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Colonial Sloop Providence by KenW - 1:48 - Finished


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My next model will be the Continental Sloop Providence.  I became interested in this boat after reading, “Valour Fore & Aft”, by Hope Rider.  Despite being a history of the boat, the book was a great swashbuckling story. I recommend it.

 

The boat was built by a Rhode Island merchant named John Brown several years before the American Revolution and was named the Katy.  The sloop was converted to a privateer and commanded by three excellent captains, and during its voyages, achieved several ‘firsts’ for the Continental navy.  

 

The first captain was Abraham Wipple.  The Katy, under the command of Captain Wipple, was the first ship to be chosen by the Continental Congress to perform naval service.  It was the first colonial flagship and fired the first broadside during the Revolutionary War at sea. It also captured the first Brittish naval ship.

 

In late 1775 the sloop’s name was changed to the Providence.  In 1776, command of the sloop Providence was given to the newly promoted John Paul Jones.  (Later Captain Wipple was given command of a new continental frigate also called the Providence.)  Of the three captains, John Paul Jones succeeded in taking the most Brittish prizes.

 

In 1777, command was given to John Peck Rathbun who was one of the sloop’s Lieutenants.  Under the command of John Rathbun, Providence was the first Colonial ship to land marines on a foreign soil.  Also, she was the first to fly the Continental colors over foreign territory.  She captured Fort Nassau and held the town until valuable military supplies were removed and several Brittish ships taken as prizes.

 

The Providence met its end as part of the disasterous Penobscot Expedition in 1779.  She was forced up the Penobscot River in Maine and burnt to prevent its capture by the Brittish.

 

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Thanks Chuck.  My first model was of the AVS, so I have the plans, etc. 

I'm sure I'll have some issues as I go along, but that's part of the fun.

Thanks also to Frankie.  Your entry about your experience rigging the replica was an inspiration for me to build this ship.

Cheers.

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In order to build a model of the Providence I needed to acquire a set of plans.  The book, “Valour Fore and Aft”, contains plans of a replica that was built for the American bi-centennial celebrations back in 1976.  The replica was built and used for charter sails from Newport, RI. In 2015, while in dry dock, a winter storm blew the boat off its jackstays.  It took 2 years to repair and restore the damage. In 2017, it was sold to the Tall Ship Providence Foundation and moved to Alexandra, VA. I contacted the foundation and they sent me a set of plans of the restored vessel.  So I’m currently copying them and reducing their scale to 1:48, or ¼ inch equals a foot. My intention is to make a Plank-on-Bulkhead model because that is what my experience is limited to.

 

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I started the process by making extra copies of the reduced plans.  The dimension of each bulkhead is located on one plan. So I have to make several copies of that plan and parse out each bulkhead.  I wanted to have as many bulkheads as possible which should make planking easier. Then I matched the size of each bulkhead with the plan showing the boat along its center; this will become the keel former.  Once I was satisfied that the sizes matched, I cut out the keel former and each bulkhead. The first photo shows the paper bulkheads and their plan. The second is the plan of the center and the paper keel former.  Now the next step is to glue each paper part to a sheet of basswood and cut the pieces out. I’m sure there will be some alterations once the pieces are fitted together.

 

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Edited by KenW
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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve been busy with chores around the house, but work on the Providence continues.  I wanted to explain, in more detail, the process of creating the paper bulkheads. The plan comes with a view of the hull that is unusual (at least to me).  The left side of the view shows the hull from the stern, and the right side shows the hull from the bow. There are lines on the plan that shows the outline of each bulkhead.  So I made several copies of this plan. Then I cut out each bulkhead half twice, turn one half over and tape them carefully together.  

 

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I know that the quality of this photo isn’t very good, but the plan is clearer in real life.  Next I glue the paper bulkheads and the paper keel former to a sheet of, in this case, basswood.

 

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Work on the model continues and a rather slow pace.  I’ve cut out the bulkheads and keel former. I should point out that I didn’t cut out the notch for the mast at this time.  Also, the bulkheads are over large. The upper portion does not have the space removed down the middle to the deck. I’ll do that once the bulkheads are fitted to the keel former.  I want to see how everything looks before cutting off too much wood. Better to be too big than too small. The pieces look O.K. to me so far.

 

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I also fitted the fore-most bulkhead to the keel former and it checks out so far.  I made sure the L.W.L. and deck levels line up. Many more bulkheads to go.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ken,

 

Just read over your build to date...You're right on track!!! This is exactly how I built my 1:48 scale Sloop of War PEACOCK back in 2006-2012 - POB construction, all scratch built. You noted on the photo of the bulkheads in place on the keel that the heights were more than needed. That's exactly what you want so that you remove material that is not needed rather than having to add material, etc.

 

My build (which was on the old MSW forum and lost to eternity) covered the very same sequence of construction, etc. - keep up the great work, I'll be looking in on this from time to time.

 

Hank

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Thanks Hank for reinforcing my thinking.  Lots of modeling pleasure to go.

Thanks also Jeff.  I use a jeweler's saw.  The blade is a Pike Swiss Brand Jeweler's Sawblade 2/0.  I found them on Amazon.

I know I've edited this a couple of times.  Thanks for your patience.

And thanks Ryland for the 'like'.

 

Edited by KenW
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  • 2 weeks later...

While I was preparing to start gluing the bulkheads on to the frame, I noticed that, on the plans, there is a ladder going from the deck down below.  I felt that the ladder should be shown on the model. Therefore, I had to make some adjustments to the appropriate bulkheads and add a lower ‘deck’. The deck is only partial, but it will be visible if you look down the hatch.  Also, the ladder is rignt next to the mast so I added wooden mast steps. I also carved some barrels, which I haven’t decided if I’ll use or not.  

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I completed the ‘below deck’ planking and threw in some furniture just for fun.  I don’t know if anyone will be able to see the furniture once the hull is planked and the stair/ladder is added.  But, I’ll know it’s there and I know how to look and see it. There is another stairway from the quarter deck down to where the officer’s quarters are, so I added some doors to those ‘rooms’.  I attach some photos. Next up is the create stern framing and then I’ll be able to begin fairing the hull.

 

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Edited by KenW
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  • 3 weeks later...

Happy New Year!

Even during the holidays, I managed to sneak some time in the shipyard.  I laid out the stern framing using some leftover cherry and balsa filler.  I probably will need more sanding, but I’ll do that as part of the fairing of the hull.  I still have lots of sanding dust to make.

 

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I’ve ‘completed’ the fairing of the hull.  And I added battens to determine the location of the wales.  The wales will be between the two battens. I discovered that I wasn’t as careful with the placement of the bulkheads, so I have to do more sanding to fix everything.  I’m in the process of determining the location of the gun ports. It’s a slow process. Eventually, everything will have to line up perfectly.

 

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On my computer you  can highlight the upper left side of the screen and click on the "download" symbol. Then you have a PDF file of the entire magazine and can do what you wish with each page. I am adding it to my Providence research folder for when I am able to start on my build/interpretation again. 

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The placement of the batons marking the location of the wales had to be redone.  I took the model to our club’s monthly workshop, and the batons at the bow were determined to be too high.  I also redid the ‘working platform’ so that the keel was flat on the base making measuring easier. I redid the baton marking the bottom of the wales and it does look closer to the plans.  I’m told that I could make the ‘point’ at the bow even a little lower (maybe 1/16 of an inch).

 

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Next I have to determine the exact location of the deck so I can establish the position of the gun port sills.  These tasks are taking a lot of time, but I feel it will be extremely important as the building of the model progresses.

 

Edited by KenW
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  • 3 weeks later...

It has been taking me quite awhile to get the batons marking the bottom of the wales and the top of the gun port sills.  I’m trying to match the plans and it seems like I get what I think is right and the next day it’s off. So I decided that I won’t install the port sills until I can get the batons to be placed correctly for two days in a row.  At this point, my bulkheads look like a pin cushion.

 

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Finally, I got the measurements correct over two days.  So I began framing the gun ports. They should be square and have good corners.  Also, they should be placed equdistant apart. I think I’m good. Next up is to mix some red paint that comes close to matching the color on the replica.

 

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On 2/7/2020 at 10:24 PM, KenW said:

and it seems like I get what I think is right and the next day it’s off.

I know what you mean Ken.  I don't know how many times I've been satisfied with my work one day, and the next day . . .  not so much.

 

I think you're wise in taking the time to get the batten locations and gun ports placed just so as it defines everything afterward.   Your model is looking straight and true and progressing very nicely.  I'm looking forward to future updates.

 

Gary

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  • 3 weeks later...

After posting my last entry, I glued the first level of the wales onto the hull.  And then I noticed that the gun ports were ⅛ inch higher on the starboard side than on the port side.  So I removed both the wales and the gun ports. And then I went back to the measuring routine. I finally got the same results two days in a row and carefully added a batten marking the location of the top of the wales and then re-did the gun ports.  Once I was satisfied with that, I painted the ports and re-glued the first level of the wales onto the hull again.  In the photos, the wales are not sanded yet.

 

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Edited by KenW
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  • 2 weeks later...

The wales have been sanded and the gun port measurements verified.  So I painted several coats of a red paint that I created to the gun ports and painted the wales with several coats of Mars Black.  I sanded between each coat with 320 grit sandpaper and with 600 grit before the last coat. I think it looks good so I’m ready to start planking the hull above the wales.

 

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