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HMS Surprise by Navis Factorem - 1:75

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Gun tackle.


I have started installing the gun tackle for the main deck 32 pd carronades. So far guns 1 and 2 on the starboard side have been completed. If I had realised how much tackle is attached to each carronade I think I may have built a different version of the Surprise with long guns only!


Each gun has 5 block and tackle units, 2 for the slide outhaul, 2 for the carriage traverse and a slide inhaul, along with the breech rope. Each block and tackle has 2 blocks and 2 hooks, and where they attach to the gun and the hull there are another 2 ring bolts each. And the breech rope has 2 ring bolts on the slide along with another 2 rings. That adds up to a lot of copper wire shaping.


36 to go.





Carronades 1.JPG

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I decided against getting distracted from completing the gun tackle for the main deck carronades so I have started on the port side 12 guns. Why stop when you're on a roll!


The pictures explain the tackle installation for one of the 32 pounder carronades. 8 to go.





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All the tackle for the 24 main deck 32 pdr carronades now completed and all the other main deck fittings have been fixed in place. Before the forecastle and quarterdeck are permanently fitted only the anchor tackle remains to be done. The hawsers and and the lower part of the messenger can be fitted before the upper deck is fixed with the upper part of the messenger fixed to the underside of the upper deck.


A fairly significant hull element is the scuppers. All the water that ends up on the main deck through gun ports and the waist has to go somewhere. I couldn't find any information for Surprise but the AoTS book for HMS Diana shows scupper positions and sizes. Both ships being about the same size I figured that the Surprise scuppers would be in about the same place. Next was finding small tubes the right size. Scouring the odds and ends that I have acquired, and it is amazing how much you do collect over the years of modelling, I found some 2mm diameter by about 3mm long brass tubes that came as part of the carronade kits. I didn't use much of the parts for these kits as most of the carronade carriages were fabricated from scratch so these were left over. Actually I have no idea what part of the carronade assembly they were meant to be. They are pretty much the right size so these have been fitted.


So next will be fitting of the forecastle, gangways and quarterdeck and the various parts that go on these.














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More gun tackle.


The fitting of the 32 pdr carronades and all the other bits and pieces to the main deck have been completed and the forecastle, gangways and quarterdeck have been permanently fixed.


The installation of the guns on the upper deck has now started and the 2 x 8 pdr long guns and 4 x 18 pdr carronades to the forecastle have been completed.


10 x 18 pdr carronades on the quarterdeck to go.


Cheers, David. 

Forecastle guns 1.jpg

Forecastle guns 2.jpg

Forecastle guns 3.jpg

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Deck fittings.


The deck fittings are now pretty much complete and stepping of the masts and commencement of the rig is getting closer.

Before this major step I need to do a deck rig layout to ensure that I fit any rings, blocks etc that are required where lines run down to the deck before belaying. On my Bounty build I omitted this step and had to drill holes and fit blocks and rings once the masts were in place, not easy.


Cheers, David.








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I have been working my way around the deck fitting the many rings and other bits and pieces required for rigging connection. Quite a bit of time and not really much to see. 

So I decided to complete something that has a bit of visual impact, davits and tackle for the jolly boat at the stern.




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Lots of distractions have meant not much visible progress but I have managed to work my way through Lennarth Petersson "Rigging Period Ship Models" and have attached most of the blocks, rings and cleats that will be needed to complete the rig. On previous builds I had to attach a lot of these bits and pieces once the masts were in place, not so easy. This time a bit more planning ahead means that I should minimise this.

The next part of the process is to make up the yards and other spars. To achieve the required tapering I am using a bench drill as a vertical lathe, it works well. To minimise dust I made up a booth from a cardboard box and fitted a vacuum nozzle to the back.


Cheers, David.










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20190205_121122a.thumb.jpg.ebd502a7a39e6d3b53525b54e73dde82.jpg20181102_171656a.thumb.jpg.e311b6fa8e4566bde3da5364771ad522.jpgHi All,


I haven't had too many opportunities to progress construction what with end of year, visiting grand children and all the other distractions that keep me away from building.


Yard construction has progressed and they are now completed apart from fitting of the blocks. After a frustrating time making the foot ropes for Bounty from fine cord and having a lot of trouble keeping the required shapes I decided to try a different approach and use fine copper wire spun into rope of the right size. Once fitted to the yards they were blackened with a chemical treatment. This was much easier to work with and I am happy with the result. The studding sail boom irons were again made with paper clip wire. I find that I can hammer the required lengths flat to make the rings the booms pass through and as the wire is quite malleable to start with I can still shape it into the required circles.


Starting the rig is getting ever closer and I am quite looking forward to this part of the process.


Cheers, David.








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