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Subject: Little Victory comes from Big Victory

Written By: Philip Eno on 10/19/10 at 2:03 pm

A sculptor has spent 17 years carving a perfect replica of HMS Victory - out of a single block of wood from Lord Nelson's famous flagship.

Ian Brennan put in more than 5,000 man-hours into creating an exact copy of the ship that helped defeat the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar in 1805.

It contains 200 feet of tiny wooden rope, 104 guns, 37 wind-filled sails, and flags spelling out Nelson's famous battle cry: "England expects every man to do his duty."

Mr Brennan, the official sculptor for the British Royal Household, had hoped to finish the model by 2005 - the bi-centenary of the battle.

But the oak wood from Victory's lower gun deck was so hard it was like carving concrete and the labour of love took far longer than expected.

Having worked on Victory some years ago, Mr Brennan was given a beam from above a cannon - it even had the hook in it from where the mess table hung.

Within the 400-year-old oak the 60-year-old found enough good timber to create the 47 inch model - a 1:66 scale model.

It weighs 44lbs and during its creation Mr Brennan has worn out four sets of overalls and cut himself numerous times.

Mr Brennan, from Warsash, near Southampton, said: "I had thought of cutting it up a gluing it together like many model-makers would, but in the end I decided to do it from one section.

"I only had one chance at this - there will never by another piece of timber from Victory that I could use."

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