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Dan Vadas

HMS Vulture 1776 by Dan Vadas - 1:48 scale - 16 gun "Swan" class sloop from TFFM plans - Finished

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Toptimber Aligning and External Fairing


The Toptimbers needed to be aligned next. I glued several pieces of planking to the tops of them, using clamps to pull the top parts together. These planks will be removed later as the real planks are fitted.


The first pic shows the Toptimbers before final straightening commenced :


Toptimber Aligning 005.jpg


Toptimber Aligning 001.jpg



Toptimber Aligning 004.jpg


Toptimber Aligning 003.jpg



Fairing the outer side of the hull started with a drum sander in a Dremel. A delicate touch was needed :



External Fairing 001.jpg


External Fairing 002.jpg



A sanding block with 80 grit paper was used next to get the hull nicely Faired. 180 grit paper finished the open Starboard side :



External Fairing 003.jpg


External Fairing 006.jpg

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Treenailing Frames


I used 0.024" bamboo (pulled through a Jim Byrnes Drawplate) to Treenail the Chocks.



External Treenailinging 009.jpg



Copper wire was used to simulate the bolts in the Keel joints :



Outboard Treenails 001.jpg



The treenails after sanding down flush :



Outboard Treenails 002.jpg

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The Fillings fill the gaps between frames in the lower part of the hold to strengthen the lower part of the frames and facilitate drainage. They have varying thicknesses depending on the spacing between frames.


I only fitted the Fillings to the open Starboard side, as the Port side will be covered completely - this was a BAD mistake.

I took the hull off the building board for this step. When I'd finished fitting all the fillings I attempted to remount the hull on the board, but it wouldn't fit :huh:  . See the whole story HERE .


Fillings 001.jpg


Fillings 002.jpg



The Fillings were Faired in similar fashion to the hull frames :



Fairing Fillings 002.jpg


Fairing Fillings 003.jpg


Fairing Fillings 004.jpg


Fairing Fillings 005.jpg


Fairing Inboard Fillers 006.jpg

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The Harpins and Ribbands were temporary Strakes used to hold the frames in position before the planking was fitted. They were progressively removed as construction continued on the real ship.

The Harpins were sawn from wide timbers to accommodate the shape of the hull at the bow. They have a "toe" where they are nailed to the stem :


Harpins 003.jpg


Harpins 002.jpg


Harpins 001.jpg

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The Ribbands are a continuation of the Harpins and run the full length of the hull. They are approximately 30 feet long and are scarf-jointed together. There were five of them on the real ship, but I am only fitting three as there will be some planking added to the mainly open Starboard side. Nails will be added later in the build - one through each frame.



Ribands 002.jpg


Ribands 003.jpg


Ribands 004.jpg


Ribands 005.jpg


Ribands 006.jpg

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Limber Strakes


The first planking to be done on the inside of the hull is the Limber Strakes. There are two "runs" of these each side, consisting of two Inner Limber Strakes and three Outer ones per side.


The innermost edges of the Inner Strakes are rebated to accept the Limber Boards.



Inside Limber Strakes 004.jpg


Inner Limber Strakes 001.jpg



The Inner Strakes are finished off with wedge shaped pieces of planking both Fore and Aft :



Inner Limber Strakes 002.jpg



The Pump Intake Recesses continue into the limber strakes :



Inner Limber Strakes 003.jpg


Inner Limber Strakes 004.jpg



The Outer Limber Strakes are now fitted :



Outer Limber Strakes 003.jpg


Outer Limber Strakes 004.jpg


Outer Limber Strakes 005.jpg

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Floorhead Thickstuff and Treenails


Next planks are the Floorhead Thickstuff - three planks thicker than the regular Ceiling planks. The innermost and outermost are a scale 3" thick, while the middle one is 4 1/2" thick.



Floorhead Thickstuff 002.jpg


Floorhead Thickstuff 004.jpg


Floorhead Thickstuff 009.jpg


Floorhead Thickstuff 010.jpg



The Thickstuff is treenailed using bamboo.



Treenailing Floorhead Thickstuff 001.jpg


Treenailing Floorhead Thickstuff 006.jpg


Treenailing Floorhead Thickstuff 009.jpg

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Mast Steps


The Mast Steps are made from Australian Cherry Ballart, as it was the only timber I had that was thick enough for the job. The color contrasts nicely with the Swiss Pear used for the frames.


This is the Main Mast Step :



Mainmast Step 001.jpg


Mainmast Step 002.jpg



The Foremast Step, a very tricky part to shape :



Foremast Step 001.jpg


Foremast Step 003.jpg



Blackened Brass wire was used to simulate the bolts :



Foremast Step 004.jpg


Mizzenmast Step 002.jpg

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Aft Crutch and Lower Breasthook


As I did with the Mast Steps, I used Cherry Ballart again for the Crutch and Breasthook. Card templates were used to transfer the shape of the hull to the undersides, and the top sides were taken from the patterns in TFFM.


These two pics are the Aft Crutch :



Crutch 001.jpg


Crutch 002.jpg



Blackened Brass wire bolts again :



Lower Breasthook 001.jpg



The Lower Breasthook in the bow :



Lower Breasthook 002.jpg

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Limber Boards


Limber Boards cover the channels to prevent them from being blocked.


They are bevelled on each edge to fit the rebates in the limber strakes :



Limber Boards 001.jpg



Each board has a different width and taper to follow the line of the strakes. There are semi-circular holes at each end to enable them to be lifted out to clean the channels of debris :



Limber Boards 004.jpg


Limber Boards 006.jpg



I am fitting all of them to the port side, but only a few to starboard to show the channels :



Limber Boards 008.jpg



The limber boards sit on about a 45 degree angle :



Limber Boards 009.jpg

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Lower Well and Shot Locker


The Well contains the lower ends of the Pump Tubes and prevents any cargo from damaging or blocking them.


Construction started by making card templates of the lower boards. Corner braces were cut to oversize lengths and the planks were glued to them. The edges of these were sanded flush after the glue dried :



Well 004.jpg


Well 005.jpg



Much dry-fitting was needed to get the well to sit flush with the various timbers under it :



Well 006.jpg


Well 008.jpg



The Shot Locker is a part of the forward end of the well :



Well 010.jpg


Well 011.jpg


Well 012.jpg



Lids were made and glued on. I'm adding the hinges etc later :



Shot Locker Lids 003.jpg


Shot Locker Lids 004.jpg


Shot Locker Lids 005.jpg

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Chain Pump Inlets


The Chain Pump Tubes sit in "Cast Iron" Inlets in the bottom of the well.


I made the sides of these from the Photo-Etched parts supplied by Admiralty Models. I also made the bottoms from thin sheet brass, as none came with the PE set. These had to be drilled and filed :



Chain Pump Inlets 001.jpg



To simulate the nuts I used 0.8mm brass tubing cut into pieces with an Xacto knife. I first inserted a 0.5mm drill into the tubing to prevent it from crushing and rolled the tubing under the knife blade until it cut through :



Chain Pump Inlets 006.jpg



This was my first attempt at Silver Soldering, and I was very happy with the way it turned out :) . I used medium temperature Silver Solder Paste and a small Butane torch, about the size of a thick pen. I held the assembly in my vise while performing the operation :



Chain Pump Inlets 007.jpg



One of the Inlets after it was soldered and not yet cleaned up :



Chain Pump Inlets 010.jpg



After a pickling bath in vinegar to remove the scale and flux the part was cleaned again in Acetone and Blackened with Birchwood-Casey Brass Black diluted 1:8 with water :



Chain Pump Inlets 013.jpg



The Inlets in position in the well. They will completely disappear from view later, but are a good base for the Tubes to sit into :



Chain Pump Inlets 015.jpg

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Pump Tubes


The Pump Tubes are Octagonal in shape, and taper from top to bottom. I made these from Holly and cut the tapers on the Byrnes saw using the Taper Jig :



Pump Tubes 001.jpg



Then I sanded the octagonal shape into them using a sanding block and a simple jig to hold them :



Pump Tubes 003.jpg


Pump Tubes 005.jpg


Pump Tubes 007.jpg

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Chain Pump Sprocket


Whilst I was "in the groove" with my hew-found Silver Soldering skills I thought I would make a Chain Pump Sprocket. I only need one of these as the other will be hidden from view under the Cistern.


This was made in similar fashion to the Pump Inlets using the PE side parts and 0.8mm brass wire for the bolts :



Chain Pump Sprocket 001.jpg


Chain Pump Sprocket 002.jpg


Chain Pump Sprocket 003.jpg


Chain Pump Sprocket 006.jpg


Chain Pump Sprocket 007.jpg

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Lower Deck Clamps


Deck Clamps bolt to the hull through each frame and support the Deck Beams. There are two of them each side, an upper and a lower. They are "worked" in "Top and Butt" fashion (also sometimes known as "Anchor Stock planking"). They are quite substantial boards - 4" thick at the top and tapering to 3" thick at the bottom of the lower strake. The top edges of the strakes are parallel to the waterline athwartships.


Correct placement of these is crucial. I used my internal height gauge to mark their positions from the plans.



Lower Deck Clamps 004.jpg


Lower Deck Clamps 006.jpg


Lower Deck Clamps 008.jpg


Lower Deck Clamps 010.jpg


Lower Deck Clamps 011.jpg



The foremost end of the lower strake is cut for a Drop Plank :



Lower Deck Clamps 013.jpg


Lower Deck Clamps 014.jpg


Lower Deck Clamps 015.jpg

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Internal Treenailing


Bamboo Treenails are inserted to each frame. The Butts of the internal planking fall on different frames than the external planks for added strength.



Treenails 001.jpg



Treenails 002.jpg



Treenails 003.jpg


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Aft Platform


A card template was used to get the shape of the hull at the height of the Aft Platform :



Aft Platform 002.jpg



The Beams were cut and tapered at their extremities to follow the angle of the planking. Lodging Knees were traced from the diagram in TFFM and modified to suit the actual shape of the hull. The assembly was glued together :



Aft Platform 003.jpg



Then the outer edges of the knees were sanded fair :



Aft Platform 005.jpg



Aft Platform 007.jpg

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Aft Platform Carlings and Ledges


The Ledge mortices in the Carlings were marked and cut into a length of (scale) 4" x 3" stock. This method worked OK for the Platforms, but came back to bite me when I tried the same technique on the Lower Deck later on. The Carlings were also morticed into the Beams :



Aft Platform 009.jpg


Aft Platform 010.jpg


Aft Platform 011.jpg



The Ledge mortices in the Lodging Knees were cut in with a narrowed Xacto chisel blade and the 3" x 2" Ledges were glued in :



Aft Platform Ledges 003.jpg



Aft Platform Ledges 005.jpg



Aft Platform Ledges 007.jpg

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Aft Platform Bulkheads and Spirit Room Hatch


There are two bulkheads beneath the fore and aft floor of the aft platform. I made these to go a little past the centre line of the hull. Card templates were once again used to get their shapes :



Aft Platform 013.jpg



An Edging piece finishes the fore edge of the platform. The Spirit Room (or Fish Room) hatch has been fitted to the port side, and one brass hinge has been placed into position for the purposes of this picture :



Aft Platform 012.jpg



The hinges were made from brass sheet, filed to shape, a small "pin" soldered to the top and finally blackened before being epoxied on :



Spirit Room Hatch 005.jpg


Spirit Room Hatch 003.jpg


Spirit Room Hatch 004.jpg


Lower Deck Beams 011.jpg

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Lower Deck Beams


Occasionally one needs to jump a fair way ahead of the section being worked on at the moment. Some of the Lower Deck Beams needed to be made now in order to shape the tops of the bulkheads that are the next things to be built. It was just as easy to make ALL the Beams while I was set up for it.


The Lower Deck Beams are 8" wide and 6" deep in section. They have a 3" roundup over their length.


I made these ones as per instructions in TFFM by cutting blanks that were 8" thick and 9" deep, chiselling and sanding the top edge to the shape of the roundup, and finally thicknessing them in the Mill :



Lower Deck Beams 004.jpg


Lower Deck Beams 005.jpg


Lower Deck Beams 006.jpg



I found this method rather wasteful of timber, not to mention time, and later used a different method which had virtually no waste and was much quicker. This method is shown in the Upper Deck Beams post.


The beams are set 1" into the clamps. The easiest way to achieve this is to take the 1" off the ends of the beams themselves - the final result looks exactly the same. This avoids a LOT of VERY careful measuring and cutting into the clamps themselves - I'm not THAT good at something like that :D .



Lower Deck Beams 010.jpg


Lower Deck Beams 014.jpg



All the lower deck beams temporarily glued into place :



Lower Deck Beams 008.jpg


Lower Deck Beams 012.jpg

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Fore Platform and Bulkheads


There are three separate Fore Platform floors - the fore and aft floors are on a similar line, but the central one (the Coal Hole) is 1 foot lower. Note that there are two parts to the fore floor. It is intersected by the Foremast Step.


These were made in similar fashion to the Aft Platform :



Fore Platforms 001.jpg


Fore Platforms 002.jpg



Notches have been cut into the aft ends of the planks to accept the Riding Bitts and bulkhead stanchions :



Fore Platforms 003.jpg


Fore Platforms 004.jpg



The Bulkheads are made by first using card templates to get the hull shape, then edge gluing as many planks together as necessary, gluing on the stanchions and sanding their bottom ends to shape, and finally fitting a lower rail. Much dry-fitting involved here :



Aft Coal Hole Bulkhead 001.jpg


Bosun's Store Bulkhead 001.jpg


Bosun's Store Bulkhead 003.jpg


Aft Coal Hole Bulkhead 002.jpg


Aft Fore Bulkhead 001.jpg


Aft Fore Bulkhead 002.jpg


Athwartships Fore Bulkheads 001.jpg

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Lower Deck Hook


The Lower Deck Hook is a slightly modified version of the diagram in TFFM. It has two Hooked Scarph joints :



Lower Deck Hook 001.jpg


Lower Deck Hook 002.jpg

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Block Room and Tar Room Bulkheads


The Block Room occupies the port side of the aftmost fore platform, and the Tar Room is on the starboard side.


I spot-glued the doors into the bulkheads to check their fit and sanded them slightly where needed :



Block and Tar Room Bulkheads 001.jpg


Block and Tar Room Bulkheads 004.jpg



Then I removed the doors again and fitted the hardware. I've left the Block Room one fully open and the Tar Room one slightly ajar for aesthetic reasons :



Block and Tar Room Bulkheads 006.jpg


Block and Tar Room Bulkheads 007.jpg


Block and Tar Room Bulkheads 008.jpg

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Magazine Bulkheads and Mizzen Boxing


The Magazine in the aft end has an athwartships bulkhead at each end. These were made in similar fashion to the other bulkheads, except that the outer end of the forward one is filled with "mortar" to help prevent any flame or spark from entering the magazine. I used a light colored wood filler to simulate this :



Magazine Bulkheads 001.jpg


Magazine Bulkheads 006.jpg


Magazine Bulkheads 011.jpg



The Mizzen Mast has a Boxing surrounding it inside the magazine. The pics should be fairly self-explanatory as to it's construction :



Mizzen Boxing 003.jpg


Mizzen Boxing 005.jpg

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It was considered to be not a very good idea to have candles or lanterns inside the magazine (with good reason :D ) so a separate Light Room was fitted for illumination. This held a lantern accessible from outside the magazine itself, and was completely sealed off from it.


This was a very enjoyable part of the ship to build despite it's complexity (or perhaps BECAUSE of it  :) ).



Light Room 002.jpg


Light Room 003.jpg



The glazing in the windows is clear Sellotape which has a coating of PVA on both sides to seal it. It simulates the rather frosted appearance of glass of the time quite well :



Light Room 004.jpg


Light Room 005.jpg


Light Room 006.jpg

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Finishing the Magazine


The shelf for the Lightroom lantern - it is covered with aluminium foil to simulate the polished surface of the inside of the room which helped reflect light into the magazine. The Bread Room door is on the port side - this was more like a "crawl-through" door, being only 18" high :



Magazine Forward Bulkhead 001.jpg


Magazine Forward Bulkhead 002.jpg


Magazine Forward Bulkhead 004.jpg



The door to the Magazine is very substantial in thickness - 6" - but very small otherwise ... 1' 9" wide and 3' 6" high. It is also filled with mortar in the real ship. No iron fittings were used anywhere near the magazine - all hinges and door locks etc were made of either brass or copper to prevent sparks.



Magazine Forward Bulkhead 005.jpg



The floors of the magazine and passageway were sheathed in lead for two reasons - to keep out damp from the bilge, and to make cleaning up spilt powder easier. This sheathing extended up the walls by 5".


I used thin paper painted grey to simulate the lead :



Lead Magazine Floor 002.jpg


Lead Magazine Floor 003.jpg


Lead Magazine Floor 005.jpg


Lead Magazine Floor 006.jpg

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