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Found 16 results

  1. This is the very beginnings of a build log. Until I have finished renovating the house, there’s no chance of actually doing any building – no time, and no space available. But in my free moments I’ve been researching and drawing up plans for a Byzantine dromon of the 10th-11th century. The name dromon (Greek = “runner”) was originally applied to a class of fast Roman galleys with a single bank of oars developed around the 6th century AD. Over the centuries, as the Roman Empire shifted its emphasis to the East and gained a new capital in Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and evolved into what we now know as Byzantium, the dromon changed as well, until by the 10th century AD it was a very different vessel with two banks of oars, lateen sails and armed with a devastating weapon, pyr thalassion – Greek fire. Greek fire is generally accepted as having been made of naphtha, a naturally occurring substance similar to petroleum. Contemporary descriptions led Prof. John Haldon to work out theoretical design using only technology known at the time, and then put it into practice, with spectacular results (see https://books.google.com.au/books?id=q0hMf5vu7kgC&pg=PA289&lpg=PA289&dq=%22Greek+fire%22+revisited:+recent+and+current+research%22&source=bl&ots=Kwp5Xa3U62&sig=tR81SBsNfAc_uDLyuXDxe9uPWKA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bjAzVc61C8TNmwWvv4HICw&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22Greek%20fire%22%20revisited%3A%20recent%20and%20current%20research%22&f=false - page 292 onward). Greek fire was used effectively in a considerable number of battles, destroying threatening enemy fleets. I was reported to have burnt on the surface of the water (and in the reconstruction that’s just what it does!). The definitive source on the dromon is the excellent, thorough and painstakingly researched book Age of the Dromon (http://www.brill.com/age-dromon-0) by Professor John Pryor and Elizabeth M. Jeffreys, which draws together all the clues as to the nature of the vessel, from its early development to its apogee in the 10th and 11th century. The available information is rare, widely scattered and often difficult to interpret. At the time it was written no remains of any Byzantine war-galley had ever been discovered, let alone a dromon, contemporary descriptions were vague and patchy (and in the case of at least one writer of the time, often wrong). Contemporary illustrations are equally unsatisfying and the conclusions and resulting reconstruction reached are a considerable achievement. There have been a lot of theoretical reconstructions of dromons over the years, many of which can be seen if you do a google image search for “dromon”. Some of them are quite ludicrously wrong – often clumsy and far too heavy for a vessel propelled by muscle power. Prof Pryor’s reconstruction is the best and most believable I have seen, and is based firmly on the available evidence. It would also make a fast and effective warship, which most of the others wouldn’t. The picture that emerges is of a long narrow vessel with 100 oars arranged in two banks of 25 on each side. Instead of an outrigger, the sides were flared outwards at the gunwales to allow a good angle of attack for the upper oars. The vessel was fully decked and had two lateen rigged masts and dual side rudders. There was a fortified forecastle, below which was the siphon for Greek Fire. On larger dromons each gunwale was built up amidships and fortified with a wooden ‘castle’. In the centuries between ancient and mediaeval galleys, shipbuilding techniques had changed from frameless shell-construction (in which adjoining planks were fastened together by many small wooden tenons fixed into slots in the edges of each strake), to fully framed construction which was far stronger, and unable to be sunk by ramming. Rather than a ram, the late dromon had a long detachable ‘spur’, intended to break the enemy’s oars, to destroy its motive power and manoeuvrability. Instead of sinking opposing vessels, the dromon’s crew used projectile weapons – bows, slings, ballistas and even flung stones to cause casualties on the enemy’s decks until they could pull alongside, grapple and board. The oarsmen of the upper bank doubled as marines, leaving the lower bank to manoeuvre the ship into position. Tests on Olympias, a full-sized reconstruction of an ancient Greek trireme built in the 1980s, determined that such long, thin, light vessels were very subject to the vagaries of the weather and were of very limited stability. It was discovered that it was impossible to row effectively in any sort of sea – waves one metre high were the upper limit – and a galley faced by bad weather had little choice but to run for shelter. Galleys were also poor sailers and could really only sail effectively in a gentle breeze – a heel of more than 10 degrees would swamp the vessel and it would have been all but impossible to sail into the wind. A dromon’s storage ability was minimal and on long trips it would have to put into port on almost a daily basis to replenish stores, (particularly water, which oarsmen need to consume in great amounts to stay effective) A galley’s length is determined by the interscalmium – the distance between the rowing benches. Age of the Dromon estimated the interscalmium to be about 1.0 metre (3’3”). Any closer together and the oarsmen foul each other; any further apart and you’re adding dead weight for the oarsmen to pull along for no reason. A galley with 25 benches in each bank would be about 25 metres long, plus extra for the bow and stern. A dromon was incredibly long for its width – the reconstruction in Age of the Dromon is 31.25 metres (95 feet 4 inches) long and its maximum beam amidships only 4.46 metres (13 feet 7 inches). Just as the book was about to be published in 2006 an amazing discovery was made in Istanbul. During excavations for an underground railway in the Yenikapi district of the city’s southern edge, workmen stumbled upon the Harbour of Theodosius, silted up and buried centuries before. Under the mud were the remains of 37 Byzantine ships dating from the 5th century to the eleventh century AD. Most were merchant vessels, but at least 6 were war galleys – not dromons unfortunately, but galeai – smaller and lighter single banked galleys used for scouting, and from which our word galley comes. The Yenikapi ships confirmed the theoretical dimensions of Age of the Dromon’s reconstruction – of the two galleys which still had their upper works in reasonable condition, the interscalmium of one varied between 0.90 and 0.97 metres, and the other between 0.874 and 1.048 metres, averaging 0.96. The length and beam of these galleys was consistent with the theoretical reconstruction. These vessels were incredibly lightly built – the thickness of the planking varied from 20 to 30mm (3/4”-1 ¼”, almost unbelievable in a vessel of that length, and the frame timbers averaged 60mm (2 ¼ ”) square. The ships were prevented from hogging by stringers inside the hull and heavy wales. Presumably dromons were similarly constructed, with extra stiffness provided by the full deck. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the wonderful help freely given by Professor John Pryor and also by Dr Cemal Pulak of Texas A&M University. Professor Pryor has been incredibly helpful to a lubber like me and I owe to him almost everything I know of dromons, and certainly my decision that I could actually go ahead and make a model of one with a reasonable certainty of getting it right. He also referred me to his colleague Dr Cemal Pulak, (who took part in the excavation of eight of the Yenikapi ships, including two galleys). Dr Pulak was kind enough to send me a copy of his paper when it was published (it appears in the in the international Journal of Nautical Archaeology 2015 44.1; pages 39-73), as well as a photo of a partial reconstruction of the better preserved of the two galleys he excavated, built at a scale of 1:10. My model will follow Professor Pryor’s reconstruction as closely as possible, with a few modifications based on the Yenikapi finds and on some discoveries of my own when drawing up the model to scale. However, before constructing the full model, I plan to make a midships section at 1:20, with three sets of working oarsmen, as Professor Pryor pointed out that though theoretically the two banks of oars of his reconstructed dromon should not foul each other (Olympias had a lot of trouble with broken oars from fouling between oars of different banks), they have not been tested in the real world. I've attached a PDF of the plans in their current state of development. It should be very interesting. Steven dromon.dwg Model (1).pdf
  2. My plans and wood have arrived! I have to be out of town for a few days, but, upon my return, I will begin my build board. I'm excited to get started but a bit anxious as well. This is a long ways out of my comfort zone but something I have always wanted to do. I'm looking forward to the journey 😊
  3. 1:72 La Real Dusek Ship Kits Catalogue # D015 Available from Dusek Ship Kits for 409€ La Real was a Spanish galley and the flagship of Don John of Austria in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the largest battle between galleys in history. She was built in Barcelona at the Royal Shipyard and was the largest galley of its time. Real was usually the designation of the flagship in a particular Spanish fleet and was not necessarily the actual name of the ship. Almirante was the designation of the ship of the 2nd in command, others with a specific command function were patrona/padrona and lanterna. The galley was 60 metres (200 ft) long and 6.2 metres (20 ft) wide, had two masts, and weighed 237 tons empty. It was equipped with three heavy and six light artillery pieces, was propelled by a total of 290 rowers and, in addition, carried some 400 sailors and soldiers at Lepanto. 50 men were posted on the upper deck of the forecastle, 50 on the midships ramp, another 50 each along the sides at the bow, 50 each on the skiff and oven platforms, 50 on the firing steps along the sides near the stern, and 50 more on the stern platform behind the huge battle flag. To help move and manoeuvre the huge ship, it was pushed from the rear during the battle by two other galleys. As befitting a royal flagship, it was luxuriously ornamented and painted in the red and gold colours of Spain. Its poop was elaborately carved and painted with numerous sculptures, bas-reliefs, paintings and other embellishments, most of them evoking religious and humanistic inspirational themes. Photo by author, Barcelona, 2006 The Battle of Lepanto in 1571 saw Juan of Austria's fleet of the Holy League, an alliance of Christian powers of the Mediterranean, decisively defeat an Ottoman fleet under Grand Admiral ("Kaptan-ı Derya") Müezzinzade Ali Pasha. La Real and the Turkish galley Sultana, flagship of Ali Pacha, engaged in direct deck-to-deck combat very soon after the start of the battle. Sultana was boarded and after about one hour of bloody fighting, with reinforcements being supplied to both ships by supporting galleys of the two respective fleets, captured. Ali Pacha was wounded by musket fire, fell to the deck, and was beheaded by a Spanish soldier. His head was displayed on a pike, severely affecting the morale of his troops. Real captured the "Great Flag of the Caliphs" and became a symbol of the victory at Lepanto. The kit Dusek’s La Real is packaged into a long, very sturdy and attractive box with a nice glossy-finish lid which depicts a completed model of this famous galley, along with finished dimensions. The side panels also contain a further four smaller detail shots of the finished model. Lifting the lid reveals a clear plastic compartmented tray containing rigging cord, resin and fittings etc. Also seen at first look are the bundles of strip-wood and dowel, sailcloth pack, bundle of plans with a flag sheet, and lurking underneath are the timber sheets, wrapped in white plastic sheet. The hull of La Real is double-planked, and our first bundle of timber is for the first planking layer and deck planking, with there being 50 lengths of 2mm x 5mm limewood. Material quality is first rate, with nice, clean cutting, no split or frayed edges and all material being uniform. Also, all timber bundles are held together with elastic bands and these aren’t too tight as to deform the timber. A smaller bundle contains various diameters of Ramin dowel. The material is uniform, straight and again of a high quality. A few lengths of loose dowel are also found within the box, of varying lengths, and also machined from the same quality of Ramin as the previous bundle. Whilst on the subject of dowel, take a look at this little bundle! Here we have 61 lengths of 3mm Ramin dowel. These are for the 60 oars, so a spare piece is given. You will need to taper and shape each of these parts identically, so you could ideally make use of a lathe, if possible. This bundle of timber strip is produced from walnut and caters to the second planking layer for the hull. Colour is mostly uniform, but not all due to the nature of timber, so lay these accordingly. As with the first planking, these are beautifully cut with no fluffy or broken edges. With all other materials removed from the box, you’ll note the rest of the sheet material is wrapped in a sort of thick, white clingfilm material which needs to be peeled open to reveal the contents. Inside this wrap we have all of the laser-cut timber sheets including those manufactured from ply, walnut and pearwood. A real joy to see the latter included in an off-the-shelf kit. Here we see sections for the keel, laser-cut in walnut, along with some fine laser-etched details which are quite common to this release. This sheet is either Ramin or limewood and contains a lot of parts pertaining to the rower areas, as well as the hoops which form the covered section at the stern of the galley, plus the small launch. All parts are packed in very tightly on this sheet, to the point where there are practically touching each other. Save to say there will be little material waste here! Of course, you will need to remove char from all laser-cut parts, and there are some minimal, localised heat-affected areas which should be easy to sand from the surface before you begin to remove parts. It’s worth mentioning at this stage that no parts have numbers on or adjacent to them. There are two sheets of illustrations which map out the parts for you and number them accordingly, so you will need to keep referring to this during construction. A walnut sheet contains further parts that are laser-etched. When you have sealed these, you will need to either paint them gold or, if you have the ability, gold-leaf them yourself. As with the previous sheet, many parts are quite tightly packed on this sheet. There are FOUR sheets of laser-cut and occasionally engraved pearwood here. These are very thin sheets, almost to the point of being veneer, and they are crisply cut with nice, minimal tags for removing the components. The long straight lengths you see are veneers for the deck planking. One large sheet of 3mm ply contains all of the bulkheads and false keel for this vessel. Note that the false keel is in two sections that are linked with a dovetail joint. Also, the bulkheads have two holes in them to accommodate the dowels that will pass through them and help to make the narrow hull all that more rigid. What is quite unusual here is that the bulkheads slip onto the false keel from underneath, defying convention. Like other contemporary kits, this one contains a clear plastic tray and a lid, used to house the smaller kit components. Extensive use of resin has been made here to produce the various rails and features that contain carvings. These look exquisite and underneath gold paint, will look simply superb and very indicative of the gilded ornamentation of La Real. All resin parts, including the anchors, will need to be carefully sawn from their respective casting blocks and then cleaned up before use. It’s also a good idea to wash resin before use, to clean off any residual mould-release agent that could stop paint adhering. Casting is excellent with no visible flaw or defect that I can see. Also in resin are come parts for the stern lanterns and cooking pots etc. Cast in white metal are the cannon, etc. The finish is very good with just minimal seams that will need to be filed away. A small fret of photo-etch metal is included for their embellishments. As well as a length of fine brass wire, here we see a pack containing chain, parrel beads and various eyelets. Looking at the rigging blocks, these look perfectly acceptable in terms of quality, with them looking uniform and having nicely drilled holes and machined slots. Four spools of rigging cord in three colours and three diameters, are supplied. Along with this is a thicker length of rope and a length of blue cord. As is de rigueur these days, a fret of photo-etch parts is included, with parts for the observation top, name plates, dead eye fittings, rudder hinges, to name but a few. Etch quality is excellent, but the connection tags are quite wide, so be careful when it comes to removing the parts, as there will undoubtedly be some clean-up required. A pack of sail cloth is included for you to make your own sails, and illustrations are included as to how these will be made, including sewing in a bolt rope to the edges. Whilst the sails on this model are quite large, there is ample material here to make them. Flags are supplied as prints on a sheet of a material which looks like cloth but is slightly plastic in feel. These just need to be cut out and draped to suit. They are very thin so making them look natural should be an absolute cinch. Print quality is very good too and they most certainly look very attractive. FIVE sheets of plans are included with a LOT of illustrative info supplied. You really will need to study these as La Real isn’t a model for a beginner and deciphering the various sectionals will be vital to get the most from your purchase. Every single facet of construction is shown in super detail, with key areas being shown as separate areas of detail. All rigging and masting is shown in detail, with the galley being relatively simple in comparison to a Man ‘o War of the same or later period. Sheets appear to be A0 in size, so you’ll need some bench space! Two double-sided A3 sheets show the parts maps for everything, including the photo-etch sheet. An instruction booklet takes each main step and gives some simple text to guide you on your way. A complete parts list is also included here. Conclusion La Real and her place in time, for me, have always conjured up an image of a quasi-obsolete military marine technology that had its heyday during classical Roman and Greek times. The juxtaposition it creates when you consider that the Battle of Lepanto took place whilst other European countries were sailing Galleons, really tends to put things into perspective, yet La Real and her contemporaries were fighting against an empire which was creating an existential crisis in Europe, and they won the day. This elegant vessel has been immaculately recreated first in Barcelona in 1971, and now in kit-form by Dusek Ship Kits. This is a kit of superbly high quality and with a refined excellence in design execution, using some of the finest timbers I’ve seen in an off-the-shelf kit, such as sheet pearwood, walnut etc. The pearwood sheets are almost veneer-like in how thin they are, yet still have that laser-engraved etch detail. Superb. I also very much like the resin castings for the anchors and sculptures/rails. I know that resin isn’t generally seen by model shipwrights as a legitimate material, but it works very well and provides the modeller with details that they either wouldn’t be able to recreate at all or would need to use a more 2D photo-etch to simulate. Remember, we saw resin in Amati’s HMS Vanguard that we reviewed HERE. I’m quite used to this material from my plastic modelling time and know how good it can look when used. Dusek Ship Kits’ La Real is an absolute gem of a kit and when complete, its intricacies with all of those rowing positions and the multitude of other small details in décor and fitments, will doubtless result in a really beautiful finished model of this famous vessel. My sincere thanks to Dusek Ship Kits for the review kit seen in this article. This model is available right now from Dusek, so click the link at the top of the article and remember to tell them you read about it on MSW.
  4. HI ALL I THOUGHT ID LAUNCH A NEW TOPIC TO RUN IN PARALELL WITH CHUCKS CUTTER CHEERFUL. PLANS HAVE BEEN PURCHASED AND STUDIED FROM THE NRG. PRACTICUM HAS BEEN DOWNLOADED.....I HAD THIS SPIRAL BOUND AT A LOCAL PRINT SHOP JUST TO KEEP EVERYTHING TOGETHER. BOXWOOD HAS BEEN ORDERED AND DELIVERED....IN 2 DAYS!!!!! I WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO ORDER THE PRECUT PACKAGE FROM CROWN TIMBER.......HOWEVER WHILST I DO NOT DOUBT THE QUALITY OF JASONS PRODUCTS THE COST OF DELIVERY PLUS 20% VAT AND POST OFFICE HANDLING FEES WOULD HAVE PUSHED THE PRICE TO CLOSE ON £400. I USUALLY USE A COUPLE OF COMPANYS FOR TIMBER ONE BEING ARKOWOOD AND THE OTHER BEING TIMBERLINE IN KENT ,UK. I PHONED TIMBERLINE AND SPOKE TO BOB GIVING HIM A LIST OF REQUIREMENTS ( SCANTLING LIST IN BACK OF PRACTICUM) ALL IN IMPERIAL DIMENSIONS. THAT WAS YESTERDAY MORNING. AT LUNCHTIME TODAY TNT TURNED UP WITH A NICE BIG PARCEL. ALL BOXWOOD TIMBER PROCESSED TO THE RELAVANT THICKNESSES IE THE CLOSEST METRIC EQUIVALENT. THE 1/4 INCH THICK WORKS OUT AT 6.35MM.......AND IT IS!! THE SAME APPLIES TO ALL OTHER THICKNESSES. HOWS THAT FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE? I CAN HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOB AND HIS TEAM HAVING DEALT WITH THEM FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS NOW. THE ONLY THING WORTH MENTIONING IS THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO PLANE A STRAIGHT EDGE ON SOME OF THE TIMBER SHEETS.....HOW HARD IS THAT FOR A MODELMAKER?....AS THE SHEETS ARE CUT FROM A FAIRLY ROUGH SAWN BILLET. I DIDNT ORDER ANY 1/16 AS IALREADY HAD SOME ON STOCK. THE 1/32 IS MAINLY FOR DECK PLANKING FOR WHICH I INTEND TO USE SOME ENGLISH HOLLY. AND THE PRICE FOR ALL THAT LOVELY BOXWOOD (IN 1METRE LENGTHS) ? INCLUDING VAT AND DELIVERY IT CAME TOO £164 A SIGNIFICANT SAVING FOR ME. BUILDING BOARD HAS BEEN PREPARED SO I GUESS WERE READY TO START. BUT FIRST FOUR NIGHT SHIFTS HAVE TO BE GOT OUT OF THE WAY! CHEERS............MICK
  5. Background It has been suggested that I should post a retrospective build log for my diorama of the sinking of the US gondola Philadelphia during the Battle of Valcour Island, Lake Champlain, in 1776. The final result is shown under “Diorama” in the gallery of completed scratch builds. A retrospective log may be unusual, but I hope that there are one or two ideas that others may find useful. If too many people get fed up with it, I’m sure they’ll tell me. The story started when I saw the Philadelphia in the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Although she sank in 1776, she was recovered in 1935 and is now on display, complete with the 24pdr British cannon ball that sank her. The Smithsonian has published a set of plans which I obtained (with some difficulty!)... .....but Philadelphia is a pretty basic and crudely built barge, and I decided that it wouldn’t make a very interesting model on its own. However, there is a modern painting by Earnest Haas of the US galley Washington standing by the Philadelphia and taking off the crew (Photo 4), and it struck me that this would form a good diorama. Washington was captured later in the battle, and the Admiralty, as was common practice, took off her lines. The draft is now in the National Maritime Museum in UK, and has been reproduced in a number of books. (I should add that my model was built before NRG published the plans for Washington). Although both vessels were small (Philadelphia is 53’7” OAL and Washington was about 80’ OAL), I have run out of room for large glass cases, so I decided on a scale of 1:144. (......to be continued)
  6. I usually scratch-build RC ship models of the 19thc. Recently, my interests changed to earlier time periods where I have little source material. So, I'm posting here for your help. I've read/viewed some great build logs here of earlier ship types. I hope my efforts may add to that interest. I'll begin to post my research that I need to do to determine what the model will look like. As far as I know, no plans exist of a of Irish Galley c.1580. Historical background: It’s hard to research Irish Maritime history for several reasons. At first glance, you’d think it wouldn’t be. It is an island. Of course, they’d be interested in the water and boats. But, that has not been the case. They are a culture that has been suppressed for over half a millennium. Since English King Henry VIII in the 1500s, Ireland has been under siege and then conquered by a policy called Surrender and Regrant. Later, there was the Plantation Policy by Queens Mary and Elizabeth I. Their language, customs, laws, and certainly history have altered to demoralize them through the filter of a conquered nation. Any state promotion of an anti-English history (which this model represents) was suppressed. And this in turn, lead to a perpetual rebellion against a corrupt authority. One of those rebelling clans was the O’Malley clan in western Ireland in the County of Mayo. In the 1500s and as it had been for many centuries, Western Ireland was the far west of western Europe. So far west, that it was not even conquered by the Romans or Vikings. This gave the Island a longer period of insolation to form their own customs than any other peoples of Europe. Ireland never had the unifying force of the Roman government and army. Various clans ruled and warred amongst themselves for limited control of limited parts of the Ireland. The O’Malley clan was one of those Western clans. They ruled over the baronies of Murrisk and Burishoole. They were somewhat unique in that their power came from a combination of warriors to control land and seafarers to trade and war on the sea. This gave them the ability to trade not only with other clans but also other lands. It’s recorded that they travelled to the ports of England, France, Spain and Portugal. Theirs was no small enterprise. English State Papers record O’Malley maritime activities from the mid-1200s to the early 1600s. Some of their vessels, oared galleys, were recorded to hold 300 warriors. That is a significant size vessel of the 16th century. The most famous of the O’Malley clan leaders, called chieftains, was a woman called Grace O’Malley. She lived from circa 1530 to 1603. It is her life I find the most interesting. Because she grew up when the old Irish customs were still in force in Ireland. But by the time she ruled and for the rest of her life, England was conquering Ireland clan by clan. Usually, it a was a process of the superior English power making deals by granting money and titles to those who would submit to them with the least effort. Often clan was pitted against clan with the backing of English power on one side. In the midst of this upheaval, Grace refused to submit her clan to this transition and warred on land and sea against the English. She is called in English State Papers as a “nurse of all rebellions”. The clan motto in Latin, a common language of the educated in the period, proclaims their importance with Terra Marique Potens. This means Powerful By Land and Sea. The vessel: It is stated many times that this clan used galleys or oared rowing craft. But, what type and how large? Surely a clan that was known for ‘piracy’ by the English were not using the same vessels for trade and warring. ...more next time.
  7. 1:72 Ragusian Galley 18thCentury MarisStella Available from MarisStella for €147 plus shipping The Republic of Ragusa was a maritime republic centred on the city of Dubrovnik (Ragusa in Italian, German and Latin; Raguse in French) in Dalmatia (today in southernmost Croatia) that carried that name from 1358 until 1808. It reached its commercial peak in the 15th and the 16th centuries, before being conquered by Napoleon's French Empire and formally annexed by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1808. It had a population of about 30,000 people, out of whom 5,000 lived within the city walls. Its Latin motto was "Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro", which means "Liberty is not well sold for all the gold". The Dubrovnik galley was an integral part of Dubrovnik's war fleet, which in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, had only a few small warships (at most ten), operated solely because of frequent harassment and looting by pirates and cargo ships at that time. The Galleys were stationed in Dubrovnik and Mali Ston. Other Croatian coastal centres had this type of ship, along the eastern Adriatic coast: Kotor, Omis, Senj, and others. The Dubrovnik galley was driven by both wind and rowers (Galiot), who were both sailors and soldiers, as was appropriate, but there were also condemned criminals that rowed the State ships. Their main feature was their speed, and they were used for military, police and customs purposes, courier services, and for the transport of diplomats and senior civil servants. They were also used for the transportation of goods at the expense of the State. The kit MarisStella’s kit range is currently undergoing an upgrade, and most certainly in terms of their boxing. This one comes to me in its original incarnation, with a deep midnight blue thin card lid with all printing and imagery in gold ink. This does look quite stark but very attractive. I’m told that the new appearance will have finished model imagery on the box. MarisStella have said they will send over examples of the upgraded kits for us to look at on MSW, so we’ll get to see those changes first-hand in the next months. This release comes in a fairly weighty box, and lifting the lid off, we are first presented with a product leaflet, sheet of printed flags and a thick 122-page manual which is spiral-bound. All of these items sit on a cardboard tray which when lifted out, reveals the kit materials below. A large cardboard cover first needs to be lifted out to access the kit itself. Inside, several bundles of timber and dowel sit on top of two laser-cut sheets of plywood for the main bulkhead and keel construction, two sheets of laser-cut walnut, several fittings packets, another very thin sheet of laser-cut ply, one fret of photo-etch brass parts, pre-sewn sails, and a packet of rigging cord. Apart from the main sheets of ply and the timber bundles, all other elements within this kit are packed into clear sleeves that are either stapled closed or heat-sealed. My sample arrived with everything in good order. This POB model is designed very traditionally and is constructed around a 3-part false keel and a set of 15 bulkheads. The ply used for this is 4mm thick, and like all other parts on the main two constructional ply sheets, everything is very cleanly laser-cut, with an absolute minimum of scorching. One thing I noticed on all of the ply sheets is the laser-engraving and marking of where other components will fit to. I quite like this approach as it helps to ensure correct and precise construction throughout. That engraving has also been put to good use on the display stand elements that can be seen on these two sheets. These are also supplied in English, Italian and Croatian text, and contain a little engraved scroll work. You may opt for something a little glitzier with your build, but then again you may be perfectly happy with the parts that MarisStella provide here. In between the various bulkheads, some 8mm² lengths of lime have been included that can be cut to length and wedged in to keep everything straight. I believe some of the other kits have lengths of dowel which slot continuously through the bulkheads. I would’ve liked to have seen similar here, but at least the timber is included. It is also suggested that this material be cut up and used to create the bow and stern filler blocks, although you might like to use balsa for this purpose. Two sheets of walnut are supplied, one of which (the narrower and thicker sheet) contains the keel components. Although you will need to cut the rabbet into these, the positions for this are engraved onto the parts and the manual clearly shows how this is done. The other walnut sheet is lighter in colour and thinner than the previous, containing parts for the gun carriages, rail cap strips, cabin bulkhead, and transom, channels etc. Again, and where appropriate, more engraving is present for constructional accuracy. All walnut sheet timber is of high quality with good grain that shouldn’t split etc. A very thin sheet of birch ply is included for the head rails, transom and cabin door detail etc. All strip stock in this kit is also of the same standard, with numerous bundles of timbers of different sizes and types, including European Walnut for the hull planking. There is some natural variation in the colour of the walnut planks, so I would look at possibly grouping them, so wood of the same tone is used the same for both sides. This model also has a single-planked hull, unlike the double-planked that we so commonly see these days. However, the deck is double-planked, and the planks sit directly atop of the bulkheads, with no thin ply deck to lay first. The second layer of deck planking is supplied as beech strips. Various lengths and diameters of dowel are included, and all supplied in walnut. These are tightly grained and have excellent natural colour. This is one model that really would benefit from having sails fitted, just to highlight the elegance of the shape. A feature of MarisStella kits is that the sail material is pre-sewn. By this, I mean that the shapes are lightly printed to a piece of pre-aged sheet and the inner stitched lines are present. All you need to do is to cut out the sails and sew the outer edges. Sail colour is akin to natural linen and looks good to use without any further ageing trickery. Two anchor packs are included. These contain a metal anchor that is painted black, a separate walnut stock, and some brass bandings that would look nice if they were also blackened. Another pack contains 3-eye rigging blocks, single blocks, eyelets, belaying pins, and parrel beads. There is some colour variation in the block colour and all look to be made from walnut. One length of 1mm brass wire is included in one fittings pack, as are two 4mm cannon for the bow. These are finished with an antique patina and may benefit from being blackened in some way. I would use Gunze Dark Iron paint which is then burnished to an iron finish. A reasonably thick sheet of photo-etch parts is also included, containing head rail decoration, transom decoration, rudder straps etc. Quality is again excellent, with reasonably thin tags to remove the parts from their positions. Tag positions are the only clean-up that will be required with these parts. A single packet is included that contains four spools of natural finish rigging cord in 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1mm diameters. One length of 1.25mm is included separately, as is a 1mm length of black rope. Every vessel of course needs a flag and both this and a pennant are supplied here, laser-printed in colour onto paper. You’ll need to furl these realistically and they could’ve done with been thinner, possibly from tissue paper, but will still look very attractive when flown. Instructions This 121-page spiral-bound A4 manual also has a clear plastic cover to protect it. Each of the constructional stages are illustrated by generally uncluttered CAD line drawings that are annotated in English, Italian and Croatian. Some drawing details are a little small, such as the eyelet positions, footplates etc. so maybe magnify those a little. A very comprehensive section on making the sails is also included. Illustrated construction takes place over 83 pages, and this is then followed by the building instruction text and list of parts. Plan A large single sheet plan is included that contains pretty much every dimension/measurement you'll need and the line drawing quality is excellent. To prevent any piracy, I have only included a portion of that plan here, with no bulkhead shapes. Conclusion A very nice kit of a very unusual subject. I’ve seen so many model ships of antiquity, but this is one that seems to bridge the gap by being of a generally ancient style, whilst being an 18thCentury vessel. MarisStella’s design is nice and easy to follow and is coupled with high quality materials and drawings. In all, an excellent package that will provide many hours of pleasure for a very reasonable price. As this is single-planked, I would recommend this to intermediate modellers. My sincere thanks to MarisStella for sending this kit out for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the page, or head over to your local MarisStella stockist.
  8. I am taking a break from my HMS Alfred to build the Washington Galley from the NRG plans. I will start with the obligatory shout outs: - The plan set by Jeff Staudt is fantastic. - I am using the timber package in Swiss pear from Crown Timberyard. The wood from Jason is beautiful and has been great to work with. I am also planning to use some of the extra castello boxwood from my Lumberyard Alfred timbering set, which is also very nice. - I have learned so much from all the build logs on this site, and I wouldn't even know where to start on a build like this or Alfred without all the tips and pictures from everyone. Thank you to all. Adam
  9. Hi all, welcome to my build. This will mostly be a pictorial rendition of the Washington. Every body likes pictures. I'm not going to tell this crowd how to build ships. There are other excellent build logs of this ship in progress and I'm pretty sure this will not be better than those but I will do my best. This is my first scratch build so I'm riding the learning curve. Feel free to over suggestions,criticisms ect.. or ask questions. The main structure of the vessel is going to be Cherry. I'll use Holly for the deck planking, Swiss Pear for the hull planking and some Walnut for the Wales and deck bits. This should give some nice color contrast. I did the keel in three sections as "Yamsterman" suggested did make the rabbit much easier to work. So without any farther Adieu here are some pics.
  10. Hey howya goin all, this will be my forth build log of a ship. I bought these plan from NRG's website <--- Click here, I got this to help support the site and give me my first try at scratch building. It is a good first scratch build ship to cut your teeth on, I do recommend it, it's not to expensive aswell, you get 10 sheets of plans with all the frames already worked out for you, you can download the timber list and a monograph on how to build her. I will be building this ship just after I start my longboats, one thing good about getting this from NRG is the timber list is already done for you, all I have to do is decide what kind of timber I want to use and I've been thinking about this alot, Iv'e decided to use Castello Boxwood for most of it, and ebony wales and railing, don't know yet what to use for the decking maybe holly. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS just a few things you will find in the monograph Figure 1 - Building Board 9 Figure 2 - Keel Construction 10 Figure 3 - Finishing the Keel 10 Figure 4 - Bow Construction 10 Figure 5 - Stern Construction Figure 6 - Placing Keel on Building Board 11 Figure 7 - Alignment Fixture at Bow 11 Figure 8 - Square Frame Detail 12 Figure 9 - Placement of Midship Frame 12 Figure 10 - Frame Alignment Procedure 12 Figure 11 - Frame Construction Detail 13 Figure 12 - Aft Frame Bevel Detail 13 Figure 13 - Square Half Frames at Bow 14 Figure 14 - Square Half Frames at Stern 14 Figure 15 - Installation of Gun Deck Transom 14 Figure 16 - Installation of Cant Frames 15 Figure 17 - Installation of Counter Timbers 15 Figure 18 - Installation of Transom Beam 15 Figure 19 - Installation of Quarter Deck Transom Figure 20 - Stern Transom Completed Figure 21 - Bow Cant Frame Installation 17 and Filling Pieces 16 Figure 22 - Hawse Piece Installation 17 Figure 23 - Bow Completed 17 Figure 24 - Keelson at Bow 18 Figure 25 - Keelson at Stern 18 Figure 26 - Keelson at Midship 18 Figure 27 - Hull Framing and Deck Clamps 19 Figure 28 - Main Mast Step Installation 19 Figure 29 - Mast and Capstan Step Locations 20 Figure 30 - Limber Passage at Midship 20 Figure 31 - Limber Strake and Board Figure 32 - Limber Strake and Board Figure 33 - Thickstuff and Planking at Midship 22 Installation 21 Installation at Stern 22 Figure 34 - Thickstuff and Planking Figure 35 - Breasthook Installation 23 Figure 36 - Crutch and Riding Bitt Installation 24 Installation 23 Figure 37 - Elevation of Platform at Midship 24 Figure 38 - Platform Installation 25 Figure 39 - Well Assembly 26 Figure 40 - Well Installation 26 Figure 41 - Shot Locker Assembly and Installation 27 Figure 42 - Stove Assembly 27 Figure 43 - Stove Assembly and Installation 28 Figure 44 - Hold Components Completed 28 Figure 45 - Gun Deck 29 Figure 46 - Deck Beam 29 Figure 47 - Gun Deck at Well Location 30 INTRODUCTION The Continental Galley Washington was a lateen-rigged, two-masted row galley built in the autumn of 1776 on Lake Champlain at Skenesboro N.Y. On October 6 1776, she joined the small fleet established and commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. The fleet consisted of schooners Royal Savage, Revenge and Liberty. Also the sloop Enterprise, and 8 gundalows outfitted as gunboats: New Haven, Providence, Boston, Spitfire, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Jersey, New York, and the cutter Lee. Washington was among three row galleys built, the others being the Congress and Trumbull. During the Battle Arnold commanded the fleet from the galley Congress. A couple of pics of the plans.
  11. The galley Washington will be my very first ship model build. I decided to start with a scratch model as I know I will enjoy making everything myself. I'm sure there will be a lot trying and failing, but that's part of the learning process, and It will just make it a little more challenging. I bought the NRG plans and they are very thorough and nicely done. I would have preferred the frames to have been shown as parts rather than drawn as complete to save making so many copies for the patterns, but it's no big deal and I am quite happy with them. I downloaded the excellent free practicum to guide me through the build and also the material list. I had some planks of basswood) that I use for figure carving and so I decided to use those for my main building material. I have some other species for trim, wales, etc. I have gotten all the materials dimensioned and sanded, so I am ready to go. So far I have made the keel, bow, and stern and mounted the construction on a building board. I followed the practicum for the building board set-up. It was great to learn that the work was very enjoyable and with the added advantage that I can do most of it while sitting down, which is an advantage at my age. I hope to start with the first frames tomorrow. You might notice my first mistake in my progress photos below. I extended the rabbet all the way to the to the back of the stern post instead of stopping it where the stern post meats the deadwood. Luckily I can fix this, so I don't have to do the whole keel over again! Any comments, including criticism, are very welcome. I would also like to point out that the POF build logs you folks have posted have been a great help to get me started, including the several wonderful Washington build logs. I wouldn't have tried ship modeling if it weren't for the massive amount of know-how available on this site.
  12. Hi everyone I am wondering if someone knows the best place to get a brass or any metal galley chimney /stack / flue / ventilator / funnel that I can add to my little revenue cutter. Stack should be like 3/4" length tops at 1/64 scale. Havent seen too many of themthey seem surprisingly hard to come by so maybe one of you knows a decent company or version that may have them. I already checked corwall uk. Closest Ive seen is this one below. Charlie
  13. Hi everyone! I've just started my third model ship, a scratch-built Roman quadrireme, as the title says. The model is in 1/48 scale, and will have a total length of 40 inches. It will be constructed mostly of basswood, but it will be stained and sealed to eliminate any unsightly fuzziness. Additionally, a sizable portion of the hull on the starboard side will be left un-planked, in order to show the inside of the ship. I'm basing my model primarily on drawings by John F. Coats, the naval architect who designed the reconstruction of the trireme Olympias. However, he apparently never drew a reconstruction of this particular type of ship. Anyways, I'm hoping to end up with something that looks sort of like this: But, unfortunately, this isn't actually a J.F. Coats drawing; it's based on several of his drawings, but it was created by someone on another forum. Even more problematically, it gives only one cross-section, and no top view. So, for the hull, I am using this drawing of a Roman quinquereme: I also prefer this hull form, which lacks the odd projection at the front, where the ram is mounted. Due to the lack of concrete historical evidence about these ships, I have a considerable amount of leeway with this sort of thing. And, since I don't have a real set of plans, a lot of this build is going to be based on other models, illustrations, and books. So far, I haven't done much besides the keel, which, as you can see, is much simpler in its construction than that of a later sailing ship. To give a sense of scale, the keel stock is 1/8x3/16". (Don't worry, my sloppy pencil marking next to the cut will be sanded off. ) It isn't perfectly aligned with the plans in these photos, but the curves do match up. I've also completed most of the curved stern section of the keel, but I haven't got a photo handy right now. I'll try an update this log with some degree of regularity, but it all depends on my progress, of course! In the mean time, comments, questions, and especially suggestions are welcome! By the way, for those who may be interested, photos of my previous model ship can be found in the MWS gallery here. Thanks for looking! Sharpie
  14. History: Source DICTIONARY OF American Naval Fighting ships There had been eight different ships named USS Washington.The third Washington—a lateen-rigged, two-masted galley—was built on Lake Champlain at Skenesboro N.Y., in the autumn of 1776. On 6 October 1776, the galley joined the small fleet established and commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Washington—commanded by Brigadier General David Waterbury, Arnold's second in command—was among Arnold's ships that anchored in the lee of Valcour Island to await the expected English move. When that lakeward push began, Capt. Thomas Pringle, RN, led a 25-ship fleet past Valcour Island on 11 October. Pringle sighted the American fleet after he had passed it and attacked from leeward. In the ensuing action, Washington suffered the heaviest damage of any ship in Arnold's fleet; Waterbury, her commander, subsequently reported that she was ". . . so torn to pieces that it was almost impossible to keep her above water." Arnold regrouped his shattered fleet and slipped past the British on 12 October with muffled oars, the Americans slipping noiselessly past Pringle's fleet in a desperate attempt at escape. However, after a long chase, the British caught the retreating Continental force the following day, on 13 October, at Split Rock near Crown Point. Arnold managed to beach and destroy four of the galleys and his own flagship, Congress, while most of the remaining ships escaped upriver. Only Washington —at the rear of the van—was captured by the enemy; she struck her colors, as Arnold reported later, "... after receiving a few broadsides." Washington was eventually taken into British service, apparently retaining her name, and was re-rigged as a brig. Her subsequent fate, however, is unrecorded. The Model: The model was designed by Jeff Staudt and is one of several he designed in a series of models of ships used during the war of 1812. The building board I use is a gantry type and I thought I would include a couple pictures of it with the framing plan in place.

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

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