• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About CaptArmstrong

  • Birthday

Recent Profile Visitors

230 profile views
  1. I've always wondered if those hurdles could have a chance of being passed if the navy was handed a meticulously researched, high quality ANCRE style monograph to work from. I think the running excuse from a technical standpoint is 'oh there isn't enough information' yet the plans for the original headrails exist on the building plans, and the changed layout of the bulwarks etc is known from the 1815 plan of the president, the hull model, and ware's sailplan ( in that regard the Connie is basically in 1812 configuration already, save some later slight changes to sheer that would be difficult to correct without a major major overhaul)...but its not all on one definitive plan. The closest (properly researched) attempt I know of was by Thomas Gillmer, who advised the '97 restoration and putting the diagonal riders back in. IIRC he created an 'as built' and '1812' close-up plan of the head, from the original draughts. Annoyingly, he seems not to have included enough QD & FC ports for the 1812 armament on his full 1812 draught nor sized them any larger for the switch to carronades, but otherwise I've found very few inconsistencies. Its my go-to source on the Connie, followed by Chapelle. Then there is the matter of the transom, which he didn't even touch-and is a much bigger can of worms. That being said, we should be grateful for what we have-the cutting down of the planked in hammock nettings has done wonders for her looks (and likely structural health, with all that weight off), and her lines are still as graceful as ever!
  2. Excellent reading! Here is a wonderful painting by pocock of the fight betweent the Herbrus and l'Etoile. And some of the Clorinde vs Eurotas can be seen here: these battles are also described well in the Caxton pictorial histories series volume "the victory of Seapower" from what I recall, napoleon had started a naval gunnery training program around the time of trafalgar that didn't start to pay dividends much until this time-with the unusual ferociousness of the french gunnery in these battles being a direct result of it. A similarly hard fought duel from 1813 pitted the HMS Amelia vs L'Arethuse. interestingly, it saw one of the first JN Sáne designed 18pdr frigates(HMS Amelia was the ex-French Proserpine of 1785)fighting against what was essentially the ultimate evolution of that class, the brand new arethuse. Did William James write a description of that battle?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  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.