images, though the first lower layer, is of thin card attached between the frames to create the hull shape. Most wood models will have a similar form by filling in the gaps with a soft wood and then sanding to shape. What was also a pleasant surprise, was at this stage how solid the hull actually was. While light it was just as strong as any other model I had built previously.
 
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922D98E5-2377-4324-9652-6C6C4419DE95.jpegFA7CDEF8-41D5-4A4A-BA2C-7EAC2A0A85BF.jpegThe second layer of planking consists of the entire upper works in printed four pieces which go together reasonably well, the main wales of four pieces and layered to allow for the extra thickness and the basic first layer below the wale. The lower part of my hull was undulating in certain parts so I covered the lower hull with plaster and sanded smooth prior to the third and final planking. This third planking is only on the lower hull but with care produces quite a lovely hull. So lovely in my thoughts it was a hard decision to copper the hull.
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You can see above, the start of the quarter galleries and stern lights (windows) coming together. These are quite comprehensive and complex, the window frames in particular are brilliant and also the holes for the toilets in either galleries are there. Clear plastic is included also laser cut for the glass in all windows and doors. 156D793C-F593-4875-B180-93880B587B9D.jpeg
I don’t think I mentioned it, though all plank lines are laser cut and give the impression and texture of planking, not just a printed line.
 

Kkonrath

Kurt Konrath
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Looks like same basic skills and design, just cheaper base material for kits.
 
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At this stage I decided to paint the hull prior to coppering the hull and starting of some of the internal fittings. 38677636-61AB-4609-AED5-839F52F02916.jpeg
this is the initial yellow which I have since subdued with washes. The blue frieze work is added here and other parts painted.D887E8D0-5B03-40E7-90B6-9C0A4246EF44.jpeg
The boss helped but cutting each plate for me luckily. I was not looking forward to it. I was initially hesitant at first to use the tape over buying individual plates like those from caldercraft, however those plates show grossly over scale rivets or nail heads on them for my liking. Compared to real ships like the victory or constitution which the following image will show, is that these copper plates had hundreds of small nails nailed in. This helped my decision in not using the other commercial plates. E0DCBC2E-6975-4419-8B10-8E523F0DB7E8.jpeg
The Tape in the end actually produced a pleasing and realistic result.
 
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Looks like same basic skills and design, just cheaper base material for kits.
Absolutely, and most importantly designed for people without access to wood work and with less mess also. Being such a beautiful ship, and I am quite bias, I’d suggest giving this one a go. It’s well worth the effort if it’s a ship you’d like to build.
 
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So by the end of two weeks of working on her a couple hours a day, I was at the stage to copper her. So unlike photoetched plates, the tapehas a self adhesive on the back which did make life a little easier not having to worry about using glue. Like any model with copper plates though, this was a slow process. I followed the British pattern of the time with references to AOTS HMS Diana and the HMS Minerva model at USNA.37924180-5D88-48C9-B720-037D6D9C9D1E.jpeg
The above is the Minerva model at the USNA, which I’ve studied for not only the plating pattern but also the colour scheme used.
 
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After marking the waterline, I began the copper playing working from the keel up and stern to bow to allow for the suggested overlapping of the plates.75FD2025-2D70-48DD-B00F-0665D8CBEDAE.jpeg
Once both sides had been finished I used a thin strip to cover the top join. On some contempory models this wooden strip is black as the Minerva model and some match the hull planking. I followed the style from Minerva. 48582518-A204-40E1-AA92-8F7D5FCE51B7.jpeg
 
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Prior to installation of the upper decks, I completed the guns and other fittings that would be impossible to install after. 6D9CD609-F761-4121-B51C-939C0D12DED8.jpeg7F165FBF-95AB-498B-8910-695D73B97400.jpeg
Once the decks were installed, I continued work on the hull with the side steps, rubbing strakes and finished the head works with the gratings and outer frames.
 
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6132B008-0EB6-42D5-A2E8-F1E793450BE8.jpeg9070661B-BEE0-4422-A735-F2E288D39078.jpeg0F2158A5-B7CB-49D6-A1BA-C17CD413507F.jpegC0F58ED4-AA13-4939-A801-CA452EF49D9E.jpegOther items such as the capstan - there is a lower capstan below it which I forget to mention - binnacle, belfry and wheel are added. I did manage to remember to take pictures of the construction of the wheel. This also gives you a good idea of how the kit parts come together. Also of note here, the spokes and handles aren’t included with any material in the kit. I use dress making pins cut to size with modeling putty to shape the handles.
 
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