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This is the Surprise of Master & Commander fame, ex L'Unite, French built so the single wale line and varying thickness below the water line would seem to be the go.

 

This version of Surprise was mainly armed with carronades with a couple of brass chasers. Hunting these up at 1:75 will be interesting. I don't feel capable of fabricating these items so any hints as to where they might be found would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

 

David.

Edited by Navis Factorem
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If you are building the fictional ship then the armament differs from the historical ship...

 

From the

 From the WikiPOBia

 

[she] carried twenty-two twelve-pounders [ long guns ] on her maindeck and two beautiful brass long nines...."[7] one of these called Beelzebub[8] "...She possessed six twenty-four-pounder carronades, but since they tended to oppress her in heavy seas they were often struck down into the hold".[9] Of these guns, the names of the starboard -- even numbered from two through twenty-four -- included Wilful Murder (number 4)[10], Towser (number 6), Jumping Billy (number 22), True Blue (number 24), Viper, Mad Anthony, Bulldog, and Nancy's Fancy[11], as well as Belcher, Sudden Death, Tom Crib[12], Fumping Billy[13], Nancy Dawson, Revenge, and Spitfire, the latter shipped adjacent to Sudden Death.[14]

 

So you have a choice in how you arm her.  If you are going historical it's all carronades and a normal mainmast, if from the books then you're looking for long 12's, 2 long nines and a few 24pounder carronades and the larger mainmast.

 

Colin

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Raking of the masts.

 

I am setting out the false keel and a key element is the slots to carry the feet of the masts.

 

With the limited information I have I am unable to find the mast rakes for the Surprise. From readings I am aware that captains liked to adjust the rake of the masts to improve sailing qualities but I need to decide on a base setting for the keel slots.

 

Various Surprise diagrams show all masts vertical, foremast raked slightly foreward with main and mizzen about 1 degree aft, or a combination.

 

The instructions for the Amati Bounty were quite clear and showed the foremast vertical, the main raked back at 2 degrees and the mizzen raked back 4 degrees. This looks pretty good to my untrained eye but the Bounty was a transport and much smaller than Surprise.

 

Any thoughts on mast rakes for the Surprise would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

 

David.

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Hi David,

 

Colin pointed out your build log to me. I am considering building the O'brien version of HMS Surprise as well. Do you feel the Lavery book has sufficient info to build from with some help along the way from the online community? I had hoped to find a full size set of plans to build from but it doesn't look like there is one available unless I buy a kit.  

 

Good luck on your build. I'll be watching with great interest!

 

Brian

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Hi Brian,

 

The Lavery & Hudson book is a good resource but my view is that it only goes part way to providing enough info to scratch build the Surprise.

 

I have worked up a set of hull profiles and a long section of the hull at 1:75 and soon I will glue these to 6mm ply and start cutting out the false keel and the bulkheads. To get to this point it has taken quite a few hours as I had to scan the drawings from Lavery & Hudson then convert the scans into bits that would paste into Word documents for printing at the right scale. I think I can build a resonable hull.

 

There is a problem with the L & H book as it does not include many detail drawings of mast and spar construction. It does have mast and spar sizes which I have converted to 1:75.

 

Another resource I am using is Lennarth Petersson "Rigging Period Ship Models" which is based on the rig for an English frigate so the rig for the Surprise would be very similar. This book also has diagrams for some hull and mast details. It does not include the rope sizes for which I will need a source.

 

My Bounty build started life as an Amati kit but was substantially modified as I went along, mainly using McKay's "Anatomy of the Ship the Bounty". This was a terrific resource, full of good diagrams to get details right and it also included a complete schedule of all the ropes and their sizes. At the end of my build I must have used about 20 different rope diameters including making my own 1.4mm dia main stay spun from 24 strands of sewing thread.

 

So another possibility for Surprise is to find a book like the Bounty AoTS that includes all this detail. I haven't done much looking yet.

 

If all else fails the final fallback option (perhaps it should be the FIRST option) is to buy a set of plans for the Surprise from Modeller's Shipyard who include in their online catalogue the Mamoli Surprise plans at 1:75 for $89.15.

 

Cheers,

 

David.

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James Lees' The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860 is a good reference for both mast making and rigging diameters. I have used it and Steel's Elements of Mastmaking, Sailmaking and Rigging. Steel has tables for various size ships in the back. Lees has several pages of proportions, all based off of the ship's max breadth.

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The rigging tables in AotS bounty and AotS Pandora (both by McKay) are straight copies from the applicable tables in Steel (and are referenced as such).

 

There is an online version of Steel here http://hnsa.org/doc/steel/index.htm

 

The table for a 28 gun ship is http://hnsa.org/doc/steel/tables/pages/091-ShipOf28Guns.htm

including a table that establishes the mast dimensions .... http://hnsa.org/doc/steel/large/pg050.htm

 

Echoing what russ said - between Lees and Steel you'll be able to rig nearly any English ship without depending on others plans.

 

Colin

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Thanks everyone!

 

I think I'm going to buy the Mamoli plans and scale them up as David suggests then use the reference materials Colin provided for accuracy. Sounds a little more aligned with my experience level then redrawing the plans from Lavery.

 

Thanks again!

 

Brian

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Mamoli HMS Surprise is probably like neither the historic or the O'Brien HMS Surprises. Instead it is a repackaged La Gloire, which is a nice little ship but lacking an historical basis that you'd probably be looking for.

 

But the general hull shape from Mamoli plans might be a nice basis. The bulwarks will almost definitely need to be changed.

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Thanks Colin and Russ,

 

I had started looking online to buy Steel but the online version is a great resource. This fills in lots of blanks.

 

I have completed the layout for the false keel and the bulkheads. Now to glue them to ply and start cutting.

 

Another resource I have found helpful is the JoTika site for the development of their Surprise kit. It can be found here:

 

http://www.jotika-ltd.com/Pages/1024768/Surprise_Front.htm

 

There are some good tips here but I wasn't very happy with their stern treatment with all the frames completely blocking the view along the gun deck. I am going to try something different. I will work up the solution in detail once I have made up a workable frame. (IF I can make up a workable frame!)

 

The L & H drawings shows grid lines for the cross sections and I initially thought I would make up the bulkheads on these lines but some of them went through gun ports on the gun deck so I had to move some of the bulkhead positions.

 

I have set the mast positions with the slots vertical for the moment. I am still trying to find what the mast rakes may have been. If I can't find anything else I will use the same rakes as the Bounty, foremast vertical, main raked back 2deg, mizzen raked back 4deg.

 

I have yet to try my scroll saw, the first efforts should be interesting! I will be making copies of all the bulkhead layouts so I can recut if (WHEN) I don't suceed.

 

This is the false keel layout and some of the bulkhead layouts:

 

post-984-0-96637400-1392708655_thumb.jpg

 

The bulkhead at grid 9:

 

post-984-0-76329300-1392708523_thumb.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

David.

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With bulkheads that are on a station line, make sure that you put one edge of the bulkhead on the station line (aft edge of the forward bulkheads, fore edge of the aft bulkhead.   That way the station shape you have defines the widest point of the bulkhead, and you can sand down from that as you fair the hull.

 

I have a print on demand version of Steel, but find myself going to the HNSA site more regularly.

 

Colin

Edited by clloyd
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  • 2 weeks later...

The scroll saw has been whirring away and significant amounts of sawdust generated, fortunately most of it disappearing down the vacuum cleaner pipe that attaches to the front of the saw.

 

The pics are of the first dry assembly, I am quite surprised at how well the bits fitted together, there was only a small amount of shaping required to get a nice firm friction fit.

 

Most of the bulkheads are pretty much the right shape, there is going to be a small amount of reshaping of some. The position of some of the L & H original station lines has been changed so that the bulkheads avoid gun ports. I didn't want to cutting gun ports through the ply. 

 

So far I have only cut out the well for the foreward companionway which wil be clearly visible through the waist. Two significant things yet to be cut are the mast slots and the slots with the captive nuts for the final fixing to base pedestals. I didn't do this for the Bounty and drilling and screwing up into the keel of the finished model wasn't much fun. Live and learn.

 

Once the false keel and the bulkheads are the right shape and in the right place I will glue fix and then insert a false reinforcing deck between the bulkheads to keep everything square and to make a strong structure for the fairing process. As I have used 6mm ply and the final keel, cutwater and stern post are 5mm thick this shouldn't be too difficult.  

 

Cheers,

 

David.

 

post-984-0-70415000-1393729149_thumb.jpg 

 

post-984-0-25825200-1393729156_thumb.jpg 

 

post-984-0-46950300-1393729225_thumb.jpg 

 

post-984-0-96519600-1393729162_thumb.jpg  post-984-0-68420900-1393729169_thumb.jpg 

 

post-984-0-73521300-1393729231_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Still doing dry assembly to make sure the parts fit OK. I have cut the slots for the masts and fitted captive nuts for threaded rod for the final mounting on pedestals.

 

Before gluing the bulkheads I have made up cardboard templates for the decks to make sure they will locate on the bulkheads OK. The view through the stern olong the gun deck is interesting, I am still a bit undecided about how much of the interior cabin bulkheads to include in the build. I will be glazing the stern windows so it might be nice to look the length of the "clean sweep".

 

Now to start gluing.

 

Cheers,

 

David.

 

post-984-0-99915300-1394333075_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-86360000-1394333079_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-57242300-1394333083_thumb.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Greetings all,

 

The shipyard hasn't been too busy lately, some travelling has been taking up time.

 

However, some progress has been made and I should be able to make lots more dust soon.

 

The skeleton has been glued and reinforced to enable the fairing process to start. I fitted a false deck to stabilize the frames lengthways and fixed false rails to the tops of the frames to give them more strength. Hopefully I won't break any of the ribs.

 

I made up false decks, bulwarks and stern from card so I could check fit and to ensure that the basic shapes for the stern and the quarter galleries look right. I will frame up the stern with the window openings once the fairing is complete and the stern bulwarks are in place.The false bulwarks and stern base will made from 1.5mm ply. The gun deck will be continuous with the bottom of the quarter galleries to keep the lines right.

 

Cheers,

 

David.

 

post-984-0-48527000-1396504587_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-80661400-1396504583_thumb.jpg        post-984-0-04316400-1396504603_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-41853500-1396504592_thumb.jpg        post-984-0-15287500-1396504598_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-58458700-1396504546_thumb.jpg 

      

 

post-984-0-12052300-1396504553_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Question about what looks like a step in the deck.

 

The drawings seem to show a step in the upper deck where the gangways meet the quarterdeck. It looks like it occurs at about the centre line of the access steps. Can anyone please confirm that this is the case?

 

Also, the side view of the exterior of the hull clearly shows 2 piece gun port covers. This is the only place I have seen this detail, all the Geoff Hunt pics show 1 piece covers. Can anyone shed any light on this please.

 

Cheers,

 

David.

 

post-984-0-50705800-1397638575_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-73959800-1397638581_thumb.jpg

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Hello David, great start to your dear Surprise!

 

The 1798 Drawings produced by John Marshal at Plymouth do indeed show the break of the quarter deck to be in this location.  This drawing is published in the Lavery and Hunt text.  It can also be found here:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/91/Plan_of_HMS_Surprise.jpg  I think it is pretty clear in this plan that there is a break between the quarterdeck and the gangway.  What is not clear, is if there is a similar break between the gangway and the forecastle.  

 

Later on in the Lavery text, the drawings produced by Marquardt again show the break at the quarterdeck, but they do not show a break at the forecastle.

 

The location is correct according to both the Marshal and the Marquardt drawings.

 

Happy Modeling!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hull planking stage 1

 

After a bit of a break construction has restarted.

 

The upper part of the first plank layer has been completed. This has been done before the lower part of the frames are faired at the stern mainly to protect the top of the ribs where they are quite thin and easy to break. (A couple have already been damaged.) The upper planking should enable work to be done on the bottom without breaking any more. The single curve sections of the bulwarks are 1.5mm ply and the planking below is 1.5mm lime wood which is fairly soft and easy to bend.

 

I have tried a new way of clamping planks in place while the glue dries. Previously I have used small planking screws that have a plastic knurled part and a small metal screw and a little flap that presses on the plank. I find these quite difficult to screw in and for most of them the metal screw now rotates in the plastic bit making them fairly useless. I have tried the small spherical headed map pins but they don't really clamp the planks. I nailed many of the planks on the Bounty but this is time consuming and you can end up with nails just where you don't want them. Wandering through a local stationery store I came across these cube headed pins and thought I would give them a go. They work really well! The pin anchors well in the ply ribs and the head clamps the planks in position. They take a bit of pushing in and I do this with a piece of scrap ply. When pushing in round headed pins previously I had a pin shaft come through the head and punch a neat hole in the end of my thumb! That REALLY hurt so I don't take any chances now.

 

The cardboard stern elements have been converted into ply and fixed in place. I think that working from the outside of the curved stern to the inside should enable a light stern framing compared with what I have seen in kit constructions and allow the "see through" look that I want for the stern windows.

 

Cheers,

 

David. 

 

post-984-0-40129700-1402817617_thumb.jpg post-984-0-79191100-1402817621_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-90151600-1402817624_thumb.jpg

 

post-984-0-08819600-1402818756_thumb.jpg

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Ouch! I feel your pain. I have used the round headed pins, sometime with a little drill starter to get them going. I like the square ones you have though. Also used extendable Irwin model clamps to get the planks tight to each other.

 

Strong work!

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Hello David,

 

I have just found your log and would love to follow along if there is still room?  It seems there is already popcorn but I can bring some wine along from my current adventure :)

 

I am just starting the Mamoli version myself and am very interested in what you are doing!  Although I certainly don't have the experience to answer any of your model building questions, I have already gathered a whole lot of research material and might have an answer or two on those questions as they come up.

 

Good luck with your build!  It sure looks great so far!

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