After finishing the 1:48 longboat model from Model Shipways, I wanted to step up to a larger and more complex project, but it needed to be something I would have room for in a small apartment. After considering a number of options, I settled on Vanguard Models' 1:64 HMS Speedy. I'd read reviews of the kit, all of which praised the overall design, and of course the Speedy is a very attractive vessel in its own right. It is also a famous one, having made a name for itself under several extremely enterprising commanders at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Its last and most famous commander, Thomas Cochrane, was one of the boldest, most successful and most colorful naval officers of his age, and his exploits in the Speedy provided the entire plot for Patrick O'Bryan's novel Master and Commander, the first of his long series of Aubrey/ Maturin stories. So there's a lot to like there!
The kit parts consist of laser cut MDF and pear wood, photo etched brass, and resin castings. The quality of the parts is excellent, and the instructions and plans are extensive. This is a double planked model, the first layer being done in lime wood, and the second in pear. But more on that later.
To start with, the mdf bulkheads and keel piece are assembled, building the skeleton of the model. I've used Elmers wood glue for this step, because it creates a strong bond, but gives you a little bit of working time. The laser cutting is well done, and the pieces fit together very neatly.