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Byzantium by qwerty2008 - RADIO - Scale 1: 20 - based on the Pride of Baltimore

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Hello this is my first post on the new forum. I had a build log for the Byzantium on the old forum. do to a recent move I have not got much work done since the old forum went down. To sum up what was lost when the old forum went down I printed out the line drawings with my dads vinyl sticker machine. I cut the formers from some scrap plywood with my bandsaw. I ripped the planks from an old fence board with my bandsaw. I glued the planks together on the formers. I fiber glassed the hull then sanded half of the hull. today I started work on the Byzantium again now both sides of the hull are sanded and the model is ready for Bondo, which is still at the other house so I wont have it until the 20th when the next load of stuff comes up from the other house. I don't have my computer hooked up to the internet yet so I only have the pictures that I took today but I will post the older pictures when I get it hooked up to the internet.


Edited by qwerty2008
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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got off the phone with my dad he left the old house and is on his way up here, he forgot my can of Bondo :(. Now I will have to wait two to three weeks until the escrow is over on the old house and he comes up for good.

Edited by qwerty2008
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Qwerty I am a little confused, the last two pictures show the decking and a hull that has no Bondo on it are they the same hull? Am I in a time warp?



The hull is only fiberglass-ed on the outside, the deck and the inside of the hull are bare wood.


Time to bombard you with questions.

1. Any suggestions on how to frame the deck?

2. Should I re-cut the formers and put them back in the hull?

3. Or should I build a frame for the deck from scratch?

4. If I use the formers what should I use to support the hull when sanding? (I currently use the formers)

Edited by qwerty2008
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1 Perhaps a couple of pictures showing the formers and how you are presently using them.

2 Are you intending to have the whole deck lift off?

3 If you are not going to lift off the whole deck will you be creating an opening that will lift off to access the controls?


1. I have attached some pictures below.

2. No, the deck will be permanently attached to the model.

3. Yes, the main hatch grating (see Mini Byzantium) will lift off so I can access the electronics.



The model just sits on top of the formers.


The formers are screwed on from the bottom of the build board


Edited by qwerty2008
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Ok now I see what you are doing.


So if it was me doing this I would add some strips of wood to the inside of the sheerline to strengthen the edges so that I could glue in some deck beams I would also think about taking the middle four formers and cut the centres out and fit them permanently into the hull That would strengthen the whole hull.

As far as sanding it would be easy enough to use some Styrofoam sheet and use it to place the hull onto when you go to sand.


This is just the way I would approach it, which is not necessarily the best way, but once you seal the deck in place it will limit your access if you are only going to have that small hatch to get into the hull. The inside of the hull will also need to be fully sealed before you do attach the deck.



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Michael Thank you for reminding me to seal the inside of the hull first before I attach the deck. Things could have got very difficult when I try to seal it, if you did not remind me about this now. I will wait on the deck until I get more fiberglass for the inside of the hull.

    I bought the dowels to make the lower mast sections today and will hopefully get started on the mast and associated fittings(mast steps, cross trees.....) soon. The dowels are surprisingly lighter than I thought they would be.

Edited by qwerty2008
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Qwerty, you'll find that despite the large scale of the model (1:20) there's not going to be a lot of room inside.  The depth of the hold is minimal with all that drag to the keel.  Back aft there's almost no place to install steering gear.  Because of that, in my 1:20 Pride of Baltimore I built the hull much the same way and left out the frames.  Two were cut down and reinserted as a motor mount and bracing for the daggerboard trunk.


A deck clamp was glued in set down for the thickness of the plywood deck plus the sheet bass deck planking.  This clamp was the same pine I planked the hull with.  The deck beams were installed and additional pieces were glued in between the beams.  In effect, the clamp is laminatedand the beams are morticed in.


The actual main hatch on Pride I wasn't large enough to be practical for an RC sailing model - the battery wouldn't even fit through the scale hatch, much less my hand.  The model's hatch is about 8 x 15 inches - about the same as that on my 1:36 scale Constellation model.


below the deck clamp and beams in place on Pride.  Part of the hull form is bracing the daggerboard trunk for the removable keel and external ballast; another part is the motormount at the bottom of the photo near the purple pencil sharpener



below the main access hatch is much larger than the scale main hatch so I can actually access something :)



The plywood deck is another matter.  You have to bend it in two planes; sheer and camber, something plywood doesn't like to do.  I cut groves about an inch apart and half the thickness of the plywood on the underside of the subdeck to allow it to take to the camber. 



The subdeck has since been divided into sections because the "plumbing" for routing the control lines, sheets, steering tackle, etc, has to be installed as the deck goes on.  This way I don't have to have it all in place at once but can do each section and make adjustments as I go.  There's tubes for routing the main sheet, fores'l sheets, running main stays, heads'l sheets, tops'l braces, etc below to the servos and winches that will control the rig and rudder.

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Jerry the main hatch grating will be approximately the size of your access hatch.

    I still haven't figured out every thing about how it will look when its done I might add more smaller gun ports between the regular ones to make it look like somebody cut more gun ports after the ship was made. I am planning on adding some swivel guns too. Or I might add a lot swivel guns instead of the extra cannons. I still haven't fully decided on a color scheme or insignia yet.

   I tapped the dowels inplace to get an idea of how big it will be when it is fully rigged.


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I started on the foremast. First I marked quarters on the round dowel then I cut down to the marks making the end square. Next I took some wood left over from the model farm wagon I am building and boxed the top of the mast to make it larger.

    I also made the dolphin striker and am wondering how it would be rigged. My drawings don't show spreaders but I know that it will probably need them. I might make the spreaders next.






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I started on the second mast and decided this time to take lots of pictures along the way.

I used a peice of paper with creases in it to mark were to cut too to make the square.

Here I am cutting down to my lines with a razor knife.


The square after being cut with the razor.


After sanding with 80 grit.


The wood for boxing the top of the mast from an old set of window blinds.


I used a small block plane to remove the finish.


I also used the plane to square the edges.


The prepared wood.


Gluing the pieces of wood to the front and back of the mast.


Gluing the pieces of wood to the sides of the mast.


using the plane to trim the edges.


the end cut too length.


the end cut too accept the cap.


The mast hung on my closet door next to the previous one.


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Does anyone know how the bowsprit would have been rigged on the Pride of Baltimore or similar vessel? are the spreaders like the Pride has on its bowsprit a more modern thing? if so should I make a single yard attached to the bottom of the bowsprit?


Thank you in advance.


Lextin H. AKA qwerty2008

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By 1800 speaders were in use as sprits'l were going away.  The Chesapeake schooners, or Baltimore Clippers, had long nearly horizontal bowsprits that couldn't mount a sprits'l - no room below it.  A dolphin striker and spreaders were standard fare.  Netting on the other hand, didn't start showing up until the 1840's or so.  The original Pride didn't start out with bowsprit nettings, but got them after soon after her first cruise down island for the safety of the crew.  That low long bow sprit on that low almost sheerless hull was a dangerous place to be in a seaway.

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Since I am trying to hit the late 1700s (Jerry's post made me realize that I chose too modern of a ship to base the Byzantium on) what would be the best option?

I made mockups of both spreaders and sprits'l yard to see what would look best. I still cant decide.





Edited by qwerty2008
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Thank you Jerry, I have actually been using the sail plan from your website to get the approximate spar dimensions but its printed on a piece of 8 by 11 inch printer paper so scaling it up is rather difficult and not exact :( also I didn't tapper the lower sections of the mast because I figured that it would be two hard to do with the mini planes but after seeing how easy it was to tapper the smaller spars I am starting to second guess myself :(.

    I might change the sail plan to include a flying jib boom but I don't know how to rig one jib let alone four on the same servo. I want to make it more heavily armed as well, how many guns :pirate41:  (9 pounders and smaller) and swivel guns do you think the crew for a vessel this size (80 feet at waterline) can handle? also how big of a crew could I cram into this vessel if it were full size?


Lextin AKA qwerty2008

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Um, there's 3 heads'ls; forestays'l, jib, and flying jib.  You'll need to make the main tops'l, fore t'gallant, and flying jib removable except when the air's are light.  You might be able to shorten the foot on the forestays'l and jib to minimize the overlap.  A sliding sheet would work well in that case; that is the sheet runs through the clew grommet and back to the servo in a loop.  A pair of knots or beads on the sheet on either side of the sail grab the clew and sheet the sail home when the servo's nearly at full travel.  Using this, you shouldn't need booms on any heads'l.


There were several historic privateers the size of Pride (90' on deck) armed in various ways; a swivel gun amidships could be a 12, 18, or 24 pounder, or even a 32 pounder Carronade.  4 and 6 pounders in the broadside was most common - remember these boats were meant to intimidate merchantmen, not go toe-to-toe with men-o-war - although a few did.


You ought to look up Tom Gilmer's "Pride of Baltimore" ISBN: 87742-309-1 and Howard Chappel's "The Baltimore Clipper" ISBN: 0-51202484 (I have a paperback version of this one you're welcome too if you'd like it)

These books go into the history of the type, how they were built, armed, and used.


One thing to remember if you're looking at my model, either of the actual Prides, or any "recreated Baltimore Clipper" that may be sailing about now-a-days; NONE OF THEM were/are built, rigged, or fitted out like a Baltimore Clipper of the early 1800's - they were/are all modern vessels with modern adaptations; for instance:


They all have wire standing rigging which will be much thinner, noticeably so, than natural rope rigging was on the originals.

They have cabin trucks all over the deck for crew and passengers when the originals would have had little or nothing in that regard.

Many, including the first Pride, had "roll-bars" made of steel tubing on the taffrail for the boom to sit on - none of the original boats would have had such things.


The point is, are you modeling a Baltimore Clipper or a modern recreation?  I'm doing the latter, I think you're after the former.  You should keep this in mind in line with the level of detail you're after and the simplifications needed for a working model.


BTW: Can you open an Excel spreadsheet or should I put this spar table in a PDF?

Edited by JerryTodd
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I was thinking of extending the bowsprit so it would have three spars and adding a fourth jib or moving the third jib out further. I took a quick look at what I was thinking of doing with the bowsprit and it turns out that the fore mast on the ship is actually set further aft making the bowsprit look longer so I will probably skip this idea.


By swivel guns I meant the small bulwark mounted guns I made a mockup one out of a cannon off my failed Constitution. I am trying to find out how many guns/ swivel guns I can put on the model without overcrowding it. I will try to find some 6 pounder plans that I can use.




The cabin structure on the deck will be replaced with a skylight and the main hatch will be made larger


You ought to look up Tom Gilmer's "Pride of Baltimore" ISBN: 87742-309-1 and Howard Chappel's "The Baltimore Clipper" ISBN: 0-51202484 (I have a paperback version of this one you're welcome too if you'd like it)

Yes that would be nice, I cant seem to find detailed information on the internet for these types of ships.


Yes I am trying to build a Baltimore schooner/privateer not a recreation.


I do have excel but it is only a trial version and will only let me view and print, this should be enough right? I also have adobe PDF viewer which is what I used to print the Triton cross section plans.


Thank you.


Lextin AKA qwerty2008

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