HM Bomb Vessel Granado 1742 Build

EuroModel/Amati HM Granado JoTiKa's HM Bomb Vessel Granado
 OcCre's La Candelaria Bomb Vessel 

The time has come to start the HM Bomb Vessel Granado. This page will be updated with my running log in participation in a group build of the JoTiKa Granado kit. Many thanks to Jotika for their generous support for this endeavor. Expected begin date is January 2006.


Anatomy of the Ship: The Bomb Vessel Granado 1742, Peter Goodwin (includes 1/96 Plans)
The Bomb Vessel:Shore Bombardment Ships of the Age of Sail, Chris Ware (the evolution of the Bomb vessel)


SNAPS Modelers Group Build Home Site
SNAPS Modelers Forum

Build Log:

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My JoTiKa Kit arrived today to be built at the same time as a group of other model builders with varying degrees of experience take part and share collective information and support.

First Impressions:
I must say that the first word that popped into my head when I was handed the box containing the Jotika Granado kit was "heavy". While I haven't been building wooden kits long, I have handled a fair number including a version of the Granado from another company. I had looked through the other kit when I first received it and was very happy with what I saw. Having never actually seen a JoTiKa kit, I was in for a very pleasant surprise. This is a first class production. The bound instruction book with color photos is completely unexpected and even from my limited experience these color pictures do so much to clarify a point and show what the model "should" look like down to small details. Much of the weight I originally felt is due to the amount of documents and the large diagrams. Even with the instructions and diagrams, I noted that the drawings are very "organized". Parts are laid out systematically and make it easy to follow the references to the specific items. The lengths to which the documentation goes is well beyond that of other kits I've opened. The neatly laid out parts also show attention to detail. I appreciate that while there was a fairly late modification to the kit, rather than just removing some parts, Jokita explained what had been determined and then left both sizes of parts in the kit for the modeler to decide which they prefer to work from. Many thanks to James, JoTiKa and US distributor) for their execution and having everything in place and ready to deliver on time. As the middle of December rolled around I was starting to get a bit anxious about things, but then within a day or two of finalizing payment everything showed up just as ordered. James, I have dutifully put the kit away after giving everything a visual inventory but I am ready to start to work now.

01/29/06 - Getting started finally
With some suggestions from James (thank you) to help me get headed in the right direction, I've "officially" begun my build. Being new to a kit of this type, I soon realized quite a few folks were merrily plowing ahead with what to them is common place. Being a computer programmer it is not unlike the occasional question I get about how I do something that I've been doing for years. I have to stop and think about how to explain the steps to accomplish a rudimentary task. With suggestions and a couple of books on beginning which all concurred I'm ready to go. After numbering my parts and concluding my parts inventory I hope to begin the fun part of working on the keel, false keel and bulkheads this evening. Nothing major but at least I know how to properly begin now.

02/10/06 - Parts Inventory Completed, Hull Begun
The inventory of parts, checking off the list and diagram of all the kit parts and also writing part numbers by the parts on the ships is done after a good bit of back and forth between the document, parts and diagrams. Checking all the parts over, helps get a bit of a feel for the overall scope of the model.

False Keel Warped
After cutting out the false keel, I notice a very slight warp to the right about five or six inches from the front end of the keel.

I posted a questions on the build website for suggestions on dealing with it.

Cutting Bulkheads Out:

While waiting for suggestions on dealing with warp of the false keel, I have spent my time cutting out the bulkheads and the stand parts for the model. As suggested, I switched to using a heavier bench knife that I had sharpened specifically to use on the model. The parts are now waiting in neat little stacks to be fitted to the false keel.

While cutting out the bulkheads, which for the most part went well, I noticed a bit of a flaw in the top layer of the 5 ply wood that caused a tendency for the wood to leave a groove in the surface. I was able to avoid the problem for the most part but did have one surface flaw on bulkhead 4.

Received several suggestions regarding the warped false keel from steaming to soaking the part and pressing between two heavy flat surfaces for 24 hours (including gluing the keel at this time). I plan to try the suggestion of gluing the keel and false keel together with clamps and blocks to hopefully remove the slight warp. I'll take before and after photos of the piece for comparison. I will be using white glue.

02/24/06 - An aside:

Catering to my long held interest in the use and development of guns in warfare, the various Naval Bomb vessels hold a great fascination to me. A number of years ago a friend and I played WWII battle simulation games twice a year. I invariably took the part of the German side, solely for the interest in the German made tanks and guns. As an older veteran friend with a real sense of humor, who I'm sure is no longer with us in the passing of years, but who served as a US Sherman tank driver in WWII starting in Sicily, used to remark to me on occasion, "the scariest sound in the world was the sound of an 88 [German 88mm AT] openning up" and the whine of the incoming projectile. I'm sure many allied veterans, particularly those men who drove and fought in allied tanks would agree.

That said, I cannot fathom what the gun deck on a ship of the line in the early 1800s would have been like and how the men who served were able to do their duty.

I have been able to acquire, both OcCre's Bomb Vessel La Candelaria and JoTiKa's HM Mortar Vessel Convulsion. Hopefully, I'll be able to follow-up the HM Bomb Vessel Granado kits with these others in the next few years and at the least work on them while pursuing other other classes of ships of the period

At the suggestion of some helpful gentlemen, I now have the Warrior Practicum, Swan Practicum and H.M.Hahn's book and plans for the HMS Alfred as a "carrot" to try some scratch building, although this is years off as I gain more experience. Enough rambling and back to the Granado keel and warped false keel issue to resolve.

03/25/06 - Had some down time, but I now have rearranged my workspace to be a bit more functional for build and have plans mounted on a frame where I can refer to them easily and prior to dealing with the slight warp of the false keel, I'll be "finally" getting the bearding line tranferred over after a number of helpful suggestions and descriptions on how to proceed.

04/01/06 - Caught in the doldrums for a bit. The bearding line has now been transferred preperatory to beginning the necessary sanding process. In adition the false keel, keel and stern post have been prepared for use, removing the remaining nubs the CNC left. I use (carefully) a very sharp bench knife, flat diamond file and sanding block to make sure the parts are smoothed appropriately. I've found Amati's clamp on vise and their cutting clamp to be useful as a support while working. I did buy a couple of 4" steel blocks to use for various purposes from flat weights to flat and square pieces to use for gluing parts. I'm a bit anxious about this step, but we'll see how it goes. I'm also in the process of putting the stand together using white glue and clamps. I intend to use white glue for the most part on this kit.

04/15/06 - As a former employer used to say, as long as he could see us moving he knew we were working. An incremental update at this point, but one that was of concern to me, being the first time doing it. I've completed the tapering of the false keel from the bearding line down to the 2mm thickness indicated. Since I had over-sanded on an earlier boat causing myself several problems, I took my time to make sure I didn't take off too much. Using some advice I picked up from one experienced modeler and also taking advantage of the build diaries and photos from those who have passed this step, I had some assurance I was headed in the correct direction and this step was not quite so bad as anticipated. I used templates made from the ship plans to card-stock to transfer the bearding line, started out with a rotary tool to do the initial sanding (discovered 80 grit was way to much to use on this wood and switched to 220 grit, then switched to a flat, square diamond file and sanding block to finish and even out the taper. I made use of my calipers for the first time to keep track of my progress.

View from bottom

That done, I've prepared the bow end post and keel parts for gluing. Since there is still a very slight curve in the false keel to deal with, I plan to make liberal use of clamps and weights to hold everything flat and tight while the white glue is drying. Once again the pictures of others' work made me realize that I was in fact not going overboard, as it were, with the number of clamps I've been acquiring (along with a bag of clothes pins and rubber bands). Many thanks to those who have taken time to document their work for the new and nearly new builders among us.

04/22/06 - Glued the false keel and stem post to the keel. Using heavy steel blocks to attempt to flatten out the slight warp in the keel at the same time as completing the gluing.

[ Steel weights ]
[ Stem Post Clamping ]

05/25/06 - Bulkheads have been fitted and glued to the keel. Used clamps, steel angles and level to align bulkheads as they were added. Have now completed the jig for bending the gunport strips and begin the bulkhead edge sanding to allow for the first planking to begin. Under the heading of things not to do again, I used some small plastic paint mixing cups to mix stain and had one for a small amount of varnish. The top of the stain apparently popped off during the night and spilled stain mainly on a work board I use for white glue. The plastic cup with the varnish sort of melted into a lump of soft plastic. Answer: use glass paint bottles.

On the side, I discovered a small wooden egg I'd made freehand from a single piece of cherry wood with a few designs on one edge carved out and then the halves hollowed out to hide a tiny cherry teddy bear. The measurements are roughly 1" tall and a bit less than 3/4" diameter. I found it among some tools unused for about 25 years, so I decided to finish up for my wife. The only tools I had to work with at the time was a bench knife and a couple of needle files. It even has a base carved and hollowed from cherry wood. What does this have to do with ship modeling? Absolutely nothing :-).

11/27/06 - Been a while since I updated the web page. I have actually done a number of things since the last update. I hope to rework this web page before it takes over the world :-). The bulkheads have been added:
Squaring and clamping bulkheads until the glue dries.

Better shot of the bulkheads from the stem post back.

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