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About CaptArmstrong

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  1. I've seen a similar amount of detail in decoration on the plans of captured privateers in the NMM archives (Such as the brig Swift and corvette Rattlesnake) The Royal navy were meticulous with accuracy on as captured plans, even if they modified the ship greatly right after taking the lines. I'd say that its still is significantly less decoration than on a contemporary Royal or Continental Navy Frigate, for example (see the Confederacy or Minerva, for example) but this level of decoration more or less disappeared on the privateers (french and American) of the 1790s through 1815.
  2. A wonderful find of those carvings! perhaps they were in the divide between quarter gallery and hull on the transom or at each edge of the transom? And to me the dress looks more Greek/Byzantine than Native, with Pteruges on the shoulders and skirt of a breastplate. With Philadelphia being a greek word It makes more sense to me, but I'm not sure what the record on her carvings indicates. Are there any other photos of the recovered taffrail pieces out there? Those seem very well preserved, its tempting to think of what might have been recovered if the wreck had been uncovered in the modern day with better technology.
  3. Indeed I've thought the same, with the french favoring the horseshoe shape (right) and the British separated quarter galleries (left) But frolick's description hardly sounds inaccurate, do you recall if the article mentioned anything more specific than 'stern' to clarify if they were discussing the transom shape or the carvings?
  4. It would seem that Chapelle thought the 'cant frames' at both her ends were modified, but otherwise just states that doughty had permitted her builder Christian Bergh to make some slight changes, and she was known to have less sheer than her 2 sisters, and to be generally more lightly built. (p134, the American sailing navy) Perhaps Canney or another writer uncovered more detailed information since.
  5. I'm posting quickly here so correct me if I'm wrong: I read that the United States was considered fast both in her early career and during her post-1812 career, but it was roughly during the war years where she was known as the old wagon for a reason. Now, that could certainly be down to the factors of trim and loading as you mention, though iirc it was after a refit that she gained back some speed. did she not also carry 42pdr carronades During the war? while the Constitution carried 32pdrs. Also I was under the impression that part of the president's designs tweaks (alongside a slight change in tumble home and less hollow in the garboards) was to either reduce the dimensions of her timbers slightly or increase the distance between frames a small amount. It would seem that at least during the war president was indeed faster, even if just by trim and loading, as she led the chase of the HMS Belvidera in 1812 while United States trailed behind the Congress and President. It makes sense that the humphreys design would be somewhat sensitive to weight high up, I know the large French frigates designed by Forfait (with an almost symondite V-shaped hull) were often disappointing post-capture to British captains that couldn't sail or trim them quite right, yet the same ships proved very fast when trimmed just so.
  6. Any chance of seeing a bodyplan/transom for this fine reconstructed plan? Or a version for the ship as she was razeed?
  7. Very very interesting to see the USS John Adams and the 24 gun ship of 1799 compared! I saw the new reconstructed plan awhile ago, but didn't realize how similar they are until seeing the lineup. I based my in-progress plan of the cut down & lengthened Adams off the 24 gunner-which I do still intend to finish-I've just been incredibly busy with school. I chose the plan for exactly the reasons above-it's the best plan we have of a typical American 6th rate of the period, and the Adams was supposed to be too fine-lined as a 28. Does anyone know how similar the adams & John adams might've been in their lines?
  8. These are fascinating reports, adding some great detail to a well-known action! And seconded about Bainbridge, while he was known to possess navigational and tactical skill (despite his loss of the USS Philadelphia, probably the biggest navigational and tactical blunder for the US navy of the generation) he was known to be utterly ruthless towards his crews. In one account I've read, a newly recruited common sailor (perhaps a landsman, or a former merchant sailor who had served on lax vessels) addressed Bainbridge directly, instead of waiting to be spoken to. Rather than giving a verbal rebuke, Bainbridge drew his sword and slashed the man across the face, while calling him subhuman scum or some equivalent term
  9. I don't dispute that Chapelle used the 1820s plans for the lines, but I was referring specifically to the headrails-as they are entirely different shapes. does he mention them specifically in relation to the 1820s draughts in HIstory of the American Sailing Navy? I admit I don't have my copy on hand. What large and powerful vessels those later sloops grew to be!
  10. Extremely interesting drawings of the United States, Macedonian, Syren etc! I had no idea there were any such close up illustrations of the us frigates during the war of 1812-great addition to the knowledge base. I'd say the curvature of the United States rails looks very close to the original for the class(though also chapelle's NY & Philly) except the end of the middle rail is moved slightly forward-likely to accommodate a bridle port. It would also appear that the headrails of the Macedonian were altered after capture-appearing quite different(perhaps even closest to the rails of the President in 1815) from the lively class rails-which were much more standardized than the US ships necessarily were in the 1812 period. I doubt the rails of Philadelphia and New York were reconstructed by Chapelle from the 1820s versions-those are much too small and angular. Chapelle likely worked from this plan for Philadelphia he mentioned an extant inboard profile for New York, which could've shown an outline for the rails-though without seeing it, who knows for sure what conjecture process he used. It appears that unfortunately the Philadelphia figurehead plan uses the erroneous 1820s head, but also shows some nice gingerbread details, as do the others!
  11. Aha, I don't mean carvings in that sense! That does sound like a number of unusually conservative motifs for a ship built before the Bourbon Restoration, though. In the Image below, I've highlighted the parts I am talking about for adding detail in red. Base image is of HMS Anson borrowed from this thread: Image: The lines would be exactly as straight/slightly curved as what you already have, there would just be more of them. Boudriot's Venus plans include similar details, and might make a decent reference for placement, if its something you feel would be appropriate to include
  12. Looking Brilliant! For this plan, I would recommend adding a touch more detail on the transom and potentially to the headrails too. These images of the Armide-class Flore model show that each individual moulding on the quarter galleries/transom/head have detail and varying levels of protrusion, rather than simply being flat. While of course there are way too many carvings on this model to attempt to replicate on your plan, if some more detail could be added to the moldings in the plan at the bow/stern, it could add a lot of detail to any model even in the absence of much in the way of carvings. I made a 3d model of an 'average' early Sane 18pdr frigate from the plans of the Proserpine and Hebe, with some details drawn from the plans of Sybille & Venus. If what I'm suggesting isn't clear from the Flore model, hopefully one can see the rounded surfaces and different layers within each molding in these images Really great work on this plan!
  13. I think thats a fair assesment of their attitude. Its frustrating to see the ship not restored to something like her prime because "we know its wrong now so lets not try to make it better in case we get it less wrong instead of perfect." Not sure how the military could argue the headrails specifically would be speculation-they mightve been replaced before 1812-but they came from the hand of joshua humphreys himself and were definitely on the ship for the start of her career. For the victory they perhaps shouldve waited until the next morning to make that call, I thought I heard it ended up being the color of the primer layer?
  14. I see what you are getting at, but that's not where I think the plans for the current restoration are missing the mark. Though if it is a funding issue by all means it makes sense to use what funding there is on improving the structural integrity of the ship. But I gathered somewhere this was supposed to be mainly a cosmetic overhaul-I could've been wrong. A billet head replacing a figurehead shouldn't impact the headrails. I think the current cutwater carvings and billet head are excellent and appropriate, but the headrails themselves leave a lot to be desired. The plan for the 1812 version of the head drawn by the same naval architect who drew that 1803 sailplan(incidentally in the process of advising the 1997 restoration) is the same basic configuration-it simply replaces figure with billet head, and makes room for the bridle port by removing the aft decorative curve of the middle rail-that's where I heard the idea. In the absence of any 1812 plans, the original head is far more accurate than the current mid 19th century derived arrangement. Planking in the head entirely wasn't common (if heard of?) until postwar on frigates of any nation, and all period illustrations show the constitution with open rails-though the netting above the rails might've been planked in, which again, doesn't impact the shape of the rails. I modified a constitution model a few years back for use in an older video game, and while the detail is lower than ideal due to the program's limitations, the contrast (at least in scale) between the two head arrangements should be evident As the ship is now: With the original rails adapted to the 1812 hull configuration:
  15. Sorry I should've clarified, I mentioned the topic in some earlier posts in this thread. I think the current head could/should be replaced by the original headrails, which can be seen roughly by comparing this plan to this one they state in that bit that it will look exactly like it did in 2010 once the work is done, meaning the head will remain as it looks in the second plan. Restoring to the originals would likely require having a traditional cathead knee and having the middle rail come short of the bridle port-which was added several years after launching- but that would be fine as that part of the middle rail is not structural. However, the originals would be much more graceful/accurate than the current oversized headrails/cutwarter arrangement-as excellent as the gingerbread work on it is.