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UWEK Triton Build (re-post by mod)

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The plate size for 1/48 scale would be 1" long and 5/16" wide (48" x 15" full size standard plate). It takes a bit of practice and some patience to copper a complete hull, but it can be done and very realistically as long as you pay attention to scale accuracy.


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Hallo ZZ,

also only for checking my own calculation, due to the fact that I am not familiar with the feet and inches etc ( like you with our metric lengths):

in scale 1:48:

1" equal to 2,54 cm and
5/16" equal to 0,313" equal to 0,795 cm

so the correct size of the "model"-plates in 1:48 should be around
2,5 cm to 0,8 cm instead of 1,7 cm to 0,65 cm (Jotika).

Maybe acceptable but not in scale!
Especially when you cut them on two sides in order to use them next to each other and not overlapping.

Maybe there are others finished and prepared copper plates available on the market which fits more to the scale and have also an acceptable "look".

Or the last and maybe best alternative: Scratch built!

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Hallo ZZ,

in addition to the information Russ gave already I want to mention some infos coming from Boudriot and Frölich.

In the Jean Boudriots monographie of the 16 gun brigg "LE CYGNE" from ancre I found this very selfexplanatory sketch




Please have in mind that this was a french ship and from the year 1804, but the principles were the same and are shown very well.
......here usual was an overlapping of the plates with only 4cm.
The used nails had a 1,8cm diameter flat head, this type of nail is very well shown.


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In another book from the ancre publications which I mentioned already some times,
the book THE ART OF SHIPMODELING ---- by Bernard Frölich
some more very interesting photos were given us by the author.

In this book he is showing over several pages the way he was coppering his 1:48 scale 16-gun brigg "LE CYCLOPE"
(a sister ship of the Le CYGNE from the former post)





He was using for this model a very thin copper folio which is usually used for electronic works
with a thickness of 36 microns (0,036 mm) and an self-gluing side.
So no extra glue is necessary, only removing of the protection folio and gluing directly on the planks.
This material (he is writing) is available in rolls with width of 5 cm and length of 16 m.

Due to the extreme thin material he is able to make the overlapping so realistic.

At the right bottom photo you can see that the false keel was not coppered, coppering is ending shortly after the bow!
This information you can see also and better in the following one.




Here a photo of the finished coppered hull next to the rudder of the vessel.
Very good visible is the uncoppered false-keel which was never coppered,
due to the fact that it was only necessary as a protection of the real keel against possible
carambolage demages against the sea/harbour/coast - ground.

After such a contact, the false keel was removed and a new was assembled.
The false keel was only connected to the keel with nails and/or clamps from the side, so "easily" changeable.

I did not find an information if this false keel was covered with white stuff,
but I personally do not think so, due to the fact that the false keel was more or less a spare part,
the keel as the first structural part by itself was covered from the sides by copper and from the downside from the false keel.

Please have also in mind that the rudder-hinges at coppered hulls were made out of bronze and not iron
(otherwise chemical reactions), so in the model they should be made maybe from brass.

Frölich received his beautiful patina of the copper-plates with rubbing the copper folio with steel wool before making the nail pattern.
In my opinion it looks much better than the shiny original copper-folio surface.


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Hallo friends,

after this longer excursus to the (surprisingly) wide subject of coppering,
let us go back to the construction of the Section model.

Here you see the coppered side (for everybody not following this building log the other side is not coppered,
but covered with "White stuff") with the installed Trim Mouldings (Outboard Trims) and the Entry Steps.




And here in addition the two fenders



And with a closer view where you can see some smaller negative points which you sometimes see first with the closer look through the camera-objective ......a little bit rest of glue at one or two steps (can be removed)
......one step (third from top) is not completely in level (**** )
......and one fender is a little bit split (can be filled carefully).





Special Remark:
For all others members who build also the Section model, please
do not forget the post of Russ regarding the entry steps

The second step from the top should be on the same level like the lower trim !!!!


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Hallo Jim,

don´t be afraid ...I will not take your posts as "too critical".....it is a way of learning and discussing several different techniques and also (what I like) historical data. I take it as critical and that is ok! Although it is very critical ("ruin"!)!

But I do not understand your critic in detail?
you are writing nail holes, bolt holes and also hole pattern
of what? There are no holes!

I guess you did not refer to the stairs etc. of the last post, or?
If you mention the coppernails....this I agreed here already that inside should be no nails and master-modelers like Frölich are able to do with this technique a (in my opinion) a fabulous job.
But I am happy that with the posts of the coppering it started a discussion and we received a huge number of informative posts from different members about coppering, nailing and weathering of the sheets.

If you mean treenails of the outside hull I can not agree with you due to the fact that they are exact like f.e. Russ was explaining.

The Triton section is a small model were we are able to get into the scratch-building and where we are able to exercise and try the basic techniques so we are prepared for the full hull model. Also we can try some different ways in order to find the best ways and / or the best results.

And the best of this Triton section is......if the side with the copper is not so good you can turn it to the "white stuff"-side

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The next photos of the construction:

The basis wooden elements of the gun carriages brackets were cut out of a block with the help of the circular saw.
So the steps were cut with the different height of the saw-blade.
The round lower part was made with the use of a sanding stick with the same round corpus.
After cutting of the form of the brackets the several twin-parts were cut (also with the circular saw)
in the necessary thickness of the brackets.



Here in closer detail the different trucks (two different diameters) 





A little bit of cleaning and the installation of the gun-carriages can start!


The gun carriages are installed inclusive the bed-bolt and the eye-bolts for the later rigging. I made some very closed photos to see all details etc. better.



The eye-bolts are made (it is easier) with the wire turned to ring outside of the bracket. If the muzzle is installed it is not visible any more. (this will be proved with the next post)



Here with the installed Quoin and Stool bed (in the view from the back)






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Hallo all,

first of all many thanks for the kind words about these carriages.

Unfortunately I made a mistake in my last description of the above mentioned photo which I want to correct now:

Shown is off course on top of the rear "Axeltree" (see the "Gun Carriage Detail"-plan part No. 9) the "Bolster" (No. 5)
and on top of this the "Stool Bed" (No. 6) and until now without the wrongly mentioned "Quoin" (No. 1).

Therefore also it seems on this photo that the gun-muzzle will not be able lay with backside on the Quoin,
because of the eyebolt bar going from one side to another.
But with the installed additional Quion the muzzle will lay higher and be not hindered by this eyebolt.
The muzzle will lay on top of the quion where it should lay.

Only to mention it once more:
This installation is not according the drawings and not according the real carriages
...it is an simplification which will be not visible later on!

On a english gun carriage of this time you have only two horizontal bolts from one bracket to the other one:
the Transom bolt and the Bed bolt, all other rings and eyebolts are installed on each side brackets!

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Hallo JIm,

you are completely right with your opinion...it is walnut, this one with only light grain!


good to hear that you are also giving this type of jig a try!
As I understood Russ is thinking about to prepare such kind of jig also a try for the full hull model of the Triton
and will prepare a drawing with the necessary measures.
So maybe you could write once about your impressions and experiences with this kind of jig,
which can be important for the future builts in our group.


In the last posts I was showing the elements and the completed carriages of the Triton guns.

Because of one request I am showing today two more photos of the cut brackets,
so it will be more clear about the way and sequence of making the brackets.
In my opinion it is much easier to receive correct and identical brackets,
much better and easier than to cut each bracket with the scroll-saw. 





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The gun-muzzles turned on the lathe.

One in detail, in total ca. 4,80cm long



And here all four ready for the installation on the carriages 






As I mentioned before already when we had the subject of the iron metal brackets of the gangway.......not completely blackened!

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Hallo all,

sorry for not earlier reply for the last posts made here in the building log, but I was very busy in the last days (unfortunately in my job )!

Turning on a lathe:
many thanks for the kind words and I will forward your comments to the producer of the muzzles

On my old lathe there I do not have the possibility to copy and to reproduce the same elements (like this identical muzzles several times).
A friend here in Croatia (circular saw) has a specialist lathe and he produced the four identical gun-muzzles out of brass on his lathe (many thanks to him) with the help of a kind "reproduction-jig", you maybe know these kinds, where the preliminary form is controlled by a kind of sensors and the steel for the cut (sorry I do not know the technical correct english terms) is following the same form and you can reproduce it so often you want.

If I would try it on my own lathe I guess I would have four different calibers, including longguns and cannonades at the end

Now to the patina of the muzzles:
Like Russ mentioned correctly they are not completely black like they should be on a british active warship of this time.
The guns are now looking like weathered bronze guns and not like the more or less dark black iron guns of this time.......
There are enough blackening chemicals available on the market which can produce different levels of darkening or blackening.
See here fore also our very good Tutorial written by our Pat (Banyan) which you can find here:

Here the used way like Lee was asking and I try to explain most of it in english (and where necessary in addition in german) :
First of all off course cleaning of the brass part so no grease from fingerprints etc. is on the parts.
Second the bath, it contents with one part of "copper-blue" (german: Kupferblau) which is used also for spraying (and killing) vermints (german: Schädling) in the garden, melts this in water, and with second part with photographic "Fixer" for black and white photos.

The brass-parts which have to be "blackened" can lay inside this fluid-mixture (in a closed glass) for several hours, f.e. over night.

Afterwards cleaning with fresh water and ------> finished

It is one way of several others possible to reach such a patina.

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After the excursus of "blackening" the gun-muzzles back to the actual built

Here you can see the Port tackles prepared with a single and one double block and the necessary hooks on each block.
Referring one question by a member in the past:
Such port tackles are installed on both sides, so per gun two!
For the size a ruler (with centimeter scale) is attached!



The same tackle attached at the gun carriage and additional also the breeching
A gun has only one breeching.



The details you can find on the drawing "Tackles" in the download forum for the Triton built!
For everybody who is not registered for the Section or for the complete model of the Triton
-----> why still waiting?
----> A short request to our leader Russ and you are in the Triton group and you can download the detailed drawings! 8)
And all of this cost-free!!!!

Questions and comments as usual very welcome.........

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The plans call for two single blocks. We used this for simplicity's sake, although you can use the more traditional gun tackle rig with the double and single block. I'll leave that for each builder to decide.

The thing to remember is that either way, the tackle is fixed to the **** end of the single block which is mounted on the gun carriage. The other block (double or single) is attached to the bulwarks. The free end of the tackle must come out of the block on the bulwarks so that it can pulled back towards the centerline of the ship.

One other thing to make sure of is that you get all of this rigged BEFORE you install the gangways otherwise it will be that much more difficult to rig the guns. I cannot stress this point enough. Rig the guns in place BEFORE you install the gangways.


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Yes, I think they probably used the gun tackle arrangement. A gun tackle (the name of the tackle) has the single and double block.

In that arrangement, the single block is on the gun carriage and has the standing end of the tackle secured to its **** end. The double block is on the bulwark. The tackle goes through the first sheave of the double block, then back through the sheave in the single block, then back through the second sheave in the double block and you haul on that free end back towards the centerline to pull the gun up to its port. That is what I meant in that previous statement.

In the single/single arrangement, the standing end of the tackle is secured to the **** end of the block on the bulwark, then rove back through the single block on the carriage, then back through the single block on the bulwark. We used this for the sake of simplicity in block making, but the use of the single/double arrangement is there for those who want to use it.

We will revisit this subject when we get to that point in the plans drawing process for the complete hull project. I will probably end up offering both options for the complete build. Right now, we are a few weeks away from releasing the first plans of the building jigs, keel etc for the complete hull.


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Just for information: a single/double block tackle is a luff tackle. The following info is from The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor Lever, 1819

The gun was rigged as Russ says, so why a tackle with two single blocks should be called a 'gun tackle', I have no idea, other than maybe guns used to be rigged this way until heavier ordnance demanded more pulling power.

I'm enjoying the build, Uwe. Top stuff!




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I think you misunderstand something. Whether using a single/single arrangement or a double/single arrangement in the gun tackles, both blocks were fitted with hooks, both at the bulwarks and the gun carriage. You seem to indicate in your last reply that the bulwarks block had to be permanently fixed in the single/single arrangement, but that would not be true in a gun tackle.

By the by, we should also keep in mind that not all guns used the single/double arrangement. A lot had to do with the size of the gun. Certainly the heavier guns, like a 24 pounder or 32 pounder, used the single/double arrangement, but the smaller calibers, say a 4 pounder, 6 pounder, might have used the single/single arrangement. It is entirely possible that they used the single/single arrangement on 9 pounders as well. Like I said, I will be checking into this further for the complete hull build as we go along.


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My reading suggests that the smaller caliber guns would have used the single/single arrangement, but I will leave this an option for each builder to choose for themselves. Either the single/single arrangement I have shown in the plans or the single/double arrangement will work.

If I find anything more concrete for the complete hull build, I will let everyone know.


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After the last excurses some new photos from the finished and installed
Main Topsail Sheet Bitts





you can also see the light bow of the grating which is following the bow of the deck

at the edges you can see the Gangway ladders.


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Step by step we are coming to the end of the log........

Here today some photos of the installed gun-carriages fully rigged on the deck. 









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 And here some closer look at the guns from the side....... 








Comments, remarks and questions (as usual) are very welcome............

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Hallo friends,

many thanks for the kind words and your comments for the last post
where I was able to show the installed and rigged guns.

You are completely right with the impression that such a model is looking totally different
when the gun-carriages with the rigging is installed.
After these parts you have somehow "Life on board" and a little bit you can smell the gun-powder

I would like to find some 3 or 4 gunner-figurines in scale 1:48 to "activate" the model totally!
If somebody have a tip for good figurines in this scale please please give me a hint.........

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Russ wrote:


That's why Uwe pointed it out as a 32 gun frigate. Its not a 28. It is a slightly later ship of a different class with more guns. Same name as the earlier Mermaid, but different.


Also keep in mind that Triton is only technically a part of the 1761 Mermaid class. The design for that second group (Triton, Greyhound, Boreas) of this class was altered significantly in the lower hull lines so that second group is at most a modified Mermaid class. Like, I said, kind of technical.



Hallo Christian,


I made in my post a small mistake which confused a little bit.

I mentioned "class" at the Mermaid, which was incorrect. Thanks Russ for the explanation and the correct information of the different vessels!



In this topic Russ made already a good clarification in his post: 



Russ wrote:


The Triton model photo in Gardiner's book is the 32 gun frigate that was launched in 1796. This was an experimental design put forward by James Gambier, later Lord Gambier. It had a very sharp bow, wall sides, and was built of fir with a square tuck stern. One author referred to it as very unattractive in design.


The Triton in the community build is one of three 28 gun frigates of the Mermaid class built to a slightly modified design by Thomas Slade. Triton, Greyhound, and Boreas were the second group of the Mermaids and were built to this modified plan. The plan for Triton can be found in Gardiner's book.


I would also recommend his sequel to First Frigates which was titled Heavy Frigates. This dealt with the advent of the 18 pounder frigates from 1778 up to 1800. There are more very good plans and photos, along with some very fine research.



For everybody interested in frigates this book also written by Robert Gardiner could be also of interest:


THE HEAVY FRIGATE - Eighteen-Pounder Frigate: Volume I, 1778 - 1800


Coming back to the Triton Section and as all of you were already expecting the Section is finally finished.


I want to say many Thanks


to Russ who made this project possible with his preparation of the complete information

as well as his continuous assistance and helpful comments during this log,

the draftsman Don who prepared here wonderful drawings, very exact and detailed,

so everybody could understand and follow.

And off course many many thanks to my friend and mentor Zeljko.


It was a nice and interesting and sometimes surprising log and I enjoyed all of your comments,

remarks, questions as well as all discussions.

So therefore also many thanks to all members writing interesting posts in this topic.


Many Thanks for your attention during the time and I hope you had fun

and some of you found one or two new information,

how to make something and / or also how not to make it......



Here are some photos of the finished Section













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Absolutely incredible work!   I can only hope to come anywhere close to the quality of those cannons!!

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Hi Matrim

I am interested in making the gratings I n Frohlich's way.

I there a  jig or method to accurately space the saw kerfs?


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Hi Matrim

I am interested in making the gratings I n Frohlich's way.

I there a  jig or method to accurately space the saw kerfs?




If you have Frohlich's book, there's info in there on how to make the grates.   There is no jig drawing that I'm aware of.

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