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HMS SERAPIS by PMG - Aeropiccola


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Hello,

Some days ago Steve started his Log about his HMS SERAPIS. There are a lot of things to say about that kit.

So, I am happy to start this Log about a construction I started almost 30 yaers ago and I never finished. May be I will do it now.

Around 1984 or 1985 I acquired the HMS SERAPIS kit from Aeropiccola. At the time it was an expensive kit. It costed me about the equivalent of 500 Euros. It should be much more today.

But, I always dreamed to build an english frigate. And this one was not only a frigate but also a two-decker... I had always been afraid to build the poop galleries and this kit offered an apparently nice solution with the preformed wood  pieces.

The quality of the kit appeared to be excellent. Fine wood, nice fittings etc.

Here is a picture of my HMS SERAPIS as she is today.

post-1601-0-46920700-1367153063_thumb.jpg

In a further log I send you more pictures and I start to discuss a number of issues I encountered with this model.

Pierre

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Here is a picture of the poop in preformed woodfoam(?).

post-1601-0-37284400-1367154576_thumb.jpg

I was relatively happy with the result. But it doesn't assemble like mechanical parts...

Here is another view: the forecastle. I wonder if the bulkhead existed actually. You can also see that I added a galley.

You see the chimney (of course not on the drawings).

post-1601-0-88020400-1367154740_thumb.jpg

And, finally, the type of problems I have to face now.

One of my cats appreciated very much one of the catheads.... . I didn't kill the cat when discovering that, but I was obliged to make a new cathead (still not in place).

post-1601-0-46313300-1367154897_thumb.jpg

 

I come back later with a first issue interesting to discuss: the scale of the model.

 

See you soon,

Pierre

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Hello Pierre,

 

It's great to see you have restarted the build of this beautiful ship.

I am confident that your issues will be solved and your questions answered.

 

For one, you have Steve to accompany you on this build. You can help each other.

And you have all of us.

 

Will you please put a link to this buildlog in your signature?

 

I wish you luck with this build. Enjoy and happy modeling.

 

Take care,

 

Anja

Those we loved but lost are no longer where they were, but are always where we are.


In the gallery: Albatros 1840 - Constructo

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Thank you anja for your encouragement.

As you know, I am a (very) slow builder and handling two big ships at the same time is a challenge. But the encouragement of friends are giving me the taste to go ahead.

 

Let's speak about one of the first issues of the Serapis kit: THE SCALE.

I found no scale indication neither in the attached drawings, neither on the box. The answer needs some research.

I was interested by this strange type of ship and it is relatively difficult to find documentation about. Too small to be a ship of the line and too big to be a simple fregate.

I discovered that the type was developped at the occasion of the American Independence War. From far away, the ship was taken for a two-decker but on the other side she was able to enter in the rivers to ennoy the american coast shipping.

The HMS Serapis was designed by the famous naval architect Slade (as is, by the way, HMS Agamemnon). 

I finally found in "Ships of the American Revolution and their models" by Harold M. Hahn precious indications about my ship.

Not precisely the Serapis, but the HMS Roebuck launched also in 1779 and also designed by Slade. A lot of points of comparison convinced me that it was almost the same ship with an exception for the quarter gallery.

If I go and look on the HMS Roebuck drawings presented by Hahn, I see that the gun deck is approximatively 139' long. ( it means precisely: 42,367mm).

On another hand, the drawings supplied by Aeroppicola show a gun deck of approximatively 655mm. The ratio between the two is 1/64,7.

Taking into account the possible innacuracy of my measurements on small drawings, I think that we can conclude that the scale of the model of the HMS Serapis is 1/64.

I checked against other parts (like the masts by exemple) and I arrived every time at the same conclusion.

1/64 is also a scale very communely used by kit manufacturers, and the probability that Aeropicccola used 1/60 seems to me very very low.

 

Next time, I am intended to speak about some anachronical mistakes and, by the way, the number of supplied guns.

 

Pierre

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Another issue I feel interesting to discuss is the DOUBLE PLANKING.

Steve tells that he will start soon the second planking.

The drawings of Aeropiccola I got in my kit are dated 30-9-70.

For me, they don't mention a second planking of the hull.

By the way, I got in the kitbox no wood for doing it too.

My conclusion is thus that this kit (mine anyway) is a single planking hull.

See a picture taken from the drawings.

post-1601-0-62790900-1367227360_thumb.jpg

 

Attached also another picture of the present status of my ship I shall try to place on the Kevin's link.

 

post-1601-0-22054000-1367227514_thumb.jpg

 

Pierre

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Hi Pierre,

 

What a little stunner she is, do you know who she's made by.

 

I may concider her for my next period build after I have renovated J Coustoe's Calypso ( not really my cup of tea ). I need to check on Caldercrafts HMS Surprise first.

 

Calypso was given to me by a relative who didnt know what to do with her, she is carrying a fair bit of damage, a new track for me.

 

mobbsie

mobbsie
All mistakes are deliberate ( me )


Current Build:- HMS Schooner Pickle

 

Completed Builds :-   Panart 1/16 Armed Launch / Pinnace ( Completed ),  Granado Cross Section 1/48

Harwich Bawley, Restoration,  Thames Barge Edme, Repair / Restoration,  Will Everard 1/67 Billings 

HMS Agamemnon 1781 - 1/64 Caldercraft KitHM Brig Badger,  HM Bomb Vessel Granado,
Thames Steam Launch Louise,  Thames Barge Edme,  Viking Dragon Boat


Next Build :-  

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Hi Mobbsie,

HMS SERAPIS is really a nice ship. The kit was made by Aeropiccola from Torino (Italy).

I acquired it almost 30 years ago. I have seen on the buildlog of Steve that they are out of business, but it seems that some company in the US is selling some remakes.

Now, the hull of the kit is perfect, and you recognise easily the beautiful lines of Slade, but the kit contains some "horrors".

I made, with the years, more or less extensive documental research on the 44 guns fregate, and I tell you some, just lke that:

- this ship could'nt have closed bulwark like shown on the kit

- the ship couldn't carry 10 9pdrs guns on the quarter deck (as provided in the kit)

- boats hanging on davits is something that appeared only around the year 1800, and the ship was actually lost in 1779!

- the masting and rigging is based on a model of 1805

- the steering wheel shoud be located in front of the mizzenmast and not after.

and so on....

Thus a lot of small things, not too difficult to correct, if you know.

I am intended to detail all of them in this Log. It is for the coming days...

Pierre

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Hi Pierre

 

Nice to se you starting a buildlog after so long time.

I did the same  as you after my Dragon was sitting about 25 years.

Your building skills looks very good, and you have made a very nice model.

Will be interesting to follow your build.

 

Børge

Current build(restore, bashing)
BB582 "Dragen" Scale 1:12


On hold: BB534 Bolougne Etaples Scale 1:20

Not started: Model Shipways MS2040 USS Constitution 1:76

 

:piratebo5: 
 

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Hi Pierre,

 

Thank you for that information, and understand your pain as far as the build is concerned, you do have the skills to remedy those faults but in the end should you have to.

 

I know you already have the kit and so are trapped but I will have to think long and hard before I take it on, I do have other kits in mind so may well leave this one alone.

 

Thanks again for the info.

 

mobbsie

mobbsie
All mistakes are deliberate ( me )


Current Build:- HMS Schooner Pickle

 

Completed Builds :-   Panart 1/16 Armed Launch / Pinnace ( Completed ),  Granado Cross Section 1/48

Harwich Bawley, Restoration,  Thames Barge Edme, Repair / Restoration,  Will Everard 1/67 Billings 

HMS Agamemnon 1781 - 1/64 Caldercraft KitHM Brig Badger,  HM Bomb Vessel Granado,
Thames Steam Launch Louise,  Thames Barge Edme,  Viking Dragon Boat


Next Build :-  

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I come back on my post where I said that HMS SERAPIS was designed for a single planking.

I made some research on internet and I found that some kits were still available. And on some of them it is specified that the planks are provided for a second planking. That should be nice.

These are probably more recent editions of the kit than mine where it is absolutely not foreseen.

On the same way, I see that sometimes the scale 1/60 is also mentionned. It is not written on the boxes, neither on the drawings, I suppose.

There, I am more formal, I am pretty sure that the scale is 1/64, as demonstrated before.

I am adding a picture of the small frame I made using scrap wood to position more accurately the preformed wood pieces at the poop.

Pierre

 

post-1601-0-60875900-1367442640_thumb.jpg

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Hi Pierre,

I'm just following along.  This is an interesting project.  As I understand it, the drawings for her at the NMM are "incomplete" and that Aeropiccola based a lot of the decoration work on contemporary paintings.  It's just fascinating to see this one being built.  I have the Roebuck plans from Hahn and the NMM so even though they are the same class, they are similar but different. :)

 

I hope you'll decide to finish her.

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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Hi Mark,

Thank you for your post. The HMS SERAPIS kit is indeed an interesting project and worth to spend some time in historical research.

I think that the NMM drawings are fully correct, but they surely lack on information, surely about masting and rigging.

I am convinced that the kit designers have taken from "The anatomy of Nelson's ships" by C. Nepean LONGBRIDGE the missing information.

And that's the origin of the anachronisms you find in the kit. I will come back later on the subject.

But it is amazing to see how much the drawings of the kit are more or less (adapted of course) as those from Longbridge's book.

The problem, is that Longbridge describes a 1805 version of the Victory, and the Serapis was lunched and lost in 1779...

I am, by the way, convinced that HMS Serapis couldn't have the plain quarter deck bulwarks, even as it appears on a contemporary painting. But everybody knows that these paintings were often made 15 or 20 years after the event...

The Roebuck was the closest ship to the Serapis I found. Of course, the stern is different. The Serapis being a little bit younger, the designers had abandonned the second row of (fictive) windows. But otherwise, the armament, the general dimension and probably the arrangement are more than likely the same.

The measurements, I am talking about in a previous post, are not too accurate because they have been taken from Hahn's book and that's not very easy.

However, I am still convinced that the scale of the kit is 1/64.

I found another demonstration in the sizes of the guns. On the attached picture, you can see a (mounted) 9pdrs from the Serapis kit compared to a (black) 9pdrs barrel from the Agamemnon kit. And they have exactly the same size.

post-1601-0-42718900-1367573573_thumb.jpg

(sorry for the poor quality of the picture)

Pierre

 

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I show you here another feature of my HMS SERAPIS.

On the Aeroppicola drawings you can see that the lower deck gunports are closed and it is not foreseen to opens them.

I managed to build a dummy deck, I opened the gunports and I made wooden gummy guns. My intent was to present my ship with either opened either closed lower gunports.

The next picture shows a detail of the hull. The gunports (hurted with the time...) need to be correctly repositionned.

post-1601-0-21089700-1368132296_thumb.jpg

 

Pierre

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I show you another problem I had with my Serapis: fixing the channels.

I did it using PVA. But, when I fixed the chains, they were pulling (not too much, but enough) on the channels.

I think I shall retry using CA. I should like to leave the chains in position, because they are well placed.

I don't like at all to use CA because you don't have enough time to careful place the piece, but in this case, I am well obliged.

post-1601-0-96397200-1368697694_thumb.jpg

Pierre

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Pierre,

What a great bash... real guns on the lower deck and not dummies.  I love that. As for the channels... my only advice is "be very careful".  I'll hold my breath with you while you fix them.

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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Hi James

 

I thought I read somewhere that the Serapis was originally fitted with 44 guns but just before going into battle at Flamborough Head she was refitted with 9 more cannons...

 

I'll see if I can find the article that mentioned this...whether its true or not we'll have to ask Capt. John Paul Jones! LOL

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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Hey James I found one article which is wiki and it says the following: Serapis was commissioned in March 1779 under Captain Richard Pearson. On 23 September she engaged the American warship USSBonhomme Richard under the command of Captain John Paul Jones in the North Sea at Flamborough Head, England. At the time of this battle, the ship carried 50 guns, having an extra six 6-pounders.[3]  

 

The armament originally was 20 x 18 pounders on the lower deck, 22 x 9 pounders on the upper deck (later upgraded to 12 pounders) and 2 x 6 pounders on the forecastle.

 

Steve

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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James? Chris? LOL My kit was advertised as double plank on frame and it came with an extra bundle of walnut for the 2nd planking. I think in the English instructions that came with the kit it also mentioned the double planking....and I am so close to that stage....well I have been that close for over 15 yrs but who's counting?

 

My kit although it does not say on the plans is supposed to be 1/60 scale as advertised I believe in the old catalogues.

 

So Pierre's 1/64 may be more accurate... I'm not too worried. I just want to finish it and get going on the other 15 kits! LOL

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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Hi Chris, Hi Steve,

Very interesting discussion indeed. Thank you, gentlemen.

Steve is absolutely right about the original armement. It is highly improbable, in fact impossible, that these ten 9pdrs have been carried by the quarter deck.

But, at the time I realised that, it was to late, and my bulwalk was built.

So I managed to buy two smaller guns (I hope they are 6pdrs) to be positionned on the forecastle as chase guns.

Later, I wondered if the additional gunports were not there for carronades. You now that carronades were never accounted in the number of guns of a ship.

So I made 4 larger openings in the quarter deck (like on the frigate Diana for example) to accept carronades. They are still 6 gunpots to much.

May be, if I find them, I shall place 6pdrs.

About the scale: I like to believe that's 1/64 because it is then consistant with my HMS Agamemnon, and, by a lot of arguments, I try to convince myself (and you too) that's the right scale...

My kit, probably coming straight from Italy, was never speeking about a second planking, and of course, it was not supplied. They were also no instructions except the drawing sheets (in italian). Probably, they changed later for supplying in the US.

post-1601-0-73129300-1368977617_thumb.jpg

Pierre

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I summarise, once for ever, the historical discrepancies I found in the Aeropiccola kit:

- closed quarterdeck bulwalk (not applied on that type of ship in 1779)

- Nelson checker as hull painting scheme. Appeared only around 1800.

- steering wheel located after the mizzen mast (should be in front of)

- boats on davits (appeared also only around 1800)

- ten 9pdrs guns on the quarterdeck. Surely too heavy. May be carronades, but less than 10. And missing 6 pdrs as chase guns on the forecastle.

- masting and rigging copying the N. Longbridge' Victory drawings. By example, the iron rings reinforcing the masts should be replaced by ropes. Iron was only used much later.

- missing galley and chimney.

- closed forecastle. It is unlikely that the there was a bulkhead in front of the galley.

- coppering. HMS Serapis was known to be the first ship of that size leaving the shipyard coppered.

 

However, the Serapis kit remains a nice piece, and if you are not too far in your build you can more or less easily correct the most obvious mistakes.

Despitely, I discovered most of them a little bit late and I have to live with an "hybrid" ship.

(by example, I already painted the Nelson's checker - not easy to do- and I am not intended to change)

Pierre

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Hey Pierre

 

I have been thinking about the 10 gun ports on the quarter deck. I have read a few articles on the internet, that some ships had more gunports than guns on the quarter. I thought I read where there the Serapis had 5 pairs of gunports (10 gunports) and had only 4 or 6 guns on the quarter deck. Could this be why there are the 10 gunports on the kit? Is it possible that depending on which side the ship was attacking that they would move a couple of guns over to that side from the other side to beef up the armament in battle?

 

Steve

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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Hey Pierre

 

I forgot to mention to that there seems to be davits on French ships of that era, 1780's There is no reason to think that if Serapis was being built at the time that she might not have been given davits as an experiment? Possible? Maybe...

 

I agree that the kit is missing the galley smoke stack.

 

Still not sure about the helm being in front or rear of the mizzen mast. I have seen both placements for the helm in frigates of that era.

 

Steve

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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Hello Steve,

HMS Serapis is really an interesting ship.

There is a fact that there is not very much information available as the ship was lost in her first trip.

I know that she was experimental concerning the coppering. A large number of heavy guns on the quarterdeck seems to me unlikely, they must probably be carronades (relatively new at the time) and , may be, four 6pdrs..

Closed bulwalk and Nelson's checker seems very improbable too. When looking carefully to the drawings I got really the impression that the italian designer of the kit took most of his inspiration with the Victory of N. Longbridge.

OK for the davits, may be, but the absence of launch, pinnace or more significant boat than the two small supplied yawls seems strange to me.

If I could redo it, I surely should cut the closed quarter bulwalk and make an open version a little bit like what did Barbossa for his HMS Diana.

It should be interesting to have the possibility of having a look on the original drawings at the NMM, but I don't know how to do that.

Anyway, its a fine kit....

Pierre

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Hey James

 

Unless we can time travel, or come up with a photograph, which is impossible, it is all speculation. Even if there were actual ship drawings still around from which she was built, does not mean that changes during construction didn't occur. All we know is what has been written which tends to show she was a 44 gun  ship later upgraded with 6 more guns...total of 50 guns

 

My kit shows 26 guns per side, 10 on the lower deck, 11 on the main deck and 5 on the quarter deck. The 10x 18 pounders on the lower deck, and 11x  9 pounders on the main deck and 2x  6 pounders on the forecastle are in sync with the Wiki description in early British service.

 

The turrets in the forecastle do not show guns in place but I would suspect they would have a been rigged to take guns, probably 6 pounders. 

 

Here is something that makes sense to me. The article on Wiki says in French service she had been upgraded to carry 24x 24 pounders  and 22x  18 pounders plus 6x others for a total of 52 guns...that is equal to what my kit shows...could it be that the Serapis model is actually modelled after the French captured version?

 

Steve

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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I agree with Chris. We have to consider the kit as generic.

But Steve is right too. May be that the kit designers tried to represent the Serapis under french flag. And, as she had been severely damaged, it is not improbable that she received major changes (such as a closed bulwalk) during refitting.

Under british flag I don't think that she received any changes. She was launched in March and lost in September.

On another way, the number and size of guns given by wikipedia for the french period seems to me very irrealistic.

One of the major problems of these 44 guns ships (class Roebuck) was that they were very low on the water, and, except in fair weather, it happened often that they could'nt even use their lower deck guns. With such an overweight like suggested by wikipedia I think that sailing and fighting qualities of the ship were very very poor.

Thank you for the interesting discussion.

Pierre

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Hey Pierre

 

Just to clarify, HMS Serapis was launched in early 1779 and lost to the Americans in September 1779 but remained seaworthy and JP Jones returned her to the French where she sailed another 2 years and then lost in July of 1781 to fire.

 

And apparently during the time right after Flamborough Head she was then refitted by the French.

 

Cheers

Steve

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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Pierre

 

I agree that the refit by the French probably slowed her down and made here a well armed barge. It would be interesting to do a computer generated model of her to see how these changes would have affected her speed etc!

 

Steve

Built:

Charles W. Morgan - Artesania Latina  1/50

Pilgrim 40 Trawler - Scratch  1/24

RCMP 40' Trawler - Scratch  1/24

Flower Class Corvette - Matchbox/Revell 1/72

 

Current:

HMS Serapis - Aeropiccola 1/60

 

Future:

NEW! Just Added: Friesland - Mamoli  1/75

San Felipe - Mantua/Panart  1/75

BonHomme Richard - Aeropiccola  1/50

Wasa - Corel   1/75 

HMS Victory - Mamoli  1/90

HMS Unicorn - Corel  1/75

 

 

 

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Hello Steve,

I made a little bit of research and here is the result of.

I looked in Brian Lavery's book and also in a site called "histoire-de-fregates.com/chroniques.carronades" (this article is written in english).

Weights:

32 pdrs gun   56 cwt   2845 kgs

24 pdrs gun   48 cwt   2438 kgs

18 pdrs gun   43 cwt   2184 kgs

12 pdrs gun   30 cwt   1524 kgs

 9 pdrs  gun   24 cwt   1219 kgs

 6 pdrs  gun   17 cwt    864 kgs

18 pdrs carronade   10 cwt   508 kgs

32 pdrs carronade    17 cwt  864 kgs

42 pdrs carronade     assumed 1200 kgs

68 pdrs carronade     assumed  1500 kgs

 

If we look to the design armament of the HMS Serapis (class Roebuck), we have:

20 x 18 pdrs      43680 kgs

22 x  9 pdrs       26818 kgs

  2 x  6 pdrs         1728 kgs

Total                72226 kgs

According to a new rule, it seems that during the construction time of Serapis the upper deck guns have been changed from 9 pdrs to 12 pdrs.

So, it becomes:

20 x 18 pdrs      43680 kgs

22 x 12 pdrs       33528 kgs

  2 x  6 pdrs         1728 kgs

Total                78936 kgs

Then, in July 1779, a new regulation was issued, fitting the 5th rate ships (44 guns) with 10 carronades.

2 x 18 pdrs carronades on the forecastle: 1016 kgs

8 x 18 pdrs carronades on the quarterdeck: 4064 kgs

In total, we arrive to 84016 kgs and... 54 guns as mentionned in the litterature and as shown on the kit.

It's already a famous weight but it is still realistic.

It's probably in such a configuration that the battle with the Bonhomme Richard occured.

I have to stop now, I continue later in another post.

Pierre

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