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I finished my first RC scratch built square rigger HMS Harrier a couple of years back and although I'm very happy with the result always considered her something of a practice run for the command that everyone wants - a frigate. Check out Harrier in action on video. With the current pandemic making the full sized sailing dinghy I was hoping to start this year look just that - hopeful - there's no time like the present to start the frigate. She's relatively cheap, being cobbled up from old floor boards and ply with the only realtively expensive bits being servos. She'll be easy to break into storeable stages if the world comes to rights and the financial situation lets me build a real boat, and also a bit of a challenge that should take at least a couple of years. So, which frigate? I love the the Artois class like HMS Diana as per the fine examples built by the likes of Jason and Barbossa on MSW but as a 38 gun vessel it's 146ft on the gun deck and getting quite large for transport at a 1.2m hull in 1/36 scale. Also, while the rest ofthe Anatomy of the Ship book is very detailed, the lines needed to reproduce a hull shape in my copy are not very detailed. The Enterprise class is a bit smaller at 120ft with all the attributes of a frigate and has the advantage of being repesented in some detailed orignal ship plans in Greenwhich's National Martime Museum; There are some very colourful contemporary paintings done by Jospeh Marshall as part of a series of ship models to stoke Geroge III's interest in the navy; He dubbed the ship Enterprize, interchanging the Z with an S as was common at the time but most records of the time and modern scholarship have her as Enterprise. The clincher is a very detailed set of plans from Polish model company Shipyard, which also does smaller scale card models of Enterprise and her sister ship Cleopatra. The Shipyard plans cover everything from hull and deck layouts through fitout including guns, boats, masts and spars in a variety of scales ranging from 24,72, 96,192 etc depending on size. The bit where it falls down are the carvings and decorations, which appear speculative at best and include a lion figurehead more suitable for a ship of the early 1700s. The idea for this build is to try to combine the best of the modern plans for a fairly accurate sailing model, with the contemporary plans and paintings to give the full bling of a Georgian vessel. While it's a little uncertain whether a vessel in service would have carried full freizework and decoration, I've always wanted to try my hand at it and the goal is something that looks like a contemporary ship model that can be sailed. As such, the ship will be one of the class, and generally correct for the period but with some speculation on decoration depending which vessel I end up depicting. GIven the diverse sources it'll be a model of a painting of a ship model, so I think that'll give me a bit of latitude. We'll see how close I get to the goal of a big 1770s Navy Board model you can drop in the lake. A little about the Enterprise class: A sixth rate Designed by John WIlliams in 1770, the first five of this class were ordered for the Falklands Islands emergency. Fox, Syren, Surprise and Enterprise and Acteon were launched from the early 1770s through to 1775. Another 15 vessels followed in 76-78 and another seven in 82-83 with solid quarter deck bulkheads. They saw service during the Revolutionary War, with many Enterprises active on the American station against US privateers, at the relief of Gibralter, in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, including at the battle of the Saintes, around the North Sea and French coasts and even the battle of Cuddalore in the Indian Ocean. They were active ships, with losses to weather and enemy action that reflected this, although some limped through as troop ships or on harbour duty until late in the Napoleonic wars. Length on gundeck: 120ft Breadth: 33ft 9 inches Crew: 200 Initial armament: Upper deck: 24 x 9lbers, Quarter deck: 4x3lbers. By 1780 the quarter deck armament was 4x6lbers plus 4 18lb carronades and another two on the forecastle. Making a start The shipyard plans were scaled up to 1/36 scale and details like framing station lines, fixtures for the ballast keel, ply deadwood, rough places for servos and battery and other details drawn in. The plans have station molds indicated, which were expanded to show the 12mm ply that will be used for framing. Some initial work on the masts is visible below. More on that in the next post. The Enterprise hull is roughly 1m on the deck, slightly bigger than Harrier at 80cm and has a much greater internal volume, which should hopefully make some of the fitout easier, although there are issues around internal access with a quarterdeck as well as the main deck. Rough overall length with bowsprit should be 1.6-1.7m, with the masts standing about that tall from the keel, although they will collapse for transport. It should fit in the family wagon, if not it'll have to go in my camping trailer, although my wife is asking where it'll fit in the garage already containing a car, canoe, kayak, the Harrier, kids' bikes, clothesline and my workbench and tools...