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HMS Blanche by Robbl - 1800 1/48 (POF) (was HMS Euryalus 1803)

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As my first scratch build project, I chose to build the frigate HMS Blanche (1800), one of the 27 Apollo class frigates of 36 guns built to the design of William Rule (see wikipedia).


The Blanche was built at Deptford by John Dudman and launched in 1800. In 1805, after some success in the West Indies, she was captured and burnt after a battle with 4 French vessels.


One reason I chose to start this build was the book Frigates of the Royal Navy, HMS Euryalus by Allan Yedlinski and Wayne Kempson. Without this book and the accompanying plans, I would not have even contemplated a start. Along with the book, this site and the logs on it written by extremely skilled modellers is a fantastic resource.


This will not be a fast build, and there will be some work done over a few times, but a after year into the project it remains a lot of fun.


Thus far, I am using Totara for the keel and frames, Kauri for the inboard planking and intend to use Rimu for some internal  work. All these are New Zealand native and are sourced from old floor boards, church pews and scrap fence posts.


I have the plans from Greenwich (although Wayne's plans are superb and all that is required), and also got a print from them.



So, here is my Blanche .....








Current build status

Edited by robbl
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First up, the beginning of the build.


The keel: This was straight forward, although I now have 3 keels, 2 stems and 3 stern posts and deadwood.




The Hawse Timbers and Transoms: Surprisingly, these actually went to gether very well. Ok, I admit I have two sets of hawse timbers .... :ph34r:




The frames: I tried a few ways of building the frames, but in the end settled on doing the job as it was done in the yard, by using chocks. This has resulted in a strong frame (I can attest to the strength :wacko: )


This is some of the Totara being used.



And some shots of the frame making process:

post-39-0-86298700-1360958612_thumb.jpg  post-39-0-20252200-1360958648_thumb.jpg




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Hi Allan, same to you! You'll be able to post your Euraylus log now!! B)


So - on with putting the bits together and making it look like a ship.


The fore and aft cant frames were the first to go up. At the beginning, I ignored all the sage wisdom of the site and authors, and was going to cut the gun ports as I went. That idea was short lived....


The cant frames were straight forward. When I do this again, however, I will build square frames off the ship to get "into the groove" before doing the more difficult cant frames.








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So, where it is now:


I have added the waist strings to give some strength to the upper timbers in the waist. To align the planks to the bottom of the upper sills, I clamped small blocks to the upper sill so that the planks sat onm these at the correct height.






I laid the floorhead thickstuff by first working out the line of the planks where the two thickest (the middle 2) planks run along the hull. I then laid the lower of those two planks from stem to stern until they met the keelson. Then I looked at what I had done, and realised I had run them to meet the keelson where the top plank should have met .... arghhhhhhhh


Naturally, I had managed to run several of the planks adjacent to these, so everything needed to be removed. I commented before how strong this hull is.....very little damage has been done even after rough abuse with chisels.


One thing I have noticed - every little scrap of wood in the hull ends up in the limber channel or the pump wells. It is almost as if it was designed with this in mind! :rolleyes:

Ripping out the bad ....



But to finish this summary - I'll use this tidy picture :)




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Thanks all and nice to see the logs coming back too.



nice job

maybe you have mention this before but how do you build the small black clamp? I think is just so cool

That's a bought clamp, called a Machinists Style Clamp and is similar to the wooden handscrew clamps. I can't remember where I got them from, but I see Lee Valley has them listed in its clamp section. Ed Tosti's Naiad book describes how you can make these out of wood and a bit of brass.




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Beautiful, Rob.


The wood colors look very good.  Is that the Kauri for the limber strakes?  



Hi Ron


Yes, the limber strakes are Kauri. I'll be doing most of the inboard planks in that. When I get to the platforms, I'll probably be using a darker red Totara from some blocks of wood I have.




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Hello again.


The last while has been busy with all the unimportant things in life, like the dreaded work, so I have not made much progress at all. After seeing Egen's last update, I have to resist the urge to jump ahead of myself .....


After running the floorhead thickstuff along the wrong lines, I ripped them all off and started relaying them. Most of the damage done by my wild flailing about with my chisels is now conveniently hidden by the new planking, but I do have a little cleaning up to do.


These consist of two runs of 12 11 x 5 inch (22 inch total) with 2 runs of 11 10.5 x 4 inch (21 inch total) each above and below.Midships this totals 6 planks wide, reducing to 4 planks at the ends. Midships and aft, there is little curve, so I just steamed the planks and clamped them while gluing. Where the planking meets the keelson at the bow, it was easier to spile the planks than bend them.


Where the number of planks reduced from 6 to 4 at each end, I used a drop strake on the thinner planks above and below the two main planks to merge the two into a single plank running to the ends.


The photos are not very good, so I hope to replace them later this week with shots taken outside in natural light.


Midships, middle two runs of thickstuff done, the first run above that being clamped in place.



Towards the bow, and both the top runs are being fixed in place. The last planks at the bow are spiled as the curve was too great to bend the planks.



At the stern, the lower of the two top runs is cut to allow the top run to "drop" into it forming .....



.... a single plank to terminate at the aft fashion piece. The same happens forward, and a variation happens to the lower two runs at each end below the main thickstuff.



And so far, the planking is done except for 4 lengths which "drop" into the last planks at each end.





Edited by robbl
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Rob, thanks for your news about your project!

It is very important to look other work for the experience.

I would like to have the same accurate photos for myself.

What camera you use? I like to examine all dust and my scratches. :)

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Egen, I was going to mention the dust and scratches.......honest :)


I have a Canon 550D SLR. A couple of the photos have been done on the phone camera, but the Canon is the "go to" camera, and as you say, it is very useful for highlighting things. There have been a few times that I have dismantled frames after taking a photo.


And I have a macro lens that I sometimes regret buying as well - it is veeeerrrrry sharp......


There is a program called helicon remote that is worth looking at which lets you take a series of shots at different focal distance, then merge them into one for a fantastic full length shot of a long subject like the ships. I must dig out a test I did and post it.




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Hi all


I made a mistake typing up my last update and used the wrong numbers for the widths of the floorhead planks, so I corrected them in the text. The planks on the model are the correct dimensions, it was just a case of me typing without checking :huh:



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  • 1 month later...

Well, long time no see....


Busy at work and home, and slack doing updates - these are my excuses. Also, there wasn't much visually happening so I just kept doing bits and not updating the log.


The work that has been done is to strengthen the frames ready for external fairing. To do that I wanted to get the quarter deck clamps on, which then lets me put the tops of the frames on where there are gun ports. Once I decided to do that, I had to do the orlop and lower deck clamps and then the stern timbers.


So I set to cutting top and butt planks using my table saw and two pieces of wood cut to the right angles as jigs. I glued a piece of wood to the end to serve as a pushing block, and two pieces to the side to hold the planks down and stop them climbing as they went over the blade.




The results looked ok, and more importantly they fit.



So I got the lower clamps done, then started on the stern timbers. To align the frames on each side up I cobbled together a plank with a copy of the plans of the tops of the frames, and glued strips of wood on. The frames then sat in that and were glued to the counter timber.


These frames still need cutting down to their correct lengths, but I'll do that after strengthening with the transoms.


So, now some shots of the whole thing. Still working on the quarterdeck clamps. Where they meet the strings of the waist I didn't put a proper scarph in, but simply cut a small scarph of one frame width to strengthen the joint.







As I do these small tasks, I am removing the original spacers from between the hull frames as the clamps take up the job of keeping everything in place. This is proving to be harder than I expected, mainly due to the good quality glue :angry: , but they are coming out. 


Cheers all


Edited by robbl
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Thanks Egen, Clay, Wayne and Druxey.

Egen, I thought I might add notes on building the stern area. so far.

All the counter timbers were cut to the plan's pattern from 9" (scale) wood except the side counter timbers which I cut from wood over twice that thickness. These side timbers were then marked with the profile as seen from the stern and sanded to shape on the disc sander and a small drum sanding attachment. Then all were tapered to their correct dimension at their tops by sanding.


The vertical piece of wood sticking up in the photos is on the center line and its width is the gap between the two center counter timbers at their tops. Once they were in place, the next tall counter timbers were set up with the appropriate gap at the top from the center timbers. Finally the side counter timbers were positioned using the little jig clamped to the last stern frames to get the angle and distance right. All these counter timbers sit in mortices in the wing transom, so the positions of their bases are fixed and the top alignment was the only issue.


The filler timbers were all cut from the pattern of the top timber of the tallest aft frame (31 fwd) to get the right shape of tumblehome on them. They were then cut to length and fit into the jig. While doing this, I noticed (or had always known B) ) that the fwd fashion piece on one side was poorly aligned and needed too much pressure to be bought into line, and I was not surprised when it broke above the level of the wing transom. That was an easy repair. it was one of the first frames I had ever built and was consigned to the bin with due respect :cheers: .


Once the forward most two filler timbers are in place, the side counter timber was quite firmly in place, but the addition of the quarter deck clamp and transoms will strengthen it far more.




Edited by robbl
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Thanks for your description, I will use this information in the operation.

And I think, it is necessary to set urgently the deck transoms, they simply shout "break me". :)

And I was needed   to repair them 2 times on my previous project.

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I cannot tell you how much fun it is to watch your build, along with Egen and anyone doing Euryalus or other ships in the class.  Careful with the stern timbers.  I waited until much later to set them in place as I was worried about knocking them off before before they were fully framed and the counter planking completed.

Great job, and thanks again for sharing


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Your doing an excellent job, it all takes time. As you go along you will notice how things look and what things will look like as your build gets further in the framing stage. I also agree with Allan about the stern timbers, wait until you are more into the framing stage. Best of luck with the build. Keep the pictures coming.

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