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Mark P

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About Mark P

  • Birthday 09/08/1960

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Rutland, England
  • Interests
    Sailing ship models, scratch built. History, art, architecture, cultural.

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  1. Good Evening Chuck; If you are copying from paper plans, there is also one very quick way of doing this, which is worth a try, if what you are trying to copy will fit on a photocopier. Make a photocopy of it, but use a sheet of tracing paper for the copy. Turn this over, and copy again. This will produce a mirror image of your original. Job done. That is assuming you have access to a decent copier, and that it does not distort the image. Some do, some don't. However, if you only need to do this once, you have already found a good solution on your own. All the best, Mark P
  2. Mark P

    Block sizes

    During a recent visit to Portsmouth, I walked through a gallery dedicated to the tools and equipment used by many of the traditional dockyard trades, and saw this board on the wall. I would believe from the style of lettering that it dates to the early 1800s, perhaps a little earlier or later. However, I would think that the information contained therein is unlikely to have changed very much at all from that of the times many decades previous to this. The photos are large files, and should expand considerably when clicked. There is a lot of useful information here! All the best, Mark P
  3. Good Morning Druxey; Yes, it is not the same, although I think that the details shown are very similar to at least one of the draughts shown in earlier posts. The date is very specific, which is helpful. Shipaholic, I agreed that my visit to the Library was for personal research. I cannot therefore post more pictures here, as who knows what may then happen to them. The Library staff were extremely helpful, though, and would be willing to take a digital scan and send it. This would avoid the photographic distortion present in my pictures. However, very inconveniently, they are now in the process of moving to different premises, and are very unlikely to reply to any emails, for many months. Which is not helpful. All the best, Mark P
  4. Good Evening All; This is part of the draught referred to. I won't post it all for copyright reasons. I checked, and it actually says 'taken off in the single dock', not the wet dock. Memory plays up a bit, sometimes! It is definitely dated as mentioned, though. All the best, Mark P
  5. Good Evening Everyone; I recently visited the Naval Base at Portsmouth, with the kind assistance of the staff of the Library of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Librarians of the Admiralty Library, to view a variety of interesting documents. One of these was a draught of 'HM Bark Endeavour', described as 'taken off in the wet dock' and dated 25th April 1768. This lists her principal dimensions, and there is another word near the date, hard to read, of four letters, but it might say '?rey', which I would take to read 'Grey', as mentioned in previous posts, except that the 'r' looks more like a 'p', which would read '?pey' and I can't make much sense of that. Interestingly, this draught shows a tall, built up companion immediately afore the wheel, and a variety of dashed lines for the position of the rails and lengths of the mizzen channels. I will post a picture of part of her here, as it seems that it is not presently known widely, and it may be of use to modellers of the Endeavour. I don't have time right now to edit the picture, but I will do this tomorrow. All the best, Mark P
  6. Good Evening Spike; I wish you all the best with completing your model. The tackle at the rear is called the train tackle. When the cannon was fired, its recoil pushed it back within board. It needed to stay in that position while it was swabbed and reloaded. This was where the train tackle came into use. During this operation, it was kept taut so that if the deck heeled down towards the gun-port, the cannon would not roll while the crew were working on it. Once reloaded, the train tackle was un-hooked, and the gun-tackles (the ones on each side) were used to run the gun out ready for firing. Train tackles were not always issued as part of the gunner's stores, and even when available, were not always issued at the rate of one per gun. Concerning the breeching, I know little of French practice, but it looks from the illustration as though the breeching passes through the sides of the gun-carriage, which, as you say, is very different to English methods. I remember some other contributors here posting pictures of a replica ship, Danish I think, which was breeched in the same manner. I believe it was Tadeusz. All the best, Mark P
  7. Mark P


    Congratulations BlackWolf on a lovely model. Those galleys were striking vessels, certainly. All the best, Mark P
  8. Mark P

    Firing a Broadside?

    Good Evening All; The height of the gun-ports above the water line was of vital importance, and was one of the factors considered during the design. If the guns were too close, then during heavy weather, the lower or gun-deck cannon could not be fired if the target was to leeward. As standard Royal Navy fighting tactics were to gain and keep the 'weather-gauge', ie be to windward of the opponent's vessel, then most guns were indeed fired to leeward. During the 17th century some ships were 'girdled', ie had an additional layer of planking fitted over the original, to increase the beam (width of the ship) and lessen the amount of roll, so that it was more likely that the leeward guns could be used. One class of vessel in particular was notorious for having a lower-deck armament which was almost unusable. These were the 80-gun three deckers, built from around the end of the 17th century until the 74 became the standard ship of the line. The 80 gun ships had too little displacement for the weight they carried, and most of the gun-ports were within 2 feet or less of the water line. An aggrieved admiral wrote to the Admiralty that most of the 80 gun ships in his fleet could scarce haul up a (lower-deck) port-lid in any weather, and were never likely to unless they were on a mill-pond. And that a particular couple of vessels (whose names I cannot remember) would never use their lower deck guns as the ports had been caulked shut when the ships were fitted for sea! These ships were built as a result of a parliamentary decision to increase the fleet during the wars of King William. They looked at the figures which had been used for Charles II's & Pepys' 20 number, 70 gun ships of the 1677 programme, and increased the tonnage figure for these by approximately 100 tons, so that they could, in theory, carry 80 guns apiece. However, what the parliamentary committee did not know, and were not told as there was no real consultation with the Navy, was that the 70 gun ships of 1677 had been built considerably larger by Charles II's express command, and many of the larger ones had actually been of a higher tonnage than the figure selected for the later 80 gun vessels. So the poor performance of the 80s would have come as little surprise to most knowledgeable people. Parliament of course was thinking solely of cost, as the ships were built at so much per ton. The King, William of Orange, took little interest in the Navy, and did not give any guidance. So the horrid ships were built. Much more tragically, they continued to be built for about 40 years, despite an increasing and ever-louder barrage of complaints about them from many different Naval officers. So yes, firing a broadside was not a matter of lighting the powder whenever the gun was ready. Both the design and the weather was important. And as Bartley correctly speculates, the leeward guns would tend to aim downwards. This was counter-acted by raising the gun barrel's elevation (by removing the quoin, or pulling it well back) and by firing the gun on the upward roll, as that side of the ship rose on a wave, rather than when the side was descending. Timing was all! All the best, Mark P
  9. Hi Mike; I know that La Renommee is a bit later in time, but a very common phrase in ship-building contracts from the late 17th century/early 18th, related to gratings, is that they are 'to vent the smoake (sic) of the ordnance'. The gratings, if this is their purpose, are therefore designed for something moving upwards, not downwards. Although the waist is open, I would suggest that a fully planked gangway over the cannon would hinder the escape of the smoke, so the above hypothesis is reasonable. In this case, the prime function of the gangways would be for sailors to walk along. with this in mind, flush gratings would seem most likely. All the best, Mark P
  10. Mark P


    Hi YT; A cleat in this context is a metal or wood object which is used to make fast (belay) a rope from the running rigging, so that whatever is at the other end of the rope will not move. They come in all sorts of sizes. Think of something like the top of a longhorn steer's skull with the horns poking out to each side, both in a straight line. The rope is passed under the horns, and over the middle, around and around in a figure-of-eight pattern. They were fixed to the ships' sides, to the masts, or to the shrouds (this latter type are called shroud cleats) A cleat is also the name for a small timber batten, used to hold something in place. All the best, Mark P
  11. Mark P

    The Lynx

    Hi Kevin; Thanks for posting this. She is such a beautiful sight! Looks like she can sail very close to the wind, too. All the best, Mark P
  12. Mark P

    Hello from Nottingham!

    Hi James; That is indeed an impressive array of models. I presume that you have seen the large model of King George V in the NMM. Wouldn't quite fit on a cupboard, though! All the best with your modelling. Mark P
  13. Good Evening Mark; Thank you for taking the initial steps with photo-etching, so that those who come after can learn from your experiences, and most importantly, any mistakes! Keep up the great posts! All the best, Mark P
  14. Good Evening Jason; Druxey is quite right. I will add a little bit as well. Models of ships were sometimes fitted with launching flags. A short plank is fixed over the hole in the mast partners, athwarthips, with a hole cut through it. The hole is much smaller than that for the mast. The plank does not cover the mast hole completely, not being wide enough to do so, so a portion of the mast hole is visible both afore and abaft of the plank. You may be right about the relative position of the flags, but remember that the ship was launched backwards! All the best, Mark P
  15. Mark P

    Titanic 1.jpg

    Very nice work Don! Congratulations

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