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Gregor

HMC Sherbourne by Gregor – Caldercraft – Scale 1:64, 1763 - FINISHED

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I started this project in summer 2012. I choose this kit after browsing and reading many of the build logs in MSW 1.0, and because it has only one mast (I’m not much of a seaman except in the rather romantic way of reading Patrick O’Brian’s novels for the second time). 

 

 

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The box contained all the promised parts in an orderly fashion, and a very short/thin instruction booklet. But there is help:

 

Keel, bulkheads and deck came first, then balsa fillers fore and aft. Then I soaked the plywood bulwarks before bending them with the help of tea mugs and a good bottle.

 

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Edited by Gregor

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First planking went quite well: I built my first clinker hull. 

 

post-27-0-20166800-1369167267_thumb.jpg     post-27-0-11360500-1369167279_thumb.jpg

 

 

After a lot of sanding the first planking was paper-thin in some places, and I fear I might have altered the shape and destroyed the symmetry of the hull.

 

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As a side project I made the guns out of the box (Badgers brass cannons would have been nice). For trunnion caps I used the black paper that came with the kit. On the barrel I added a ring for the breeching rope (as an alternative to the proposed simple but maybe more historically correct loop around the cascabel – I found a drawing in Wolfram zu Mondfelds book and liked it better this way; and it offered me a first opportunity to add something to the kit by myself). 

 

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In an early stage some bulkhead stubs broke off (excessive sanding in the bow, they were very thin afterwards), so I decided to plank the inner side of the bulwark before second planking to give it more stability. I remembered discussions on MWS 1.0 and took the opportunity to correct the gun ports so they have all the same position over deck and the guns will fit.

 

post-27-0-37795300-1369167436_thumb.jpg     post-27-0-82319600-1369167459_thumb.jpg

Edited by Gregor

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Meanwhile George Bandurek’s guide helped me to shape and taper the anchor stocks, and with the puddening of the ring. My iron bands (black paper) are a little too wide; I will have to change them eventually.

 

post-27-0-04054000-1369167557_thumb.jpg

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For the second planking I used 0.5 mm walnut strips (instead of the original 1 mm in the kit) and found them very easy to shape and bend. Sanding has to be done very carefully tough, as there is not too much material to take off.

 

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It went quite well too, considering I completely ignored all the good advice on this forum and in the download section. I will never do that again, but obviously one has to make all the mistakes possible (and pay for them dearly) to fully understand and appreciate the method of tapering planks by prior measurement.

 

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One result of “planking by beginner’s eye” is a geometrically complex form to be filled with “special” planks.

On the bright side: I’ve learnt to make drop planks and stealers.

 

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To fill the small gaps I used Dan Vadas method: sanded down walnut strip and diluted PVA glue. This will not be enough to repair the bulwark on the bow, though.

 

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Before painting the inner bulwarks I had to fill many small gaps, this being the first planks I ever glued in a model. I added spirketting (simply a thicker plank) because I liked what I saw in other logs. 

 

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I’m not sure about painting the hull yet. On some days I quite like the uneven colouring of the walnut strips – on others I regret I did not choose the planks more carefully for colour.

 

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That’s where I am now. Next will be the whales and deck (where I will try to follow Tony’s example).

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Wonderful to see another Sherbourne started! You've done superbly so far. Beautiful planking and finish to the wood, and your cannon make me slightly regret giving up on the carriages supplied with the kit. I'm sure you've seen Dirk's (Dubz on this forum) build. He and Daniel (Siegfried) as well as David (written by his partner Amanda as Bangle) set a very high standard for Sherbournes -- although when MSW 1.0 went down we lost a lot of their logs. I do agree about George Bandurek's book being useful, he gives great heart to the novice builder in trying things out.

 

I hadn't thought of looking at the Badger instructions, so I'm going to give that a look.

 

For my own build I'm practising making blocks at the moment, with the cannon in mind. Also continuing to work on the ship's boat (working on the rudder gudgeons and pintles) but work keeps getting in the way. I hope to have more time after the middle of June.

 

I'm very much looking forward to the rest of your build.

 

Tony

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Thanks, Tony, I hugely admire your boatbuilding project and (a little ashamed) admit to having ordered a small kit from Caldercraft.

 

 

The gun barrels are not the strongest point of this kit (imperfect casting, the trunnions, the size), but I remember David who also upgraded his guns to a very pleasing effect and had a systematic approach to hull planking (he even made paper templates for the garboard plank and the whales). I'm glad Dirk is here again. I will try to bring the best out of my hull with linseed oil, even if I will not match his level of perfection in every detail (and beautifully photographed, too). But his build is a great source of inspiration.

 

 

 

Good luck with your blocks,

Gregor

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Yes, I remember David's guns as well. Actually, because the gun barrels are an intermediate size, I have been thinking of making the carriages the right size for the barrels rather than buying new barrels. This is because I keep trying to use as much of the kit as possible without buying new parts, or else trying to make the parts. However I have to admit buying photo-etched 0.3mm eyelets following Dirk's lead.

 

The carriages I made are for a 3-pounder while keeping the 3.5-pounder barrel from the kit. I based the dimensions on the Anatomy of the Ship book on the Cutter Alert where it says a 4-pounder barrel should be 6ft long, and a 3-pounder 4'6", or 28.6mm and 21.4mm respectively at 1/64. I measured my kit ones at 24.7mm or 5'2" scaled up. So they'd have to be 3.3mm shorter than the kit ones if they were to be the 3-pounders suggested by the kit. I was swayed not to buy or fashion new cannon by George Bandurek's comment (after making his own barrels) that the difference in size was barely noticeable. I do agree that the trunnions were hopeless --which is why I drilled them out and fitted my own.

 

The trouble with making the carriages a bit bigger than I have at present is that I am feared that they will be too high for the gunports. I might make one up just to see, as I remain unsatisfied with the way my carriages turned out. In addition, I have now found out that iron hoops were not added to the wheels during this period, so I'd have to remove the banding I put on the wheels (or at least paint over it).

 

Thanks for the comment about the ship's boat. It has been quite exciting for me to find out I could do it, albeit in a rather rough fashion. It has certainly made me enthusiastic to do more.

 

I'll be off travelling again tomorrow, so I'll be out of the loop for a week (unless I can find an internet connection).

 

Tony

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Hej Gregor,

 

thanks for your kind words :) Your build looks really good allready! Have fun with details and don't be afraid to try out stuff ... I'm pretty sure your Sherbourne will gets it's own individual character.

 

cheers,

 

Dirk

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@ Tony

I'm still thinking about ordering brass barrels as Dirk did, but Caldercraft's 4lb barrels are 25 mm long - that's also something in between … But they look beautiful, not like the badly cast tin barrels in the kit (the carriages are the same). I wonder how you managed to drill the barrels for proper trunnions - I tried to open the muzzle with an electric drill, but had to stop because the tin started to melt. Some muzzles now look like a blunderbuss. If I keep them, I will file off a Millimetre or two.

 

But after your research I will have to repaint the wheels (brown instead of black for the hoops, which I very much admired in your log).

 

Another solution for barrels with an exact measurement would be a CAD drawing and 3D printing - this is what I found: http://www.shapeways.com/model/1035348/2-ship-s-cannons-1-72-scale.html?li=moreFromShop&material=6 (I wouldn't know how to do it, alas). In Sherbourne's time the Industrial Revolution was (at least in your England) in full swing, so we should not be afraid of a little outsourcing - it's not anachronistic to use modern logistics and techniques, as the dockyard surely did when Sherbourne was built.

 

Gregor

 

Update: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/2164-experiences-with-3d-printing-for-ship-models/

Edited by Gregor

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Ha! I admire your thinking re the Shapeways cannon -- but they're still around 25mm (same size as the kit cannon) and look expensive if you have them done in brass. 3D printing is certainly a very interesting option, though. It all depends on your approach to the kit. I agree that if you're after something of beauty then it's hard to beat the brass cannon you can buy.

 

I can't think, though, that trying to file off a mm or so from the kit's cannon would do any good. Where would you file from? From either end you'd be filing away essential pieces of the cannon. That and the fact that all the dimensions are slightly larger. I did spend some time filing the canon, but only to get rid of the irregularities from the moulding.

 

I'm still sticking with mine. I had a look at changing the carriages, and as I'd have to add only 1.5mm to the carriages to match the size of the cannon I decided I'd leave them as they are. They don't look nearly as well as Dirk's, but then I'm focusing more on learning basic skills at the moment. If I bought cannon that are beautiful, they would not match the rest of the build which is clearly very basic. Your ability is better than mine in that regard.

 

It might be worth your while to turn your own cannon in wood. One of the very best resources for people who don't have much in the way of machine tools (e.g. myself) is Hubert Sicard's (he uses the name 'Bosco' on this forum) site called 'Ship Modeling for Dummies'. This has excellent videos on making jigs for parts as well as your own tools from very simple material. One of these is a lathe made from a standard household electric drill. He shows how you can turn very nice cannon from wood using old blades which you grind out from a pattern. The site is both in English and French. You have to pay 45 Canadian dollars for a lifetime subscription, but it is possibly one of the best value spends I have made. Many on this forum agree. It has hundreds of great tips, many of them illustrated by silent videos which you can download and keep.

 

I was revisiting his site yesterday to remind myself how he makes his own blocks. Even if you don't follow everything he suggests, his imagination is so wonderful you are bound to have great pleasure in seeing his ideas.

 

In order to fashion your own cannon you need to trace a drawing. I have used both Photoshop and TurboCAD to resize drawings from PDF files. It really is very easy to do. I wasn't clear from your note whether you already are experienced in working in Photoshop or CAD, but if you don't have Photoshop, Adobe are now distributing all the CS2 suite (which includes Photoshop) totally free. You can find it at http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/ where you will see the varieties available for PC and Mac.

 

Once you have fashioned one cannon, you can then make a mould and make as many as you like. I noticed that several people on this site have done that. It's something recommended by quite a few books.

 

What I did for the barrels was to put epoxy filler in the muzzles then drilled that out with a 1mm drill and painted them black. You'll already have seen that the kit cannon muzzles are not centred properly, so the epoxy also had a use in establishing the centre point to drill.

 

I use a Proxxon mini-drill in a Proxxon drill stand, so I was able to place the barrels in the vice made for the drill stand and drill vertically quite accurately. I did the same for the trunnions, replacing them with bamboo dowel I had put through a cheap drawplate. I am very poor at gauging a vertical when trying to drill with a pin vise.

 

If you want to try a CAD programme there are many trial versions available. Older versions of TurboCAD are pretty cheap on Amazon (round £50), but you can get a totally free CAD programme from DraftSight. There's also the free version of SketchUp which can be used (though I didn't find that so easy for tracing drawings). I taught myself CAD on TurboCAD, so that's what I'm sticking with at the moment.

 

I had another look at my cannon trucks and I'm still dithering about whether to remove the black banding -- it does look rather nice, as you say!

 

Once I've learned how to do blocks properly, it may well be I'll turn cannon: but that's some way off at the moment. All part of the slow trek towards the beautiful finishes achieved by many of the modellers on this forum.

 

Tony

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Thank you, Skippy and Tony. The guns were the first things I made last summer after opening the box. Now they are gathering dust, and are waiting to be improved. You can clearly see the “muzzle problem”. If I keep the barrels, I will repair them with epoxy, as Tony did (he is right, I will not shorten them). If not, the ones from RB Model are certainly a beautiful option (I can live with the difference of 1.4 mm to an ideal 3-punder – a little bit too short looks better than too long, I think). And the carriage will deserve al little improving too, I will try to follow you there.

 

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I was thinking out loud when I mentioned 3D printing. I love building the Sherbourne for the contrast to my long hours in front of a computer, among other reasons. There is free (for personal use) Software (http://www.sketchup.com, you can even download models to refine), but after tinkering with it I decided not to do it this way, it being another project in front of a screen.

 

Gregor

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I added the wales last week.

After soaking I let the strips for the whales dry near their final place. I protected the hull with tape.

 

 

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Glued to the hull, I had to sand the pre-painted strips to create the illusion of a one-plank-whale (I know it should be many planks in a special pattern). I think it would have been easier to cut out the whale from a wider plank with the help of a paper model (as described in the planking tutorials in the download section). There was a lot of lateral bending, brute force and a little cheating with a knife involved.

 

 

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Having the planks painted before gluing helped with the final painting afterwards, as the paint did not spill to the hull planks.

 

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I let the planks of the gunwale flow to the stern, as it was not clear to me on the plans where they should end. On the forum and in the gallery I found a lot of different interpretations, so I did decide “by eye”. 

 

post-27-0-35958900-1370283526_thumb.jpg

 

Gregor

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I made the stern fascia and its capping rail according to Tony’s log (except I didn’t user the pins when I glued the additional plank and paid for this with separated pieces after soaking and bending).

 

post-27-0-28765000-1371285697_thumb.jpg

 

 

Rubber bands (from the asparagus season in spring) came very handy for bending the fascia. I let it dry there for a week. This idea was half-good: The pressure of the rubber bands was not exactly distributed, and the fascia is slightly deformed now. 

 

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The tiller was formed from a wood skewer I found in our kitchen, varnished and completed with thread.

Gudgeons and pintles were made in a simplified version. They are 2 mm wide and therefore a little out of scale – but that’s what I was able to do.

 

post-27-0-47113400-1371285763_thumb.jpg

 

Gregor

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I found pictures of rudder pendants in several build logs (http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/124-hmb-endeavour-by-captain-slog-caldercraft-164/page-2?hl=%2Brudder+%2Bpendants#entry56033) and also a reference in Wolfram zu Mondfeld’s book. According to him, a stout tarred rope instead of a chain should do the job here, but I’ve still no clue as to where to fix these ropes yet. One idea is to fix them to Eyelets on the outside of the inner stern counter frames, with a small hole through the stern counter.

 

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Because I didn’t want to paint the hull below the waterline anyway I didn’t pay enough attention, so the rudder pendants are sitting too low!

The lower part of the hull was treated with linseed oil, it brings the colour of the wood to life wonderfully, I think. 

 

Gregor

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A very nice tiller, Gregor. Hmm. I think I might re-make mine following your example. You also have a very nice finish to the wood.

 

[Edit] oh, and I just saw the last picture. Someone told me in MSW 1.0 that the rudder pendants may not have been used for this type of cutter when I asked the same question after reading Zu Mondfeld. I can't remember the details, but I didn't go ahead with trying to make them.

 

Tony

Edited by tkay11

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Thanks, Tony - but I liked your little knob at the end of your tiller (and failed to carve one myself). So the ideal tiller according to Tony and Gregor should be curved (not pointing upwards like mine, but "more parallel" to the deck), protected with thread and have an elegant knob at the end?

No rudder pendants on cutters? What did they do when the rudder got unhinged? Well, too late now, my Sherbourne is ready for all storms! (The historian in me sighs).

Edited by Gregor

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I think your tiller is just fine. I attach the drawing from the Anatomy of the Ship book on the Cutter Alert which is supposed to be about the same period. The tiller points upward and is slightly curved, so don't worry! Imagine a figure standing on the deck (you can draw a scale figure on card, 26mm high) and see where the hand might lie. That will tell you how realistic it is.

 

As to what they did with the rudder if it fell off, well, there are probably a few jokes in there.

 

Maybe another thing to think about is a leather cover that protects the hole through which the rudder is placed. Other modellers on this forum have pointed out that very few model kits include mention of this, but clearly it would be important to stop seas coming in through that opening. I'm still undecided about whether to attempt that!

 

Tony

post-229-0-90998500-1371474612.jpg

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Oh yes, I stumbled once over a picture of such a leather cover (on MSW 2.0), but I can’t find it now (my vocabulary is somewhat limited, I ran out of searching terms).

 

I would be very interested in adding this detail (I never planned to go this far when I started this build   :) )

 

Gregor

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You'll see a lengthy discussion about it in Dan's build of the Vulture. It's under the topic 'Rudder Coat'. I think 'Blue Ensign' has done it as well on his build of the Pegasus kit.

 

Tony

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Thank you for finding it. I wonder whether it’s doable (for me, anyway).

 

A companionway: easy to see where the inspiration has come from (thanks again, Tony). The only changes I made are the proportions of the sliding hatch (not voluntarily) and the replacement of the walnut rail with 0.5 mm brass wire, filed square and bent upwards, so the hatch cannot slide off (pure speculation). Now my crew has something to polish.

 

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The deck plan now looks like inspired also by Dirk, there is an additional lower hatch/skylight. But nothing is glued to the deck yet.

 

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But now I wonder, where I should place the stands for the Jolly boat. There is room between the main hatch and the companionway, covering the little hatch between them. But people running up the companionway ladder might hurt their heads. I’m thinking about turning the companionway 180 degrees…

 

Gregor

Edited by Gregor

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Really nice touch, that brass rail. And your hatch covers are much better dimensioned than mine and the covers nicely rounded. Excellent work!

 

The ship's boat was often towed. There are many models with it shown separately or with a length of rope towing it. I don't know yet what I'll do about that.

 

Tony

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You might be right there, Tony. I have no idea how the crew would lower the small boat over the side. On a square-rigged ship it must have been a complex manoeuvre (I only know that from O’Brians novels, quite impressively described), but on a cutter?

Gregor

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At Tony’s suggestion I checked out Blue Ensign’s beautiful Pegasus and found the rudder coat, done a bit differently than on Dan’s Vulture. After finding another detail in another forum (I just googled) I made my own version.

 

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It consists of a painted metal ring (a bent copper strip cut from a 0.3 mm sheet), bolted to the hull around the rudder hole. The tarred tarpaulin is made out of a paper tissue, formed in place with the help of the ring, and made durable with PVE diluted with walnut stain.

 

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It’s quite a good feeling for a beginner having done something that’s not in the kit! I will sadly miss my Sherbourne till August, when I can finally start with the deck (or delay that again with more furniture…)

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Well done! (and I hope you don't take that as an excessively used meaningless phrase!). Looking forward to the resumption.

 

Tony

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Well, who does not like compliments from a paragon modeller guide – seriously, since I know my failings, too, I thank you for your encouragements (I hope this sounds polite in english!).

I’m looking forward to visiting your log again in a few weeks; I don’t expect to have access to the Internet regularly till then. Who knows, maybe you will already have built the channels (with cute tiny knees!) and correct chains – after reading this discussion and verifying with zu Mondfeld there’s no way I will use the chain plates supplied in the kit.

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Very interesting discussion about the channels. I hadn't seen it. Thanks for posting the link, Gregor.

 

Have a good break!

 

Tony

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Better late than never I had a serious look at the plans of the Sherbourne displayed online by the NMM, which I had completely forgotten, although they were mentioned in several blogs…

As a first result, I am rebuilding the stern (it will hopefully look a lot like Dirk's, although I see no capping rail on the plan. My stern fascia was way too large). Small details can be added easily; steps (as Dirk has done), and two more hawse holes.

I will not touch the gunport pattern, which, if Sherbourne's plans are meant to be read literally, should be like in the Badger kit. It's interesting that all NMM's plans of cutters show a type of windlass connected to the bulwarks. 1763 must have been a great year for cutter building, there are so many of them.

The deck plan is puzzling me: I see a sliding hatch under the tiller, shorter than the one I've already built. It would be difficult for the helmsman; Dirk's interpretation makes it definitely easier for him. On my deck it would look like this (nothing glued yet):

 

post-27-0-15638100-1372160435_thumb.jpg

 

A lot to think about - but now I really have to take a break ;)

Gregor

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After a long vacation I found a good copy of a NMM plan in my mail: beautifully drawn, and with interesting details I couldn’t make out in the low-res picture on NMM’s website.

As there are several almost identical Sherbourne plans, it looks like a class of young student shipwrights had to produce a “paper” (probably not, but a funny thought). The unknown artist of my copy added a small bit of information which he obviously found interesting: “She was not fitted with Hanging Cabbins on the Platform they lay in Hammocks?”. The “Platform” on the plan is the deck below the “Upper Deck” and has cabins (called “Bed Place”) along the hull (less than 1 m high, with sliding doors). I remember Patrick O’Brian’s description of small, oddly shaped cabins and hanging cots or beds for the privileged few …

First I have to apologize for my previous statement about the chain plates; they are not incorrect or anachronistic in the kit.

I’d like to quote the plan and show here a detail from it, but I’m totally ignorant about British copyright law (in Switzerland, where I’m an archivist, there would be no problem with that; historical documents of a certain age don’t have a copyright restriction, and a simple reproduction doesn’t create one. Does anyone know the rules here?).

It is hard to see on the website but the drawing shows slightly tapered chain plates where the lower, rounded end (as provided in the kit) on the wales is broader than the top one.

 

On second thoughts, here is the detail with the chainplates. I will take it down if anyone thinks this means a copyright infringement (I don't think so and I hope not). © NMM, Publisher code: J8467

 

post-27-0-92834300-1376049808.png

Edited by Gregor

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