HMS Serapis - Scratch Build

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First post on my build. I started in the 1980s, from plans bought from NMM in Greenwich. Kids stopped progress from late 80's, until recently. Being retired, I'm making good progress. i will dig through some photos to show recent progress.

I have a unique "workshop". When COVID broke out, we rented the house and took off in or 5th wheel trailer, which has been a unique place to work (see attached photo).

The museum curator who sent plans, replied they had no "actual" plans for the "unfortunate" ship Serapis but he sent the plans for Roebuck, which was the lead ship of thirteen 44 gun frigates, of which Roebuck was one. The plans list the thirteen shipyards the plans were delivered to and which ship each shipyard built. (see attached photo).

Mike Harris Campground.jpgRoebuck plans showing shipyard Chatham, England.jpg
 
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I decided to make the model in the Navy Board (Admiralty Board) style. After the 30 year break in work, I worked on the exterior hull planking and evened out the upper and lower lines, of each frame (1st photo). I also started to place deck planks on the lower gundeck, leaving the deck beams exposed (photo 2). . My plan is to use alder for the entire ship (with the exception of carvings, which will be boxwood). I plan to use 3 different WATCO oils (natural, light walnut, and dark walnut). In the below pictures, the rubbing strakes are dark walnut, the deck beams are light walnut and the deck planks natural). The reinforced (curved) beam is used, where the mast will go, to ensure the deck can support the cannons (3rd photo).

framing and rubbing strakes.jpglower cannon deck and grates.jpggundeck.jpg
 
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Some detailed pictures of the quarterdeck ladder building process. I made each step, then pegged it, using small dowels I fabricate by pulling small alder strips through a draw-plate (left photo). Then I trim the pegs and file them flush (middle photo). Finally stain with WATCO (dark walnut).quarterdeck rails montage.jpg
 
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My next big step is working on the stern windows and balcony. I was lucky enough to find a great picture from a Russian Model Show of the Roebuck stern (photo 1). This is the effect I hope to accomplish. I've made all the spindles for the rails (tedious). Now I have to figure out how to recess the area between the 5 vertical beams and add a small curved extension for the deck. I'm also going to have to do my first experimentation with glass. I ordered some microscope slide covers. The second picture is how my stern looks right now. I did find another "easier" interpretation (picture 3) but it doesn't have the deck area between the middle 5 vertical beams. The high, vertical extension of the stern on the 1st photo is beautiful, but doesn't seem to agree with my interpretation of the plans, so mine will be lower, like the 3rd picture.
Roebuck stern2.jpgStern Feb 2021.jpgrobuck stern3.jpg
Roebuck stern2.jpg of the stern, but I like the idea of a small recessed deck on the upper level (photo 3). I'll keep you updated as I overcome each obstacle.
 

Uwek

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Hallo Brad alias @BradNSW ,
I am very happy to see, that you started the building log of your Serapis

Do you know the contemporary drawings of the HMS Serapis (1782), which aer available at the NMM.

j3745.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plans with stern board decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Serapis (1782), a 44-gun Fifth Rate, two-decker, as built at Bristol by Mr Hilhouse. The ship was completed at Hilhouse's yard in December 1782. Serapis had a single level of stern windows, unlike some of the others in the class, which had two tiers.


and also several deck plans

These drawings are maybe also of some help for you

BTW: Which scale does your model have?
 
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Hallo Brad alias @BradNSW ,
I am very happy to see, that you started the building log of your Serapis

Do you know the contemporary drawings of the HMS Serapis (1782), which aer available at the NMM.

View attachment 210401
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plans with stern board decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Serapis (1782), a 44-gun Fifth Rate, two-decker, as built at Bristol by Mr Hilhouse. The ship was completed at Hilhouse's yard in December 1782. Serapis had a single level of stern windows, unlike some of the others in the class, which had two tiers.


and also several deck plans

These drawings are maybe also of some help for you

BTW: Which scale does your model have?
Thank you Uwe, I have the full set of pans for Roebuck I ordered in the 1980s. At that time, they did not have plans for Serapis. Your plans show the single row of stern windows. THANK you...now I have some recalculating and more research to do!! I am working at 1:48, so it's fairly big. UPDATE: I just ordered the drawings of Serapis from Greenwich.
 
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These plans also explain what another researcher, on another forum asked:

"Why did the log book of Serapis list her as 46 guns, vice 44".

I guessed the CAPT had added two stern guns/ports. These new plans you showed, confirm my guess.

I'm excitedly awaiting arrival of these plans, which will help immensely! Then, onto making modifications to my stern!
 
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Both the Roebuck plans and the Serapis ones above, show what looks to be an (option to possibly add another (false?) deck, aft of the quarterdeck). The deck beams on the plans don't seem to be capable of holding the weight of an additional deck of cannons.

I've attached a contemporary oil painting of the battle that doesn't show any additional deck on the Serapis, so I don't believe it was incorporated in the build.serapis painting.jpg
 
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Finally got comfortable with a technique for wrapping the deadeyes, so I set up an assembly line and banged out 18 of the 70 some needed. There are two smaller sized deadeyes (about 20), for which I've ordered smaller diameter wire. Also shown in the photo are the small knees I will use to brace the deadeye rails. They will be pegged to the hull and the deadeye rails, once mounted, to add strength.Deadeye assembly line.jpg
 

Uwek

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Thank you Uwe, I have the full set of pans for Roebuck I ordered in the 1980s. At that time, they did not have plans for Serapis. Your plans show the single row of stern windows. THANK you...now I have some recalculating and more research to do!! I am working at 1:48, so it's fairly big. UPDATE: I just ordered the drawings of Serapis from Greenwich.
I am very happy, that my hint was of some help to lead you in a new direction. :D

Until you get the prints, you might want to look for the drawings also here at wikipedia. Here you can find maybe these or some of these drawings in higher resolution, so you would be able to study them better, until you get the 1:48 copies

 

Uwek

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Due to the fact, that you are working on the deadeyes, please take a short look at this post and following discussion
This small detail can be done easily and gives another additional detail to the models. Take also a look at the very interesting video.......
 
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Funny, I also ordered the Serapis plans in the 90ies and after many troubles some months later I received at last two plan sets for Roebuck.
Built the Aeropiccola kit, but was unsatisfied, but still Serapis is one of my favorites.
Last week I saw Uwe`s post of the NMM plan service and found the Serapis plans. Immediatley ordered the body view and will frame it and hang it on the wall.
Ordering was easy and they shipped after two days. No comparison to the nineties!
Your model is very impressive so far. Wish mine was too :(
 
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Due to the fact, that you are working on the deadeyes, please take a short look at this post and following discussion
This small detail can be done easily and gives another additional detail to the models. Take also a look at the very interesting video.......
Thanks Uwek. Had planned on orientating them correctly. Will look at how to accomplish the rounded/rubbing edges on two of the three holes.
 
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Funny, I also ordered the Serapis plans in the 90ies and after many troubles some months later I received at last two plan sets for Roebuck.
Built the Aeropiccola kit, but was unsatisfied, but still Serapis is one of my favorites.
Last week I saw Uwe`s post of the NMM plan service and found the Serapis plans. Immediatley ordered the body view and will frame it and hang it on the wall.
Ordering was easy and they shipped after two days. No comparison to the nineties!
Your model is very impressive so far. Wish mine was too :(
Yes, big difference than the old snail mail. I think it took me over a month to get the plans in the 80s. Hope these come in within a week. E-mail said they already shipped!
 
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Mizzenmast deadeye rail, with deadeyes glued in place and support knees for all rails, stained and ready for mounting. Will use glue and peg the knees for added strength. I've been making good progress, as I blew out my ACL and meniscus, skiing at Park City last week. Guess I'm not a young man anymore!mizzen mast deadeyes.jpg
 
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Mounted the first deadeye rail. Took a few tries to get the chain-stay links the correct length. Will have to paint the nail-heads black, do some touchup paint, where tweezers rubbed off the original black coating. I was intimidated by doing these parts, all from scratch but am satisfied with the results. Deadeyes are basswood. Everything else is alder. with either no stain, light walnut, or dark walnut.

mizzen mast deadeyes complete.jpgheads
 
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