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Greenwich Hospital barge of 1832 by druxey - FINISHED - 1:48 scale

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Now for something a little different: the Greenwich Hospital ceremonial barge of 1832. There is a draught in the RMG, formerly NMM, collection of this lovely sleek barge that makes an attractive subject. (Image allowable use by RMG.) Normally such small craft are modelled at a larger scale, but as I've been building at 1:48 scale for decades, why stop now?


This is a part-time 'fun' project between other professional work, so this log may be rather sporadic. 


The first task was to develop a workable set of lines from the rather sparse draught. There were relatively few body sections (somewhat fanciful, as it turned out!) and no waterlines. One item that tripped me up for a while was what appeared to be the line of a 'knuckle' on the half breadth. While it more or less fitted the fore body, I could not get this to reconcile aft. Eventually I saw two very faint lines on the body plan: it was, in fact, a proof diagonal. Duh! Once I'd figured that out, everything fell into place and a fair hull form resulted.


The clinker planked hull will be built on a plug, so basswood was prepared to exact thickness for the two half-hulls, less the thickness of the keel, stem and stern posts. One interesting complication is the pink-style extension of the stern (see sketch). 


Next up: cutting out the various lifts and assembling them.





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She's got beautiful lines, also a very fine entry. Would guess that she was fairly easy to row.


I also like that you are building her in 1:48.

It is something that I have decided for all my possible future builds, I want to build all my models in 1:48.

That way one can get a good comparison and idea of relative size etc. between them.


I will be following this build with interest.





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Thanks for the comments and 'likes', everyone.


The next step was to cut out the various lifts. Copies of the half breadth were rubber-cemented on to the prepared blanks. The blanks were also paired together with rubber cement and cut on the scroll saw. The photo shows one half of the plug dry-assembled with the other half laid out.


The overall length of this hull is a little under 10".




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Thanks, folks. Yes, Joel, there will be cushioned seats and drapes, as well as a certain amount of giltwork. No unicorns, alas.


Mark: the two hull halves are so that a central spacer can be inserted. The remaining slot will hold the keel, stem and stern in place while planking up. All will be revealed in time! Certainly making the plug in two halves helps maintain symmetry as well.

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Well, some progress. The first photo looks confusing, but what i've done is rubber cement on the offcuts to the assembled lifts in order to be able to scroll-saw the profile of the boat. The second photo shows the profile cut into the starboard half-hull. The third shows both half-hulls cut and ready to shape. The last photo shows the central spine elements laid out for cutting. (The elements of this were not delineated on the original draught, so I had to be my own master shipwright.)


More anon. Thanks for the 'likes' and comments.





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Michael: I'm planning on using Castello boxwood for all the elements. Usually I plank in holly, but the scantlings are so light on this craft that I need all the mechanical integrity I can get. The keel is only 3" square - 1/16" actual before cutting in the rabbet. (This instalment coming soon to an MSW site near you!) 

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This is where I wish I were building at a larger scale!


First the central spine elements were cut from 3" thick stock, with the exception of the stern post. This was cut from 4½" wood. The keel is very light at only 3" square and has a 1" rabbet cut into it. To prevent total insanity, I cut a scratch moulding contour into a piece of hacksaw blade. By rubber cementing the blank to some scrap board, this held it firmly. I cut the rabbet in for most of its length. To prevent an uneven rabbet, I cut the steel profile so that it bottomed out on the board at the correct depth.


The stern post was tapered from its full thickness at the top to 3" at the foot. All the various scarph joints were then fitted using - believe it or not - a ½" chisel. When I was satisfied with them, I glued up stem, keel, stern post and stern standard or deadwood. The rest of the rabbet was carefully cut using a scalpel blade and very well-honed chisels. The bow was especially challenging at this scale, as the planks come in almost parallel to the stem.


There may be a hiatus before the next instalment as I now have restoration work in the studio, and that has to take precedence.






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Well, Druxey, I have just found your log.  I'm so glad you have decided to enter the build log fray with a very interesting and unusual subject.  Like the others, I look forward to following.


So NMM changed their name?  D I assume RMG stands for Royal Museum Greenwich?  I'll look it up.




Later:  So I see NMM is still there but a part of the Royal Museums Greenwich that also includes Cutty Sark, Queens House and the Royal Observatory - at least that the way their website is organized.  Is that your understanding?

Edited by EdT
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Some progress has been made between commissioned work. The plug central spacer was the next consideration. This is 1/16" thick and is cut away to support the central spine fore and aft. Observant eyes will note that the aft end of the plug has been modified to accommodate the small triangular transom and the wider upper end of the stern post. The plug spine protrudes above the sheer so that it can be conveniently clamped in a vice.


Next will be shaping the plug to the inside of plank.



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I was able to put in some more time on carving and refining the plug. The initial shaping was done with chisel and gouges, then smoothed with various grades of sandpaper. The sleek and streamlined form, dimensioned to the inside of the planking is almost complete. The form at the stern up to the transom was the trickiest part of the shaping. At both bow and stern, the plug is paper thin. Later this will be cut away to prevent the planks from adhering.


Next, when time allows, will be further sanding and smoothing of the plug's surface with gesso.






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