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John Garnish

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Everything posted by John Garnish

  1. It's a pretty little model all round, but the figure really is a work of art. Congratulations!
  2. Caustic was one of a fleet of 12 gunboats built by the British on Lake Champlain around the end of the War of 1812. The work was overtaken by the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war in 1814, and the fleet was mothballed without ever having entered service. Nevertheless, plans for two of the boats were retained, and survive in the Canadian National Archives. These draughts were reproduced by Howard I Chappelle in his book “The History of the American Sailing Navy”, which is where I came across them. The gunboats were 62’3” overall, with a beam of 16’2” and depth in hold of 4’1”. They were rigged with lugsails but depended mainly on sweeps for propulsion. Their main point of interest is that they were armed with three 24pdr long guns (or, in the case of the four section leaders, two 24pdrs and a 68pdr carronade), mounted on circular tracks.
  3. Seren, Another (distorted) photo from McGowan's book. Note that there is another wale supporting the channels.
  4. Siren You are right in wanting to include the wales, because they are essential to the appearance of the model. I attach a photo of the side elevation from Alan McGowan's book. The photo is very distorted because of the curvature of the pages, but the positions of the wales is still pretty clear. I have tinted them to help. Note that, if you want to be really accurate, the lower wale uses anchor stock planking. John
  5. Building on the above, the fore and mainstays will be the heaviest ropes, followed by the shrouds and backstays in decreasing order and finally down to ratlines and lanyards. A golden rule for rigging models is that, if in doubt, make it lighter rather than heavier.
  6. Don, This is purely a guess, because I haven’t tried it, but it seems to me that one of the characteristics of a weathered hull is that the seams crack and the individual planks start to show. It may be possible to simulate this, after painting the base colour on the hull, by using some slightly textured paint (paint with some dust in it?) and touching in each plank separately. That may provide the necessary delineation and texture. Any treatment of the planking prior to painting seems more likely to merge the planks rather than to delineate them.
  7. Apologies if I am missing something, but I haven't seen any reference in this discussion to Harold Hahn's book 'Ships of the American Revolution', and specifically to his chapter on Oliver Cromwell/Beaver's Prize. She started out as a merchantman, converted to a privateer in 1777. She was about 90ft OAL, marginally smaller than a Cruizer-class brig, and pierced for 18 guns (though the forward ports would rarely be filled). Originally, the complement was 12 six-pounders, later increased to 14 and then 16. That description seems to fit fairly well with what Lou is trying to build. Hahn's chapter on Oliver Cromwell also goes a long way to answering questions about the size, shape and spacing of gun ports, and the positioning of one (and later two) capstans. He even mentions that his model was built as a substitute for a commission to build Davis' Lexington!
  8. Kurt, I have used diluted PVA glue to veneer furniture. The veneer was still holding 20+ years later. It should work for this as well. Simply brush the diluted solution onto one surface, lay up the veneer, and then iron with a medium-hot iron. Depending on veneer thickness, you should be able to lay up several sheets in one pass. A sheet of paper between wood and iron would be a precaution against scorch marks. It's very quick, so you could run a test in about 5 minutes.
  9. I should have mentioned that the formed shape of the sail will still be quite fragile, so you should avoid handling it more than necessary. That means that you should have fixed the sail to the yard and attached to it all the necessary rigging lines (tacks, clews, braces, buntlines, bowlines, etc.) before forming it to shape.
  10. I would use diluted PVA adhesive, brushed on. Fix the sail in a realistic position - (perhaps not on the model) - and then use a hair dryer to blow the sail into shape and dry the glue at the same time.
  11. I have used both acrylic-based and water-based sanding sealer, and I don't think there is much to choose between them in terms of performance. However, it is much easier to clean brushes after the water-based sealer, so I tend to use that all the time now. However, I do not sand the result when dry. I use only medium grade wire wool, which leaves a much finer finish and does not blur sharp edges. It also has the advantage that you use it in small throw-away bunches, so it never clogs. A word of caution - it can burn spectacularly, so keep it away from flames.
  12. Thank you, Georges. I am a great fan of ANCRE and your group, so I am sure that you are correct. I'm just surprised that I had never seen this before. Entirely my own fault - I have had a copy of "The 74 Gun Ship" since soon after it was published, and there it is - clearly shown in Fig.197 - but I had never noticed its significance.
  13. I have never before seen a breeching rope that goes through the gun carriage rather than round the cascabel. How common was this? The wear rate must have been terrific.
  14. No-one has mentioned the Mary Rose, launched in 1511 and sunk in 1545. The remaining starboard side was raised in 1982 and is now on display in Portsmouth Dockyard (UK). The remains have been well-documented in “Mary Rose: Your Noblest Shippe”, edited by Peter Marsden (2009). It should be remembered that the Mary Rose was 34 years old when she sank, having spent a hard life in the Western Approaches and taken part in two battles before her final loss, and having undergone numerous repairs. She can therefore be taken as a fair representation of shipbuilding practices in the early sixteenth century. The material in Peter Marsden’s book addresses two of the issues discussed in this forum, the type of planking, and typical plank lengths. Fig 6.17 of the book provides a flattened (projected) view of the surviving starboard side. It shows planks of widely varying widths (and thicknesses) and includes drop planks and stealers. Planks are typically end-butted (but without any great care to ensure verticality), and the shift of the butts is pretty random. It also shows the result of several repairs. There is a relevant paragraph in the text, as well: “The length of each plank varies from 1.47m to 10.85m, but most are between 4.5m and 9m long, the longer planks mostly being in the midships area. The shorter planks, those of less than 3m, are low down in the hull at the bow or stern and between the second and third wales (Fig. 6.16b). All the shortest planks, less than 2.75m, are between the gunports.” The overall impression is that the choice of materials was dictated largely by what came to hand rather than a strict adherence to ‘rule’, but there were clearly substantial lengths of timber available. The message seems to be that, if one is attempting to model a ship of this period, it shouldn't look too tidy.
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