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Aft Magazine Section by DocBlake - 1:32 Scale

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This will be a build log for my next project, a 1:32 scale model of an aft magazine including a light room, filling room and powder room. I will use a variety of hardwoods for the project, avoiding paints and stains.

The plans are, once again, drawn by Jeff Staudt.

As Jeff states in his practicum:

"No specific ship, rather a concept showing the various components that make up the magazine, and how it's fitted into the vessel.
She's built using a different approach. Rather than make the hull framing first and build the magazine in place, it will be added last and act as the display "cradle" for the finished model. "


18th century shipwrights were faced with two major issues when designing the magazine for ships; Keeping the gunpowder and contents stored there dry, and that of safety from the danger of any open flames of candle light or being hit from shot by enemy fire during battle. Thus they were typically fitted low in the hull below the waterline.

The magazine consists of three distinct compartments. Generally speaking, they are the:

Powder Room – This large area was used to store the kegs of gunpowder. Depending on the size of the ship a large amount of highly explosive content would be kept here.

Filling Room – This room adjoined the powder room and was used to fill, store, and distribute the powder cartridges for the ships guns.

Light Room – The means to illuminate the powder and filling rooms. This area was completely isolated from the other two, with a separate scuttle, or passageway to access it.

As the build progresses I'll get into more detail of the construction of each area.


The magazine will be located in the Aft portion of the ship with the light room farthest to the rear, progressing forward to the powder room. The finished model will be displayed looking inboard from the starboard side. "

Here's a look at part of the plans and a photo of Jeff's prototype:












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Interesting. I believe that access to the magazine was by a passage with two separate doors that opened outward. This was a precaution against accidental sparks or detonation from outside blowing in. The doors would blow shut in such an event. Direct access from above via a companion ladder would be very dangerous!

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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I think you're right, Druxey, but Jeff's whole concept of the ship's framing is stylized.  Just three frames with scarfed joints etc.  The hatch and ladder is for visual interest and not historical accuracy.  I may opt out of that detail when the time comes.

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Thanks, Michael!


Construction begins with a base deck which supports the magazine. I chose cherry for the beams supporting this deck. There are eight beams altogether, and there is framing beween two of them to create two scuttles, which allow access to the bilge for repairs or to clear debris. Laying out and planking this deck needs to be precise, so the plans provide for a jig to hold each deck beam perpendicular to the center line and a fixed distance from each other. The final photo shows the beams resting in place. The beam ends are beveled 11 degrees in the horizontal plane and 45 degrees in the vertical plane (not yet done in this photo).  The scuttles have also been framed in.









Edited by DocBlake
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I began planking the magazine deck with 1/4" X 5/64" boxwood planking. This translates to 8" in scale width. The planking will be treenailed. I use a paint pen to paint the edges of the planking black. Any excess scrapes off easily with an X-Acto knife. Since this is a magazine, no iron or steel was used for anything -including fasteners- because of the danger of sparks igniting the gunpowder. All metalwork would be copper.

The decking for the magazine is on several levels, each supported by it's own set of beams. The main powder room (where the two scuttles are) will have palleting on the deck, set into rabbets in the framing.




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I always appreciate your judicious choice of woods. I will follow this build with interest. 😊



'You are not carving a bear with a chain saw here folks',

Chuck Passaro, ´Queen Anne Style Barge´ manual of instructions


Current builds :


Finished build :


Next on list :

  • Santa Maria boat - Korabel (Ukraine) - 1:24
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Thanks for the "likes" everyone!


The final step in completing the decking for the magazine begins with framing the light room and filling room floors. I then used boxwood planking for the deck. I need to add some treenails and when that is complete, I'll start on the powder room walls and palleting.







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Thanks for all the "likes" guys!

After the planking was completed, I began to treenail. Much of the planking will be hidden or obscured, so only the most aft portion of the magazine (the light room) will get treenails. I used a #58 drill and toothpicks glued with CA.

Next up is the most difficult and challenging part of the build: Laying out, constructing and planking the wings which will form the side walls of the powder room and filling room. This is going to take a while!




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  • 2 weeks later...

The "wings" form the side walls to the powder room and the filling room.  They are constructed by fabricating stanchions known as "watercourse chocks" which are then planked over.  They arise from the deck at a 45 degree angle and angled 10 degrees from the centerline of the ship.  These wings will be the toughest part of this build by far.  They are topped with the perforating board, and from there the sidewalls go straight up.  The first picture shows a plan view and longitudinal view of the chocks.    The second photo is  cross sections of the wing at a few levels.  The last photo is some blanks, cut at 45 degrees and 10 degrees to form the compound angle.  Next up it to build a jig so I can uniformly cut the top of the watercourse chocks correctly.




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I drew lines on the deck depicting the inboard location of the watercourse chocks.  As you can see from photo #1, in the aft most position there is little deck surface for the chocks to grab when glued in place (see arrows).  I decided to add a "toe board" of box wood to make assembly and gluing easier.  Photo #2 shows the wing assembly under construction.



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  • 1 month later...

The lower wing assemblies (minus the perforated boards) are complete.  Next I need to add two watercourse stanchions to the filling room deck on each side, glue the wings in place and then add the perforated boards.



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