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HMS Sphynx by TBlack - 1:64


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This next project of mine is going to be a gift to my son who has been pestering me for a display of my modelling talents. I had 2 considerations in my approach: That the model fit in his house somewhere and that it be interesting to look at. While perusing the various logs on this site, I discovered Alex M's HMS Sphynx, a small frigate (the hull is a little over 100 feet long) and that he sells, through Chuck P., a set of building plans that he had drawn up from the NMM original draughts. At 1:64 the model should come in at around two feet long which took care of the first consideration, and being a frigate with several decks and full rig, my second consideration was met.

 

I've titled this log the Sphynx, but in reality what I really want to model is her sistership, HMS Ariel. We'll see if the NMM can come up with any information on her, but she was quickly captured by the French in the Carribean, so she didn't fly a British flag for long. The French took her back to France and just left her in the harbor. Meanwhile, Ben Franklin was in Paris begging for support for the American Revolution. The French were willing to provide supplies, but told Ben he'd have to provide his own transport. Franklin pointed out that Ariel was just sitting in the harbor and could he borrow it to transport the supplies. That was fine with the French, so Franklin asked John Paul Jones to captain the vessel. To cut to the punch line, Jones got the Ariel to Philadelphia, but not before fighting his last naval battle in Ariel. And, once the supplies were off-loaded, he sailed the ship back to France to return it to her owners. Consequently, we have a British ship owned by the French, but flying an American flag!

 

I've started construction, but just barely. This is going to be a long, slow project.

 

post-106-0-99550400-1420406810_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for all the "likes" and, Alex maybe I should stop right now. I know that I can't achieve the level of finish that you produce. And, Alex, your plans are superb! Thank you for all your excellent work in producing them.

 

Professor Mott, Michael, thanks for your support in the past; I hope I don't disappoint you on this one.

Tom

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Hello Tom, thanks for warm words about my plans!

 

Alex maybe I should stop right now. I know that I can't achieve the level of finish that you produce

I have folowed your build of Vinal Haven and should say, that you model looks very realistic. So please do'nt stop! :)

I will follow your build!

 

Alex

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Tom

     It looks like you and I are starting our "long slow projects" about the same time.  You know I will be watching this Sphinx class build log with interest all the way to completion.  Best of luck to you buddy.

Tom

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Thanks, Tom. I, too, will be following your lift construction with great interest. It's a technique I've never been able to master. My POB approach has a lot more parts to hull construction, and the alignment is a slow process, but it's in small bites and easy to see. I've stiffened the framework and almost got the outer shape refined. I'll present pictures when that phase is done.

Tom

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You snuck this one in while we were away, Tom.  I'll be following with great interest.

 

According to Lyon's 'Sailing Navy List', the NMM have, in addition to the usual class plans,  'as built' plans (including decorations) for three of the class, but unfortunately not the 'Ariel'. 

 

John

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  • 4 years later...

Been a while since I posted here (like 5 years!). Fast up-date: After putting the bulkheads in place (see first picture), I realized that the model would be too big for my son's house. So I put it aside and started all over again at a 1:96 scale which should produce a model about 2 feet long. That smaller scale prohibits my attempts at any small detail, but the finished product is a reasonable facsimile of a Sphynx class frigate. Anyway, I need help/advice. I'm working off of Alex Matvijets plans which I got through Chuck P. The rigging plan shows slings at the top of the fore, main and mizzen, and again at the top of the fore top and main top. James Lees says they are supposed to be there, but he never tells you what they are for. I know somebody here has the answer.

slings sized.jpg

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Well, welcome back! What you have circled appear to be the Burton pendants of the standing rigging, not the slings. If you have a copy of Longridge's The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships, this will be clear in the beautiful perspective drawing of the fore top by G.F. Campbell between pages 212 and 213.

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3 hours ago, druxey said:

Well, welcome back! What you have circled appear to be the Burton pendants of the standing rigging, not the slings. If you have a copy of Longridge's The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships, this will be clear in the beautiful perspective drawing of the fore top by G.F. Campbell between pages 212 and 213.

Thanks, Druxey. I never really went away; I just haven't done much posting. I looked at Longridge and my reading is that these pendants just hang there until needed. Nothing is immediately attached to them?

TB

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Thanks, David. Alex's rigging plan is hard to follow. I suspect he thinks I already know the run of things. Lees is fine if you want to know how a particular line/stay is attached, but not so good for an overall picture (like how many eye bolts to attach to the deck). I've sent away for your volume on rigging the Swan class ship in hopes that it may help me with some of the detail (I've had considerable success with your previous publications).

Tom

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  • 5 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Gentlemen,

Thanks for the “likes”. Druxey has been particularly helpful with the rigging and mast tops. Keith Aug has been inspirational in the fabrication of the gratings in the ship’s boat where the openings are just less than 1/64” square. The hull is planked in Apple and cherry for the rest of the darker wood. Couldn’t manage carving on the transom at 1:96; had to do substitutes.

Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...

Druxey,

I understand your concern. The final resting place for the model is presently occupied by a forest of nutcrackers. Post Christmas season, the model gets moved inboard.

Thanks to all of you for the likes. It's always rewarding to see one's efforts inspected so closely. However, there are 3 tests for any model: the 10 foot test, the 3 foot test, and the 6 inch test. I hope I pass!

Tom

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