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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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Aft Platform Rooms

 

These were all built in similar fashion to the forward platform rooms :

 

 

 

Aft Platform Rooms 001.jpg

 

Aft Platform Rooms 002.jpg

 

 

The Aft Platform Rooms are :

 

1. Marines Room

2. Captain's Storeroom

3. Magazine

4. Bread Room

5. Magazine Passageway

6. Lightroom

7. Steward's Room

8. Slops Room

 

 

Aft Platform Rooms 003.jpg

 

Lower Rooms Overall View.jpg

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Upper Deck Clamps and Ceiling

 

With the Platform Rooms completed attention now turns to the Upper Deck Clamps. These are similar to the lower deck - they are also worked in Top and Butt fashion :

 

 

Upper Deck Clamps 003.jpg

 

 

I made an error in measurement at the aft end - I hadn't allowed for the thickness of the deck beams when I marked out the tops of the clamps. This error wasn't discovered for quite a while, but I managed to fix it before any further harm was done.

 

 

Upper Deck Clamps 005.jpg

 

Upper Deck Clamps 006.jpg

 

Upper Deck Clamps 007.jpg

 

 

The Ceiling is similar to the Footwaling under the lower deck. There is an Air Space - a 2" gap for ventilation between frames - between the lower clamp and the upper strakes of the ceiling. Spacers are used to maintain the correct gap while the strakes are fitted :

 

 

Ceiling 001.jpg

 

Ceiling 003.jpg

 

 

Another Drop Plank has been cut into the forward end of the ceiling planks :

 

 

Ceiling 005.jpg

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Lower Deck Beam Carling Mortices

 

It's now time to fit the Lower Deck Beams made earlier. First, the mortices need to be cut for the Carlings. To mark them out accurately I used a string line down the centre of the hull and measured outward from it to mark the positions of the mortices :

 

 

Lower Deck Preparations.jpg

 

 

The blade height on the Byrnes saw was set to the depth of the mortices and the fence was set up to cut the left side of the mortice. Then a spacer of the correct thickness was slipped between the end of the timber and the fence to cut the right-hand side :

 

 

Cutting Carling Notches 002.jpg

 

Lower Deck Beams Notched 002.jpg

 

 

The Carlings are 4 1/2" thick whereas the Beams are 6", so instead of chiselling out each one I've cut them all the way through and will fit some "filler pieces" into the bottoms of the cuts to make up the difference. The blanks for these - there are about a hundred of them - were mass-produced on the Byrnes saw to the exact width of the mortice :

 

 

Mortice Fillers 002.jpg

 

 

Once they are glued in and sanded flush the join becomes virtually invisible :

 

 

Mortice Fillers 003.jpg

 

Cutting Carling Notches 003.jpg

 

Lower Deck Beams Ready.jpg

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Lodging and Hanging Knees

 

Each Beam is held in place by Knees - the horizontal ones are known as Lodging Knees and the vertical ones are Hanging Knees. They are bolted through the frames and into the beams.

 

The patterns for their shapes were taken from the diagrams in TFFM and modified to suit the actual shape of the hull using card templates.

 

 

Lodging Knees 001.jpg

 

 

I cheated a bit on the Ledge mortices in the lodging knees by cutting them on a 45 degree angle. The end result looks exactly the same :

 

 

Lodging Knees 003.jpg

 

Installing Lower Deck Beams 002.jpg

 

 

Blackened brass wire was used for the "bolts". These were all cut from 0.5mm wire - they are about 3mm long - and were blackened before being inserted. A small drop of PVA on each one prevents them from falling out :

 

 

Hanging Knees 001.jpg

 

Hanging Knees 002.jpg

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Opposed Knees, Beam Arms and Iron Knees

 

The Lodging Knees forward of the deadflat are on the aft side of the beams, those aft of the deadflat are on the forward side. Where they meet there are two "Opposed" Knees, one passing beneath the other. The lower one was made from extra-thick stock and filed to shape :

 

 

Opposed Knees.jpg

 

 

Two Beam Arms - substantial reinforcements - are fitted adjacent the Main Mast :

 

 

Beam Arms 002.jpg

 

Beam Arms 003.jpg

 

 

There is an Iron Knee at the aft end end of each beam arm. I made these from brass strip, tapered with a file. To simulate the square-headed bolts used to fasten them I silver soldered small pieces of brass wire to them and filed the heads square. They were then blackened and epoxied into the deck framing :

 

 

Iron Knees 001.jpg

 

Iron Knees 002.jpg

 

Iron Knees 003.jpg

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Lower Deck Waterways and Spirketting

 

A Waterway, or gutter, runs the length of the lower deck. It has a slight inward slope on it's top face. The outer edge is bevelled to fit the angles of the frames where they make contact.

 

I cut these from wide stock, as the lateral bend  needed was rather substantial :

 

 

Waterways 003.jpg

 

Waterways 004.jpg

 

 

Scarph joints are used to connect the lengths :

 

 

Waterways 005.jpg

 

Waterways 006.jpg

 

 

I have left out a section on the starboard side to show the Opposed Knees and Iron Knee below :

 

 

Waterways 007.jpg

 

 

The Spirketting sits above the waterway and is worked in Top and Butt fashion :

 

 

 Spirketting 003.jpg

 

Spirketting 004.jpg

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Riding Bitts - stage 1

 

The Riding Bitts are massive - 13" square - as they are subjected to a lot of forces from the Anchor Cables.

 

Again, I've jumped ahead a bit to enable me to cut the seats for them in the correct positions. I've only done the first stage of them so far.

 

They are made from Australian Cherry Ballart, as are all the other Bitts in the ship. It's a good hardwood with a very nice contrasting color, and was the only suitable timber of sufficient thickness I had on hand at the time :

 

 

Riding Bitts 002.jpg

 

Riding Bitts 001.jpg

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Upper Deck Beams

 

The Upper Deck Beams are 9" wide by 7" deep and have a roundup of 6". There are 22 of them in total.

 

I mentioned earlier that I used a different method of cutting the Upper Deck Beams to save on timber wastage and time. Instead of shaping each beam from an oversize blank I cut them all to a slight oversize on my scroll saw, dressed the top face and milled the bottom face as before.
I also made an improved version of the jig I use to mill the bottom faces :

 

 

Deck Beams 004.jpg

 

Deck Beams 002.jpg

 

Upper Deck Beams Placed 001.jpg

 

Upper Deck Beams Placed 002.jpg

 

 

Carling locations were marked and cut the same as the lower deck beams :

 

 

Marking Carlings.jpg

 

Carlings 003.jpg

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Lower Deck Planking

 

The first plank for the lower deck is the King Plank which runs down the centre line. It is 12" wide and 3" thick and sits 1" proud of the rest of the planking. It is chamfered on both sides to match the adjoining planks. "Caulking" is done on one edge and butt join with an Archival Ink pen :

 

 

King Plank 001.jpg

 

King Plank 002.jpg

 

 

The remaining planks are nominally 8" wide and 2" thick. Work continues outward :

 

 

Planking 001.jpg

 

Planking 003.jpg

 

 

The planks narrow toward the bow and stern between the Binding Strakes and Waterways :

 

 

Planking 004.jpg

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Lower Deck Treenailing

 

A couple of thousand treenails were drilled and fitted. The pattern varies depending on the width of the plank at a given point - those under 8" only get one nail, those between 8" and 10" have a single nail and double nail alternately, and those over 10" get all double nails :

 

 

Treenail Holes 001.jpg

 

Treenail Holes 002.jpg

 

Treenail Holes 003.jpg

 

 

The deck is given a sanding with 150 grit and 400 grit paper :

 

 

Treenails Finished 002.jpg

 

 

 

And finally two coats of Minwax Wipe-on Poly are applied :

 

Minwaxed Deck 003.jpg

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Hatch Coamings and Companions

 

The Hatch Coamings (surrounds) on the lower deck are 6" wide and 5" deep. They have a 3" deep by 2 1/2" wide rabbet to accept the hatch. The longitudinal members are also called Coamings (just to be confusing) and the athwartships ones are called Head-ledges. The head-ledges have a curve which matches that of the beams. I made these from thicker stock and sanded the curvature into them :

 

 

Hatch Coamings 001.jpg

 

Hatch Coamings 003.jpg

 

 

The corners of the coamings are rounded above the deck planks only :

 

 

Hatch Coamings 005.jpg

 

Hatch Coamings 006.jpg

 

 

The rabbets in the Stiles were cut on the Byrnes saw using the Micrometer gauge. Then the Treads were cut on the saw and glued in. Note the shaping of the underside of the stiles :

 

 

Ladder 001.jpg

 

Ladder 002.jpg

 

Ladder 003.jpg

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Lower Deck Breasthook

 

This is made in similar fashion to the previous Breasthooks. It is made from 8" stock.

 

A lot of "repeat" work happens during the course of building a model, with only minor variations in the dimensions of the timbers used (also known as Scantlings). Where this happens from here on I'll let the pictures tell the story rather than repeating myself, with only significant changes noted.

 

 

Lower Deck Breasthook.jpg

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Forward Room Bulkheads

 

The only variation of note in the construction of these bulkheads from previously detailed ones is the double rabbet in the fore-aft bulkhead stanchions which allows the planking to sit flush with one face of them. The rabbets were cut on the saw in one full length of stock and the stanchions were cut to size afterwards. The stanchions are vertical to the waterline, so the planks needed to be cut at the appropriate angles to compensate :

 

 

Forward Centre Fore-Aft Bulkhead 001.jpg

 

Forward Centre Fore-Aft Bulkhead 002.jpg

 

Forward Centre Fore-Aft Bulkhead 005.jpg

 

Forward Centre Fore-Aft Bulkhead 006.jpg

 

 

This is the athwartships bulkhead at the aft end of the Bosun's and Gunner's Rooms :

 

 

Bosun's and Gunner's Rooms Athwartships Bulkhead 001.jpg

 

Bosun's and Gunner's Rooms Athwartships Bulkhead 002.jpg

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Upper Deck Pillars and Beam Set

 

The Upper Deck has fancier Pillars than those in the Hold. These were turned on my lathe using the Digital Readout :

 

 

Beam Pillars 001.jpg

 

Beam Pillars 002.jpg

 

 

Some detail pics of a typical Beam Set with the beam, lodging and hanging knees, and carlings and their various mortices :

 

 

Beam Set 001.jpg

 

Beam Set 002.jpg

 

Beam Set 003.jpg

 

Beam Set 004.jpg

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Forward Rooms Bulkheads and Scuttles

 

The eyebolts and rings for the Scuttle are made from brass wire which was blackened after shaping :

 


Scuttle Cover.jpg

 

 

Door Hinges come from the PE set, the locks are thin brass plate and the handles are the heads of leftover brass planking pins :

 

 

Bosun's and Gunner's Bulkhead 002.jpg

 

Bosun's and Gunner's Bulkhead 004.jpg

 

Forward Fore & Aft Bulkheads 001.jpg

 

Forward Fore & Aft Bulkheads 003.jpg

 

Forward Fore & Aft Bulkheads 004.jpg

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Riding Bitts and Sail Room

 

The Riding Bitts have been placed into position again, and the rabbets for the upper deck beams were marked and cut :

 

 

Riding Bitts 001.jpg

 

Riding Bitts 003.jpg

 

 

The Sail Room has three louvers on both longitudinal sides. These were made from Holly for contrast :

 

 

Sail Room 001.jpg

 

Sail Room 002.jpg

 

Sail Room 003.jpg

 

Sail Room 004.jpg

 

Door Fix 001.jpg

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Wing Transom Knees

 

It was at this stage of the build that I discovered a problem with the height of the Upper Deck Clamp at the Transom. For my "fix" check out This Link.

 

The Wing Transom Knees are very similar to any other Lodging Knee and were made in similar fashion :

 

 

Wing Transom Knees 001.jpg

 

Wing Transom Knees 002.jpg

 

 

Note that the Wing Transom is not entirely accurate in these pics - another "fix" was needed and will be detailed later in the build.

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Bread Room Bulkhead and Pillars

 

Construction of the Aft Rooms on the Lower Deck begins with the Bread Room Bulkhead. There are two Pillars either side of centre :

 

 

Bread Room Bulkhead 001.jpg

 

 

Upper Deck Beams and Carlings were fitted after the bulkhead was in place :

 

 

Bread Room 001.jpg

 

Bread Room 002.jpg

 

Bread Room 003.jpg

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Pantry

 

The Pantry is a "stand-alone" room similar to the Sail Room in the fore part of the ship. It has ventilation louvers as well - I again made these from Holly :

 

 

Pantry 001.jpg

 

Pantry 002.jpg

 

Pantry 004.jpg

 

Pantry 005.jpg

 

 

Once all the Aft Rooms were completed the Upper Deck Framing was done above them :

 

 

Lower Deck Rooms Finished 002.jpg

 

 

A description of the Aft Lower Deck Rooms :

 

There are three rooms each side, with the Pantry in the middle of the deck and the Bread Room at the aft end. In a clockwise direction from the forward starboard room the others are :

 

1. Marine Officers' Room

2. Master's Room

3. Surgeon's Room

4. Purser's Room

5. Lieutenant's Room

6. Gunner's Room

 

 

Lower Deck Rooms Finished 001.jpg

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Upper Well

 

The Upper Well is a rather more complex piece to build compared to the other structures of the Lower Deck. It consists of fully louvered walls rebated into stanchions in each corner and alongside the door.

 

I cut all the stanchions to length first, allowing a few millimetres extra at the top ends. I also made up two extras in case of mistakes in cutting the angles for the rebates in the right direction - I needed one of them  :D . The angles were all cut on the Byrnes saw - very tricky to work out which angle needs to be cut in which direction, especially when you have to cut them upside-down  :huh:  :

 

 

Upper Well 003.jpg

 

Upper Well 004.jpg

 

Upper Well 006.jpg

 

Upper Well 008.jpg

 

Upper Well 009.jpg

 

Upper Well 010.jpg

 

Upper Well 011.jpg

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Upper Deck Waterways

 

These were made and fitted in similar fashion to the Lower Deck Waterways, with one notable exception - their profile shape. This required a special Scraping Tool to cut the profile.

 

To make the tool I used a wide chisel-point Xacto blade. I first annealed it over a gas flame until it was cherry-red and allowed it to cool naturally. When it had cooled I filed the profile in with needle files and sharpened each facet with the same. Then I once again returned it to the gas flame, heating it to cherry-red but this time I immediately quenched it in water to cool it. This hardened the steel back to it's original condition.

 

One thing to note about the scraping tool is the "long" part of the blade (top-right in the pic) - the "vertical" facet has been left dull (rounded in fact) to follow the edge of the plank without cutting into it. This guides the rest of the blade to prevent it from wavering :

 

 

Waterways 002.jpg

 

Waterways 004.jpg

 

Waterways 006.jpg

 

Waterways 007.jpg

 

Waterways 008.jpg

 

Waterways 009.jpg

 

Waterways 010.jpg

 

Waterways 011.jpg

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