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HMS Victory by dafi - Heller - PLASTIC - To Victory and beyond ...

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Also if you look at all these strange things like bar shots, chains and so on, I do believe it was negligible what the worm did ...


... funny that those guns did not explode more often ...


... just now and then ...



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hmmmmmm.......so,  they weren't concerned with scratching the bore.    considering how accurate they were........rifling the bore didn't come into play until much later in the munition's race.......cannons were more accurate than their cousins,  the mortar.


Would 'scratching' the bore of a cast iron cannon with a likely 'softer' wormer really be that much of a concern given all the other multitude of variables?  A cannon is about as low tech as it gets and other variables would likely have a much greater impact on accuracy (shot variations, wind, powder inconsistencies, small changes in the time taken to ignite the charge and the roll of the ship etc. etc. etc.)

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The worm that we use on our working 1812 era cannon is made from cast iron and the head looks like a spring.  The arms really do not scratch the bore of the cannon at all. The pitch of the helix is smaller than you have depicted. The 'arms' make more that 2 complete revolutions.  The sponge and rammer are on opposite ends of another pole.


In addition to unloading the gun the worm is used as part of the regular gun drill.  Here is the drill we use.  It was standard during the war of 1812


1.  "Search your piece"  The worm is inserted down the barrel and given several turns to snag any unburned wadding or cartridge left over from the last shot

2.  "Sponge your piece"  The wet sponge is run down the barrel to extinguish any burning embers

3.  "Search your piece" 

4.  "Sponge your piece"

5.  "Advance cartridge"  The cartridge is brought to the loader

6.  "Load cartridge"        The cartridge is inserted into the barrel and rammed home

7.  "Load with shot"       The round shot (or other shot)  is inserted into the barrel a wadding is inserted after and the shot rammed home

8.  "Prick and prime"     The gunner inserts the prick down the touch hole to pierce the cartridge bag and then fills the touch hole with powder.  A lead apron is the placed over the touch hole to protect the powder.


The gunner then sights the gun and the crew uses handspikes to train and elevate the weapon.

9.   "Make ready"        The gunner blows in the linstock to make sure it is burning well.  The apron is removed from the touch hole.

10.  "Fire"                   The gunner touchs the linstock to the touch hole.

Edited by popeye2sea
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What to do if one wants to play? One remembers old kids games :-)


So take a paper strip of exactemente 4,5 mm width ...




... folded once ...




... take a template to properly get the corner bent ...




... the second to come ...




... fold the lower part into the opposite way, shorten it and again bent around the corner ...




... prepared the other side ... 




... flattened ...




... opened and spread the opposite way ...




... already recognise it ??? 


Opened once more and ...




... and ready to be hatted :-)


Still have to send Lt. Williams to the hairdressers for that the chapeau sits to its designed location ...




... sincerely yours, the dafi
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Thank you very much Sirs!


While preparing the next input, just to keep you amused, a picture of yesterdays modeling exhibition in Stuttgart Germany:


Alex, Joachim and myself enjoying ourselves with nice chats at the booth of the Arbeitskreis historischer Schiffbau (Workgroup for historical Shipbuilding)










Cheers and enjoy as we did, Daniel

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Herewego, Dr. dafistein coming straight from his lab ...


... breaking little bones of little people ...




... and reassembled, on the right, the poor lad before being transformed ...




... in his new life as gun captain, holding a leather bag against the vent  to air seal it, for that no smoldering ashes is pushed upwards, while the barrel is sponged.




Two of the Misters got funny tails ...




... a bit of paint applied ...




.... and the crew is complete :-)

The lieutenant, the gun captain, loader 2 with the bullet, sponger 2 with the wad pads, powdermonkee, the marine (at ease, the crossbelts off and the button opened). Sponger and loader are already at their place, waiting for the rest of the gang, the second gun captain and the 7 auxiliaries to pull the strings ...






Cheers, Daniel
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Let the show go on :-)


The full crew was up to 14 men for both guns on each side of the ship. Strictly numbered, 1 gun captain, 2 second gun captain, 3 loader, 4 sponger, 5 sec. loader, 6 sec. sponger and 7 - 14 auxiliaries to pull the strings.


First picture for clarity without the auxs. One can see nicely, loader and sponger within the breeching ropes, sec. sponger and sec. outside bringing the next items as wad pads or balls. The gun captain is pressing a small leather bag against the vent, for that it is air sealed, for that no smoldering ashes are pressed by air pressure into the vent and that for by retrieving the sponge a vacuum is created that will put off all smoldering bits.


The second gun captain is here shown organising the tools like worm and the bars, his time will come, if he has to take halve of the crew to work the opposite gun if battle on both sides is required.


As one lieutenant was always taking charge of several big guns, Lt. Williams of course is present here at this excercising the great guns.  




And it gets really packed, once the auxiliaries are added to pull the strings




Also nice to be seen is that sec. loader and sec. sponger have to stand outside the side tackles. Also see the stick of the sponge protruding largely outboard.


On the capstan one can see the powder monkee, having prepared already the next cartridge. He is supposed to stay as far as possible for security reasons and to only handle the cartridge to the loaders and to nobody else. Also this was not a job for jung boys as generally thought, in fact Captain Duff of the Mars strictly forbid this as his log states. For the boys was to clean loose powder with a wet swab.


I like the two marines that were stationed on each big gun, gives a nice touch of color :-)


And also if I was a sponger and loader, I really would look out for that the man on the back tackle had a good lunch and that he makes sure, that there are no 3.5 tons coming towards oneself if a big wave is moving the ship ...


Some more pics to enjoy ...










... or a bit more inside the melée :-)








Cheers, Daniel

Edited by dafi
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... in his new life as gun captain, holding a leather bag against the vent  to air seal it, for that no smoldering ashes is pushed upwards, while the barrel is sponged.


Sometimes, if one knows what to look for, one can identify the bits easily. I first discovered the leather protection to seal the vent in the literature, but when closely looking at several live fire films, one can detect it even in use, here is one example of that :-)


Canon LIVE FIRE test - 18th century canister shot



Nice to see the loading, at 0:37 the leather protection on the finger, picking the cartridge through the vent, putting the powder onto the vent, the slow process of ignition down to the charge and a relatively minor recoil. Also nice to be seen in the slow motion the remains of cartridge and wad flying out, always a hazard to the wooden ships.






Edited by dafi
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  • 2 weeks later...

sorry Dafi - just catching up, those photo of the gun crews are brilliant - people also need to remember that there is not a lot of room in there and another gun crew would be right next to them doing exactly the same procedure, must have been hell, especially if in rolling seas in battle conditions


both my builds are to one side at present, as i am doing another project - which is non ship related - but does involve a kit, in fact it is some warhammer scenery i am doing to improve my painting skills,

Hope you are well



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  • 2 weeks later...

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