Heller HMS Victory problem

I'm working on the Heller HMS Victory (1/100 scale) and was very surprised to find that the decks do not fit inside the hull. The top deck at its
widest point is 6/32 of an inch too wide. A little sanding to fit would be expected but not that much. I first noticed this problem with the second deck from the bottom but as the hull narrows as it goes up things are getting progressively worse. I have read many of the favorable comments about this kit in this group and therefore assumed I had made some mistake in assemble but in reviewing I don't see how this could be. The two hull halves are just glued together and I don't see how any adjustments (or mistakes) could be made. Anyone else have such a problem with the Heller HMS Victory?
Jon
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Don't forget that there a camber to the decks. They should bow a little in the middle & not lay flat. Mine seemed to fit fine. I don't recall having any significant fit problems with any deck.
Jon wrote:

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Dale G Elhardt
Cypress Ca
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HMS
I encountered the same problem with my second one. The first one went together with very little problem, but I had to use furniture clamps to get the decks to fit on the second. (I also drilled holes in the hull and into the deck edges, and inserted brass pins secured with epoxy, just to make sure. The thing's still together...."
I thought I'd made a serious error somewhere dureing that phase of the construction, and I still believe that I did. I just never figured out what it was.
Don H.
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Thanks for replying guys.
Don: Your second one? Wow! It sounds like you had just the opposite problem from me...that the hull was to wide for the decks to fit rather than too narrow.
Dale and Alexander: Good point about the camber of the decks but I think 6/32 is too much to spread the hulls apart. I'm afraid I will split the whole thing apart. I did have trouble with the hull braces in that they did not fit correctly and finally had to trim some of them. The real problem started with the 3rd deck (one just above the main gun decks). Significantly too wide, but since it comes in two parts with a straight edge down the middle it was realitevely easy to sand it down to fit. (BTW for this deck you can't spread apart the hull so it will fit...no "give" that far down) The next deck up is going to be more of a problem...it is one piece, curved and taperd. Lots of sanding, trial and error I guess. But, why is this bloody thing too narrow??? I can't have put it together wrong...there is no place to make a mistake.
Jon
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Thanks for replying guys.
Don: Your second one? Wow! It sounds like you had just the opposite problem from me...that the hull was to wide for the decks to fit rather than too narrow.
Dale and Alexander: Good point about the camber of the decks but I think 6/32 is too much to spread the hulls apart. I'm afraid I will split the whole thing apart. I did have trouble with the hull braces in that they did not fit correctly and finally had to trim some of them. The real problem started with the 3rd deck (one just above the main gun decks). Significantly too wide, but since it comes in two parts with a straight edge down the middle it was relatively easy to sand it down to fit. (BTW for this deck you can't spread apart the hull so it will fit...no "give" that far down) The next deck up is going to be more of a problem...it is one piece, curved and tapered. Lots of sanding, trial and error I guess. But, why is this bloody thing too narrow??? I can't have put it together wrong...there is no place to make a mistake.
Jon
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That was your mistake right there. The hull braces are critical, in that they regulate the distance between the hull sides. At all costs, they should not be trimmed.
But, as I said, the locations of some of the hull braces, as specified in the instructions, are incorrect. A quick way to tell which brace goes where is to is to place it on the deck pieces, in the appropriate location. Note also that the 3 braces for the third deck up are not notched, whereas the rest are.
All the braces should be glued in place before any of the decks are installed. This helps to form the hull. Some of the braces will be noticably bowed (upwards) when first installed, but the bowing will lessen as the hull "settles" into shape.
The lower 3 decks can then be installed by sliding the halves in from the rear. The spar deck, being one piece, is snapped in from above. If the braces have been correctly installed, you should have no problem springing the hull sides out enough to install the upper decks without any trimming.
This is a good example of why trial-fitting everything on a kit like this is so essential. Whatever you, don't try to rush this kit!
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An adendum to the trial fit theory. Once you glue it up wrong it's going to just get worse. When I glued the hull together I didn't pay enough attention to the stem. I concentrated on the stern to assure that the rudder would fit properly. The port side of the stem protruded 1/32 of an inch beyond the starboard side. No problem I'll just sand it down. Well there was a problem. Everything behind the stem was now off by that much, all the way back to the stern. The poop deck was flush to the transom on the port side but off on the starboard by, you guessed it. Had to trim the circumferance of the masts to get them to slide down through each deck layer properly. The bow parts were a bear to correct because they're shape were intended to fit snug and they do not bend. If you try they just warp out of shape, in the wrong direction. This little mistake probably added 20 hours and a lot of frustration to the build time. Oh well whats life without it's little challanges right?
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decks are

How did you know to install all of the hull braces before installing the decks to help form the hull. Certainly not from the directions included with the kit! I checked last night and I can spread the hulls apart enough to install the spar and poop decks. Whew! I was afraid the whole thing would split apart but it did not. The next deck down will have to be trimmed to fit but that's not too bad. Sooo looks like I can recover from my major screw up with out too many problems. Sounds like you really know this kit and how to go about assembling it. Any other major problems with the instructions I should know about??
Thanks Jon
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The first thing I did was read (and study!) the instructions all the way through -- because things you do at the early stages will affect what happens at the later stages. Then, I did a detailed examination of the parts of the kit, and compared them to the instructions. That's where discrepancies started to show up.
One of the things I like to do on my large-scale ships is to make the hulls watertight, and ballast them so that they float in a prototypical trim (not that I plan to actually take them to the neighborhood pond!). This usually requires a change in the order of assembly, which in turn exposes any weaknesses in the instructions.
For my purposes, I had to figure out a way to create hull integrity *before* installing the decks. That's when I figured that the decks could be installed from the rear, and that it's actually preferable to do it that way.
Another thing I'm doing on this model is making working steering, a la the Revell Constitution. The rudder on the Heller Victory, straight out of the box, is held on with tiny molded pins, and is not designed to be movable. I drilled the hinge parts (in both hull and rudder) for a full-length brass hinge pin, and carved a tiller out of plastic bar stock. This will be rigged with thread, through holes in the decks, to the ship's wheel.
Another tricky part is the shroud deadeyes. The upper and lower deadeyes are on the plastic "trees" in correct order. But they shouldn't be laced together while still on the trees -- that would make them too close together. I'm just temporarily tying them together until I rig the shrouds properly, later. The instructions don't show that the upper deadeyes need to be grooved around their circumference, so that the shroud lines will stay in place.
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How far apart should they be? I'm thinking about seperating the trees, adding spacers between and reataching them at the correct spacing. Would that work? This kit is a bear allready without making any stupid assumptions on my part.
>The instructions don't show

They also don't show how to wrap the lines around the blocks. There are pins protruding out but do you force the thread into these pins or wrap the thread around these pins kind of a zigzag? Whew, I';ve been working on mine for over a year and still havn't started rigging it.
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On 30 Jan 2004 15:39:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (ARMDCAV) wrote:

Well, on the Revell Constitution model, which has preassembled deadeyes, the distance between the upper and lower deadeyes is about 1/2". This seems about right for the Victory as well.
On the Victory, the deadeyes are supposed to be laced together with thread, in a prototypical fashion. (This is covered in the instructions.) These threads are what control the spacing. My point was that they shouldn't be laced together while still on the trees. That would put the upper and lower deadeyes too close together. (Your idea would work if you separated the trees, but if you did that, you could just as well lace the deadeyes individually.)

The "protruding pins" are on the *lower* deadeyes (the lower one of each pair). They're actually not pins, but plastic loops that go down through the slots in the channels. According to the instructions, two-part loops of thread are used to attach these lower deadeyes to the hull. (I'm simplifying this step, on mine, by using a continuous thread, woven in and out of the hull, to attach each group of lower deadeyes, instead of two-part individual loops. It would take a very close inspection to tell the difference, and I'm saving many, many hours of extra work.)
The shroud lines are wrapped around the circumference of the *upper* deadeyes. Those are the ones that should be grooved to keep the shrouds from slipping off. Prototypically, the end of each shroud line should be seized to itself with smaller thread. But, again, it's a big timesaver just to tie the shrouds with knots.
One thing I would do would be to ignore the Heller "ratline machine" that comes in the kit. This is supposed to give you the "preformed ratlines" often seen in other kits, but the result just doesn't look right. Set up the shrouds first, and then worry about the ratlines. You can either tie the ratlines to the shrouds with clove hitches, or thread them through the shrouds with a needle. (Obviously you use much smaller thread for the ratlines than you do for the shrouds.)
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Alexander
Thanks for the tips. It would be great to see some pictures when you have it finished. Come to think of it I wouldn't mind seeing some during construction too.
Thanks Jon
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What do you use for the ballast?
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I've tried many things. The most convenient way is to use the stick-on lead weights made for model railroading (strips of 1/4 oz. squares with foam sticky tape). But for a really large ship (like the Victory) this gets expensive. I'm experimenting with melting down 5-lb. ingots of lead (from the plumbing supply store) into 1/4" thick sheets, cutting them to fit, and attaching with double-faced foam tape.
Years ago, I used aquarium gravel, held in place by dripping in candle wax. Then, instead of the wax, I used urethane spray expanding sealant to hold the rocks and gravel in place. But these methods are messy, imprecise, and might deform the plastic hulls unless used with extreme care.
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Get yourself a box of .45 caliber lead balls for muzzleloaders and just epoxy in place. I even used 6 of them in a 1/35 Jagdtiger against the rear plate to counterbalance all the resin up front...still could have used 3 or 4 more.....with Fruil tracks the thing is close to scale weight.
Alexander Arnakis wrote:

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One problem with epoxy is the tremendous amount of heat generated as it cures. I'm afraid this could easily warp a plastic hull. But lead balls do have their uses. Once, I was building an Airfix 1/96 Mayflower, and had already installed the decks after ballasting the hull. Well, when I rechecked the ship in the water, I found that it was down too much at the bow. The problem was how to add weight in the aft end (the hull is divided by a transverse partition) without disassembling the decks. I was able to roll in about 3 lead balls between the main deck and the quarterdeck, and have them drop to the bottom of the hull. Then, I secured them in place by squirting in a little urethane foam sealant (which dries as hard as Styrofoam) through the supplied wand. But this was a lucky break.
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Heat isn't a problem for 99% of the injected kits out there, just use the cheap 5 minute epoxy from the hardware store. I simply coat the ball and drop it in place with tweezers and maybe dribble a little more epoxy on it to make sure it stays. The trick is not to try and fill around the balls with a solid chunk, just enough to do the job. When I did the 1/96 Revell Constitution I had a line of lead balls from stem to stern epoxied in place and had no problems from the curing heat. I just want enough weight to keep the thing solidly on it's keel in a cradle while rigging, I don't care how it sits in water.
Alexander Arnakis wrote:

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There are hull braces (the red pieces) that go under each of the three lowest decks. These all must be installed before the decks are installed. Each brace has a specific number which is referred to in the instructions, but in some cases, the instructions are wrong! In other words, there's the instruction way, and there's the correct way of assembling this, and the two are not the same!
If you trial-fit the braces in relation to the decks, you should be OK. Remember also that the top decks (the spar and poop decks) do not have braces, and are held in place tightly by pressure from the ship's sides. The hull is designed to be sprung apart for the installation of these decks. That's why the transom piece has to be installed only after all the decks are in place.
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replying to Jon, Richard Haywood wrote: WOW! I didn't know it was so hard. My kit it went together easily. All decks fit just fine. I put the cannon on the lower desks, installed the upper and proceeded upwards. Finally after having the hull done I, alas , had to move and in the process 1/2 the cannon were knocked out. By that time I decided I was going to install ropes for the cannon and bought a second kit. But then had then moved from USA to China and my kit is in the USA! So I bought a third kit! Plan on starting that this summer (2018)
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