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  • Birthday 10/03/1961

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  1. One more to try is 'Fighting at Sea in the Eighteenth Century - The Art of Sailing Warfare' by Sam Willis, ISBN 978-1-84383-367-3. He covers everything from Fleet Tactics through 'Chase and Escape', Communication, Station Keeping, Command, Fighting Tactics, Damage, etc. Sam's books are very readable. Gary
  2. Jim, Boxwood can be found from specialist timber suppliers in the UK, but it depends on whether you want finished strip or intend milling your own timber. Finished sheet and strip can be found from marquetry suppliers or musical instrument timber suppliers, it is however expensive. If you intend milling your own then exotic timber suppliers are best for boxwood logs, unless you can find ‘home grown’ for disposal from a neighbours garden, this is a much cheaper option. Also, timber suppliers who provide pen-blanks (for turning your own pens) often provide boxwood planks which can be milled, this is a mid range price option. I have heard of members recycling old wooden rulers which are made of boxwood and found at boot fairs, junk shops, etc. Have a look at www.originalmarquetry.co.uk for finished boxwood. Gary
  3. Bob, Having visited both in the last few years both the Science Museum and the NMM no longer have their great model displays, seems they prefer more modern interactive displays, or just plain old dumbed down in my view. However, a lot of the models are on display at Chatham Historic Dockyard, also this is where many of the models not on display are stored. Whilst not open to the general public (they are available to examine by appointment) you can see in to the some of the storage space in the old Smithy. You can see row after row of display cases, it was like a being a kid stood outside the sweet shop! Gary
  4. Bob, Is this the model Peter referred to? Both he and Brian Levery have referenced it in print as being in their opinion the Victory as she appeared after her 1803 refit. Gary
  5. I agree with Druxey’s comments. By way of example I purchased some enamel paint mixed to the recently identified Victory colours, and the tonal range of the tan / salmon pink / [insert your own description here!] under different lighting conditions is extreme. You can see why it has received such varied reviews from the public. The enamel is only 5% gloss, so low sheen, however I then put a satin varnish on the samples and the tonal range changes yet again as it reacts to light - last photo. The black is also that identified by the scientists and is a very dark charcoal grey. Gary
  6. You also have the wave action to account for, so there would be a degree of ‘roll’ which was used (fire on the uproll). Also, when going in to close action sail was reduced - usually topsails only, so any heel would be reduced. Gary
  7. Henry, Try the contacts page on the official Victory website https://www.hms-victory.com/contact-us the under-lined list at the bottom each has an associated email address if you click on it. Gary
  8. Hi Dafi, I was really highlighting the general appearance and colour scheme as matching what Victory looked like rather than proposing this being a specific facsimile, in fact the colour scheme is closer to Turner’s Trafalgar painting than any other I’ve seen (bearing in mind he produced 2 versions and the colours vary between the two which doesn’t help). I also know the reservations you have over the 1803 half block and the 1805 models, and I’ve also superimposed the Victory plans and see the mismatches, however I’m not hung up over this, I’m inclined to view these post-build models as an aesthetic aid rather than an accurate structural record. I think this is particularly true of the 1803 model, as the date of the development of the model probably pre-dates the refit. So in my opinion these are not ‘as-built models’, but rather designed to convey an idea of the desired changes or modifications in general. Certainly the 1805 model has greater credibility, and interestingly both Lavery and Goodwin reference this model as representing the intended appearance of the Victory post refit, however they also accept that the full intention of the refit was cut short and not completed, hence the differences on the stern in particular. Also, have you looked at the Union and Boyne plans at the NMM? These were developed from the lines of the Victory, and the 1803 refit was intended to establish the re-fitted Victory as the prototype for future Second Rates. I also know you reference the issues with the entry port, and the 1805 model shows no entry port, whereas the 1803 model does, as do the Union plans, however, my preference is to rely on artists contemporary sketches, I know Turner has previously been referenced, but neither Constable nor Pocock show an entry port. I accept the issues with plans and models and intention vs. as-built, and I also accept the issues with the painters ‘stylised’ approach. But I think their sketches are believable as these are just raw ‘data capture’, the contentious issues arise with the subsequent paintings. It is highly unlikely that 3 such marine artists all missed a prominent feature, given they all saw her first hand between 1803 and 1806. Gary
  9. Just to update on the latest discussion here on Dafi’s thread I’ve posted some information from the Curator of HMS Victory on the following thread which details how the researchers established the new colour scheme. Gary
  10. Across a number of threads there has been considerable debate about the new colour scheme for HMS Victory, most recently on Dafi’s Victory build. There are supports and doubters. Doubts as to the change mainly arise because of the there isn’t much material out there other than to say we looked at some old paint samples and worked out what’s what. To see if I could get some further information to help inform the debate and assist in members deciding which colour scheme to go with I thought I’d go to the man who should know, Andrew Baines, Deputy Director of Heritage and Curator at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. I emailed Andrew with the following queries: ‘Firstly, there is a degree of scepticism as to the voracity of the research behind the new colour scheme. Despite the information in the public’s domain from Crick-Smith the opposition to accepting the result centres around extrapolating the tests from the various samples to the entire ship. Is there any data that could be shared to demonstrate the applicability of the tests across the fabric of the ship? Secondly, how does the certainty arise to say ‘this layer’ of a given sample is from c1805?’ Andrew kindly responded in some detail earlier today with the following: ”I'm afraid that anything associated with Victory tends to be subject to significant debate, much of it ill-informed. I think the first point to bear in mind is that Victory has changed colour innumerable times since 1922, we have simply been honest about what we have done, and based the change on all available evidence. From 1816 or so until 1922, Victory was painted black and white. During the 1922-1927 restoration, the SNR and RN desired to return the ship to her Trafalgar appearance. It was believed that Victory's sides were painted 'bright' yellow, and so the brightest available yellow - chrome yellow- was used. Unfortunately, chrome yellow became available only in the second decade of the twentieth century, so this colour was demonstrably incorrect for 1805. Through the twentieth century, the colour changed slightly as the use of heavy metals in paints became unacceptable. When manufacture of the paint for Victory ceased to be undertaken in the dockyard, a trade paint was adopted, and the nearest available colour to that provided by the dockyard recipe was adopted. It was actually quite late into the 1990s before the colour was fixed to a RAL. This colour was not arrived at by archaeological or archival evidence. We undertook the archaeological paint research not with the intention of changing the colour in which Victory was painted, but to better understand the way in which the ship has been repaired over her long life; there are approximately 33,000 individual elements in the ship, and some 800 rase marks - marks cut into timber as part of the conversion process, and which frequently include the date at which the timber entered the yard, or was converted. As we know the dates of Victory's repairs, we are able to discern the date at which these pieces of timber was placed into the ship. The first layer of paint on that timber element can therefore be dated with some degree of accuracy. We are then able to extend the paint stratigraphy across other timber elements that do not carry a date mark - if those timber elements have paint layers under the layer identified on our dated piece of timber, we know that they date to an earlier repair, if later, we know they date to a later repair. By extending this technique to other dated timbers, one is able to build an extensive timeline of paint treatments for each part of the ship, accurate to a period of five years or so. This accuracy can be improved on by understanding dirt between layers and similar - when the ship is laid up, the dirt layers tend to be very thin, or indeed negligible, when she is at sea, the dirt layers can be quite thick. It's also possible to understand when several coats of paint have been applied in short succession, as dirt layers do not exist. In addition to the extensive historic paint surfaces on board the ship, we also have the archaeological archive of material removed from the ship between 1960 and 2005. This material can help fill in gaps or give greater understanding where areas on board have been subjected to extensive stripping in preparation for new coats of paint. Beyond the archaeological evidence, we have details of what paint was carried on board Victory, and the quantities in which it was consumed. The accounts of carpenters stores for Victory in the run up to Trafalgar also gives details of use of paint, and some indication of how it was mixed, but this is actually quite difficult to decipher due to the manner in which the quantities are recorded against the work undertaken. Further afield from Victory, there is archival evidence for paint used by other ships, and indeed how other ships were painted at the time of Trafalgar. Captain Duff of the Mars, wrote to his wife on October 10th 1805, that ‘I am sorry the rain has begun to-night, as it will spoil my fine work, having been employed for this week past to paint the Ship à la Nelson, which most of the Fleet are doing.' We know from Mars' carpenter's accounts: ‘Painting ship double sides, and repairing the paint work of the Captain’s cabin: paint, white, 109lbs; yellow, 100lbs.’ Allowing 9lbs paint for repairs to the captain’s cabin, this indicates a ratio of 1:1 for the mixture of yellow: white. One can argue that more than 9lbs was needed for the captain's cabin, but the figures are, nevertheless, indicative. From the surviving carpenters' accounts of British ships at Trafalgar, we can discern that ship's sides were either painted with pure yellow (Prince, Temeraire), used a mix of two or three parts yellow to one part white (Ajax and Revenge prior to the battle) or used a mixture that was (or was close to) equal parts yellow:white (Mars, Thunderer). Specific to Victory, a survey of carpenter’s stores dated 12th May 1804 records that Victory carried 2cwt 3q 15lb of Venetian (presumably red) paint, 3cwt 0q 17lb of yellow and 2cwt 2q and 1lb of Port Red (dry) paint. Ten months later, in March 1805, a further survey records identical quantities of Venetian and port red, 93lbs of yellow paint and 1,137lbs of white lead paint. I am sure you will be aware of Peter Goodwin's 2013 article in Mariner's Mirror, in which he documents Nelson's desire to see the ships of his fleet painted in a pale yellow: Goodwin states ‘…Nelson authorised a six-to-one mix of white and yellow, which would be so light as to verge on the colour cream.'. Unfortunately, this is not entirely accurate, as Nelson was not at liberty to authorise such a change. Rather, in late September 1805, Nelson submitted a proposal to Commissioner Middleton at Gibraltar Dockyard that private ships were to be painted three, and flagships four, times per year, the proportion of white paint to yellow to be 6lbs to 1lb.; This proposal was referred to London where it was reviewed in December 1806. The Navy's decision was that the old regulation was to stand, and Nelson’s proposal was not to be carried into effect. In summary, the manuscript evidence is as follows: 1. Yellow ochre as supplied to ships was a dark colour that was commonly mixed with white (1804 handbook of instruction for RN officers). It must be borne in mind that this was an earth pigment and the actual colour varied widely. 2. The shade of yellow paint employed by the British fleet prior to Trafalgar appears to have varied from ship to ship. Some ships used yellow neat, others mixed yellow with white in a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1, whilst others mixed yellow and white at 1:1. 3. Whilst there is primary source evidence of Nelson’s desire to employ a pale yellow on the topsides of the ships of the Mediterranean fleet, the evidence is also conclusive in confirming that the proposal was rejected. No manuscript evidence supports the mixing of a shade with more white than yellow. 4. The evidence from Victory’s carpenter’s accounts suggests very strongly that the shade of yellow employed was obtained by mixing white and yellow in equal parts. The archival evidence when combined with the archaeological material provides, therefore, compelling evidence that Victory's colour in 2013 was not correct to the time of Trafalgar (I don't know of anyone who seriously suggested it was) and that we were able to say with some degree of confidence that it was possible to return to a Victory much closer to that Nelson would have known (admittedly he wanted it lighter, but didn't get his way). All of the available evidence was reviewed by the Victory Technical Committee, then chaired by Martyn Heighten the then Director of National Historic Ships UK, also a member (and still a member) was Jonathan Coad, who had served on the Victory Committee for almost forty years at that point. The recommendation to change the colour was not, therefore, made on an ad-hoc basis, but subject to extensive scrutiny before the Board of the HMS Victory Preservation Company took the decision to change colours when the ship was next repainted. We do intend to publish a paper on this subject, but our priority at present is resupporting the ship in order to arrest her structural movement - within the next few days the first of the old cradles will be cut out as we move Victory onto her new props”. This certainly changes some of my thoughts, and corrects some misinformation. I thought I’d post this information here rather than on a specific build thread to make it easier for people to search for and retrieve the information. Gary
  11. I agree, I very much doubt people would have been inspired by a true 1805 wartime Victory reconstruction, such an austere brooding apparition would not have the grace or beauty of the ship as she is, the 1920’s reconstruction whilst not accurate certainly brings the crowds flocking. That said I’ll be looking to build as true an 1805 version when the Amati 1:64 kit becomes available. Fot those who haven’t seen the NMM 1803 half block model the here it is, this is a fair approximation of what she would have looked like. Gary
  12. Peter Goodwin sheds some light in his paper ‘The Application and Scheme of Paintworks in British Men-of-War in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries’ he says: “Concerning the yellow currently used for the ship’s sides and other applications in the Victory, a letter dated 6 December 1805 from William Marsden, Secretary of the Navy Board, states that Commissioner Middleton, ‘submitted a proposal from Lord Nelson that the private ships in the fleet are painted three times a year and the flagships four times a year. The proportion of white paint to yellow is to be 6 lbs to 1 lb’.14 In short Nelson authorised a six-to-one mix of white and yellow, which would be so light as to verge on the colour cream. The Victory in my time received many enquiries from enthusiasts and model makers concerning paint colours. There was particular interest in the exact shade of ‘yellow’ for the ship’s side and external works, and many thought that the current ‘ship’s side buff’ was ‘too orange’. It is understood that the decor experts at the Victoria and Albert Museum advised on the correct shade of yellow ochre some 35 years ago, though the exact shade may have ‘evolved’ since then.15 It has been noted that the current paint shade is remarkably similar to that used on the superstructures of Admiralty tugs and ancillary dockyard craft. Following the information disclosed in William Marsden’s letter, experiments in collaboration with the marine artist Gordon Frickers were undertaken to determine the resultant colour from a six-to-one mix in oils, employing different base tints of yellow ochre oil paint. The results confirmed suspicions that ‘ship’s side buff’ is too orange, and he has since applied this more accurate pale yellow to a new work entitled ‘Nelson at Gibraltar’.” Like a lot of the 1920’s restoration pre-conception ruled the thinking despite evidence to the contrary (you see the same with the Trincomalee restoration). Someone probably said ‘they used yellow ochre’ without thinking about shade and we end up with the deepest yellow! If you look at contemporary artists like Constable and Tuner who saw the ship you get a pale yellow / almost cream. If you look at artists like Pocock he seemed to paint from the 1765 model so you get something entirely different and wholly wrong for 1805. Interestingly Turner took a lot of stick for his Trafalgar painting (waterline wrong, ships positions wrong, wrong time of day, etc.) a lot of which was from naval officers, but no one ever said you got the colour wrong. It is also worth looking at Gordon Frickers work that Peter Goodwin mentions, his experimentation shows something between the yellow we all grew up with and the paler Turner / Constable colours, but again this is just hypothesis. Gary
  13. Only it’s the Royal Navy so the rules are if it moves salute it, if it doesn’t move paint it! Nelson was of the view that flagships should be painted 4 times per year (others 3 times per year) - the point being they were in a constant state of painting, so I’m not sure how much an oil based surface layer could degrade in that time. I’m no expert but I would have thought the issue is more removing dirt than covering degraded paint. Gary
  14. One more thought, the period of the Nelson Chequer prior to the 1922 luminous orange colour 😁 was relative short. It applied from the 1803 refit to 1814 at the latest, as from this date the bands were white, not ochre. So assuming during the Baltic years she remained in Nelson’s colours, only a maximum of some 11 out of 250 years did she have ochre stripes. All the pre 1800 paintings seem to show her in rosin (or varnish) and black above the waterline. Gary
  15. Hi Dafi, The statement “They also picked through a warehouse full of thousands of samples of timber removed from the ship in generations of repairs, and found many more.“ is the one that would be nice to see expanded, as it says there are thousands of samples over many years, and must have been from inside and out to be relied upon. I’d like to see an inventory of what was examined, but without that I’m with Druxey on this one and we have to defer to the experts. The National Museum of the Royal Navy would have to be absolutely certain of the research relied on (and paid for) before painting their ship ‘pink’ (as some see it). Gary

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