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Dan's excellent work on his chain pumps prompted me to post these photos from Model No. 43, the Swan class model in the Naval Academy Museum collection. Keep in mind these chain pumps were made over 250 years ago by hand. No photo-etching. Of course these Navy Board models were built by teams of the best craftsmen of the time and the chain pump was no doubt made by a master jeweler.





Admiralty Models

moderator Echo Cross-section build
Admiralty Models Cross-section Build

Finished build
Pegasus, 1776, cross-section

Current build
Speedwell, 1752

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And this is our challenge: if they could do this with no advanced machine tools, can we do any less?


I think we have forgotten just how skilled many craftsmen and skilled artisans were in the past. I believe that their skill was predicated on a greater amount of time honing their skills and being taught the value of doing a job with the greatest care and attention, and not necessarily the fastest cheapest way. 


250 years ago some extremely fine optical and scientific instruments were made, not to mention clocks and watches, so I am not surprised by the quality of work done then.  I am more surprised by that same quality today.


We seem to be living in an instant world that is in a constant hurry to finish everything at the lowest cost. What I find so refreshing about this hobby is that this hurry is for the most part ignored.



Current builds  Bristol Pilot Cutter 1:8;      Skipjack 19 foot Launch 1:8;       Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 14 1:8

Other projects  Pilot Cutter 1:500 ;   Maria, 1:2  Now just a memory    

Future model Gill Smith Catboat Pauline 1:8

Finished projects  A Bassett Lowke steamship Albertic 1:100  


Anything you can imagine is possible, when you put your mind to it.

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  • 8 months later...


Thanks for this post.

I am doing resurch at the moment on chain pumps and this helps a lot :)

Also found a page in PDF format.. It's quite large but it's worth a read if at all interested in chain pumps.




Regards Antony.

Best advice ever given to me."If you don't know ..Just ask.

Completed Mayflower

Completed Fun build Tail boat Tailboat

Completed Build Chinese Junk Chinese Pirate Junk

Completed scratch built Korean Turtle ship 1/32 Turtle ship

Completed Santa Lucia Sicilian Cargo Boat 1/30 scale Santa Lucia

On hold. Bounty Occre 1/45

Completed HMS Victory by DeAgostini modelspace. DeAgostini Victory Cross Section

Completed H.M.S. Victory X section by Coral. HMS Victory cross section

Completed The Black Pearl fun build Black Queen

Completed A large scale Victory cross section 1/36 Victory Cross Section

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