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Building the HMS Fly by : Jamie build log

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  • Member since
    August 2018
Building the HMS Fly by : Jamie build log
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 4:07 PM

So I have just bought the HMS fly kit (Victory models version) and am waiting for it to arrive sometime around next week.

I've been wanting to purchase this kit for a year now and am very excited for it to arrive. In the meantime I've been collecting my tools from my build last summer and experimenting with some nail details for the deck and maybe the hull.

If anyone knows any ways to produce nailing like this please let me know because I have no idea


The idea to do nail patterning came from my previous build of the Principe de Asturias last summer where the pins I had used to secure the planking when glued left nail like holes in the planks.

Just some pictures of that build which was my first wooden model kit build. As you can see in the first photo accidental nail marks are in the hull and this has inspired me to do nails patterns in the Fly's hull and decks. In the meantime I must wait for the kit to ship to my door and my next update will be then. I'm really excited to do this build and I hope you all enjoy reading this log of the build!


Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 6:20 PM

I'd be excited too! That's a pretty little rigged sloop. You are wise to work your way up from large scale simpler boats to more complicated ones. Fly will certainly keep you busy. So many modelers get a 100 gun ship kit for their first model and then burn out. 

That is a very well done launch too. Consider purchasing better rope. It will really upgrade the model from what the kits usually provide.

I look forward to the WIP.



  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 6:28 PM
Thanks Bill, glad to have you on as a reader!

Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 11:49 PM

Today the kit finally arrived after a long week of waiting. I was very satisfied with the contents of the box and quality of parts within.

I got to work right away and dry fitted the bulkheads to ensure their fit and started the process of staining the exposed parts.

I chose to use dark ebony stain on the bulkheads instead of a red colour. This saves me the trouble of sanding the bulkheads to remove the burnt edges left from the laser cutter. And MDF doesn't have a grain like regular wood and a darker stain covers this up better.

I continued to glue the bulkheads into the false keel and decided to glue in the bulkheads supported by the bottom deck together and last.

I also left the last to bulkheads off while I decide whether or not I wished to modify the back two bulkheads to allow for the cabin to be made.

After the bulkheads where glued in the assembly was left to dry. Upon returning I decided to plank the barely visible parts of the bottom deck. This adds to the finish of the model but also gives me a first crack at deck planking.

I decided to cut the individual planks to 2 inches and blackend the edges with a pencil in order to bring out the seam lines in the planking.

I worked my way through the area and about halfway through realized that I had accidentally angled my planks. Good thing this deck is mostly covered up by the gun deck so this mistake is acceptable on this deck.

      While waiting for the planks to dry I decided I wouldn't modify the last two bulkheads and installed them on the false keel I also added the supports for the stern of the ship.

I also decided to add supports for the gun deck on the central bulkheads. This should reinforce the gun deck and make handling the gun deck easier and less risky in the future.

After the supports been secured and the glue dried I went ahead and sanded the planking to smooth it out and clean the dirty glue off its surface.

Because this deck will mostly be hidden I decided to try to do the nailing detail in the deck. I took a pin and poked the holes that nails would be located at. After I soaked the end of the pin in walnut stain from a stain marker and inserted the pin in each hole to represent the nails.

I'm very happy with the result of this technique and with a little more precise measurement and a template on more visible decks. I think this technique will produce very good nail detail in the decks of the ship and maybe even the hull planking.


That's where I left off today after about 5 hours of work. I'd say it's a good start to the process of building the Fly and I'm very happy with where I got to today.


Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Co.Kerry, Ireland.
Posted by Est.1961 on Thursday, July 4, 2019 9:01 AM

Very happy to follow your journey from the start with this project. 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, July 4, 2019 10:04 AM

Nice! Might want to add nails on the other planks all the way across too.

  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Thursday, July 4, 2019 10:36 AM

Thanks! Est.1961

Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Thursday, July 4, 2019 10:37 AM

Thanks for the suggestion GMorrison


Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Friday, July 12, 2019 9:56 PM

So the past week progress has been slow but a fair amount of work has been done to the ship. I’ll go back to where we left off and continue from there for this post. So in the last post,   had just finished assembling the bulkheads and planking the hidden third deck, I also added some reinforcements to the bulkheads to strengthen the gun deck. So continuing from there I bevelled the bulkheads and installed the keel with the exception of the rudder section.

The reason for leaving the rudder piece of the keel off for the time being is that I’ve yet to complete the beveling of the keel section as can be seen. I also started the planking of the gun deck while I waited for the keel to dry overnight.

Using the same method as the deck below I marked the edges of the planks with a pencil to bring out the seams but I decided to change the lengths of the planks to 2 bulkheads long and create a pattern that alternates between continuous run and seam at the bulkheads.

The following day I realized that one of the supports I added was in the way of a hatch. So I removed it and added some more material to the wide open spot in the middle of the ship to aid in reinforcement.

After this, I got to work on planking the gun deck. It took most of the week as I worked in small timeframes each day rather than for a long period. Ever new plank made me more excited for the process of sanding the deck and adding nails.

I left the area near the bulkheads in the center of the gun deck unplanked because I will need to cut those later in the build and will finish the planking then so it's flush. The next day after planking was completed I finally got to sanding the gun deck I started this process by scraping an Exacto knife against the deck to remove big lumps of glue and level the deck a bit. Then I sanded the deck with three different grits of sandpaper starting low and finishing with a high grit. The result looked like this.

I also cleaned up the cutouts in the center of the deck before sanding. After this, I continued to begin the process of adding the initial nail holes in the planks. I do this with the tip of a pin to add the holes then proceed to soak the tip of the pin with a dark stain from a furniture repair marker and insert it into the holes I had previously poked this makes the holes stand out and also represents the nail in the board as adding actual metal at this scale is way above my level of skill.

As can be seen in the image above the insertion of stain into the holes really brings out the false nails in the deck.

And finally were up to date to today. I finished the nail details this morning it took nearly two hours but its finished. I also corrected the upwards bow effect that can be seen in the above image of the dry-fitted gun deck one side with nails and one without.

Then I decided to start working on some of the deck furnishings which is one of my favourite parts of building models. I started with the front bitts and upon cutting and sanding the parts out I knew I wanted to reshape them into a more pleasing shape.

The reshaped on the left and freshly cut on the right. I also decided to leave a little bit of the laser burn on the parts that bring out the grain and will high light it upon staining. I then added some nail holes to the bitts for detail and set the pieces aside to work on the main mast Bitts.

Then I decided to dry-fit the gun deck and the bitts to check their fit and appearance.

So that's where I'm at so far. Right now om deciding what stain to use for the deck furnishings and waiting to get varnish for the deck. Next step will be assembling more deck furnishings and preparing to add the gunport ply pieces before finishing ad finally installing the gun deck.



Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 7:30 PM

So a good amount of progress has been made over the last week on the Fly. Firstly I went ahead and stained the deck furniture that was made in the last post.

As can be seen above I also assembled the capstan and the pumps, which I decided to use a walnut stain on the lower piece and then the stain that was used on the bits for the upper piece.

It can also be seen that I made a mistake with the gundecks capstan. In the instructions, it said to use an 8mm dowel for the center, unfortunately, I used the wrong dowel and realized this later after fully assembling the capstan when I was starting hatches that I found the actual dowel for the capstan. While the mistake does slightly annoy me this capstan is mostly hidden so it's a mistake that will be mostly not noticeable. After I started working on the hatches originally building them to be fitted on top of the deck I decided to rebuild them to fit in the actual cutouts in the deck and stained the frames. I'm still undecided upon staining the gratings or leaving them the way they are.

 I also attempted to pre-make the open hatch but upon sanding, it fell apart

The following day I went ahead and prepared for what I call “the dreaded soak” of the plywood gunport pattern pieces. After soaking for an hour in hot water I clamped and pined the pannels onto the frames and left them overnight to dry.

Note the cannon used to check the height. The following morning I removed the newly shaped panels and proceeded to install the portside panel. Which took more pins and clamps.

I also after fully securing the pannel moved the deck away to prevent it from being glued in.

After this, I decided to finally build a capstan step which isn't mentioned in the kit but is on a few logs I've been reading, as a modification so I decided to do one on my Fly aswell.

So now I'm trying to deal with cannons. I'm undecided whether or not I want to use the kit cannons as they lack the quality of other cannons and I've been having trouble blackening them as well but I thought id give it one last shot. So using high grit sandpaper I've sanded off the finish that the cannons came with and have left them in a bath of vinegar and salt which I have no idea if that will work I hope it does though.


Hopefully, it works so that when I do decide on what cannons to use I can use this method to blacken the parts. 



Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 10:09 AM

very detailed and complex, looking very good !!


  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 12:58 PM

Thanks crown r n7!

Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 1:10 PM

Having never been exposed to a wooden ship model, this is quite interesting to me.

Thanks for taking the time to post your progress pics.


  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 1:22 PM

Thanks for reading them and glad your enjoying it Greg

Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Tempe AZ
Posted by docidle on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:07 AM


Great looking model you’re working on and great work. Also, you did a great job on your Sloop, especially since that was your first build.

I’m definitely pulling up a chair for this log! I’ve toyed with the idea of building a wooden ship, but at my modeling speed, I would probably have her finished 50 years after I have died....

On the nail head question, I used resin rounded tank boltheads on my Catalan ship to represent the nail heads and it came out fairly nicely. The WIP is on here somewhere if you want to check it out.





  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 1:26 AM

Thanks Steve! Glad to have you onboard!

Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada

  • Member since
    August 2018
Posted by Jamie Dominie on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 7:24 PM

So the attempted blackening of the cannons did not work but lots of progress was made on the ship since the last post. 

So as always I will start from where we left off and go forward from there. After my attempt to blacken the cannons I went ahead and removed the bulkhead framing in the middle of the gun deck.

Then after cutting I went ahead and sanded the frames flush with the deck supports. I found it pretty challenging to sand these down due to them being in such a small place but I found just simple sandpaper folded in a square worked best. After that was done I went ahead and finished planking the gun decks and while the planks dried I decided to try my hand at filling the nail holes in the bits with metal wire.

I personally think this turned out pretty good and went ahead and did the other bits as well.

By the time I had finished this, the gun deck planks had dried and I proceeded to trim them.

As can be seen above I also dry fitted the deck to check its fitt with the new planks. 

I then proceeded to finish the other side as well the following day and sanded both sides in preparation for stain.

I also glued in some pieces of wood behind the puzzle joints on the ship. This should help with the connection between the pieces and prevent one from exiting the joint.

Then after this was done I went ahead and finally stained the gun deck.

I am very satisfied with how the nail holes Ii added were highlighted by the stain and the colour of the deck turned out great. After this was done the deck was laid to dry and the next day I went ahead and installed the last of the structural gunport pannels to the hull.

I also added tabs to the underside of the deck to strengthen it and add support. Later they caused me some issues while installing the deck but they did greatly strengthen the deck as well.

The following day I finally installed the gun deck.

I did my best to keep the pins in the nail holes and because I placed the holes where the frames are I was, for the most part, able to do this, with the exception of some places in the deck. 

The next day I installed the front hatch and built the ladder for it. I found the kit ladders parts to be very easy to work with and this made the process ten times easier.

I also installed the rest of the gun deck hatches aswell.

As can be seen from above I decided to stain the hatch gratings to match the deck I personally think this looks much better than the other option of unstained hatches. I also chose to install them now because once the hull is planked if a hatch were to fall through I wouldn't be able to recover it. It can also be noticed one of the areas where my deck support idea gave me some issues in the center of the gun deck. This will be fixed by sanding the area and restaining the center plank.

After this, I finally started the process of planking the hull. Initially, I was going to use the finish walnut planking for the first planking in order to use the lighter wood for the second planking in order to get a lighter finish.

I later discovered the thickness difference between the planks and restarted replacing the walnut plank with the actual first planking.

I also just like my last model I am soaking the ends of the planks to allow them to bend without snapping to the curves I need them to bend to. I glue them in and bend them as I do after they dry the plank is attached and warped to the correct shape. Today I continued planking finishing the other side and adding the second line of planks.

The next step is to finish the planking then sand it smooth and fill any holes or dips with wood filler in preparation for the second finish planking. 



Intermediate builder from the lakes of Canada


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