Royal Navy Ship of the Line Cross Section by DocBlake - (Mamoli's "Constitution") - 1:93 scale

DocBlake

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#1
I found the Mamoli Constitution cross section on EBay for a song (plus shipping!) so I bought it, thinking I'd start yet another project. Looking at the box cover, I noticed the bottle of Jim Beam and the half full glass next to it. It turns out that these are not there by accident. In reviewing the kit contents and plans, I came to the conclusion that the designer of this cross section must have been drunk when he drew up the plans! There are so many errors! First, this is supposed to represent the constitution at the level of the main mast. The frames in this kit are all identical, meaning the section will be dead straight with no bevel to the frames, and no narrowing of the hull moving aft. This is great for fairing and planking, but not accurate at all: the AOTS book clearly shows the hull narrowing moving aft at this point. Also the chain pumps don't connect with anything below the gun deck! There is no well or shot lockers, and most egregious of all, the cross section has only 3 decks! "Old Ironsides" has 4. What to do?
I decided that I couldn't build the cross section as the Constitution. In studying several plans in my AOTS library, I discovered that the three deck layout, and shape of the hull amidships was similar to the HMS Bellona, a Royal Navy Ship of the Line. I decided I would build the cross section as typical of British naval vessels of the 18th century. This should be interesting. I'll be switching out a lot of the woods, and plan to avoid using any paint. I'll also add details missing from the kit like shot lockers and the well. The photos show the box cover and the cross section layout for this kit and Bellona. They are very similar, including having only 3 decks!

box.JPG plans.JPG
 
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Sgtmik

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#2
Hi Dave,
Did it come with a bottle of Jim Beam? Maybe the manufacturer Thought you would be Drunk and not notice the difference.
All seriousness aside I'm sure you will make it a great model.
 

zoly99sask

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#3
Hello Dave,seems like going to be a fun build.

Zoltan
 
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DocBlake

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#4
Thanks, Zolly, and hopefully quick!
framesandkeel.JPG finishframe.jpg framebuild.jpg
The kit has 5 pair of half frames, all identical and cut from plywood. The surface of the plywood is light colored and closed grain so it can be left as is for finishing. Only the fore-most and aft-most are visible in the completed model. I decided to score futtock lines and drill holes for bolts on 2 pair of half frames. I'm not even adding treenails, because the holes are so small, all that's needed is a little graphite from a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil lead and a couple of coats of poly to simulate bolts holding the frame together.
There is no build jig per se. The model is constructed "sandwich" style with spaces glued between each frame to establish proper location and fix the gun ports. I made about 10 copies of the layout plan for the frames and spaces.
The keel is European beech, as is the keelson, and has rabbets already milled. The was no false keel so I added one made of rosewood. The keel was then glued to the first frame and check carefully for square. I'll build the second frame on a separate board and transfer it here to the main board for assembly. I want to make sure my placement of spacers is accurate, especially where they define the gun ports.
 

DocBlake

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I finished gluing up all 5 pair of half frames. There are spacers between each one, and because of all the end grain butt joints, I elected to use 5 minute epoxy to glue the frame assembly together. I used 6 small machinist's squares to keep the glue up straight and perpendicular. There will be minimal fairing, because most of the spacers fit inside the profile of the frames. I will have to fit the keelson and that will require a little trimming of the notches, but nothing major. The outboard surface will need almost no fairing, since the frames are identical.

Bellona was built in 1760 but didn't get her bottom coppered until 1780. I think I'll use a stylized color scheme: Swiss pear below the wales, rosewood for the wales and rails, boxwood for the outboard planking above the wales (usually painted ochre) and bloodwood for the inner bulwark planking. Deck framing will be European beech wood and the decks, holly. crossframe1.JPG crossframe2.JPG
 

Mike41

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#7
Hi Dave,
Looks like a good start on an interesting project. I really like your choice of timbers they will make a great looking model.
Mike
 

Aginvicta

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#8
I have often thought about getting a cross section kit so I'll be watching with interest. You've made a good start,
Cheers Andy
 

DocBlake

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#9
Thanks guys!

I spent the day making and installing bolts for the frames in my Blandford build. I still have several left. I did manage to sneak in a little work on the little cross section. I milled the keelson clamps1.JPG clamps2.JPG and the deck clamps and installed them Next is planking the hold. I'm hoping to have limber boards and thick stuff as well as footwaling...all out of beech. Then I'll build the well and shot locker. This is a really small scale! clamps1.JPG clamps2.JPG
 

DocBlake

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#11
Hi Mike!

I use a graphics program called PaintShop Pro. I use version 7, because it's fine for my needs (basic editing, changing sizes of photos, sharpening etc. It also has full drawing capabilities including drawing lines with arrows and ability to add text. The evaluation version is free, but after the 60 day period, you can continue to use it, so it's really freeware. Here's a link: http://www.oldversion.com/windows/paint-shop-pro-7-0
 

Peglegreg

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#13
G'day Dave
I'll be watching as well. Great start from a 'not as a good kit, as you thought it was going to be.'
Very impressive the way you are going about this build.
Happymodeling
Greg
 

DocBlake

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#18
Thanks, guys!

I started building a well and shot locker, since none was included with the kit. The structure will be swiss pear with the access door and the lids to the shot lockers made of boxwood. I "borrowed" the Blandford plans for the well and scaled then to the right size. I used double sided tape to hold the vertical studs in place while I planked horizontally across them. I'll trim them up when the glue dries and add the front, back, well.JPG door and lids.
 

DocBlake

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#20
Here is the glued up well and shot locker. I need to add the hinged lids for the shot locker as well as the access door to the well.



This part is the first in which I had to address the issue of scale. I came to an interesting conclusion. The kit is listed at 1:93 scale, or just slightly larger than 1/8" = 1 foot. At that scale, the hold would be 10 scale feet deep and the space between the decks would be about 7 scale feet! Very doubtful any ship existed in the 18th century with that kind of head room. I suspect the scale is much closer to 3/16" or 1:64, giving the space between decks at slightly less than 5 feet. I'm going to build to that scale going forward.



Regarding the lids and access door: I'm planning to use boxwood for the contrast with the pear. Anyone disagree and vote for pear for those parts? The other two photos show this wood combination for the well in my AVS build. well.JPG avswell.jpg avswell2.jpg
 
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