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Now that the rig is almost complete ( I am leaving some of the lower level bits to complete later as they would make it hard to work on deck fittings) more of the details can be added.

Something I had to consider long and hard was what to do about the hammock storage on the bulwarks. I have noticed that some models don't include these. I can understand why, whether to show the frames and netting without hammocks, or to show what I think they might look like with hammocks and covers is a vexing question. 

From my understanding the routine for British men of war of this period was that they greeted each dawn at full readiness in case an enemy ship had appeared during the night and a battle might occur. Also a normal part of the daily routine was for the hammocks to be rolled up and put in the nettings with covers over the lot.

I considered building the netting cranes and netting until I tried to fabricate the cranes and discovered making up the number required out of brass wire was a difficult job and, for me, impossible to make look convincing. The netting was a whole other problem which I decided I could do without.

That left making up hammocks and the covers as an option. Fortunately my current read, one of Dudley Pope's Ramage books, described that the hammocks were enclosed in covers which must have covered the cranes and netting.

I realized including this detail was going to be a pretty drastic step as these covers ar going to be a very strong element in the overall appearance of the model.

I had the sails left over from my Bounty build so had fabric which I considered could make acceptable covers.

I searched through various sources looking for images of the cranes, netting and covers. The size, shape and extent of the covers varied considerably so it was one of those situations where I considered what looks most convincing and thinking about the function determined what I would build.

These are images of hammock covers and what I built:






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Well done. Impressive work! Great attention to both detail and function.

I have been reading through your log and taking notes. Modeling “Lucky Jack’s” Surprise is what got me into this hobby. A build like yours is my “bucket list” build. Someday...someday.



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  • 4 weeks later...

I have achieved a significant milestone in the fitout, I have installed the quarter davits so finally all the ship's boats can be put in place.

Also, the gangway railings and gun port lids are complete.

Again, there were plenty of alternatives for these details but they were clearly shown on the Admiralty drawings in Lavery and Hunt's great book so confusion was avoided. The only odd thing about this drawing is the two piece gun port lids. This is the only place I have seen this detail and I have installed single piece lids. 

To complete the ships boats the oars need to be made. The rudders will be removed and stored inside the boats and the boats will be lashed into position as one of the last things to do.

Next the anchors and the parts of the running rig that I have left to last and some small items. I'm not too sure what to do about the stern lanterns, they seem to be fitted and removed as needed, sometimes a single central lantern, some time two or even three across the stern. I can't find any in premade kit form and they look very fiddly to make.

Cheers, David.







l h 1.jpg

p b 1.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

A real milestone this time, FINISHED!

After I had placed the launch and pinnace at the waist I realised that the detail below could not be seen so I decided to show the launch in the process of being hoisted. Getting the tackle lengths and angles was pretty fiddly but I think the final solution looks good.

I did make up 2 stern lanterns fitted to the sides.

Cheers, David.















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The final step for display has now started, a case.

When I completed my first build, the Port Jackson Schooner, the ship was placed on a shelf. A few months later I noticed that some additional rigging had appeared, a small spide, which we in Australia call a daddy-long-legs, had set up residence and found the rig a perfect base for it's web!

About time for a display case.

I used a length of shelving as a base and I rebatted the edges to half depth and width to flush fit a 4mm perspex cover. The joints are mitred and clear adhesive makes them almost invisible. 

I think this is a much better solution than a glass case, lighter and much safer.

My Bounty build was finished with a similar case and now Surprise will get the same treatment. 

Perspex cases aren't cheap but considering the time and effort put int the project I believe it is a good investment which results in dust free, and importantly, spider free models.

Cheers, David.

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  • 2 months later...

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