I decided to build the Revell Bounty for two reasons. The first being the money side, costing me £12.50 which is really silly money for what you get. The second being the scale of the kit which is not too big in size and not to small to render it useless to work on.
Before the box arrived i did a bit of research on the ship and it became quite apparrent that nobody knew how the bounty was actually painted which is understandable as it only had one voyage with the royal navy. Hollywood had given her a white lead paint bottom with blue against wood on the upperworks. In looking at pictures of completed models of the revell kit and the actual hollywood bounty reconstruction, it bacame apparent the revell kit was loosely based off the film. However the dimensions remained original as the hollywood ship was in fact longer and wider than the original. The missing cover over the tiller for example, not present on the hollywood ship is also missing from the revell kit. I realised i had to start from scratch with this on as to how she appeared and to do that i had to do my research on the general paint schemes for rn ships back then. We are all aware it was down to the captains preference but with so many schemes, which one. I was quickly able to rule out the blue theory because that would have been very old in 1787 and would have made the ship look dated. The white lead was also a no, largely due to the fact that all that remains of the hull of the ship at the wreck site is the copper sheething. I looked at the largest and most popular ships in the rn at the time and came across ships like the victory and the royal george. These ships were largely exposed wood with black tar and paint protecting the parts that would be exposed to either water pressure or where water would rest. It only stands to reason in my mind that ships of the lower order such as bounty would emulate this keeping within the fasion. The bulwarks on the deck were most commonly painted red along with black cargo hatches on most of the ships of the line. I also decided to emulate this on my model.
I finally got my kit and like a little boy, i was very excited. I love model kits. The small box is end opening an shows the old artwork for the bounty in her lovely blue upperworks off the coast of tahiti. The side of the box depicts the completed model which is in stark contrast to the painting on the box. It seems to me that revell are finally coming around to the fact that their original paint instructions from the 50’s were not right but they still have a way to go in my view. In the box you get two clear bags containing parts in one and manual, sails, flags, thread in the other.
I cant really specify how many sprews are there because they were a little disjointed in the box. But my guess would be four. On looking at the parts, most of them had a good share of flash and mold markings which have to be cleaned off. Surprisingly most was around the most delicate parts but a fine line was present in between the actual parts and the flash so you knew where to clean. The instructions are transparrent for the most part but a bit sketchy around the installation of the bow sprit area.
I started by assembling the hull and painting it. The hull below the water line is planked to indicate wood, but unfortunately this was wrong. It was well known that bounty was copper sheathed below the waterline. All rn ships were copper sheather in 1887. The lines in the upper hull indicate where to put multiple colors. Unfortunately revell have only put an impression of a seperation between the rudder and the hull so i had to cut out these sections for a more realistic effect. I completely ignored the revell painting instructions and decided to use my own. To attain a natural oak effect that has been treated, i painted the hull above the waterline in bleached bone and then varnished 3 coats of oak over it. I did the same with the mast. I painted below the waterline in copper. The bootline around most of the hull under the wood was painted in gun metal to give the effect of black tar which was common practice on all rn ships of that period to protect against the sea which was stronger against the lower sections for ware. I then inserted the aft, quater, for deck which is all the one in this kit. Revell recommend you put in while joing the hull halfs together but i assembled the hull first which i must say fits together really well. I then slotted the deck in. I painted the deck in a transparent oil base beige color and then painted acrylic bleach bone over it. When dry, this cracks minutely resulting in the worn deck look which works very well. The cargo hatches were then painted in gun metal. The bulwarks were painted in red along with the anchor winch and other deck items. The lifeboat stayed white with brown interior. White oars being the order of the day. The hull and details on it are actually super fast to assemble and paint but as per usual there was not enough detail for me so i added a couple of things. The netting along the quarter deck rail which was missing on the kit i made and attached. I added extra ropes hanging off areas of the ships deck and on the deck themselves. I lashed down the lifeboat on the main deck, varnished the wheel and added barrels of grog aft. I did not want to go too far as this is an in between jobs project do left it at that.
Finishing the hull i used gun metal along the exposed beams and aft quarters as this was common practice to preserve the wood from rotting as water tended to sit in these areas. The catheads were painted in yellow along with the detailed carvings around the officers quarters windows and name. The catheads also received a coat of blue along the strakes, not overly glamorous but effective.
The masts were then erected after being varnished and detailed in the same method as above. I wrapped rope around masts as well as braces as would have been on the original ship. I also attached chain to the rudder which was common on most ships of this period to stop the waves from breaking it off in rough seas. The mast peripherals were painted in gun metal but on wet varnish to show a worn effect of cracking tar. The rigging up the sides of the masts were preformed plastic but to soften them i painted them in deck tan which made them more realistic. The rigging of the yards is a very tedious process taking the longest to do but well worth it. One point to note is that parts for this dont seem to scale but effective never the less. As i approach the completion of the kit with only a small bit of rigging to go, sales and flags i said i would submit my review when the detail can be seen clearly. The sails are actually really good i have to say but unfortunately missing the one sail.
Conclusion: The revell kit once cleaned is in my view a very eye catching project that i enjoyed alot. Making a plastic kit plausible is very difficult to do and i think this kit is the perfect subject to easily do this. This kit is a simple kit but detailed and effective. I still think this kit holds alot of merit in a laser cutting world and would gladly build another one as mine comes to completion. The part fit really well for the most part and the range you have in detailing is paramount. The only improvements i would recommend is the inclusion of the tiller cover and the correction to the alignment on the main mast with thr rigging. I love this kit and i dont think we will see the end of this kit for along time. The money is trivial for a good display piece. I have paid more money for a lesser kit.
The kit itself is the one kit i would recommend for beginners and advanced alike.
I have included pictures of my build which you can view. I will post the pictures of the finished article with sails in the near future.
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