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

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3 hours ago, Keith Black said:

Steven, that crewman working the windless needs to get a grip.


Well, he's not really anything to do with the windlass - I've still got to carve the two guys who'll be working it.


He's actually a buisinier (trumpeter), but I don't think he'll be playing it like this (genuine mediaeval drawing from a manuscript - they were a rather earthy crowd.)





Edited by Louie da fly
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And now to work on the castles. This took a lot of trial and error - the foredeck and after deck are considerably angled to the horizontal, so the uprights supporting the castles are shorter at the outer end than the inner. I had to guess the difference and found I'd got it wrong - after I'd carved nice supporting columns into the inner uprights. :default_wallbash: The photo below shows the original uprights on the right and two of the new ones on the left.




I had to do a lot of figuring how to build these things so they would work. The floor plan is a truncated triangle, and they had to be without a top crossbeam at the rear because most castles in contemporary pictures don't have a back wall.  I think I ended up with something worthwhile, and better (and tidier) than the castles on my previous build, the dromon. The pictures below are of the original version, with the longer columns.




And here is the original castle structure part assembled.




And roughly in place to get an idea of what it would look like.




And the new version, showing the old upright next to it. I also discovered I'd made the castles too long fore and aft, so I had to change that too. A lot of pulling apart and rebuilding, but mostly I just needed to cut various existing pieces shorter - it was only the uprights with the long columns that had to be re-made.




Here's a column being carved into shape.




More progress:


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Deck beams in place:








And the walls under construction.










Glued to the frame and again roughly positioned: the end wall is not yet made.










I've started bending wood to make the decorative arches and other features.


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Oh, and here's the side rudder, ready to be put in position.




Coming along . . .








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Thanks everybody, and thanks Druxey, though I sort of feel they're more a triumph of patience over lack of planning . . .:rolleyes:


But I think the structure is much closer to what would have been done back in the day than the ones I did on the dromon, which were very heavily influenced by my experience as a building designer in modern light timber (stud) framing.


Once the castles themselves are clad, I'll have to work out a means of doing the decorative woodwork, as seen in the second-last pic of my previous post. I've had a few ideas and I'll just have to see how well they work - or if they work at all.



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Well, fun and games.


I've added the decoration to the aftercastle. Took a long time and some patience, but I think it was worth it. There are three quatrefoils (four-petalled flowers) along each side plus a rather complex pointed arch beneath. So I had to figure out how to make them. These decorations were usually inset rather than standing proud of the background, so after a bit of thought a series of cusped triangles in the "negative space" seemed to be the best way to go.






So we go from this




to this




The decoration would probably extend around the front, so I extrapolated the pattern to take this into account.







And then onto the arch. Using my trusty soldering iron as a heat source, I bent strips of wood in a circle to make the arcs for the main body of the arch.




That's a 32mm (1.25 inch) diameter circle. That soldering iron is amazing. Here's the beginning of the arch.




And in place:




I had to do a little adjusting where the arch met the uprights to get it to sit more smoothly (not photographed).


And then the really fiddly bit. There is a complex secondary arch shown on the Winchelsea town seal:




So I had to get thinner strips of wood and curve and cut them to shape. Quite a lot of trial and error involved to get it all to fit and look right.










And le voila! The castle dry fitted in place.




I have yet to choose a colour scheme. The only coloured pictures from the time show these castles as often being brightly coloured, but with a base of white.


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Next we get onto the forecastle. I had been merrily just making a duplicate of the aftercastle till I took a good look at the Winchelsea seal again. It appears that though they both come up to the same height, the fore "castle" is deeper than the aftercastle.




Landström obviously noticed this discrepancy and thought about it. His solution was to make the fore "castle" the same depth as the after "castle", but to keep the proportions right, he increased the number of decorative arches on the "walls" from three to four.




That's certainly a possible solution and I did consider it, but though most ships with two castles depicted on seals have them the same depth, the ship on the far left of the three coloured pictures above has castles of uneven heights.


The height under the aftercastle is "fixed" by having to allow headroom for the helmsman, but this isn't the case with the forecastle. And I checked the height of the castle "walls" if its floor was lower. Allowing for a 1.65 metre (5'6") crewman, the top of the merlons ("battlements") was high enough to hide behind, while the embrasures (openings) were deep enough for someone to look out and shoot a weapon. Which is the whole point of battlements, isn't it?


So with tears in my eyes (to misquote Arlo Guthrie) I took out the deck substructure I'd put in with such care and attention and moved it downward. And I discarded the walls I'd made for the forecastle and made new ones. Here's a sample just starting out.




Will the walls work out? Can Steven make beautiful decorations for the forecastle to match the ones aft? Will tall thin Jones be able to rescue Sweet Sue from Salty Sam? Tune in for our next exciting instalment.







Edited by Louie da fly
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