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In-Box Review
HMS Victory
Heller HMS Victory
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by: Timothy E. Parker [ PZKW ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


Heller kit number 1234, 1/100th scale plastic model of HMS Victory. I purchased this kit from an internet hobby shop (I forget the name), but they are/were located in Georgia. The price was $160.00, and they shipped it free via FedEx, to include Saturday delivery.

The Kit…

The ship is packed in a large box, 20-1/4 inches wide, 4-11/16 inches deep, 29-1/4 inches long. The model size, when finished is 39-3/4 inches (1010 mm) long, 13-1/4 inches (336 mm) wide. The height, with stand, is 27-1/2 inches (698 mm), without stand, it is 26-5/8 inches (683 mm). There are 2,107 pieces, some of which are redundant (according to the instructions). There are 4 plastic bags of parts, molded in black, white, light tan, and red. There are a couple of non-packaged sprues, which contain the decks, stern, and bow pieces. The hull halves are separate from everything else. There is very minimal flash on the parts. The sails are vacuum-formed plastic. Two spools of thread are supplied, one of 0.3 mm diameter, and has a slight jute color to it. The other spool is 0.6 mm diameter, and is white. No black thread is supplied. Instruction 13B tells us to color the thread "by dipping in strong tea or in coffee (instant variety)". It further tells us to provide for sufficient 0.9 mm diameter thread, which is not supplied. Metal wire is supplied, which is used to make the gun port lid lanyards.

There are two instruction booklets, one in French and one in English, each is 30 pages in length. The quality of the instructions is on par with other models I've made (i.e., Revell (USA), Monogram, and Tamiya). However, there is a lack of image clarity, particularly with respect to painting detail on the stern pieces, hull, and figurehead, as well as where certain parts go. In this respect, the instructions remind me of the AMT/Ertl models, where you have to guess about 50% of the time, where and how a part is attached. It appears that the instructions are scaled down versions of much larger drawings.

There is a jig to make the shrouds, which has to be assembled, the jig, that is.

Something neat, the rigging is "built in" as various steps are completed. No doubt, this will be helpful, as I won't be trying to connect rigging to a ring or block that is hidden inside the hull.

On the other hand, there are small loops of thread to be made, of various diameters. The instructions say to make a cardboard template to make the loops of even size, and refer to another instruction for the template. However, on the referred instruction, no template or instructions are mentioned.

Something bad, the anchor cable is to be 2mm diameter, "braided with several 0.3 mm diameter threads". But no jig or instructions on how to go about doing the braiding are included.

A whole page is dedicated to what gets painted and with what color. However, there are some mixtures to be made, most notably mixture M2: white 1 touch of green. Now, how much is a touch?

I've noted that on all the rigging blocks, especially the larger ones, there are two "pins" on each side of the block. I don't know if this is some kind of molding problem, or if those pins are there intentionally. In the instructions, those pins are not noted, nor are there any instructions to tell you to cut/file them off.
Highs: The size, and the number of pieces that make up this kit.
Lows: Image clarity on the instructions, and the size of some of the typeface used. Ugly, vacuum-formed sails.
Verdict: I think it's going to be a great model when it's completed. Be ready to put a lot of time and effort into completing it.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:100
  Mfg. ID: 1234
  Suggested Retail: $160.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 25, 2011

About Timothy E. Parker (pzkw)

Copyright ©2019 text by Timothy E. Parker [ PZKW ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for trying to lend a hand here Timothy. It appears Marshall has not logged in since a few days after making his post more than a year ago. I have to assume he might have given up on the less than stellar instructions given with this kit and moved on. I am, however, looking forward to seeing you post some of those old and hopefully newer builds you have going on!!
MAY 05, 2015 - 05:15 PM
Well Todd, that's a shame Marshall hasn't been back to check on his requests for help, especially considering he put 3 requests in. I would have answered sooner, but between all the other stuff I have going on, checking the forums on this website is really "low on the totem pole"! If I think about it, this weekend might be a good time to upload some photos of current & past projects. Cheerios, Tim
MAY 06, 2015 - 03:27 AM
Sometimes it's just how it goes! Guessing he fell to the wayside of the hobby! Looking forward to the postings! Always great to see new stuff!! I hear you on the Busy end of things....never stops!!
MAY 06, 2015 - 05:06 AM
So here's the first couple of pictures of a past project, Revell's "Thermopalaye". I'm not sure of the scale of this model, but it's about 36 inches long, from bowspirit to stern. I built this when I was around 13 or 14 years old; I remember late on Saturday nights, I would watch SNL on a small TV in my bedroom while I did some rigging on this model. Still looks good for being about 40 years old!
MAY 07, 2015 - 05:41 AM
Here's the USS Constitution. This is a wood model, I think it was produced by American Scientific. This kit was a Christmas present (mid to late 70's), and I didn't start building it until about 1987. I wish I had taken a bit more time on carving the hull, but you live and learn. I had built the first display case shortly after I built the ship, and it had been in storage for about 5 years. So I got it out of storage, stuck it in our new home, and there it sat for a couple more years. Then, we bought another new home, and in the process of moving in, I had the dispay case (with ship inside) sitting on a wheelbarrow, because I was going to take it around to the basement door. Well, I walked away for a minute, and I heard something like the tinkling of chimes or something. When I got back to wheelbarrow, a sudden gust of wind had knocked the case out of the wheelbarrow, and the tinkling I had heard was the glass breaking! Arrrrrrggggghhhhhh! So for many years, the broken case and the broken ship sat in the house, until I finally got motivated to re-build the case and fix the damage to the ship. In the picture, the display case sits on top of a bookshelf - there's about an inch of space between the ceiling and the case. I'm guessing the hull length is about 18 inches, give or take an inch. That obviously does not include the length of the bowspirit.
MAY 07, 2015 - 05:52 AM
So now, some photos of the Victory. In this first photo, it's just a pic of the starboard hull, with most of the painting completed: Here's an image of the outside port hull half: Here's an image of the starboard hull, on the inside: This next pic is of the moulding detail on the gunwale of the starboard hull half. I've had to go back and forth several times with black paint and then yellow paint to get the detailing correct - so the finished mouldings actually look better now, than what is in the picture. At this point, I've also painted the inside edges of the gun ports. Here's the port side gunwale. Again, there has been touch-up painting done since the photo was taken. The unpainted light brown/tan part of the hull, just below the uppermost gun ports, is a ledge for the deck to fit into. The "notch" that is seen is the pocket where cross-member deck supports will fit in. You can see the same notch, or pocket, below the second row of gun ports. There are 5 or 6 crossmembers per deck. And let me vent here a bit: The crossmembers are moulded in red plastic, yet the instructions say to paint them white. So the question is, why in the world didn't they mould these parts in white plastic, instead of red? was red styrene pellets on sale that week? So here's a view from the bow, with lowest deck just put in place. At this point, the hull isn't glued together, but what worries me, is the gap between the hull halves at the top part of the hull. I've since glued the hull together, and that gap is much less, but I don't know if I should try to fill-in the gap with putty, or try to force the halves together with string and tape and glue the gap, or just let it go, and hope some of bow fittings will cover it up. Of course, the instructions don't show if there's supposed to be a gap, or if they hull halves are supposed to be firm against each other. On the deck, the white stuff that you see along the centerline, is masking tape that is wrapped around from the bottom side. See, the instruction say to paint the bottom of the decks white (and they're molded in white!), but I had traced on the undersides where the ledge & pockets were, so I wouldn't have a lot of paint to scrape off when I go to glue the decks in place. However, I see that with the deck in place, there is a mismatch of wherer the masking tape is on each deck half. So it's back to square 1.5 on that. So here's essentially the same picture, it's just a view from the stern. You can see here, in some better detail where the masking tape is coming up from the underside, and how it mis-matches to the other half.
MAY 07, 2015 - 06:18 AM
Todd, did you look to see over what period those requests were made? And if he had been back to have a look at them. I think this is a very helpful site and if people have knowledge they will normally share it.
MAY 07, 2015 - 08:19 AM
Based on what I remember from my copy of Ashley's Book of Knots, I would bet that 'braiding' is an inaccurate description, and what it actually is would be the 2mm cord being wormed with the .3mm cord. Worming a rope is taking smaller stuff and laying it into the [auto-censored]lines between the strands of the rope to give it a more even diameter. Typically, though, it's only the first step, after which the line would be parceled (wrapped with a covering like canvas) and served (a layer of twine wrapped over the parceling as protection).
SEP 08, 2015 - 02:31 AM
Hi Sean, Thanks for the explanation - I, too have Ashley's book of Knots, as well as the U.S. Navy's Bluejacket Manual, which explains some of those worming & parceling techniques. Unfortunately, the problem remains: There is no 2 mm anchor cable supplied with the kit! I went out to a Michael's craft store and bough some 2 mm braided cord. I got it in black (photos I've seen show the anchor cable to be a light color).
OCT 28, 2015 - 07:54 AM

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