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I am working my way through some of the last bits of furniture and railings for my AL Hermione build. My family gave me a copy of the Ancre monograph about the frigate Herrmione for Christmas. I noticed that the illustration of the main deck shows crane irons or hammock cranes along the waist of the ship. Of course the kit doesn't provide those fittings but I think it would add to the accuracy of the model to include this feature. So, first I'm seeking advice about how to find or build those fittings at the 1/89 scale. Second, I'm thinking that a kind of "work-around" would be to build something that looks like a covered hammock rail. I'd like to get some opinions on the accuracy of showing covered hammock rails and what they would look like. It seems like almost all of the models show hammock netting either empty or filled with folded hammocks but almost never as covered hammock rails. What was the typical practice of the navies of the late 1700's. It seems like there would typically be a lot of wet hammocks if the weren't covered.
 
Thanks for the help.
 
Richard

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I haven’t installed it yet on my model but I’ve got these on my Niagara, I built them off the model and will install them last. 

I took the approach of carving a single block of wood roughly in the correct size and shape of an entire row of hammocks, in a gentle curve matching the curve of the bulwarks. This I covered in glue soaked paper which went on lumpy and slightly wrinkled but shrunk down onto the wood shapes nicelyand which mimics the canvas cover that very often went on over the hammocks to keep them dry. Onto this surface I glued black wire pieces bent into  “U” shapes at intervals to represent the vertical iron hammock stanchions-not onto the models bullwarks, these are glued on the outside of my hammock bundles so they are all one piece. At the end I’ll simply glue this affair into position on top of the railing and nobody will know that the “iron stanchions” are not set into holes drilled in the rail.

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You got me checking and reading, Richard.   Those aren't hammock cranes. as the French of the period didn't use hammocks (at least in frigates).   On the replica it's a walkway.   On many frigates of the time, these rails were removable so to lessened the height the boats had to be raised (and for easier handling) over the side.   I'm still checking my sources on this.  

 

Ah... here's one of the videos... at the 0.29 mark you can see them.  BTW, here's all the videos (including construction): https://www.youtube.com/user/HERMIONE17300/videos

 

And here's the video I referenced:   

 

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Thanks Mark and Frankie for the replies. I'm basing my hammock cranes question on the scale drawings that are included in the Ancre monograph about the Hermione. I have included two images of a portion of Plate 21 which is a plan view. It looks to me like there is a fixture on the bulwark railing at the waist along the gangway that is attached to that railing on one side with the other side extending outboards of the railing.  Plate 24, which is a profile view, shows netting attached to those fixtures. Those two bits of information is all I have to support the possible presence of hammock cranes on the original Hermione.

 

One of the things that I continue to struggle with is the question of which version of the Hermione, the original or the modern replica, I'm trying to build. The AL kit is definitely a mash-up of the two. I wonder if the modern replica is without hammock cranes for the simple reason that hammocks are not used for the crew of that ship.

 

Richard

 

IMG_4653.thumb.jpg.9186a3eb5e318c70d3a8adf17d6899dc.jpg

 

IMG_4654.thumb.jpg.681dc34e970c54984b57ce0fbd3275a9.jpg

 

IMG_4655.thumb.jpg.2860d5d9d3699451273d2a8ecdc758bf.jpg

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I'd flip a coin, Richard.   I have the same monograph, and it has me scratching my head.   I know that from what I've read there are many errors in the monograph but where, I don't know.  This was the author's first monograph so there is some expectation of error.   I haven't done a detail reading of the prints or the monograph so I'm not sure about somethings, like did the French navy start using hammocks and when?  

 

I see the walkway but what strikes me is that part of the hammock rails are hanging over the side.   

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Thanks for the reply Mark. The question about if and when the French navy used hammocks is one that seems to come up repeatedly. That surprises me because it make me wonder what the sleeping arrangements were for the crew if it was not hammocks. Did they just curl up on the deck? From what little I've read on this question most of it seems to lean toward the "no hammocks" side of the issue. If that's the case then it will be easy enough to dismiss whatever it is that's depicted in the Hermione monograph drawings as a mistake.

 

I also take your point about the position of railings and the apparent overhang. From my limited experience it seems that the hammock cranes are typically centered on the railings. That full overhang position would certainly make the issue of protecting the hammocks from the weather even more problematic.

 

Richard

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As for the lack of hammocks, Richard, it seems the crew slept where ever they could.  Down in the hold on the cable tier was considered be "good".  One has to remember that not all the crew would be asleep at the same time, so as long as they weren't in the way, all was fine.

 

That was my thinking also about the cranes.  Just looks weird.  Yet the side view looks like most of the other frigates of the period that have only a single rail on the outboard side. 

 

If it were me, I'd go with the single rail. 

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Gentlemen,

I found a quote  concerning hammock in French Marine Royale: "règlements de la Marine. L’article 9 de celui du 15 janvier 1780, finit en ces termes : ”Les hamacs seront mis à la traîne tous les mois et en relâche ils seront lavés à terre”. proving that according to the regulations of the marine  issued 15. January 1780 in article 9 hammocks were so commonly used, that there had to be regulations of usage, cleaning etc.  So to me the racks shown in th drawings are hammock racks. 

Source: https://voilesetvoiliers.ouest-france.fr/culture/histoire-de-la-marine/branle-bas-d1477128-69c9-a34c-885a-cdcd48f48467

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14 hours ago, mtaylor said:

That was my thinking also about the cranes.  Just looks weird.  Yet the side view looks like most of the other frigates of the period that have only a single rail on the outboard side. 

 

If it were me, I'd go with the single rail. 

Thanks Mark for your comments. Given the disparity in experience in all things model ship building between yourself and me I hesitate to argue. But, I think the side view you refer to is consistent with either a single rail or the double rail depicted in plan view. Two uprights in line with each other, as shown in the plan view, would be portrayed as a single upright in a side view. My thinking is that the side view depiction of netting along those rails also supports the possibility that those are hammock railings. Wouldn't a simple "guard rail" have a single wooden rail at the top of the uprights?

 

Also, Happy New Year Mark to a fellow Oregonian.

 

Richard

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Thanks cotrecerf for your comment and reference information regarding the French use of hammocks. The original French reference certainly suggests the use - and regulation of use - of hammocks in the French navy. This is the first real documentation I've seen that describes the use of hammocks during that time period. Most of the responses I've seen here and elsewhere tended toward the absence of hammocks for the time in question. Now I'm really wondering how to proceed. One temptation is to ignore the hammock issue completely and just build that part of the kit as described in the instructions. At this middle stag of the kit completion the number of inaccuracies and historical contradictions are beginning to add up. My novice model ship builder brain is not handling it well.

 

Beste Wünsche für das neue Jahr

 

Richard

 

 

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Richard, 

That rail from the side looks the same as other frigates.   And then there's the regulations pointed out by Cotrecerf and the date of 1780 vs. the date of Le Hermione of 1779.  I also looked that plans for Le Venus.... guess what... no hammock rails or even the walkway rails are shown.. nada.  I don't the the latest set of Le Venus so don't read too much into it.   The volume I have was the first and is a bit skimpy on plans. 

 

So it's possible the cranes were added given the time of launch which would indicate that hammocks were being used after 1780.    

 

Go with what you feel on this .  And don't feel alone, my head hurts too.  ;)

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Best wishes for a good year 2020 to all of you,

 

of course I support the point of view of Bilge Rat:  "Go with what you feel on this .  And don't feel alone, my head hurts too"

However, I looked a little deeper into the matter and  found some pics of a modell of a 74 gun ship by the name of Le Protecteur actually built in 1760, this model of which was made in 1770 and is part of the modell collection of the 

 

 Protecteur_Babord.jpg.bae918751ac76ff926ae371d75cda72d.jpgProtecteur_Chaloupe.jpg.4df5c9f6af74eef5ef13c3dec17da070.jpg 

you can see the hammocks in their nets partially protruding over the line of the hull.   Source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Protecteur_mg_7259.jpg

 

regards    Cotrecerf

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Posted (edited)

Prost Neujahr/

Happy New Year!

The question is good, but there seems to be little material for frigates.
Boudriot's book "Ship of the line" has some information about the hammocks.
What is not clear is how far this can be done for frigates. The 1781 drawing of the frigate Galathèe , by a contemporary French artist is from interest.. The best I could find on the subject, if you assume that the hammocks in frigates, unlike in Ship of the Line, are only accommodated on the gangways.

Later french frigate models, from around 1800 onwards, showed additional hammocks on the quarterdeck and forecastle. See Flore

Edited by Chapman

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Posted (edited)

Well, this has certainly turned out to be an interesting discussion. My thanks to mtaylor, cotrecerf and now Chapman for the research. I think we can agree that there is some documentary evidence - from the French naval regulations - and evidence from several models that hammocks were used and stored in hammock nets around the time Hermione was in commission. I guess there's a question about how close to contemporary the models are but they are certainly useful. Now I must go back to Mark's comment, "Go with what you feel". As a first time scale wooden ship modeler I don't want to add more difficulty to an already challenging project. On the other hand the kit needs deep scrutiny and improvements as Messis as demonstrated so well. I certainly feel like I have the information I need to make the call.

 

Thanks again for your interest and advice.

 

This feels like a great demonstration of the power of community like the one this forum fosters.

 

Richard

Edited by Spike1947
Added text

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Richard happy new year. I have just now saw your log.... sorry. 

 

I believe also as @mtaylor  that the French of the period didn't used hammocks (at least in frigates).   On the replica it's a walkway but I still dont believe that either. I tried hard to find drawings or other information over hammock rails or even the walkway rails of the 1779 ship, but with no success. So I decided  to place only a plain rail... thinking that due to the small scale, is safer doing less than doing more 😊.

 

Still, I suggest trust your feeling, if you feel like  hammock rails did exist, go ahead.  In what we lack information, doesnt mean it could have not existed. Its possible that those hammock rails were there. Am sure that will add to your model.

 

Christos

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Thanks Christos for the comment and illustrations. Maybe your comment about the absence of hammock rails on frigates in particular helps to resolve the issue. We've seen hammock rails but they seem to be on ships-of-the-line. One of my considerations is the one you mentions regarding the scale of the AL model (1/89). That particular issue moves me toward the "don't do it" side of the question.

 

Happy new year to your as well Christos.

 

Richard

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The walkways we fairly common on the frigates up until the 12-pounders started. On the 12 pounders is actually part of the weather deck as there's no stepping down to the walkway and planking blends in the for fore and aft decking.

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Posted (edited)

@Spike1947 I agree Richard.The scale is too small. Sadly I  have decided more than a few times, ideas and items I had in mind to add to my model, not to do so, due to the size of the scale... even by the rigging of the cannons, I have compromised, instead of a proper cannons rigging,   to that "symbolic" just one single  rope, that the kit's instructions suggest.

 

@mtaylorYes you are definitely correct about the walkway... so it was. The above illustration maybe is a little confusing, showing  the walkway lifted up, in order to reveal the cannons on the cannon deck,  while in reality  its (the walkway)actually, as you mentioned, blending with the fore and aft decking. This illustration I believe shows it clearer.

20200105_090526.jpg

Edited by MESSIS

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Christos,

That walkway and rail does look like what's in the monograph. 

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@mtaylor  Yes.... its as in the monograph. As I mentioned above, the ilustration is out of Emmanuel de Fontainieu book, which I very much respect. 

 

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