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Un-named 50 gun ship by Newbee - 1/72 scale

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Firstly I wish to thank everyone for the welcome. This is my first ever build log so it may take a while to find my feet. I am working from drawings that I received from a friend although as there is no stern or bow view I think at least 1 page is still missing. After much trial and error through the drawing and cutting stages as well as materials I have now achieved the basic shape of the hull although the stern will be work in progress for a while yet. I am currently waiting for my first delivery of timber which will include 5mm x 1mm beech strips for the first layer of planking as well as 5mm x 5mm walnut  strip for beams. As you will notice I am also building the hull in stages starting with the keel to lower gun deck. This was decided (after filling the spaces between the top of the bulkheads with pine blocks) and the rest with balsa that I should have a strong enough base to mount the upper halves of the bulkheads as well as adding more if required. Once the planks arrive I shall complete the shaping of the hull and decide whether to take the curve of the stern higher,(I'm afraid I'm not sure of the term for this) It doesn't quite look right to me. 




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I believe you have gotten over the first hurdle ... starting the build!!!!   :D

I am in no way or means the fellow to tell you what might be right or wrong but if it was possible to post a thumbnail of the plans some one might have a suggestion.

The stern does seem to possibly be missing something.

Have you searched the builds on this site for other 50 gun ships to see if they are in any way similar?



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Thanks Alan. I will try to post the drawing I have but here is the latest view with a line marking the possible curve for the stern. As you can see I was a little heavy handed with the sanding but a little balsa sheet and filler can fix it.

I have tried to add a couple of pictures of the drawings I have and since my last post have sanded down the stern either side of the keel and have divided up the hull into planking segments into 20mm bands in the midships. I hope these add to this post ok. Lines on the stern have not been continued yet as I am still not completely convinced the hull is correct yet.









Edited by newbee
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  • 3 months later...

After much consideration and reluctance I have scrapped this build and re-started from the beginning. I have now completed the drawing stage and started cutting out the false keel and 13 bulkheads. I have also abandoned the idea of building up to the lower gun deck in the first phase and will instead continue with the bulkheads continuing above the final deck positions with a view to trimming them back down to size later. The idea being that, with the full frame structure, I will have a better idea of creating the shape of the hull especially sloping aft up to the top of the sternpost. (This was the main reason for starting again.) I have also used 4mm plywood instead of 6mm MDF as the thickness of the keel with 1mm strip either side appeared too thick. photos will follow when the cutting phases are complete.  

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There are 5 sheets in the plan set, apparently. The how to model this subject was described in a series of 1953 Model Engineer articles by R.J. Collins. I believe that the plan set is still available (search on-line) and old copies of Model Engineer can be found on e-Bay. Happy hunting!

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Thanks again for the info Druxey.

I have all 5 drawings but, unfortunately, there is no bow or stern view included. The bulkhead sections had been drawn over by a  previous owner of my copies and to compound this the sections towards the stern do not seem to show much deadwood, I think that's the term, where the keel at the stern remains flat up to the curve of the hull, Neither do they show the stern area between the waterline and upper gun deck. This was where I had the greatest problems probably compounded by not having the full shape of the stern above the lower gun deck.This being the main cause of re-starting this project. However I was fairly happy with the shape I had at the bows, I will see if I can find the copies of the model engineer.  

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Apparently the articles on the 50-gun ship also appeared in book form, along with two other models by R.J Collins (Myrmidon of the 1780's and a sixth rate of the 1680's). A search on abebooks might yield you a result.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally I have cut out the basic shapes of the false keel and 13 bulkheads. Unlike my first attempt the bulkheads are not too tight and should be easy to fix in position with some scrap wood. I am having trouble cutting out the middle of the bulkheads as the plywood is too brittle for a jig saw so am using a junior hack saw and files but even then it is too easy to break. Really glad I ordered an extra plywood sheet and have plenty in case i break a few more. I think the shape of the stern looks better this time as I have slightly altered the last 3 bulkheads to give a larger dead wood section which seems to improve the shape of the hull. I will be really happy to complete this stage as it seems to be taking an age. 





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Hello Newbe,

     I recognize this vessel very well! This "50-gun Ship" is one of several drawn by R.J.Collins many years ago. I bought

"Myrmidon" from MAP 50 years ago, and redrew the lines, enlarging them from 1:72 to 1:24, before starting the build.

I got this "50 Gun" set several years later, and the "Sixth Rate" more recently.  All drawings are still available from the

"Model Boats" plans-section in UK, for (in my opinion) a reasonable sum.  This build is definitely NOT a beginners one,

and requires one to be able to "read" the lines correctly in plan, profile as well as the frame sections.

I hope this detail helps.  pollex

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  • 2 months later...

Unfortuneatly it has been a while since my last post but I have progressed steadily, though slowly, I think.


I finally got the basic shape of the bulkheads before cutting out the middle of them. I then decided to strengthen them by adding strips of wood either side. However, they were still too delicate and in order to sand the sides safly.I then added the lower gun deck as 3 sections. I used a 2cm wide strip down the middle into which I drilled out the holes for the masts. I next built up the sides using balsa strips. While doing this i created the gun ports by adding birch strip on top or below each layer as well as on the ends of the inner sections. Once this was completed i now have a sturdy structure which can be easily sanded to the final shape. I am not happy with the supports for the upper gun deck i left on the bulkheads and so have removed them. Instead I shall fit 2mm strips and add the beams accross them.


My next task is to add the stern filler blocks and then start the planking.This will be followed by construction of the stern galleries. My plan for these is to build from the poop deck downwards and finnish with the entire stern section fitting behind the final bulkhead and removing that part of the false keel. That is the plan though it is not finalised yet.  





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Hi Newbee.


Well done and you must be very pleased with how your 50 gunner is coming together. Your last photo truly emphasises just how lovely your ship is so far.  There's always something magical that happens when a bowsprit and masts are added (even in this mockup stage).  All of a sudden, the hull is transformed into something purposeful and beautiful.


Look forward to following your progress.


All the best!

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Many thanks for your kind comments. It does feel that I am getting somewhere but you are right Druxey, All good things do take time. I have learned alot since beginning this build thanks to this site especially.


The next step has become sanding down the inboard sides as I have reallised that instead of being 4mm thick they are between 6 and 9mm at present. I am guessing this will take another week or so but, I have a feeling that the the hull is thicker at lower gun deck level than at the rails  so I need to check by how much.


When it comes to the planking I am planning to use 1mm x 5mm and 3mm mahogany strips for the outer hull and 1mm x 5mm beech strips for the inner with 0.5mm x 5mm maple strip for the decks. the beams will be 5mm x 5mm walnut, I think. These will be sanded down to taper at the ends to obtain the curve of the decks.   

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