My ship Catalogue

Classic Ship model 12

HMS Hunter 1797 18th Century cutter of the RN

HMS Hunter - The Mamoli photo of the completed model

This is a model of the HMS Hunter built for the British Navy in 1797. The kit maker Mamoli describe it as  being based on a design of cutter built in the mid-17th century to face up to smugglers. The design was originally used by smugglers themselves and, it is suggested, the shipyards that produced them built them alternatively for both the Customs and the smugglers!!

The"Hunter" was used mainly as a coast guard, for port surveys, scouting, warning  and other military type functions. Towards the end of the 19th century, the design  became the basis of cutters used as sports boats and in regattas.

This model is in a 1:72 scale. It has 12 cannons and several culverins.

Initial information at commencement of building

27th Setember 2018

When I bought the previous model of the Spanish training vessel - J S Elcano - I bought this model from Gary Renshaw of Modellers Central.  The reason was it happens to be the name of our first Great Grandson and I thought it was a good opportunity to build it and present it to him on completion.

To-day the keel was laid and the frames glued in place.


The double planking has been completed and a start has been made on the main decking. As usual, this has been commenced by marking the centreline and working out from there. the layout requires the length to be exactly 5mms per strip and laid in brick fashion.  For this, a special jig is the best instrument of help.  This is shown on the next photo.

The decking jig

This simple jig consists of two lengths of 12mms x 12 mms timber about 15 cms long each, mounted on a suitable piece of hardboard.  A short piece of 12 x 12 mms is secured at right angles around 5 cms beyond the end.  Sawcuts are then made at intervals along the parallel timbers. The intervals should be at distances as required in the kit.  Usually this is at 5 cms, 10 cms and 15 cms. Longer sections may be needed for large models. A standard 'old fashioned' razor blade is required - available at most newsagents.

Deck fittings completed


After a few laborious hours of concentrated effort, the deck fittings are now in place. The rudder was a challenging item to fit with the finest adjustments necessary to allow for it to match the hull and also access the opening to the helmsman. 

The cannons were much easier to construct, paint and glue into place as were the cannon balls in their triangular holders, the barrel cleaning brushes and the buckets.  Similarly the culverins were quite staightforward to paint and assemble on the bulwark tops.

The anchors took a while longer than expected with the reeving of the 0.25 cottons through the supporting double blocks suspended from the cat davits. Positioning the windlass and the bitts in the correct position in line with the bowsprit end needed precision attention!  

Foredeck closer look

This shows in slightly more detail, the windlass and anchor ropes together with the forward bitts.  The mast is fitted ahead of the hatch, astern of which is placed the main pump.

Another aspect of the starboard anchor hanging off the cat davit can be seen.  Also in sight are the two temporary ropes which are used to support the mast until the shrouds etc are secured. Two others are seen in the next photograph of the stern.

A view of the stern

The main hatch and pump can be seen on the right of the pic and abaft the hatch is the skylight block. Moving aft, the compass chest and metal cabinet are seen before the tiller bar whilst on the bulwarks, the stern tackles protrude abaft the transom.

The transom

The elaborate transom requires a steady hand, which mostly eludes me now.  After having a hip replacement, at long last I have managed to take a better photo of the Transom, which I tidied up when I achieved a more steady hand!

I have also made some progress on the model by completing the yards, boom and gaff followed by fitting the sails and the necessary tackle for raising and lowering. Photos of these are on the next page.

Sails aloft - abeam view

One of the features of this model is the intricate amount of rigging required considering there is only one mast.  When I decided to fit the sails it was mainly because I felt the model would be more attractive for my 3 year old Great Grandson who will be three years old on Feb.13th. I hadn't factored in the extra time needed to complete it and, as I had about three or more weeks away from my workroom in late December and early January, I have no chance of completing it within the time frame. 


Today I did complete the rigging and took the final photo of her before we order and fit the base plate and the Perspex cover.  This features on the next page.

All complete

Here we feature the completed vessel which will hopefully be delivered to the patient GreatGrandson well before Easter, providing my suppliers oblige with a hasty delivery of the final protective items!

Now the question remains - what comes next?  I have to consider logically what I can manage to tackle with increasing limitations to my abilities! 


Today I made a decision to build HMS "President", a kit made by Mantua Sergal.  I had considered the "Racehorse" but the President appeared to be a greater challenge.  However, the kit is not available for a week or two so I browsed the net and decided I would revert to my youth's hobby of aircraft models.  I chose a kit in balsa of a Spitfire and another one of a Hurricane. These are both immediately available and should be with me next week. 

About aeroplanes and ships


Both of the two aeroplane models arrived in excellent condition from Mighty Apes of New Zealand.  Now is the time to test my memory about the construction methods I last used as a 14 year old!  The instructions, though in very small fonts, are fairly clear so here I go with the Hawker Hurricane first.


Would you believe, the model of the President arrived!  So, as the Hurricane was started, I  put it aside until the aircraft is complete.


My perspex cover is now ready for the "Hunter" after my supplier recovered from an accident in his workshop which which had prevented him working for a while. Now I'll be arranging for it to be delivered to the patient greatgrandson.


The Hurricane is now complete and to-day my greatgrandson and family are arriving to collect the model of the HMS Hunter.


Today I received a photo of the HMS Hunter now residing on a shelf in the bedroom of the new owner, my very delighted no.1 greatgrandson Hunter. His patience now rewarded with a very belated birthday present.

This concludes the story of the Hunter!.