HMS Triton, 1771 - scale 1/48

Oct 23, 2018

"I have a dream..."
These words by Martin Luther King reflect my relationship with the MSW project and HMS Triton very well. In 2007 and 2008 I gained my first experiences with wood during the construction of my cross-section model. In early 2009, after the publication of the plans for the "Full-Hull" model, I laid the keel. In contrast to the group build, I wanted to build my model right from the start with the original frame design according to the disposition of frames plan.

I had hoped to be able to realize the other frame arrangement with the drawings of the MSW project.(@Uwek: I think, you remember Uwe) Only for the cant frames would changes have been necessary that could have been made with the MSW drawings. This assumption proved to be wrong, after two unsuccessful attempts I broke off the project with a heavy heart.

Nevertheless, the project and the model never let me go. At the end of 2017 I restarted the project with an inventory:
  • A conversion of my project is not possible with the MSW documents.
  • In the meantime, line errors have been detected in the drawings for the POB model.
  • I have all the necessary NMM plans for the reconstruction of the HMS Triton.
In the last few years I was able to get some experience in the reconstruction of a layout according to original plans, so I decided to do my own reconstruction of the ship.

My goal is not to criticize the work and the MSW project. A few people invested a lot of energy and work to provide the community with documents for building a model of an 18th century English frigate. I respect this work and will use it as much as possible for my model.
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HMS Triton with its sister ships HMS Boreas and the HMS Greyhound belongs to the modified Mermaid class, which is based on a design by Sir Thomas Slade (1703-1771), the designer of the HMS Victory.

The NMM has a complete set of plans for a reconstruction of the ship:

ZAZ 3240Sheer and ProfileClass design
ZAZ 3241Disposition of FramesClass design
ZAZ 3242Inboard ProfileClass design
ZAZ 3243Fore & Aft PlatformClass design
ZAZ 3244Lower DeckClass design
ZAZ 3245Upper DeckClass design
ZAZ 3246Quarterdeck & ForecastleClass design
ZAZ 3235Sheer and ProfileTriton As Built
ZAZ 3236Fore & Aft PlatformTriton As Built
ZAZ 3237Lower DeckTriton As Built
ZAZ 3238Upper DeckTriton As Built
ZAZ 3239Fore & Aft PlatformTriton As Built
ZAZ 3248Sheer and ProfileBoreas As Built
For the HMS Greyhound I have not found an As Built Plan.

If you compare the Sheer and Profile As Built Plan with the design plan of the class, two changes are noticeable:
  1. The shape of the side gallery has been changed;
  2. the oar ports of the design have been omitted.
The As Built Plan of the Boreas still shows these details. Therefore, I assume that my reconstruction will be based on a change made during construction.
Last year I have reconstructed the lines of the HMS Triton based on the Sheer and Profile As Built Plan. For the reconstruction of the frame lines I used exclusively circular arcs as in old times. Unlike the procedure at that time, I controlled the lines not only with diagonals, but also with a series of horizontal and vertical lines.

Location of the decks

After the reconstruction of the station lines I wanted to continue with the disposition of frames. For this the position of the ports is important, whose height depends on the position of the decks; therefore, first the decks.

If one looks at original plans of English ships, one sees that the decks are mostly represented with 3 lines:

Upper LineUpper edge of the deck in the middle of the ship
Middle LineLower edge of deck in the middle of the ship
Lower LineBottom edge of the deck at the frame

The middle and lower lines indicate the curvature of the upper edge of the deck beams and thus of the deck. If I have understood the procedure for the construction correctly, the lower line shows deviations from my reconstruction, especially in the area of the cantframes.

I took the position of the decks in the middle line from the "Sheer and Profile Plan". The longitudinal curvature of the decks was reproduced with two arcs; in the area of main frame I used a short intermediate straight line.

In the "Shipbuilders Repository"[SR] and in "The Element and Practice of Naval Architecture"[EPNA] all important measures for the construction of the decks are given, which I compared with the values determined by me from the original plan. As you can see, there are differences between the theoretical dimensions and those used in the construction of the ship

Lower Deck

Deck planks – thick2,5‘‘2‘‘2,5‘‘
Beams to round up midships4’’4’’4,5’’
Beams in the midship sided9,5’’8’’11’’
Beams in the midship moulded8,5’’7,5’’8’’

Upper Deck

Deck planks – thick3’’3’’3’’
Beams to round up7’’7’’6’’
Beams sided11,5’’10’’12,5’’
Beams moulded9’’--8,5’’

The value "Beam to round up midships" indicates the curvature of the deck. Whether the value to the bow or stern must change, I could not determine. The specification refers to the maximum width on frame. The following sketch shows the procedure for determining the value on frame:


Afterwards I added the deck beams and the openings for all decks:


Disposition of Frames

For my reconstruction I followed mostly the original design. I thought a long time if "Shipbuilders Repository"[SR] or "The Element and Practice of Naval Architecture"[EPNA] is the right choice for the work. Lastly I followed EPNA, because more details of the drawings have the same meassurement.
For my model I think I have to simplify the dimensions. In the choose scale of 1/48 are the difference of the frame width very small.

All parallel frames are finished. After the reconstruction of the cant frames there are some adjustments for the timber heads necessary.


The drawing shows the 3 thick frames at station 0. This is very special for this class. I didn't see this on any other DOF drawings
Hallo Christian,
I am very happy, that you started this building log and that you explain about the basis and all available information of your project.
Especially due to the fact, that I know the "vessel" very much ;) I am highly interested in your work......Crossing all the available fingers and toes that this model will grow and finally executed also in timber.
And I hope, that you will inform us on regular basis of your progress - very interesting project Exclamation-Mark
thank you for your interest in my project

I hope that I can start with timber at the end of this year. After finishing the cant frames I will stop the design fase and start with the build. I will draw each frame and then build it to make the job more interesting.
And I hope, that you will inform us on regular basis of your progress
If one update every few month is on a regular basis, I'll do. For job reasons I don't have much time to work in my shipyard.

You mention in your signature Alert 177 (on the drawing board), do you have plans to build this model someday?
I hope that I will build the cutter. In the moment I stopped this drawing project. It is a learning project for me. There are a few things which I could not find out, the most important: which kind of frameing was used? Only single frames, double frames or the English frameing (as Trident use for their kit)? Therefore I thought that a stylized framing as on the Marshal painting and other historic models shown is a good option. I also like to plank one side of the model, to show the klinker planking?

The Trident kit is looking like a nice alternative and to add and change parts if necessary.
It took me a long time, but now I have finished my Disposition of Frames drawing. I found it really difficult for the timberheads, which were shown in the AsBuilt drawing, to find a possible position of the frames, especially for the cant frames. If you think that there is a better solution, please let me know (for a larger view, klick on the drawing).


Next I will start, drawing the parts for the keel and the frames and also conitnue wtih the profile drawing
A short update from my work of the last months.
I have drawn the frames out of the line drawings. Meanwhile all parallel frames and the front cant frames are finished. The two pictures show once the outer contours and once the inner contours. On the basis of these two overviews the individual frames are checked.


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Here comes the last update for now ...

... where I can only show you my reconstruction of the small frigate.

Before I can start building, I had to draw the parts of the keel, the stem and other parts of the backbone of HMS Triton. The procedure was actually the same as always, look up what my literature gives in measurements, verify the values using the original drawing and then implement them in the plan.

The following two pictures show the front stem, with "Knee of the Head" and the front deadwood and the stern stem with the rear deadwood. For the floor bmber I prepared a recess. With this the position of the bulkheads on the keel can be kept very precisely later.

The joint over the steps of the deadwood is not absolutely necessary, because you won't see any of it on the finished model; however, it makes the whole construction easier to build. I yook at raabet on the stem, you will see that the joint is not situated on the inner edge of the timber. This detail is also shown on the original drawing and I haven't seen this before.

I don't know yet if I'm gonna use the joint on the lower piece of the deadwood. Probably I will build the wood from one piece.

After about 25 months (with longer breaks in between) I finished the first part of my reconstruction. Due to the Corona crisis and the home office connected with it, as well as my originally differently planned vacation, I will lay the keel for the frigate during the Easter holidays.
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