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HMS Cruizer 1828 by Morgan - Caldercraft - Scale 1:64 – modified HMS Snake kit

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I’ve had a kit of HMS Snake barely started for several years, during which time I’ve struggled to get back in to building, what has caught my imagination is a conversion using the Snake kit as a starting point.


My plan is to convert the Snake kit into a Cruizer class ship sloop of 1828, also named HMS Cruizer, which may seem odd at first sight as there already is a Caldercraft kit of HMS Cruizer of 1797.




Stay with it a moment and I’ll just put things in to context.


  • HMS Cruizer (name class) of 1797 was a two masted brig sloop, which spawned over 100 ships predicated on the same basic design.


  • HMS Snake was a 3 masted ship sloop based on the Cruizer design also of 1797, only 2 ship sloops were initially completed, although several of the brig sloops were later converted to ship sloops as the lessons of war, particularly those of 1812 showed the ship sloop rig to be more resilient to battle damage.


  • In 1826  5 more of the Cruizer class were ordered, 2 of which were to be ship rigged, but the changes weren’t merely in the rig, the ship sloops were to be lengthened, as demonstrated on the plans still held by the National Maritime Museum (http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/83740.html): Plan ZAZ3949 (attached) “Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plans, sheer lines and longitudinal half-breadth for building Childers (1827), Cruizer (1828), Favorite (1829), Hyacinth (1829), Racehorse (1830) and Hazard (1837), all 18-gun flush-decked Ship Sloops similar to the Cruizer (1797) brig. The plan was cut in two along the midship section and a new piece inserted for the proposed (and approved) lengthening for the last four ships and the alterations to the mast positions as a result. Signed by Robert Seppings [Surveyor of the Navy, 1813-1832]”


So, all I need to do is to cut the model in two and slap a bit in the middle!


Or there may be more to it than that, not only lengthen it, but also re-position the gun ports, and add raised forward and aft platforms (similar to those flush platforms found on some of the earlier Cruizer models).  Then there is the raising of the hawse holes, fashioning a new rudder, raise and re-model the stem, add 2 more Elm Tree pumps (4 shown on the inboard profile), and fabricate a bowsprit bed.


After which there is the fitting out, I’ll be going with Stud anchor chain which will mean adding chain stoppers, and for the rig adding Trysail masts which are evident on HMS Pelorus - converted in 1826 from a brig sloop to a ship sloop so the rigging and masts are contemporary with the 1828 Cruizer.


As to her career, Wikipedia states:


“HMS Cruizer was a Snake-class ship sloop launched in 1828 for the British Royal Navy. The ship was built as a revival of the retired Snake-class ship-sloops. The Navy converted her to a brig in 1831, back to a ship in 1840, and sold her at Bombay in 1849.


In 1839 Cruizer participated in the Aden Expedition along with the frigate HMS Volage and the two British East India Company (EIC) vessels, the sloop HCS Coote and the schooner HCS Mahi.


Cruizer saw extensive service during the First Opium War. She participated in the Battle of Whampoa, the Second Battle of Chuenpi, the Battle of Canton, the Battle of Amoy, and the Battle of First Bar.  During the Battle of Whampoa, Maj. General Hugh Gough, commander of the British army during the First Opium War, personally directed the land assault on Whampoa island from Cruzier's deck.


In January 1841, Cruizer recaptured the whaling brig Pilot. The local inhabitants in the Nicobar Islands had captured her in December 1840 and murdered most of her crew.  Pilot was taken into Singapore.”


I’m going to swap-out a lot of the kit supplied wood and use Swiss Pear, Box and Ebony, I won’t be double planking, but will infill between the bulkheads with balsa.  Painted components will be kept to a minimum.  Fittings are from Cladercraft, Syren and RB Models.


For reference, as well as the basic Snake instructions, and the excellent Snake and Cruizer logs elsewhere on the forum, I’m using the NMM plans and profiles, as well as the book by EW Petrejus -  Modelling the Brig-of-War Irene: A Handbook for the Building of Historical Ship-Models.  There are then a number of models and paintings available at the NMM and elsewhere to tap into.


So the first job – strip off the few planks I’ve got in place and cut the carcass in half.  But that’s for the next log instalment.


All welcome to follow along, just don't expect a fast pace, I've taken early retirement and am starting the travel bucket list.




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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...

Hi Gary,


Did you progress this project?  I ask because I also have the Caldercraft HMS Snake (my next build I think) and I am thinking along the line of building perhaps one of the other ships in the Snake/Cruizer class, rather than just out of the box so to speak.

Edited by AJohnson
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