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Cross Section - HMS Leopard 1790 by Bluto 1790 - 1:44

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Thanks Tom, Michael and Havelock for the comments, and the others for the likes and visits.


"Diversion update."  As I said, I've left the hold for the present and decided to have a go at the wales.  The wales could pretty much be done at almost any time in the build but because they're the tricky hook and butt planks I wanted to see how I would get on with them.  In my other build the wales were hook and butt, but at about half of the scale of this one, I found them very difficult back then and eventually opted for the easier top and but planks like these >


. . . and when on the ship, looked like this >


What I was hoping for (on this build) was for the wales to look like this >



On lots of build logs I've seen the use of metal templates to obtain the shape of wales planks.  I did consider this method, but in the lack of suitable metal, and the thought that if the templates weren't completely accurate, then neither would be the wooden wales.  So I opted to cut each one individually on the bandsaw.  I reckoned I would need 24 planks so I made 28 "just in case".  I hoped I wouldn't have to make any more than that.

Here are 16 of the blanks.

115411033_Waleblanks16.thumb.jpg.a815b4dd9f1a7cb96055c7c7c2d259c6.jpg24 of them after they had been to the bandsaw > 


And looking a little more orderly.



I painted the planks before fitting them.  Here, the first 3 "starter" planks in position >



Port side >




Starboard side >



Now I can get back to something a little less tricky.



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Back inside the ship I wanted to be getting some of the structures for the orlop deck made but in order to establish the height of these I needed to have the lower gun deck beams to be at least temporarily in place.

In my previous build I had found it a little tricky trying to get a constant curve on every beam so I decided I would use 4 thin strips to laminate each beam.  I made a former out of a piece of softwood.  I used the 'hacksaw blade and 3 nails' system to achieve the curve.  I decided on the curve I wanted, knocked in 3 nails - one at each end and the third in the centre and bent the hacksaw blade in place and drew the curve.  The following photo may explain it better >



Cut the curve at the bandsaw and lightly sanded both parts of the curve.



The first beam out of the former >



The laminated appearance diminishes somewhat after sanding the sides and the sides and undersides of the beams will all be painted with the 'white stuff' as well.

From my previous experience of laminating strips of wood into a curve I knew that the wood naturally 'springs back' a little from the shape of the former, so when drawing the curve I set it a little 'higher' than I wanted.   Well, this wood had other ideas! -- it just stayed exactly as it came out of the former and looked just a bit too extreme in its curvature.  So, a few hours clamped on to a flat surface and the six beams were more 'normal looking'.

Placed in position >



At this point I discovered a bit of a minor horror.  I'm a long-time member of the "measure twice, cut once club" and always take great care to follow that rule before committing a knife or saw to a workpiece - or in this case, before committing a part to the glue.  I'm still mystified as to how I did it -- but somehow the port side lower gun deck clamp was about 1.5mm higher than was the starboard clamp.  These clamps are 'welded' on with epoxy resin and I wasn't about to cause major devastation by trying to remove the offending clamp.

Instead, I opted to notch a little material out of the underside of the port end of each beam.  Beams now sitting as they should be.

Now I'm scared to look for any other 'goof-ups' -- in case I find any! 



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Thanks for the likes and visits.


Now that the beams were established in their positions (although not yet secured) the dimensions of everything to be placed on the orlop deck could also be established.

Decided to start with the upper well and the first little challenge was to decide what format it would take. I say that as there is a bit of a conflict between the only two drawings I have of that structure.

In the schematic drawing it looks like this >


In the above drawing the upper well (#17) appears with a door on the front as well as a door on the rear, also the planking appears to be 'conventionally' flat.

 Here's the other image I have >


In that image, which is viewed looking towards the stern, there is no door on the front of the upper well (#9) and it's not clear from that whether the boards are flat or louvred.

On several build logs of ships from a similar period I see the builders have made louvred walls, so following these as a fairly reliable lead I opted to take that route.

New challenge. I've never done louvres before, not even on full-size projects.

Out came the milling machine again.  On a previously used jig I screwed on this simple triangle against which the posts could be secured and slotted >




The opposite angled slots would be cut on the other side (right-hand side) of the triangle.  I soon realised that if both 45 degree angles weren't exactly equal there would be a visible discrepancy in the finished slots, so I did all the left-hand cuts first then unscrewed and flipped the triangle round before cutting the right-hand cuts.

The first post >



I made all of the 5 posts in over-long lengths as that made getting them all cut to their exact finished lengths a bit easier.

I inserted a piece of 1mm brass wire in the centre of each post/pillar to facilitate correct positioning on the deck. >



All 5 posts in position >



In line with what I saw on other builds, I opted to place one door on the starboard side.

It seemed to me that it would have been quite tricky to have tried to glue in all the slats with the posts in their positions on the deck, so time for another little jig.

The following pic shows the 5 holes for the brass pins >



I held a piece of paper over the deck while piercing holes to correspond with the drilled holes in the deck.

I cut the paper down to size and glued it on to a piece of 6mm plywood and attached that to a strip of wood so that it could be held in the vice. >



First 'short wall' done >



I found the best way was to insert the bottom slat first, then the top one.  Doing that helped ensure that the posts would remain parallel to each other while fitting the other slats. >




Then, quicker than I was expecting, it was complete.  It wasn't nearly as challenging as I thought it would be.



Then on board >





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45 minutes ago, toms10 said:


 You are making me want to do a cross section model!  I love all the details that are not normally seen in a model ship.  


You're right about all the stuff that isn't normally seen in a full model.  I'm finding this is very educational as I'm having to do more research and asking questions for information that I didn't do on my previous full ship model.

Another advantage is that I'm able to build at a much bigger scale so the 'smaller details' are correspondingly easier to work . . . although even at this scale some things are still quite tricky!


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On 5/29/2020 at 2:08 PM, Bluto 1790 said:

Thanks for your further comment, Michael.


Although the orlop deck beams have the mortices for the carlings cut, the carlings and ledges won't be cut until the hold is completed.  A fairly substantial part of the hold are the riders.  Very little - almost nothing - of the riders is shown in the drawings, and in fact, there is nothing of them in the 50 Gun Ship book.

Only the section drawing that I posted at the beginning of this thread shows their approximate shape, and one other drawing of the orlop deck gives a few clues as to their positions.  Here's that drawing, in which I've indicated in red what appears to be five riders, and only the three aftmost of these will occur in the section I'm building.  I've arrowed these three riders  >



I started using card trying to get the profiles and after a few pieces of card got the first one fairly close -- then I bought this >


That made it much easier and quicker to get the required profile which was transferred to card, tweaked a little then transferred onto the wood for cutting out on the bandsaw  >


The aftmost of the floor riders >


 . . . and with the foremost of the three >


The first test 'ride' of the three floor riders >


The orlop drawing above appears to show that middle rider just a little ahead of the main mast, and as such, looks like it would pass through the shot locker, so I cheated a little with that one and made it in 2 pieces.  Here it's shown with the first futtock riders >


Here, with the aft rider and both with their first futtock riders >


All three with their futtock riders get a test 'ride' before permanent fitting <



Well, need to get the orlop beams on so time to make these riders a permanent part of the ship.  Aft rider glued and nailed on (deck beam just clamped on in order to get the rider in the correct position) >


Riders and beams get to be together in the same hull (beams still just dry fitted here as the support pillars are still to be made)  >



Will have to wait until the inside hull planking is done on orlop deck before I can make the (upper) breadth rider sections.

Hi Jim. Can you give me some info on the profile tool that you show in the second photo might just have to get one. Thank you. Gary

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Hi Gary,


I just typed something like "profile tool" or "profile gauge" into Google and a whole host of these gauges came up.  I just selected one from a local supplier -- Toolstation here in the U.K.


I don't know if you're in the U.S. or Australia or wherever but I'm sure you shouldn't have much trouble in finding something.


Here's a short video showing one in use.  




I'm not advertising or advocating this one -- it was just the first video that came up when I 'Googled' it. 

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Time for something different - - time for a walk . . . a carpenter's walk.


Of all the build logs I've looked at, I can't remember seeing any which have included the carpenter's walk, so I wanted to have a go at including at least part of one.

Building a section as big as this has advantages and disadvantages.  One of the disadvantages is that, although much more 'stuff' can be included, some of that 'stuff' could be obscured from view by other items.

For that reason, one item I have decided to omit is the mid-ships sail room.  In the same area where that sail room would be is the aft end of the carpenter's walk and cable tier and to include these would just be an added feature rather than creating a 'blind spot.'

From this drawing I can see that I will be able to include one and a half sections of the lattice-work partitions that make up the carpenter's walk.  I've outlined the two sections in red. >



Just these two small parts involve 96 half-laps, so time to recruit the mill again.  I used strips of beech in the dimensions of 4mm X 2mm and used a 2mm cutter to mill the 4mm wide half laps.  In order to cut the half laps I spot glued two batches of strips to pieces of 6mm plywood.  The strips were glued as shown in the following >



That allowed me to make the cuts in groups of 4 as there are 4 half lap joints vertically and horizontally in each section.  The 2mm cutter also took care of the vertical groove in the posts.



. . . and cut closer to their final lengths.



Trimmed and assembled.




. . . and with the white stuff.



First 'test ride' before the white stuff.



With a few of the cable tier pillars and ventilation beams.



The upper well and the blanks of the lower gun deck beams sitting in position (dry fitted) >





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Nice touch with the carpenter's walk, Jim.   They do seem to be a rare item in a model possibly because whoever did the plans for the model didn't bother.  Or maybe they just were't on every ship.  They did give the carpenter's the ability to check for leaks and also inspect during battle for holes.   But the penalty was loss of usable hold space.  

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Thanks Tom (usedtosail) and Mark for your comments and the others for the likes and visits.


Since I had finished the upper well structure and everything in that central part of the orlop deck seemed OK I was keen to have a try at the more complicated mid-ships beam which has the beam arms attached.

My only previous experience with deck beams, carlings and ledges was with the slightly simpler, flat and square orlop ones.

The curved beam arms looked more complicated, although the basic cutting of them was reasonably straightforward with the bandsaw and smoothing them with a sanding drum in the drill press . . . but first I had to decide on their configuration.

I had a good rummage through the Fifty Gun Ship book (there are no plans for the deck beams in the plans/drawings I have) and could only find a few drawings of beams for 50 gun ships from an earlier period.

Here is the best one I could find with the mid-ships beam with beam arms circled in red >



Having looked at so many build logs of Royal Navy ships from the late 1700s, what I saw in that drawing above differed somewhat as far as that central beam was concerned, so I opted to go with what I was seeing in the other builds.

This is first attempt at the rather complicated joint between the beam and the arm >



. . . and 'clicked' together >



First dry fit >



Both beam arms with one carling on each >



On the models I've viewed there have been some with two ledges between beams, some with three ledges and some with four ledges, so, at first I opted to go with two ledges >



I was quite happy with that first attempt, but the more I looked at it the more I began to think there probably should be at least three ledges between the two beams.

So ~ ~ ~ for the other side I decided to go for three.



Doing three ledges involved creating more mortices -- reasonably easy to do the 'square' mortices, but a bit more of a challenge to do the angled mortices in the beam arm and in the lodging knee.


Here, a bit of an incongruous picture showing the difference between the two sides >



OK ~ it may look a little odd but as the deck will be planked and nothing of the beams, carlings and ledges will be seen, I am leaving it the way it is.  There was quite a lot of work and time spent on these beam arms and associated 'bits' - even just the simpler starboard side, and in reality it was something of an experiment as I wanted to see if I could tackle that new challenge.


Here, the beams, the arms, carlings and ledges are now glued in position with the upper well also in position.

In this picture only the starboard lodging knee was still to be fitted (it can be seen lying on the cable tier) >




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Nice job Jim. The three beam side looks “more righter”😜.  There is a bit of grammar to push my wife the English major over the edge. 😁 But as you said, it is all going to be covered anyway. Great practice and a chance to learn though. You are a better man than me. I would have left it out all together if it is going to be planked over. 

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34 minutes ago, toms10 said:

Nice job Jim. The three beam side looks “more righter”😜.  There is a bit of grammar to push my wife the English major over the edge. 😁 But as you said, it is all going to be covered anyway. Great practice and a chance to learn though. You are a better man than me. I would have left it out all together if it is going to be planked over. 

Hi Tom,


I think that side is "more righter" and is also "more betterer"!


When I made my other model I didn't bother with any "correct" beams, carlings and ledges as virtually everything inside the ship would not be seen. (but I wanted to make this one "correcter"!)

As you said, it has been great practice and a chance to see if I could do some of the 'stuff' I see on so many other builds.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Re-visited the aft end of the hold and fitted a couple of racks, each of which has a coil of rope on it - more to follow when I get some more suitable rope.







Then returned to the fore end of the orlop deck to get the two deck beams secured since the carpenter's walk and cable tier were now done.  Although quite small, turning the deck pillars proved quite tricky.  I was using 6mm square stock and as I don't have a 4 jaw lathe chuck I could only use the point of the drive attachment in my drill and the point of the idler at the other end so it was a bit of a slow process.








(It was only the central beam pillars that get turned, the cable tier pillars are just square in section.)


Still have to do the carlings, ledges and knees for these two beams but I've made a start on the structures of a few of the rooms at the aft end of the orlop deck to allow me to get the other two deck beams fixed in place.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The two aftmost deck beams were still to be fitted but some work on the orlop rooms in that area was still to be done.

Three rooms would be accommodated there -- Marine Clothing, #5 in the drawing below;  the Lieutenant's Store Room, #18, and the Captain's Store Room, #19  >>>



Being further inside, room #18 was tackled first.  First was the forward paneled wall which I made with wooden top, bottom and side spars, but for the panels a single section of card was used.



That card 'panel' was further sub-divided into 8 smaller panels by gluing on more wooden straps on each side.  Just using one large piece of card for the whole wall made it easier to keep everything flat.  With the wooden straps fitted >



and dry-fitted where it will live >



I quite liked the look of the wooden framework with the white panels, but as almost everything down there on the orlop deck was painted white, a white paint job it would be.

Here with a few other components for these orlop rooms >



The "L" shaped section above is the Lieutenant's store room and the sections lying flat are the Captains store room still to be assembled.

(The 2 wedge shaped pieces glued to the inside face of the door standard/post above will be mentioned later.)


The doors, although small, were no small project!   Created using a similar method as for the paneled walls but leaving the upper 'panel' empty for the bars.



At first I attempted assembling the doors by leaving off the top beam, fitting the bars into the middle beam then trying to lower the top beam down into position while trying to get these 5 bars located in the top beam  --  it wasn't working !!!

So, I glued-in the top beam, clamped the door in the vice, and inserted each bar in turn down through the top beam and into position in the middle beam.  That seemed to be a much easier way of doing it. >



The "L" shaped hinges and the door lock are blackened brass, as are the 5 bars >



and the door knobs/handles are the heads snipped off a few brass nails >



The 3 rooms positioned on the deck.  (As for the wedges mentioned above ~ these were to allow me to position the door in a half open position on the Captain's store room -- I think the Captain had to rush off in a big hurry to the heads, but I'm sure he'll be back soon to lock that door.)





Dry positioned along with the as yet 'un-morticed' deck beams >





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Finding information on what kind of 'furniture' occupied  these rooms wasn't easy and I resorted to watching a few 'walk-thru' videos of HMS Victory on youtube to get some ideas.

Decided to make a couple of base units with 6 drawers in each -- one unit each for the Marine clothing and Captain's storage rooms.



and in position where they'll live >



These last 2 deck beams needed fitting so, fitting these, and fitting the hanging knees came before finally gluing in these drawer units .



It took a couple of days before I noticed that I had omitted the central deck beam pillars! ~ that was annoying! . . . they were already turned and painted and in the box waiting their turn to be fitted at the same time as the beams.  I like to attach them up into the beam and down into the floor with some wire but this time just had to be content with squeezing them into position with a little PVA, top and bottom.

Base units now permanent fixtures >




The Marine clothing room possibly had some wall cupboards, so >



As above, drilled for handles;  below, with handles made from snipped-off heads of some brass nail, as had already been used for the handles on the drawers  >


Handles fitted  >



I felt these doors were a little too modern looking, 1990s maybe? . . . so I gave them some fake hinges  >



On the wall  >





A table may have been a useful item in that room so  >












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Hi Jim

The furniture is absolutely incredible. Next thing your going to tell me is that the draws have actual scaled clothing in them. 😜😁 I think a pair of shoes next to the dresser would be a nice touch. 😜😜😜😁

Truly an exceptional job on this cross section



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8 hours ago, toms10 said:

I think a pair of shoes next to the dresser would be a nice touch.

Thanks for the comment, Tom, and to the others for the likes and visits.


Tom, you've just sparked another interest for me - - - I'm now considering enrolling on a cobbler's course at a night school somewhere!

So, right now, I don't have any scale shoes to display - - -  however  >>>



and since I've been able to upload that photo above I'll have another try at uploading the failures from last night  >









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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Michael for the comment and the others for the visits and likes.


Not a lot of apparent progress to report even though what I've done has taken considerable time.


Before I progress any further on that lower gun deck I wanted to get the lanterns and their wiring installed.  As the wiring for these lanterns goes through some carlings and even some deck beams, and especially at the aft end the wires go in several directions, I'm going to omit the ledges in these areas.  (The deck will be completely planked anyway, so 'what's missing' won't be seen.)

Before doing any more wiring in the ship I took some time to get ahead of myself a little and created 12 of the lanterns.




Doing what is seen above is fairly easy and quick.  I just cut the tube to length, insert the LED (Pico size), lock it in position with a small drop of epoxy resin and allow the glue to dry ~~ then the 'fun' begins.  Getting all the parts of the framework on to each lantern is what is time-consuming, and after a few lanterns, becomes a little tedious. (Although not in the same 'tedium league' as doing 1000s of ratlines!)

When I did the wiring for the hold I soldered the wires together in 'mid-air' -- without any kind of platform.  This time I made a platform between 2 carlings and that made it much easier to solder these hair like micro wires.

The aft platform is arrowed below >



The 2 rooms at the aft end got a lantern each and I hung one near the centre in the open area of the orlop deck >



. . . and at first 'switch on'  >



and at the fore end, illuminating the cable tiers and upper well >



Shortly after the above photos were taken, the lantern in the Marine clothing room mysteriously became very dim, so I got one of the Marines to hang another lantern in there  >




I have to apologise for the condition of that Marine clothing room ~ some tunics have been left lying on the table and another one hangs from a nail driven into a hanging knee.  (Now I know why they're called 'hanging knees'!)




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  • 2 weeks later...

With the orlop deck more or less finished, time to move up to the lower gundeck.

A whole lot of planking would have to be milled, but although quite time consuming, was fairly straightforward, while creating the profile of the waterways was something that caused a deal of frustration for me.  I've never before tried using a scraper to create a moulding and it took some time before I was 'getting the hang of it'.

At first I was trying to remove the required amount from a solid length of timber ~~ and that Beech is real hard stuff!  It just wasn't happening for me.

This is the scraper I used >



That was made from a utility knife blade.   As it was proving too hard to scrape the profile from the 'solid' wood, I ran it over my table saw blade to remove most of the material >



Then finalised the profile with the scraper, then trimmed it down to it's final shape on the bandsaw >



With these waterways done I could 'relax' and get on with doing the easy deck planking.

In that central area all around the main mast it's going to be quite busy with the mast, the lower ends of the posts of the topsail sheet bitts, two brake (Elm tree) pumps, four tubes for the chain pumps along with the heads of the chain pumps.

I thought "I'll just get on and make the chain pumps cistern heads."  Four days later they still weren't finished!  

Most of the main components >



. . . and glued up >





The brackets at the spindles and on the top are blackened brass but the "plugs" on the sides are card painted black with wire handles.

At this time the central area of the deck is planked as I want to be getting all that 'busy' stuff sorted.  I also made a dummy upper deck beam so that I could gauge the approximate lengths of the brake pump tubes.



The lengths of the four chain pump tubes isn't critical as they'll be covered and out of sight by the pump head cisterns.





The brake pump tubes are different lengths as the one on the left of the photo (starboard side) serves the lower gun deck and the port side will serve the upper deck.  I've seen drawings of 3 deckers with one brake pump on lower deck and the other one two decks above on the upper gun deck.

The bottom ends of the topsail sheet bitts will be accommodated in the 2 square 'holes' ahead of the brake pumps.

Edited by Bluto 1790
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