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HMS Surprise by Mayohoo - Artesania Latina - Scale 1: 48, after Aubrey-Maturin series (First wooden ship build)

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Hrs 828-840

This thing is complicated and the AL directions are awful (see above). I decided to use a combo of the HMS Victory and the Jotika HMS SUrprise model at their website.



Oh, here's the pork pie I had in Plymouth. Reminded me of Lucky Jack eating a pork pie with mustard...



I liked the blue trim, so am working on getting the edge painted just right.


The AL pieces have the notch on the wrong side of the V, so I broke them and reglued facing outwards.



Then began adding trim.




Initially tried a thinner peice of wood up top, but it looked cheesy so I ripped it out and started again. (no pics)


Getting the top piece was difficult because the wood does not bend that well inspite of soaking and heat.




Finally getting there, but it is slow going.

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Hrs 841-851


So building up the bowsprit area.post-549-0-09311000-1412305749_thumb.jpgpost-549-0-69358700-1412305748_thumb.jpgpost-549-0-30210200-1412305748_thumb.jpg


Then developing the yellow striping, used styrene for flexibility. Note painted original black and then added trim.




Then blue trim with yellow edges; these were difficult to get clean.




Looks pretty good for a first time effort. Hard to get the trim exactly parallel, but works with some careful manipulation and clamps. Off to bed. :D

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Hrs 852-856


Boomkins, or to the Land of Oz (munchkins, get it?)


So, I followed the Jotika version mostly and added the boomkins.



The scrollwork will be custom made to the paper cut out I have made as I have a friend who has a cool laser computer setup that he assures me will custom burn basswood parts based on scanning the paper piece into his computer!


Will keep you posted on how it works.


Anyway, boomkins in and dry fit the main bowsprit to see how it looks. So far so good.



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Hrs 857-859


The magic of computers and lasers. 

So I hand cut out a piece of paper, then colored it pink and scanned it into a JPEG.


Added a ruler for scale and a 3x5 card.


Because I couldn't figure out how to use the program (my Mac is too old for the software), my friend was able to drop it into a 3d software program hooked to his laser and burn the parts using basswood and balsa and cardboard.



They fit near perfectly. Am in the process of laminating, sanding, painting and then putting on to the ship. More to come!

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Hrs 860-866


Progress on the bowsprit. Many thanks to Gil who clarified the parts of the bees and blocks on his magnificent HMS Victory build. 


The first pics were tracings I took to bend the wood for the decorative trim. I eventually went to styrene for the most curved pieces as the wood was too difficult for me to get the compound curve right.post-549-0-04080400-1413608525_thumb.jpgpost-549-0-45650800-1413608525_thumb.jpg


Then I figured out why my styrene "iron" rings were so tough to create. The 0.8 is too thick (won't glue well) and the 0.4 looks too thin. The 0.6 is perfect.




Then I painted the laser cut parts.




Oh, and here is the laser...cool! Reminds me of "Goldfinger"....


Many thanks to Dr. Mark Wylam!



Bow on with heads in place and gratings in place.



Starboard side of bow.



Port side of bow.



Another port side.



Finished at last...now the Bowsprit proper.





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Hrs 867-870


Thanks to Gils instructions and diagram, the bowsprit is near done. Have the Bees and the base and blocks in to place.


First show the heads and the grates a little better.post-549-0-38288100-1413694164_thumb.jpg


Then the Bowsprit


Above and Side views






Next step: Jib boom?


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Hrs 871-873


Jib boom and bowsprit. So according to the book, the jib-boom is .41 of the length of the mainmast. Looking at the diagram, if drawn to scale there is a 40% overlap with the bowsprit. So 30 inches x .41 is 12 inches. 12 x .4 is 4.8 inches overlap. Seems long, but this is my first ship so...we'll see how she looks.


So added a screw to end to make the bowsprit distance perfect coming out of hull. WIll epoxy in when ready. post-549-0-13615100-1414042004_thumb.jpg


Looking at the HMS Victory, there appears to be some metal plates on the joint where the dolphin boom hangs down. So I did it in copper and will cover with black paint. Added iron rings to simulate attachment to the cap.




First, the flag pole 6 cm and 3 mm in diameter, tapered. Added a costume pearl from an old lost earring to the top. Might gold leaf it later?


Can see dolphin boom attached and hanging down. Added 2 trenails to reinforce the dolphin boom attachment o the cap.


Off for a few days on a business trip. Then the jibboom...

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Hrs 874-876


Did the Jibboom and the Flying jib. Also drilled the holes for the rigging in the Dolphin boom. 





Almost time to place the Bowsprit and start the rigging. 


That will be the great Adventure!

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Hrs 877-885


So after reading Gil Middletons HMS Victory build have made my first sortie into SEIZING, LASHING, and Collars.

My first attempt at non-seized Bowsprit collar, went ok after v1, v2 were junked.



FIgured out how to use the "Ships Ahoy " Seizing machine. Had to disconnect the gator clip and secure the ends to keep it from unraveling while I seized it with polyester thread. But using Gil's technique of running the seizing thread through the big rope with a dot of Cya it worked pretty well. 





Then tackled Gammon rope. I could not determine if it was seized, but Biddlecombe did not mention it in the Table, so I left it au natural. Used a long thread passer for threading needles to pass it through the bowsprit structure. Worked well. 



Then did a Bowsprit shroud seized to go from bowsprit to hull.


Used Cya to stop knots from unraveling and also a match to get rid of excess thread.


Takes a little practice, but I think I might be a little faster now that I understand seizing...



First snow tonight!...



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Hrs 886-888


So learned that Longridge "Anatomy of Nelson's Ships" is the definitive source for rigging and what is seized, lashed, spliced etc. Looked it up and the Bowsprit shrouds are seized only at the blocks and eyebolts. Grrr. Also, the Collars are seized circumfrentially, but then appear spliced. So took them down and am trying to splice them after seizing them. Two steps forward, 1 back...

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Hrs 889-892

I'm getting the hang of it. Unfortunately, once I do I realize the old work is not good and tear it out and restart. Grrr.


Things I learned: 

1. Photos: I kept getting these glaring contrasty pics with blacks and whites all ugly looking. After talking to an OR photographer, he suggested using a white card in front of the flash to deflect the flash light upwards. Less contrast and glare. 

2. I started using a different hitch to do the lashings/whippings and it works much better. Thanks to:




So, finally the correct Bowsprit shrouds with rings post-549-0-13119300-1416419640_thumb.jpg


Bowsprit collars with tapered splicespost-549-0-69055500-1416419639_thumb.jpg


And finally getting them temporarily connected into place.



Lines are beeswaxed and seized areas painted with thin paint (tar)

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Hrs 893-895


One forward two back. It appears that I put the fore most Bowsprit stays on the upper part of the hull, not the lower so they look crossed. post-549-0-51727400-1416634167_thumb.jpg








The Flying Jibboom is put into a socket for the heel of this spar...(in which) a short spigot of brass wire will act as a tenon to hold the heel in position". (Longridge, p 189.)



This is then held in place by a "rope crupper" or lashing (Lees, p. 52)



Slow going... To bed.

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Hrs 896-900

I am getting the hang of it. The vocabulary is pretty amazing and I have to constantly look at the references to make sure I am on the right track.

So for the Forestay and the Fore preventer stay, I created a mouse after serving the lines, which are nor the same diameter. These are attached to the bowsprit using the open heart collars at the junction of the Bowsprit and Jibboom.





Then attached the Fore Royal Stay (goes up) and the Outer Martingale (goes down) that is connected through the Dolphin and a sheave block on the Bowsprit to the Knighthead on the starboard side. Since the AL plans did not have Knightheads, I sort of manufactured ones that looks like reinforcing timber about the Bowsprit.






Off for Thanksgiving to see the daughter in NYC. Son is meeting us there. I am taking a frozen turkey in my luggage...think they will be suspicious?  ;)

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Hrs 901-902

So maybe three steps back and one step forwards. I figured out that I messed up the Fore Royal stay and the Flying martingale. According to Longridge, the "The fore royal stay passes through...the flying jibboom end...Fourth sheave in the Dolphin striker takes the fore royal stay". Duh... Flying means the Flying Jibboom (flash of clarity). It then goes to the port side of the knighthead  through a block on the bowsprit.


So, the "flying martingale... goes with an eye splice around the the outer end of the flying jibboom... reeves through the third sheave of the dolphin striker...and also sets up with a purchase to the starboard knighthead."




Sometimes my denseness amazes me...

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Hrs 903-905

Spritsail yard: according to Longridge (page 199) it is 64 ft 6 inches long. According to the AL instructions it is 23 mm long, tapered to 1/2 the diameter. The central 1/4 is thickened with 16 sided pieces of wood. So I used 8 pieces to create the thickened octagonal area in the center quarter (couldn't fit 16 and it seemed overkill).



Then, there are an eye bolt and an iron band at each end of the yardarm.


Finally, there are 2 thicker sling cleats centrally on the bottom side and 4 smaller stop cleats out laterally on the yardarm, 2 above and 2 below. (Have to add 2 more on the top side)



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Hrs 906-909

Finished spritisail yard and mounted it in position using yard sling illustrated in Mondfeld book. It is best to remove the sling cleats on one end to get the sling over the yard, then reattach and repaint. 




Then changed all the temporary blocks to correct size and changed to black thread. Added Flying Jibstay to Flying jibboom (not shown)


To bed.

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Hrs 910-914

Chain wales: 

Trying to set these up. Added Channel with Tee plates. Will add Knees after securing in place using trenails.


Added Capping strip and doubly secured with finishing nails (as I understand there is a lot of pressure on these and they tend to warp up?)




Everything needs to be cleaned up, of course. I wonder how you can make wire links without joints that are visible?




Unfortunately, it looks like the gun ports beneath the chain wales will interfere with their placement. Have to ponder this. Probably over a beer... A honey brown ale I brewed up with my son over Christmas. :cheers:





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Just found your log and had a browse. It's really nice to look through a log that doesn't have pages of chat, I'm very glad that the site co-ordinators decided to focus on building rather than chat.


I am also building the Surprise and after assessing the available kits, decided to go for a scratch build using the Lavery and Hunt book.


I will follow your build, I'm sure I can learn lots. A big disadvantage with scratch building is the lack of all the detail drawings.


Looking at progress on your log you look like you are about to run the shrouds. If they are going to be positioned as shown in your pics you may have some conflicts with the chains and gun ports. L & H shows the shrouds in groups to avoid the gun ports on both decks.


I have cut the gun ports for the main gun deck and am about to cut them for the upper deck. Before I do so I am going to run false shrouds to ensure I miss the gun ports.







Side view from L & H showing grouped shrouds.


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Rats. I see what you mean. I need to shift at least one to the side a considerable amount. And I just finshed repainting and touching it up... Sigh. :o


FIrst ships are definitely a learning process... B)

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About making up chains that are joined and not see the join. I encountered this when making up the chains for Bounty. The kit items were far too short so I had to start from scratch. (it looks to me that the kit parts you have are a bit on the short side). I started with brass wire, about 0.5mm thick and bent up the parts of the chains. I contemplated trying to solder or join them in some way but decided that the joint would be too obvious, particularly when I used brass black to colour the brass. So I made the joints right at the bottom or at the back where they wouldn't be seen and didn't put too much tension on them when doing the rigging of the shrouds. It worked out OK.


While you are busy relocating the chains to miss the gun ports (such is the learning process) and making the chains longer (probably worth the effort) a detail that often gets overlooked in my experience is the alignment of the chains and shrouds.The complete assembly right down to the bottom attachment to the hull should be in the line of the shrouds as they run down from the mast. This includes the top part with the deadeye that runs through the channels at an angle to keep this alignment. I spent quite a bit of time working on this on the Bounty and the result looks OK.


I also decided to do the ratlines progressively, the idea of doing them all in one go was truly terrifying! And the Surprise probably has 2 or 3 times the number of ratlines as the Bounty.


Rigging is quite an experience and attention to the small details makes all the difference.


It took me a year to rig Bounty.


Hope this helps.


Your overall build looks great.











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Rats...back to the drawing board... I think I need a little thicker wire. Will have to experiment some...


Thanks Navis, yours look great.


Two steps forward, two steps back...

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Hrs 915-921


Redo, revise, retry... I have changed from skinny wildly non uniform wire loops to thicker copper 20 gauge wire which is easier to work with and make more uniform in appearance. It doesn't paint well though.




Also using 2 inch beading wires with circlets which again are easier to work with. 




So the 10 along the chain wales that obscured the gun port are going to be 9 that will align with the rat/shroud lines... I hope. Have to add one more forward. The single wire I tried is on the second chain which will be switched out for the double. 






Redoing things takes awhile...grr.

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Hrs 922-927

Finally, done. Managed to get 10 each side, though they are a little close. The copper wire worked well, but the paint is a little worrisome because it seems to flake.





Need some touch up painting of exposed brass but I think I can go with them. Gee, only 4 more to do... :rolleyes:

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Hrs 922-927

Finally, done. Managed to get 10 each side, though they are a little close. The copper wire worked well, but the paint is a little worrisome because it seems to flake.



I enjoy following your build. It's turning out great!

I have not gotten to this point in my build yet, but your comments on flaking paint concern me for when I get there. Do you think pulling the brass through some sandpaper so the paint has a better bite will help and maybe use primer first? Sounds like a lot of work but....

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Hi lb0190 and jhughsonsr,


I tried using Brass Black on the brass cannons (page 3, blog) and was not happy because of the blotchiness. Painting the cannons looked better.


The paint on the copper wires of the chain wales started to flake after I manipulated the wires to try and get a uniform shape, curve and thickness while I was trying to wedge them into position. I am hoping that once I have them in the position and shape I want that they will not flake anymore. I have not tried sand papering the wire as it is copper and bends very easily. 


Hopefully it will be ok... :D

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