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HMS AGAMEMNON by PMG - Caldercraft

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I am glad to be back on the new forum after a long silence.

I am a very very slow builder. I started my Aggie in 2010...

Here are somme pictures of some previous steps and the present situation.


I am making a first test to see if I can properly use the new features of the site. It seems it works.


You see here the way I installed (temporarly) the pedestals.post-1601-0-72791300-1362324623_thumb.jpg

Here, some planking on the main gun deck, in case they should be visible from above.


First half of the upper gundeck in position.


Planking of the upper gundeck completed.


The same varnished.

I stop now. This is a first test. More pictures are coming later.

I just finished the first plankig of the hull.

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First planking nearly completed,


When I was not at home, I started other "small" activities, like the boats,


Here is the launch,


and, here all four boats.


I started also to make the guns. Here is a rig I made for the construction of the carriages.


This is the present status of my ship. First planking almost completed.

It still need some local corrections and then.... sanding.



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Thank you for all comments.

Here is a picture of the varnish I am using. It's normally used on paintings, but I found the finish was very good . Not so glossy as it appears on the first photography of the upper gundeck (may be an effect of the flash).




Another (little) tip.

As I completed the first planking, I removed the front part of the building board.

I can so maintain the ship square. It can be useful later.



I am now finishing the last corrections to the hull before starting the sanding.

I have here a little question.

How do you protect the markings of the two gun decks? I am affraid they will disappear during the sanding operation.



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Hi Pierre,


Glad to have another Aggy build to follow.


Nice work on the deck and 1st planking.


To answer your question, if you still have it, re-use the gunport template issued, if you dont have it anymore you could drill out the 4 corners of each gunport. 


Failing that you could cut out the gunports and sand afterwards.


Good luck.



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Hello Mr. PMG,

I am impressed with your ship! Good work! 

I started it myself a few weeks ago. I have already a small problem: The second bulkhead (from bow) sits a bit deep. The hole for the bowsprit does not line up. If I raise the bulkhead (by putting a piece of wood in the slot) The top floor seems to high. Did you encounter a similar problem, and how did you solve it?

The sailors look great, too. I guess you bought them extra. Good luck and keep up the good work!



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Hi Mobbsie,

Thank you for the advise. I am now finishing some details (filling small holes and stealers), after that I am intended to put a layer of diluted PVA and I shall follow your idea. I shall use the template, position the gunports and eventually make four holes per port. And, after that, sanding... Anyway, with the weather we have here, there is no chance to go outside for sanding, and I am not sure my wife should appreciate a big sanding operation inside...


Hello Karin,

I had also some difficulty with the second bulkhead. But, no question about, you have to align the top with the gundeck. The easiest way ins to make a dryfit, with the foremast and the bowsprit. Don't care too much about the bottom of the bulkhead. It becomes very thin and will, anyway, be affected by the preparation of the edges. By the way, putting a filling block (in balsa) is always a good idea, and the question of the bottom of the bulkhead is automatically solved.

Here are some pictures:

First, the dry fit with the foremast and the bowsprit in place.


Then, the filler block, the deck well in line on all the length and the sanding of the bottom of bulkhead Nr2.


The next picture shows more or less the same.


Next, a small useful trick. Add small pieces of scrap wood on both sides of the masts. They will so remain straight in any circumstances.



I should like to come back on something that Mobbsie pointed in his Log.

There is a little problem with bulkhead Nr4. I thnk it is necessary to "refill" it a little bit (not too much, less than 1 mm) below the "round" part. Otherwise a hollow appears in the hull. You can try to find the right thickness by checking with a flexible plank. If you encounter a "double curvature", it's wrong. The curvature has to evoluate smoothly and should never change of sense. The hollow is visible on the next picture. Try to avoid it taking care in advance (what I did'nt...)



The sailors are home-made. I started making them about 20 years ago, and from time to time I work to. They are now 12. A 13th is always waiting for painting and a 14th is still far to be finished. I will progressively let you meet all the band...





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I am definitely the slowiest builder in the world, but here are some progress.

I planked the first curve at the stern counter. I leave the second one for later because parts 80 are protruding and should make the sanding of the hull more difficult. (But, I pinned temporarly the first part 80 to set the limits).


Then I coated completely the hull with diluted PVA.

Here is the present status, awaiting for the template to position the gunports.


This is the first sailor I made, about 25 years ago.


And here is the second. The photographies are not too good, but they are very small and I am obliged to use macros.



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Hi Pierre


I do have a dip in the waist of my lower hull, I will have to try and remove it by useing filler.


When you dry fitted the masts did you check on the angle's, all three masts have a different angle.


Nice crew by the way.



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I started drawing the gunports on the walls using the supplied template.

And I am not happy at all with the result.

No problem in the longitudinal direction, but, big discrepancies against the drawings in height.

I measured carefully. The upper deck level is correct: 180mm from the keel.

For the gunports I measure sometimes differences a big as 2 or 3 mm.

Hopefully, I still have the position of the two gundecks and I can check against the height of the port against a gun.

I am intended to rechck every level against the official drawings using that useful tool with a pencil to draw the waterlines.

Another "precision" work in sight before starting drilling the ports...


Mobbsie, I checked the masts and I dry fitted them again.

To avoid any problem in the lateral size you have seen that, at an early stage, I added small pieces of wood on the sides of the false keel.

In the side view, my foremast lies perpendicular to the keel, what's correct.

The mainmast and the mizzenmast have a certain rake (backwards). I measured it, and they have exactly the same, what's also correct. I have to add, that at the beginning of the construction I cared for and I slighty sanded the slots to be sure to achieve the result. Anyway, its important that the foremast should make a right angle with the keek ans that the two others have the same rake.

Here is a third crewmember I made. A kinf of petty officer watching the construction with the hands in the pockets...



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Hi Pierre,


There is a difference between the main mast and the mizzen mast, the main should have a rake of 1 degree and the mizzen has a rake of 2 degrees, you are correct when you say that the fore mast must be at 90 degrees to the keel.


If it's any consolation I also had problems with the different heights of my gunports, like you time was spent re-measuring each one and making good. It's not a difficult task bit more of a pain in the backside.


I was just about to plank the stern transom and was looking for the correct timber 1 x 3mm walnut and found it's missing, I phoned Caldercraft and they are sending some in the post, in the meantime it's back to working on the hull, more sanding. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Love the crew members



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My construction yard is momently idle.

I found it was too crowdy to begin the delicate phase of redrawing on the hull the gunports.

So, I decided to clean the room and make more space available to deploy the drawings. They are very large end a lot of space is needed.

Thus.... cleaning time.

Any way, I post you the photography of another of my sailors. In actual size they are smaller than 3 cm and the photography is not so avantageous for them.


Have a good and "constructive" W-E. Here we are in the snow again.


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The building room is almost cleaned but I cannot wait final completion to continue my Aggamemnon.

I told I was disappointed by the result obtained by using the template to (precisely) locate the gun ports on the walls.

But, with the original drawings of Caldercraft, and using this very useful tool, no problem to master the situation.

Just a question of patience.


I relocated every gunport and sratrd to cut them off. I used the small drill you see on the next picture.

Now, all holes are made, but, of course, not aligned.

I can now start to put some putty on the hull, before sanding it. That's the next job.


To spend the time, I give you here the picture of another of my crew members. This is a sailor in "sortie" dressing, just before inspection I suppose.


Have a nice W-E.






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  • 2 weeks later...

I am now for a few weeks in the South of France and, of course, my shipyard is stopped.

I was a little bit disappointed because I hoped to completely cover the hull with putty before leaving to have it absolutely dry when coming back.

Unfortunately, the good putty I bought in Switzerland some years ago was almost completely dry and so I interrupted the process.

I just bought here in France some putty that looks fine and I will test it soon.


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As I presently cannot work at my ship I take the opportunity to prepare the calliper blocks I am intended to use for adjusting the size of the gunports. I shall need some advise and in a couple of days I shall send you a detail drawing of what I mean.

In the meantime, another of my sailrs...




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Hello friends,

Now, I think I need some help. All your advises are welcome.


As I am note home, I take the time to study carefully the sheets 2, 3 and 4 of the drawings supplied by Caldercraft in view of preparing the calliper blocks I am intended to use for the finishing of the gunports and their lining.

And here I have a problem and some questions.

Look here at fig. 040.




The lids are 17x15mm and their inner part 15x14mm. No problem concerning the width of the opening. It will be 17mm and, once the liner is in position it will become 15mm.

The complication arises in the vertical direction. If you assume that all lids are identical (and by the way, Caldercraft supplies them all identical)  the opening in the wall will be different taking into account the slope of the wall of the ship. In such a case, the opening in the first planking shoud be 14mm high ( and lined, 12mm).

On another hand, if you assume that all opnenings in the wall are identical (and that seems to me more logic because so all guns have the same possibility of adjusting the fire) the openings in the first planking should be 15mm high (and 13mm with the liner).

I think that I shall choose this second solution. Nobody will ever see that there is a small discrepancy with the lenght of the lids as they will remain open. Your advises are welcome.


I have, more or less the same question with the gunports of the upper gundeck with lids. See fig 41.

Sorry, I have a problem for loading the picture and I continue on another message.



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Here is fig. 41.  ( I hope the images are large enough, otherwise I reload them with a better resolution).



Here I have an additional question. How do you finish the liner against the inner bulkward. Passing through or just against?

see options (1) or (2) on the drawing.

Again the same problem, lids identical or openings identical??

Let's assume we choose the second case. Then Width of the opening is 14mm and finished 12mm

and the height is 13mm (finished 11).


Let's now have a look to the gunport without lid. Here, I have to tell that the manufacturer drawings are not always consisten (to me). Finally, I made fig 42.




Here again, no problem for the width ( 14 and 12mm) what is consistent with the gunports with lids.

But, in the vertical direction, I measure also 14mm (opening in the first planking) and 12mm (finished opening with the lining.

And this is larger than any of the two solutions of fig 41.

Should'nt all openings (with or without lids) be the same??? In this case, wich one is the wrong one 11mm or 12 mm (in finished condition)?


Mobbsie, Rob, you are already at a further stage. What did you exactly do?

I have to tell you that I don't understand what Mobbsie did with the 10x10mm tubes for lining the gunports. In any case it should be bigger, but, may be, I did'nt understand what he did.


Anyway, thank you for your help. It will be greatly appreciated.



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Hi Pierre,


I have only lined my gunports without lids so-far and still have to do the ports with lids.


To answer your question on linning sizes, I made the tube using 10mm x 10mm to start with which proved to be wrong as this gave me an inside measurement of 10mm x 8mm.


I then made a tube 10mm x 12mm, this gave the correct inside measurement of 10mm x 10mm. I found that the timber used was so dry and brittle that I was unable to cut the tube without splitting the wood so I abandoned that idea and made each lining seperately.


Forget the tube, it was a good idea that didnt work for me with this timber.


In order to get the 10mm x 10mm square on the upper gundeck, the verticle sides must a length of 12mm, when the top and bottom sills are in position which are 10mm the inside measurement will be correct.


Not forgetting that there are 6 gunports with lids on the upper gundeck and these appear to have a inside measurement of 12mm x 12mm. These are from the bow No's 1, 2, 10, 11, 12 & 13. So these measurements are going to be 12mm x 14mm, I now need to open mine out to that size.


On sheet plan 2 the measurements for the gunports with lids are not a consistant size but the material used is the same as for the gunports without lids, on sheet plan 4, the gunports with lid measurement are consistant and have a top and bottom sill inside measurement of 15mm with a verticle inside measurement of 14mm, this means the timber used must be cut to a measurement of 15mm x 16mm. This is the measurement I will be working to.


The plans are not very clear so I think you just have to interpret them as you see fit, whichever you choose will not look out of place.


I hope I have answered your question Pierre and that I have not confused the issue.



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Hello Mobbsie,

Thank you for your very useful answer. It confirms tnat the issue is not so simple.

I wonder also what Rob (Decoyman) did.

Once back at home I am intended to check the sizes against the "original" drawings we can find in "The Nelson favorite". But I don't have the book here.

I will then take my "final" decision about.


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Hi Pierre,


You set doubts in my mind with regard to the gunport sizes, I double checked again and found my initial findings are wrong.


The main gundeck was correct at inside measurement 15mm x 14mm but the big difference was on the upper gundeck, I altered gunports 1, 2, 10, 11, 12 & 13 to the main gundeck gunport size and was happy to do it, I had a nagging doubt that these sizes were right, they looked far to big.


I actually checked the gunport lids and found 3 different sizes, 26 @ 17mm x 15mm, Main gundeck

12 @ 15mm x 15mm, Upper gundeck gunports 1, 2, 10, 11, 12 & 13.   2 @ 15mm x 15mm for the stern chasers.

4 @ 13mm x 12mm. for the Poop deck port 5 & 6.


I have changed these gunports again on the upper gundeck and am at last happy that they are correct.


The information was obtained from the gunport lids and not the drawings.


Hope this helps.



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Hi Mobbsie,

Thank you for your very very useful message. And sorry if I caused you some nightmares, but the matter is not easy at all (for me anyway).

I fully agree with you abouth the lower gundeck. 17x15 mm seems also to me the right choice.

About the upper gundeck I am not so sure. 15x15mm seems to me a little bit too large. I wonder if 14x13mm should'nt be better.

For the stern chaser, are you intended to cut the port in the counter and place the lid or are you just fixing the lid on?

Friday, I will be back home and I shall check on the original drawings of the Aggie.

Thanks again an good work!


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Hi friends,

Now that I am back at home, I try to take a decision about the size of the lower and upper gunports.

Poop deck gun ports are not really an issue as they are already laser cutted.

And looking to other references dos'nt simplify the question...

- If I correctly understood Mobbsie, he is choosing (15x14 mm) for the inner dimensions  ( I put the inner dimensions under bracket and the outer dimensions not)  and so 17x16 mm outer dimensions for the lower gun deck. For the upper gun deck he chooses (15x15mm) inner and so 17x17 outer. But, may be that my interpretation is not good, and that you are using 15x15mm (outer), what means (13x13mm) inner, what sounds better.

- The precut lids are respectively 17x15mm (15x14mm) and 15x13mm (14x12mm).

- I checked in "Nelson's Favourite" by Anthony Deane. There you find a (small) sheer and body plan not very easy to handle. However, I tried to take the measurements, and taking into account a double innacuracy (I pass the details of the mathematics, but if you insist...) I finally found:

(15,92x13,07mm) inner and thus 17,92x15,07mm outer fot the lower deck and (13,37x12,69mm) inner and thus 15,37x14,69mm outer for the upper deck.

(Don't forget there is a double innacuracy, and tha's not too far from Mobbsie figures)

- In "the new period ship handbook", Keith Julier speeks about 17x15mm outer and (15x13mm) inner and respectively 15x13mm and (13x11mm) for the lower deck.

OK, I think that if I found another couple of references the figures should be different again.

I putted all these figures on a table and finally I decided to use the values of Keith Julier. They seems to be situated in a good average.

Mobbsie, I am just afraid that your upper gunports should be a liile bit too large, but I don't know if that matters really.



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Hello Pierre,


How was your week in the South of France? I really love that part of France.


It's good to see back at work on the Aggy. She looks good. Nice crew you have.

Together with your Serapis they will keep you busy for a while.


Looking forward to your progress.


Will you please put a link to this build in your signature? Thanks.


Take care,



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Hello Anja,

Thank you for the message. In fact I spent 3 weeks in France. I am retired and I bought an house there.

So I am spending more or less 2/3 of the year in tne North and 1/3 in the South. The problem is that it is difficult to travel with the ships.

Generally I bring with me some smaller parts I can prepare when the sun is shining or in the shadow with a good glass of Rosé or something else...

Can you tell what I precisely have to do to add these links to my signature?

Here is another guy of my crew.




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Hello Pierre,


In this topic is described how to put the link in your signature.



You are lucky to spend so much time in France. It is a beautiful country.


From what material did you make your crew? Clay, wood?


Take care,



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Hi Pierre,


Thanks for the headsup mate, I have again measured the gunports and they are as follows, starting with the main gundeck

Outside 17mm x 16mm inside 15mm x 13mm


Upper gundeck

gunports 1,2,10,11,12,13. Outside 17mm X 16mm  inside 13mm x 11mm,  the linings are a bit thicker.


Upper gundeck

Gunports 3,4,5,6,7,8,9.  Outside 12mm x 12mm    inside  10mm x 10mm


I am satisfied that these gunports are correct and more to the point they look good so for me the issue is settled and can now be put to bed.


I hope you find your solution soon.


Love the crew member by the way.



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