planset review Bateau canonnier de 60 pieds / 60 feet gunboat - Modèle An XII" by Sophie Muffat, Pierre Grandvilliers and Denis Désormière

Uwek

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PLanset Review:
Bateau canonnier de 60 pieds / 60 feet gunboat
Modèle An XII

by Sophie Muffat, Pierre Grandvilliers and Denis Désormière

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The authors describe here a small vessel built in several hundred copies for the Boulogne flotilla, in preparation for an attempted invasion of England by the armies of the First Empire.
In the first part of the booklet, the historical approach, written by Sophie Muffat, member of the Sabretache, attempts to describe the various attempted invasions.

available directly from ancre in Italian or French language


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photos made during the Franciliades some years ago

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Size of the model in scale 1:36

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SYNOPSIS: translated from french (ancre) via google translator


1 - The historical study

The invasion of England by flat boats has been a recurring idea since ancient times. If we consider all the attempts, only that of William the Conqueror was truly successful, until the last attempt, the one attempted between 1803 and 1805 by Napoleon. The construction of flat boats of different kinds was only one aspect of this failed attempt at conquest. Napoleon also had expensive ports, arsenals and vessels built, endlessly organized and reorganized the navy to end on August 26, 1805, by abandoning this pharaonic project and going to beat the third coalition at Austerlitz, on December 2, 1805.

Between February 1803 and August 26, 1805, the engineer Forfait and his plans for flat boats, very expensive and impractical floating forts, and his fanciful ideas had finally convinced Napoleon to build gunboats, gunboats, barges and other vessels. , to transport troops and their armament. He was opposed to Minister Decrès, very virulent as to the efficiency of these boats, and to most of the admirals, who considered Forfait and his eccentric ideas as, no doubt, a good naval engineer, since he was considered in his time as the rival of Sané, but also as a bad tactician. The choice of the port of Boulogne was already controversial since it was already considered under Louis XV as one of the "worst ports of the Channel". What about Etaples, tiny, Ostend, unhealthy. All the ports of the flotilla will however be built ex nihilo like Wimereux, built on a marsh, or renovated by the engineer Sganzin, true miracle worker in terms of genius. He will also be one of the craftsmen of the camps built nearby to house the troops, which will be organized in a very regulated way, each camp having its own staff, each of them subject to a general staff, commanded by the general Berthier.

The flotilla itself is organized as a land division and constantly reshaping. Between the squads, the sections, the divisions created in 1803, and which constantly change composition and finally the squadrons created in 1804, which will be transformed until July 1805, we witness the laborious implementation of a very complicated organization. , and which even changes according to the nature of the boats, the squadrons of gunboats comprising more boats than those of rowboats or barges. To complicate matters, the Emperor and his admirals do not agree on the number of men to embark on the gunboats, the number varying between 90 and 130 men; the number finally stopped will be 95 men, but in July 1805 ...

Besides the men, it is the horses that must be transported, and the on-board artillery, the tools, the weapons, the food for two weeks and the water, the oats for the horses.

Behind this truly ambitious project, whether in shipbuilding or in its final objective, the invasion of England, the political situation has changed dramatically since we went from the Consulate to the Empire, and from a war against England alone to a European war, where the sun of Austerlitz somewhat masks the ruin of the French navy in Trafalgar. Despite this defeat, this invasion flotilla project will never really be abandoned by the Emperor, since in 1807, then 1811, the last avatars of the Boulogne camp will emerge to be abandoned entirely in 1812. As for the boats dishes themselves, some will be destroyed outright, others will end their careers as fishing boats or rot in ports, never having served as a troop transport, use for which they were built.


2 - The historical-technical study

After the Revolution and the Directory, the Consulate and then the Empire saw no other way to end the British threat than to invade Great Britain. Muskeyn, a Flemish sailor, had in his time brought to France various plans of flat boats designed by Chapman and used successfully by the Swedish navy in its conflict with Russia. Pierre Alexandre Forfait, a talented engineer-builder, was entrusted by Bonaparte with the project of building a flotilla capable of bringing an invading army of nearly 120,000 men across the Channel. It includes gunboats, objects of this study, but also prames, gunboats, barges and stable boats, nearly 2,000 boats in all. The gunboat will not be his greatest achievement, The ship is a bad walker, drifts a lot. It is in fact ill-suited to navigation in the English Channel, a sea much harder than the Baltic.

The main difficulty in reconstructing one of these buildings is to collect enough reliable documentation. The research carried out enabled us to discover in the various archives centers of the Historical Service of Defense as well as in the Boulogne Library of many plans and their variants, such as the one reproduced here. We also have construction, installation and armament specifications, allowing us to get as close as possible to what this gunboat from the year XII could be. We also had the chance to consult in Nantes, a private archive of the former Crucy shipyards, builders of about fifty of these boats, to say nothing of the very abundant correspondence of Bonaparte before and after his coronation, of the orders of the day of the flotilla and our own private documentation fund. These various documents show the evolution and attempts to improve this boat during its existence.

Boulogne Library - reference 36 184

The gunboat is a 19.50-meter craft, several hundred of which were built, sailing as well as rowing. He is unfortunately as bad a sailor (the ship is under canvas) as he is in rowing, almost all of the infantry on board having never been introduced to swimming except during a few rare trainings.

It can embark 100 men and their equipment, including spare parts when Napoleon envisages in some of his couriers, piling up to 130 soldiers, in addition to the rest (full supplies, horses, cannons ...). This small ship carries in its most common version a 24-gauge gun on the bow and an 8-gauge Gribeauval on the stern. This campaign piece must be landed on arrival on the English coast. The boat therefore also embeds two horses which will be harnessed to the front end of the Gribeauval, also embarked but traveling disassembled. During its existence, the boat will be often modified, addition of side daggerboards to limit the drift, of fangs to increase the freeboard, removal of the boat from the edge, removal of the galley etc.… The plans of the boat describe this precisely.


3 - The plans

The last part of the booklet is devoted to the description of the 28 plan boards of the monograph. These plates are reproduced on a reduced scale and are commented on by Denis Désormière, author of the plans.
Printer by trade, I used software specific to the profession and mainly intended for 2-dimensional plots. However, there is a function that allows you to create a “3D effect”, used for some sketches.
The order of the planks is designed in a working logic allowing the ship to be built "in frame". The lifting and filling torques, as well as the entire frame are detailed.
As it stands, with its sixty-two pairs and thirty-two extensions, its realization in “arsenal” can present some minor difficulties to beginner model makers. Nevertheless, it is conceivable to design a model with a closed hull, relying only on the lifting torques and closing the vessel in front and behind with two full “shells”.
The artillery of the building in its most classic version, the one that we present, comes down to two pieces: a 24 caliber gun on slides and a Gribeauval field gun of 8 caliber. We can also consider a different armament, with a Classic marine lookout at the bow, either with a howitzer or carronade at the stern.

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The Gribeauval cannon - Caliber 8

The chosen scale is that of 1 / 36th and gives a model of honorable dimensions. For modelers preferring a “good size” vessel we recommend the 1 / 24th scale, which is more appropriate. It will suffice to apply to the plans presented a coefficient of 1.5.
The booklet and the plans are presented in a good quality cardboard jacket.

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Content of the booklet:

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CONTENT list of the drawings

The boards of the plans at 1 / 36th

Pl. 1 Schematic elevation of the hull
Pl. 2 Vertical sections
Pl. 3 Horizontal sections
Pl. 4 Axial frame
Pl. 5 Lifting couples
Pl. 6-7-8 Filling torques
Pl. 9 Wooden elevation
Pl. 10 Front woodwork
Pl. 11 Rear woodwork
Pl. 12 Serre-bauquière and Baux
Pl. 13 Cross sections 1
Pl. 13 Cross sections 2
Pl. 14 Longitudinal section
Pl. 15 Plan of the hold
Pl. 16 Deck plan
Pl. 17 Equipment-fittings
Pl. 18 Apparel-fittings
Pl. 19 Mast
Pl. 20 Sails
Pl. 21 Standing rigging
Pl. 22 Running rigging
Pl. 23 Completion of maneuvers
Pl. 24 Artillery - Le Gribeauval
Pl. 25 Artillery - The 24 gun
Pl. 26 Building under sail
Pl. 27 Metal parts
Pl. 28 Tracé du Livet - Bridge sheer


Please go to the following post to have a Look Inside of the Booklet and also the drawings
 

Uwek

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PLanset Review: Part II
Bateau canonnier de 60 pieds / 60 feet gunboat
Modèle An XII

by Sophie Muffat, Pierre Grandvilliers and Denis Désormière


Look Inside the booklet:


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Look Inside of the drawings


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My personal opinion:

If you are starting with scratch building or
If you are looking for a smaller scratch model for in between.
If you are looking for a rarely build model.
If you are looking for a model in a bigger scale.
If you are looking for a ship with reduced rigging and sail work.
If you are looking for something really special.....

-> This is a great model and a very detailed planset
 

Uwek

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I forgot completely to say Thank you to Didier Berti from ancre to send me this copy of the monograph of the Bateau canonnier de 60 pieds
 

Uwek

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In the meantime I found one additional web-page which is showing the book, drawings, and construction of a model very much in detail
Also there you can find the contact details of the three authors Sophie Muffat, Pierre Grandvilliers and Denis Désormière, which could be of any interest, if you have further questions, suggestions etc.


on this web-page you can find a bigger number of detailed photos of the great model in scale 1:36 built by Alain Fosse


and here a 15 minute video of the model construction


I am getting by myself more and more interested in this ship....... hmmm
 

Uwek

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ANY TIME SET FOR THIS IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION. GOD BLESS STAY SAFE YOU AND YOURS DON
Hallo Don,
as I know from Didier Berti it is in moment not planned to translate this monograph, due to the fact that the efforts for translation of a booklet with more than 200 pages are too much (time and costs). Other monographs and books have in moment priority.....
Nevertheless I want to state, that the drawings are self-explaining, a very complete planset -> so a building of a model will be possible without the book and text.
If necessary Chapter 3 can be also translated with free software, in order to understand the information......
A very interesting ship and planset, worth the money also in french language ;)
 
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THANK YOU UWE, I PROBALLY WILL ORDER THIS ONE, SOON I HOPE. GOD BLESS STAY SAFE YOU AND YOURS DON
 
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