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Winchelsea Nef 1274 A.D. by Louie da fly - 1:75

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"Tony, I've seen your very informed comments on other people's builds, but haven't seen your own log. Am I missing something?"


No, you're not missing anything Steven. I'm all talk and no action! 😀


I don't have a build under way right now, I'm running out the last few months to retirement and then I hope I'll have the headspace to do some serious model building. Although I have a lot of competing projects to deal with too -  a half-written book on pearling luggers needs to be finished, for one.  I do have plenty of modelling subjects lined up though. So watch this space!

Edited by Tony Hunt
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Thanks for the reply, Tony. I can fully understand the time constraints. I only really got serious progress on my modelling once I'd retired.


Pearl luggers are fascinating vessels (though strictly the West Australian ones should be called schooners or ketches, as they were gaff rigged). Unless it's been removed, there's an old lugger at the Maritime Museum in Fremantle. I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide to build once you get the time.


In the meantime, here's the latest progress on the nef.


Deck beams for the after deck.


20211002_071955.thumb.jpg.d7f12bb2ecd1f58c4368d2e65bb4c72a.jpg   20211002_093508.thumb.jpg.5e7d49961f4e46ce657f770a4324fd4d.jpg


Side beams for the hold opening






Adding intermediate frames between the existing ones. Firstly the bits that show above deck level.










I will probably add intermediate floor timbers as well, at least in the hold, as I intend to have the hold partly exposed (a couple of removable deck planks removed) to show some cargo. Not sure if I'll carry the intermediate floor timbers all the way through the hull, as most of them will be hidden by the decks.





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Thanks for all the likes.


Christian, I'm basing the spacing of the frames on the Skuldelev 1 knorr, which was also clinker built. (Otherwise I could have saved myself a lot of work and trouble - I only decided to add the extra frames after I saw the photo below). It seems to me that every second frame only goes down as far as the turn of the bilge. I don't know if I will be doing this.





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Some more progress. Putting in the mast partners. The mast is recycled from my dromon model and will need to be altered.




20211005_092725.thumb.jpg.72f5a17a0db82c522a4ebb51488aef0a.jpg          20211005_092736.thumb.jpg.c778e13977f277a0685526c960664ad5.jpg


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As nobody's ever found a mediaeval European mast , I really wasn't sure how the halyard worked, but I did find a photo of a Viking ship replica that used a sheave in the mast, so here I am making a sheave for the halyard.




Here's the mast before . . .




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Here's the mast after. More to be done to make it right for the nef.





Planking of the foredeck.


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Not sure mate.  I am about to step out, but I did take a long distance shot of the Bremen Cog recreation/replica - the Bremerhaven ship museum has been very helpful whenever I have contacted them - they may have some info?  I will send the distant shot (which is probably not helpful) when I can lay my hands on it.





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I'm all but certain the mast was not recovered from the Bremen cog, or from the Ijsselcog. It seems to be one of the first things to go. It's only in cases like the wonderful ships of the Black Sea that masts survive. And the Bremen cog was apparently under construction when she was washed away by a flood and buried in silt, so she may never have had a mast at all.


That being the case, I'm assuming that the mast of the replica as based on speculation and educated guesswork. Which is what I'm doing with my nef anyway, so no worse off, I suppose  :P.



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I'm all but certain the mast was not recovered from the Bremen cog, or from the Ijsselcog. It seems to be one of the first things to go.

You're right. For the Bremer cog you can use one of the replica's  for teh mast design. In my opinion the Kieler cog is the best.

Do you know, that there is a wonderful book over the excavation with beautyful drawings of the IJssel cog?

"De opgraving en lichting van de 15e- eeuwse IJsselkogge" onder redactie van W.B.Waldus.



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Thanks, Christian. That book sounds very interesting.


I've just finished the mast - though the top of the mast of the ship on the Winchelsea town seal is a bit vague, Landström interprets it  as having a cross at the top, in line with the seals of other towns such as Melcombe Regis and Hythe, as well as several manuscript illustrations.


So here's the cross at the top - a halving joint for the crossbar.








Here's the mast dry fitted - the cross seems always to be visible from the side rather than the front as I would have expected, though this might be artistic license to make sure it can be seen in a profile view of the ship.






 And now based upon the Ijssel cog, the planking for the bottom of the hold


20211007_131327.thumb.jpg.bc9c8a0563838c0f464a4ed68fb54a02.jpg    20211007_131336.thumb.jpg.02f96b2ec37bc84d9e48b392a836be2b.jpg




And "branches" - actually dry weeds from the street verge opposite the house - laid on top of the planking.










and "brushwood" (also weeds) to bed down the barrels that are the ship's cargo.


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Barrels under way - twenty-one of them.




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Barrel hoops just begun






More to come.







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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the likes and comments.


Chuck, I thought about the barrels for quite a while and even researched the size of a tun (though it only gave me the volume rather than height and diameter).


However, barrels come in all kinds of sizes, so I went for something that could be handled relatively easily by one or two people.


On the other hand, really big barrels do go back a fair way - see this excerpt from the late 11th century Bayeux Tapestry, of a barrel that's been carried across the English Channel in what is effectively a Viking ship, for the Norman soldiers invading England in 1066. Translation "These [men] carry arms to the ships, and here they haul the wagon with wine and arms"




[Edit] Just roughed out a larger barrel - not a full tun - it would be too big to go in the low headroom of the hold - but quite a bit bigger. Here's the original size.




And here it is with the new one, in the ship and against a person.






Maybe I'll go with the bigger size after all - one advantage is that there would be fewer to make. Just as well I posted now, rather than after I'd made all the smaller ones . . . [/Edit]





Edited by Louie da fly
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OK. I've done a bit of research. Certainly there is a wide range of barrel sizes - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_wine_cask_units




But if you look at mediaeval illustrations, particularly of wine barrels, they generally seem to have been pretty big -


 image.png.57f0c3064315f310d425c4a23cf20be3.png    image.png.bf14b587e7bf2defdfba087358999c9d.png   image.png.2828a9c9801273bf4e9f7b81a7f1ffc5.png


image.png.4e74bf2d90caf749417430a7809a22b1.png   image.png.6445797acf633372f0611f4764609055.png




Maybe I'll go with the idea of different sized barrels. Thanks for the suggestion, Druxey and Mark.









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10 hours ago, Chuck Seiler said:

Don't know how accurate for the period, but to paraphrase Bruce, "Close enough for government work".


That's right. Add to that the fact that in this period it was probably even less standardised - they probably made barrels "the right size", whatever that may have been at the time - see the pictures above - quite a wide variation. So I'm not going to get too fussed. But I do like the idea of two sizes of barrel on the ship.



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Cargo finished - at least the bit that will be visible. Both large and small barrels.






Cargo arranged in position. In the real world they'd have been wedged tightly together - with wedges.






And a start on the main decking.












Main deck planking complete. And starting to add the removable planks to go above the hold.










All the removable planks glued in place except the ones left off to show the cargo, stacked off to one side. I think I'll make an extra crewman and show him putting the last of them in place. 








And the mast and yard dry fitted to give an idea of proportions. 




Next to make the windlass, then the steering oar and the castles for the bow and stern. 


Coming along nicely.





Edited by Louie da fly
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Thanks everybody for the likes and comments.


8 hours ago, Chief Mark said:

Did you carve the figures yourself?


The barrels? Yes I carved them, though I should probably have used my poor man's lathe (electric drill).


Or do you mean the crewmen? Yes, I carved them too.



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Here's the windlass - based on the ones from the Bremen cog, the Ijsselcog and the Kalmar ship. 


Making the two side pieces together so they're identical. I glued them together to put them in the vise and after finishing them I dissolved the glue with isopropanol.










And the barrel. I figured it would be easiest to put the holes in while it was still square in section, and then round it off afterwards. I drilled tiny pilot holes halfway in from each side so they would line up and join into a single through-hole perpendicular to the barrel. Then enlarged the holes.






Cutting the "axles" into the barrel. Firstly square section:










Changing the barrel from square section to octagonal.





Then axle rounded off:




Barrel rounded off, assembled with side pieces and dry fitted. Note the holes for the bars have been squared off, in line with the ones found in archaeology.






Round hole for the mast (dunno what it's called).




Bars added. I had to unglue the barrel from the side pieces and rotate it, to get the bars in the right orientation to be reached by the crewmen.




The windlass with a crewman for comparison.






This made it clear that the bars were much too thick at the "handle" end, so I tapered them.




Next - the castles!



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