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Hello all! This will be my build of the Continental Gunboat Philadelphia. A brief history of her is taken from the model shipways website. "Launched in August of 1776, the gunboat Philadelphia is the oldest American fighting vessel in existence. Part of the American fleet commanded by General Benedict Arnold, she sank on October 11, 1776 during the Battle of Valcour Island against the Royal Navy on Lake Champlain. She remained sitting upright in the cold waters of the lake until she was raised in 1935. Today, she’s on permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., complete with 24-pound ball that sent her to the bottom. " Length 26-3/8” Width 13-3/4” Height 24-5/8” Scale 1:24 (1/2” = 1 ft.) The actual gondolas built by Benedict Arnold were armed with two nine pounders, one twelve pounder and a few swivel guns. Arnold's gondolas were around 53 feet long with 15 1/2 foot beam and 2 foot draft. An overview image from the website is the following. The first few steps were pretty simple. I removed the parts I needed for the keel, stem and sternpost and glued them together. The keel was very straight with no noticeable war page. I sanded most of the laser char off. The pieces of wood that form the rabbets are pretty simple to carve. I just used an Xacto blade and a sanding block. There are also the visible parts of the stem and sternpost a which get narrower towards the ends. I have yet to make these rabbets at the bow. That's it for now. Thank you for looking in!
I've begun this build as a companion to the Syren build log I started earlier. I had planned to co-construct the Pinnace or the English Longboat but apparently these models are rather challenging (in the words of mikiek (December 8): "You know, I remember thinking about this kit right before I bought it. Looking at it online, I figured it would be a cinch to knockout. A small footprint. No rigging. A cheap price. How hard could it be? "WRONG!") So I put those two boats aside and looked for something larger for my inexperienced fingers and found the Gunboat Philadelphia. I knew I was on the right track when the kit arrived: the Pinnace box easily fits inside this one. Time now to review this forum's currently available build logs for this kit: Elijah (in progress), Brucealanevans (finished) , MarkCC (on sabbatical), Chuck Seiler (as of 2015), and Steve. Y (finished). Jonathan
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)
Greetings all....I'm back!!! Model Shipways Kit (modified) Scale: 1:24 1/2”=1’ Circa: August-October 1776 Happy Moon Day!!! I am starting my build log on the 45th Anniversary of the Moon Landing....just because. I don't actually plan on building until the first or second week in August, so I can do some summer stuff. I will be doing some pre-build planning and I may add my thoughts here. I wanted to get started early so that my small but dedicated band of followers can find a seat. Background. This will be the SECOND time I built PHILDELPHIA. The first time I did so as a scratch build based on the Model Shipways plans. I will refrain from going into why I chose PHILADELPHIA and save some bandwidth by giving you the link to my scratch build (if I can figure out how to do it). Chux scratch Philly. It was a fun build, but I had some challenges. I have found that there was an additional sheet that comes with the model that does NOT come when you buy the plans separately. This includes all the templates for bulkheads and other pieces parts. Thanks alot Model Expo for not including that!!! At any rate, it was an interesting build. I entered it into the County Fair Design in Wood Exhibit (Scale model class) and actually got an offer to buy it. By then, I was too attached to it to sell. I offered to make a model from the kit, with boxwood and holly replacing the planking and primary exterior wood, as in the scratch. I figured with the kit as a guide and my experience from the previous build, I could build it much faster and I could correct some problems...both with my build and what I perceived to be with the plans. It also gives me an opportunity to work in a larger scale. Some of those corners got really tight at 1/4" scale. History. Again, so save bandwidth, I direct you to Philly History. PHILADELPHIA and the history behind it is fascinating. It (and its associated fleet, not to mention many of its adversaries) was built in a few weeks. It 'lived' only a few months. IIRC only PHILADELPHIA and ROYAL SAVAGE were the only two ships sunk during the battle, but within a week or two of the battle the entire American fleet was sunk, scuttled or captured-but it was considered a strategic American victory. A century and a half or so later, it was discovered, raised and preserved. It exists today, on display in the Smithsonian Institution. NOW your interest is piqued, eh. I think you REALLY want to go to Philly History and read more about it. Other suggested readings include: The Gunboat Philadelphia and the Defense of Lake Champlain in 1776. by Lundeberg, Philip K. The Gondola Philadelphia and the Battle of Lake Champlain. by Bratten, John R. Benedict Arnold's Navy, by Nelson, James L.