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As time goes by; How do ships age?

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For my small side project I was researching about the aging of ships. Unsually we tend to display the ships in a freshly build and painted state. Some bold versions show the ships in quite "wrecked" appearances. But I do believe, that most of their life, the ships were somewhere in between.


This made me have a closer look. I chose the following 3 ships, as I knew, that there is quite good documentation in the web.


First the Neptune in Genove (Google pictures: Neptune/ship/genova), light wooden hull








Funny to compare the freshly painted version with the neglected one. Nice to see the better condition in protected areas like underneath the channels. Exposed areas like underneath the cathead look much more tattered. Was this also on seagoing ships that extreme or is this more of a harboring effect? But also ships spent long times in harbor do to waiting, winter sleep or being in ordinary.



And the Gotheburg (Google: Gotheburg, ship), dark wooden hull







By the dark hull, the effects are not as visible like on the neptune. Funny to see the fresh scratch marks on the whales in some of the pictures


Then theHMS Surprise (Google: surprise, rose, san diego), painted hull






and my favorites:




Also here by the degradation of the paint, one can exactly tell which year the picture was taken ;-)

The difference in between the fresh and the tattered is amazing.

Nice to see bleaching, rust, chipped color, algae on the waterline, patches and so  


Also do not forget: Ships were build over some period, where the wood was alraedy exposed. So even a brand new ship usually was unlikely to show fresh wood in larger areas. But therefor repaired areas would stick out. On the other side I have never seen the patchwork on deckplanks like often shown in plastic models.


Amicalement, Daniel

Edited by dafi
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Another side project Daniel, with three Victory's on the stocks, how do you do it. :rolleyes:


Excellent photo's tho' to assist the weathering of models.


During the Napoleonic era, I suspect most British Ships on blockade duty took on a very weathered look. Refit intervals stretched way over time, and often with very limited local repair facilities.


Contemporary writings record the parlous state of many ships on Blockade and patrol duties, reporting such things as the Quarter Galleries lost or severely broken.


Captain Rose of the Agamemnon whilst on the South American Station in 1809, wrote a report on the 'deplorable' condition of the ship, citing such things as movement in the standard knees and hooks, much decay in the lower deck ports, broken metal work, and beams working loose in the clamps.


One can imagine that a ship returning from many months at sea looked far from Shipshape and Bristol fashion.


I suppose a more modern comparison would be the look of of A Flower Class Corvette in 1942 after a winter in the North Altantic.



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Thanks B.E. :-)


Do not forget the repairs done on sea. Plenty of reports in the logs. If my memory serves me well, Captain Mars complaint shortly in his log that "rain spilled the fresh paint" (Not to mention the french broadside that spilt more shortly after including his life, source: "The voices of Trafalgar")


As I do not expect the paints having the same color qualities as today, I guess for a very patchworky appearence in repainted areas.



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