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HMC Sherbourne by Sumner - Caldercraft - Scale 1:64, kitbashed to 1763 NMM plans (First wooden ship build)

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Thanks for stopping by, David.

 

I see you've lined up the Lady Nelson as your next build. Will be great to have another cutter model on the ways. Seeing the excellent and precise work you've done on your Sultana, I'm sure it will be an awesome build, too.

 

Best,

Sumner

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I started the second planking by marking the wales, using two 3mm X 0.5mm planks on each side. I marked the position by taking (rough) measurements off the NMM plans.

 

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I installed the these planks by gluing one section at a time with PVA glue, gradually making my way aft along the length of the model.

 

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Overall, I'm pretty happy with how they came out, both in terms of positioning and symmetry.

 

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After marking the wales, I installed the stern counter and planked over it using 4mm x 0.5 mm strips to mask the fact this is made from a single piece of walnut. I laid these planks diagonally because I thought it was visually interesting, even though I plan to paint the hull and this probably won't be visible when complete.

 

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Best,

Sumner

 

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Hi Sumner,

 

Your Sherbourne's looking very good so far. :)

 

I like your stern planking, and I wouldn't worry too much that they won't be visible when painted. I think it largely depends on how thick each paint layer is. If you keep each coat fairly thin, with good overall coverage, I would think you will be able to see the planks when done.

 

The carvel laid painted planking, on the upperworks of my Sherbourne, are still perfectly visible.  ;)

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Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kester! I've still got a long ways to go, and a lot to learn.

 

In hindsight, I should have protected the stern planking better. The above pictures are almost 2 years old now, and the stern doesn't look as good now as it did then. Lesson learned!

 

Best,

Sumner

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The wales and stern are looking good, Sumner!  Kester's right, you should still be able to see some, if not all, of the plank directions on the stern after you paint, particularly if you airbrush.  Keep up the nice work--looking forward to more when time permits for you!

 

Jay

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Thanks for the likes and for checking in, guys!

 

Paddy, glad you're enjoying this build log. The Sherbourne is a great little kit and has been a lot of fun to build. Perfect kit for a first timer with more imagination/ambition than woodworking skills.  :D

 

Jay, hope you're feeling better. I'm close to getting current on my buildlog and aim to get the outstanding pictures posted soon. About time, too. Last week or so, I've actually been back in the shipyard for the first time in a year and half. Getting close to finishing the clinker hull and have started to reconstruct the stern counter.

 

Sumner

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Thanks, Sumner--am starting to feel better, so I think I may pull up a chair to my building board and do a little work this week. Looking forward to seeing your clinker planking and your counter--more importantly, I'm glad you've had some free time for some play! :)

 

Jay

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Hello Sumner,

 

nice to see you back on 2.0.

 

May I give you a tip before you starting your clinker build? Try to use 4mm x 1 mm planks. I still used 3mm x 1mm stripes that turns out too small. I forgot the overlapping.

 

I stopped working on her last year as I started with my scratch build Schooner for Port Jackson. However, next progress will be the build of the port lids. Right, for out there those do not have a copy of NMM plans. She was fitted with port lids in a two-wings design.

 

By the way. Do not forget that the supplied guns in the kit are oversized (4-pounders). The Sherborne was fitted with 3-Pounders. Therefore I also going to build new carriers.

 

Most of my pictures are gone but here I have some views on her on a later building stage.

 

Cheers, Daniel

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I was having a chat with Gregor about his build of the Sherbourne. He showed the plans from NMM with just the one gun port in the plan having side opening doors (the others being shown without doors). I was puzzled about that as I hadn't seen the 'two-wings' design before on any model.

 

Gregor's thought was that if the doors did open to the side "the wings just beside the channels could not be opened completely" -- which sounds like a good point to me..

 

It would be interesting to hear more opinions on this. Did other cutters have wing doors?

 

The only cutter illustrated with gun port lids in the AOTS book of the 'Alert' shows the usual lid opening upwards. That one has a design very similar to the Sherbourne, but built in 1785. The other cutters in the book didn't have gun ports, so no lids. The model of the 'Trial' in the NMM shows no lids at all, but then none of the models in the NMM showed lids for the gun ports on the upper decks of the various ships.

 

Looking forward to some light being shed on this. I suppose I'd have to leave the lids open to let the light in, of course.

 

Tony

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Tony,

 

Good point about the port lids. I had never heard of them opening wing fashion on cutters and, as has been mentioned, would have thought the ones next the channels wouldn't have opened fully – thus rendering them in line to be demolished by her own gunfire! The only split lids I have seen have been on frigates, in upper and lower halves.

 

The whole question of fitting lids seems to be rather hazy, certainly for cutters of Sherbourne's date, and most don't show them. As you say, the lids on the rather later Science Museum model (dated 1785) and of the normal upward-hinging type, are the only ones in the book. Alert herself doesn't appear to have been fitted with them, and the photos of the Hawke show a similar open rail.

 

Sumner, like Jay, I'm waiting to see your clinker planking! :)

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Yes, I also didn’t find cutters with side opening ports in the NMM collections (I made a short list of cutters with lids). But as Kester said, they all are younger than Sherbourne.

If you want them to look like the one example on the NMM plan, IMHO you have to make the upper wales like Daniel made them; the wood strips provided in the kit are standing out too far so that wing doors would neither open more than 90 degrees nor lie flat to the hull, if you don’t build special hinges. 

I wish you luck with the planking,

Gregor

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Hello Tony,

 

you are right. The lids are just on one port. May be an option, may be just to not overdraw other details. However. the lids on NMM drawings are directly at the channels. It is just enough space to open of of the wings in a 90° angel. But this is still enough to have free space for a shot. A major difference to Caldercrafts design is, that the ports ends on their upper side directly at the taff rail. Unfortunately I received my NMM plans after the second planking.

 

here is a picture from NMM of a cutter of approx 1785 (not so far away to Sherborn) that served me as inspiration for proper deck fittings. It has no port lids. What should I say. I have patience and would like to try it, even with the knowledge that there are probably not so many Sherborns afloat with lids ;-)

 

Cheers, Daniel

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Edited by Siegfried

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Hi Daniel, great to hear from you! I've been enjoying your Port Jackson schooner build and love the careful, precise work that you do. Thanks for recommending the 4mm planks. We had the same discussion on MSW 1.0 before I started the second planking and I followed your advice. This is definitely a good size to use, although I found the 4mm x 0.5mm walnut planks sometimes difficult to shape because they tend to splinter so easily. I wonder if a more closed-grain wood, such as pear, might produce better results?

 

The discussion about the gunport lids is very interesting. I look forward to seeing how you will handle them. I've often wondered about how these would work in practice, and interested to see your interpretation. I plan to open my gunports to the rail but plan leave the gunport lids off my build -- but you may yet inspire me to give them a shot, too! :D

 

Kester, Tony, Jay, Gregor: Thanks for stopping by and the insights and words of encouragement. It's great that we have such an active community of Sherbourne builders here on MSW. I finished the clinker section of the second planking last night, and another 2-3 posts should bring me up to the current state of my build. Will post some pictures of the second planking later today.

 

One of the biggest challenges I've faced during this build has been space. Here in Hong Kong, we live in a small apartment on the 63/F (yes, you read that correctly ... the 63/F) and I don't have a dedicated workshop. Most of my work gets done on the dining table after the kids sleep. I'm able to get a couple of hours of work done and then must pack everything away until the next opportunity presents itself. One of these days I hope to have a proper shipyard!

 

Sumner

Edited by Sumner

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Wow, definitely can see the challenges with that limited space Sumner! And with little ones...yes, everything does need to be put away. :) Oi, didn't realize you were in HK--I was there a few times in passing when I was in the service. Don't think I'd like to be up that high but that's the nature of the island with its limited space!

 

Hmm, the 4mm 2nd planking makes sense--my cogs are turning... ;) About the gunport lids... There's a 2nd set of Sherbourne plans at the NMM (# 6764) online that has no port lids... Also, consider where the canon recoil tackles are located--about opposite where the hinges are. Every time a gun recoiled, the shock transfer from the recoil termination point would tend to induce lids that weren't well secured to swing shut. Even if well secured, the recoil would also place a lot of stress on side hinges (definitely not made from high grade steel or alloy). As another check, a search on the NMM plan site using "circa 1763" (quotes not required http://prints.rmg.co.uk/category/Ship-plans ) turns up quite number of 1763 cutter plans. Most, if not all (been awhile since I looked at the ones I downloaded), those plans don't have lids... While I think the lids will look great on a build, I'm just not sure if they were used on these ships in a sideways (90 degree) configuration.

 

Hope you didn't mind my chiming in on the gun port lids... :)

 

Again thanks for your updates, Sumner...and am not going to think about how high the altitude is on your 63rd floor! :P

 

Cheers,

Jay

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Interesting thoughts and perspective on the lids, Jay.

 

I guess the advantage of having lids would be to offer a bit more weather protection, especially since the gunports went all the way to the cap rail. One of the aspects that I like about these plans is that they give us a hint of what the Sherbourne looked like, but still leave plenty of room for interpretation.

 

Hong Kong is a pretty unique place. If it weren't for work, we wouldn't be here ... and we wouldn't be living quite so high up. There are days when it rains that we're literally living in the clouds and can't see the ground below. Pretty wild.

 

Here's a picture that I took this afternoon to give you a sense of what it's like here in MSW's highest shipyard (if it weren't so hazy today, you'd be able to see Lantau island off in the distance):

 

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Sumner

Edited by Sumner

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Clinker planking has to start from the garboard plank. As described above, I used 4mm x 0.5mm walnut strips. The plan was to have a 1mm overlap on each plank, with the top edge of each plank sanded to accommodate the one above it..

 

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Things got off to a pretty smooth start. It's key to make sure the garboard plank does not rise too high, as that effect gets magnified as the planks rise along the bow. You want to keep the run of the planks as flat as possible.

 

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One step that I neglected in the first part of my build was to carve the rabbet. At the time, I didn't feel very confident that I could do this well and it seemed optional. As you can see in the picture below, the result is that the planks aren't entirely flush. This will require some sanding and the use of PVA/sawdust filler to fix. If I was to do the build again, I would absolutely carve a rabbet as I think it makes such a difference in the final results.

 

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These next three pictures show how I installed the planks. The first thing I did was to use a 3mm plank to mark where the top of the next plank should lie, thereby giving me a 1mm overlap.

 

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After that, I would place the plank and put the first drops of glue amidship, followed by gluing the fore and aft sections of the plank.

 

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This worked pretty well, although the positioning of the planks became significantly more complex as I moved up the hull.

 

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And this is where my build more or less came to a halt in mid-2012 with our move to Hong Kong. Over time, the walnut faded in color. As with the stern counter, I probably should have taken steps to protect the wood with varnish of some sort but the model nonetheless survived in relatively good shape.

 

Sumner

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Sumner,

 

Wow, you certainly live the high life. What a view – perhaps not so good when it's raining though!

 

Very neat planking job on your Sherbourne, well done.

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Dubz, ZyXux, Jay: Thanks very much. I'm pleased with how the clinker planking turned out, although things get tricky as the run of planks approach the wales.

 

I've done the final starboard planks twice now, having re-done them after finding myself unsatisfied with how they came out. The current result is okay, but I wish it was better. I'm currently trying to decide if I can still do a better job and, if so, what exactly I would do over. I would really like to maintain the nice run of planks from this part of the build, as much as possible.

 

Kester: Thanks! The views can certainly be stunning, especially as the sun goes down on a clear day. Really spectacular. Living on the 63/F of one building and working on the 69/F of another, I spend a good portion of my daily commute in elevators (3 of them, to be exact)! :D

 

Sumner

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Maybe your beautiful Sherbourne should grow wings instead of sails; they are not on the original plans, so we have a little leeway here…

 

:) 

Gregor 

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Hey Sumner,

 

It is not so easy to bend the planks and hold them in a proper run, if you have no edge to lean the planks as you have with carvel planking, isn't it? The 4mm strips are looking much more authentic as the 3mm ones. the walnut strips are a bit splintering. Next I i would use pear. It even has a finer structure and the edges turn out more clean.

 

I have in mind to prepare a small diorama with HMC Alert and Le Coureur, both clinker planked. During their action as Alert took Le Coureur and the Frigate HMS Arethusa was engaged in a fight with the famous French Frigate La Belle Poule.

 

Jay,

Your are right with your advice regarding the missing port lids on other 1763 cutters of the Royal Navy. I know the plans for instance from HMC Mecklenburgh and HMC Pitt. It is just a guess, but the marked lids on Sherborn's plan are not a final evidence that she was fitted with them. If yes, it is not so far away from the reality that those where later removed because of unpracticality. So it could be an experiment and may be it makes sense to fit the unusable chase holes with wing-lids to save the deck better for overspilling waters . In general offers the kit some anomalies to the plans. The plan shows 2 hawse holes instead of 1. Also there are some steps aft of the last port hole. A major difference are the missing catheads on the plan comparing to the kit. That makes sense. Because of the fitted knee at the stem above the haws holes is simply not enough space to fit a fix cathead.

 

But this is really what the forum offers. We all together doing more than less some (historic) research and put details together to a puzzle.

 

Cheers, Daniel

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I concur with Daniels observations about the plan's "reliability", we don't know their intended use (they were drawn after the building, not before), they could have served as case studies for training …

Merging the plans with the kit offers problems in many details. In my enthusiasm I added the additional hawse holes without thinking of the catheads. They still fit in the space between the hawse hole and gun hole. I've not yet finishes the windlass and the catheads, but holding the parts together I have serious doubts about the usability of the second hawse hole, as a cable through the hole, leading to the windlass, would touch the cathead and chafe…

How I love this discussion! Thanks Guys,

Gregor

Edited by Gregor

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Hello Gregor,

 

The point with the missing catheads is tricky. A possible answer is a movable cathead as on the Granado. Instead of fitting it (in case of using) into a hinge that is bolted onto the deck and fixed with ropes between to timber heads too, it might be laid down across the taffrail from the port side and the starboard and fixed on both sides with ropes on timber heads. That's what is logical to me. For other solutions seems to be not enough space on the small foredeck. Or does anyone have an other idea?

 

By the way Gregor, if we follow the NMM plans in all details, all sailing vessels would be actually no sailing vessels because all plans have no masts, rigging, and sails...and anchors :huh:

 

Cheers, Daniel

Edited by Siegfried

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I very much enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on the plans, hearing about your research, and trading ideas!  My plans just arrived today from the NMM, so will study them closely in relation to everything we've been talking about.  Gregor, I read the same about some of the Sherbourne plans recently--some may have been training ones; I just can't remember where I read that to cite the source (old age... :P ).  I'll also be looking at some of those other 1763 plans a bit closer now that I'm ready to move forward with my build.

 

I also agree that plans don't have to be followed with total faith.  I'm sure the ship's look, fittings, and etc. were changed over the course of their active lives (I know many ship captains would change a ship's rigging to suit their tastes).  I also suspect many beginner kits (at least the kits by good companies like Caldercraft, Amati, and etc.) get some modification by designers so that they are easier builds for new builders--sort of make sense.  In the end, they're our builds, so we can do what makes us happy and makes a nice model!  My only big complaint with kits is when they design them with bad mistakes and not fix those problems--it makes building them very difficult.  I ran into this with an Artesania Latina kit--many things were just very messed up with the kit's basic design so that building it was very difficult, as a result I'll never build another one of their kits again.

 

Sumner, that's a beautiful view you have!  Guess I could deal with that altitude on beautiful days!  Wow, 3 elevators...I won't complain about my ride times anymore..lol!

 

Jay

 

 

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Daniel, next time around I will definitely try a different wood, like pear, with a closer grain and the ability to hold an edge better. Your idea for a diorama sounds great, can't wait to see you pull that together. Are you still working on your Cruiser builds? Also, how did you paint your Sherbourne? Did you paint the white using a brush and thinned paint or an airbrush? It looks great!

 

Gregor, great to hear from you! I just saw the picture of your diving boat on Lake Lucerne. That's a pretty wild boat you've got there!

 

Jay, I'm with you on not following the instructions for these models. Most of the fun and enjoyment I get comes from thinking about what I'd like to do and then trying to actually make it. The Caldercraft kits are a great base for kit bashing, I think.

 

Sumner

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Hello Umner,

 

The paint work on my Sherbourne is hand crafted. As I have used as you the dark walnut stripes for the lower clinker planking I finally had to do 4 coatings. I avoid air brush because it would probably looks too clean and unrealistic. To get fine brush mark I used a very thin 1-2mm brush with hair from marten. That means it took me a couple of days to finnish the paint work.

 

With the Alert I definitely plan to paint the hull just below the waterline and will there fore carefully mark the waterline. This would be another reason to use next time even pear for the lower hull! 

 

The doppel-build Cruizer project as ship-rigged and as brig-rigged sloop is on research yet. Fortunately NMM offers a lot of frame and deck fitting plans. Also Petrejius book about the Irene  ex HMS Grasshopper provides great information. As I was at NMM two years ago it brought a lot of ne information. Last year I did a visit in the Royal Maritime Museum in Madrid and, what a surprise, there was an unidentified Cruizer class with brig rigging and an interesting colour scheme. The model was labeled just as a british brig. Wouldn't be surprised if no one there exactly know what they have. Indeed the museum is close to the Spanish naval history, as the NMM is focussed to the British one. I can highly recommend the museum. It is much smaller than its counterpart in Greenwich. But the Spanish three-deck man-o-wars in, if I do remember correctly, in scale 1:16 or 1:24 are very impressive!!! But for the moment I am bounded to grow my new company and with the rest of ma lazy time I try to bring the Schooner for Port Jackson afloat.

 

Cheers, Daniel

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Thanks for sharing the details of how you painted your hull, Daniel. I was thinking about trying a larger brush with multiple coats of thinned paint, but will give things a shot with a smaller brush.

 

Glad to hear the Cruiser builds are still progressing. They are great little ships and will certainly build into a nice pair of models once you have the time to pay them more attention and your research is completed. The museum in Madrid sounds fascinating. A three-decker built in 1:24 would be massive -- that must've been a real sight to behold!

 

Sumner

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