Book review Sovereign of the Seas 1637-John McKay

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Nigel, I had a drawing of an English ship from around 1640, but couldn't find it anymore. I am afraid, that I lost it by a computer crash. There was also a framed section.
I wrote "stylized" because I didn't know, when which method in England by the real ship was used. The frameing in 18th century was other than used by the Navy Board models. When frameing changed I don't know.
Only in the time of the American wars of Revolution you will find three different types of frameing by English ships: classic with double and single frames, only single frames and only double frames.

A really good example of a ship where nobody knows which frameing is correct is the "HM Cutter Alert". Everybody builds the model following Goodwins interpretation in the AotS book. But the frameing he shows didn't work with the measurements of the frames, he gives in the first half of his book. Historical documents show, that the values are correct and not the drawing.
In preparation of my Triton project I tried to find other possible solutions, based on the origins drawings of the NMM, but this will need some more time.
So a stylized frame design is in my opinion the better option as showing a wrong of possible wrong design.
 
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Maarten

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The drawings arrived. I ordered all drawings needed to build a full pof model from John directly via email. My contact with John was very positive.
The drawings are the large size version of the ones printed in his book.
Scale of original hull drawings are 1:48 and 1:24 mainly, except for the drawings of the anchors and cannons which are 1:12.
As I mentioned to John I want to build a model in 1:48 he sended two copies of the forward and aft view lines plan, the original 1:24 and a decreased 1:48.
In the first shipment I received the original size of the drawings for the anchors, cannons and interior panelling, I asked John if he could reduce these to 1:48 too which he did and are now in the mail free of charge.
My advise is therefore if you order drawing to specify to him which drawings you need in what scale so he can send you the original and the reduced one in one shipment.

A brief overview of some you find below.
20200422_212208.jpg
20200423_091436.jpg
20200423_091546.jpg
 

Maarten

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Those look fantastic Maarten.There is a big debate on the stern in Sephton's book.As you will know by my build,I am in the round tuck campROTF


Kind Regards

Nigel

I think I have to agree with you.

There are three contempory sources, Payne, Lely and Van de Velde. On the stern actually two, the Lely painting and Velde.
Payne
a6719_3918eea2-7a9d-4876-bace-faf21b2aa7e9_1024x1024.jpg

Lely
640px-Heck_Sovereign_of_the_seas.jpg

And Van de Velde made two drawings.
The original
39846087293_e702702e69_b.jpg

But Van de Velde made a second drawing after the rebuild into the Royal Sovereign.
pz7257-001_8f598766-935c-4e13-a42c-b216526ff781_1024x1024.jpg

In respect to the stern we can clearly see Van de Velde draw a round tuck on Royal Sovereign. This is after rebuild.
 

NMBROOK

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Maarten I looked at the transom in the Lely portrait,the planking lines are in an arc,if the transom was flat,these would be straight in a diagonal fashion.That is how I reached the decision.

Kind Regards

Nigel
 

Maarten

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John McKay gives his SoS a flat tuck but with a significant hart shaped stern.
20200418_233634.jpg

This differs from the standard flat tuck which is more round. In Dutch we call the tuck a spiegel which translates in English to mirror. In the 17th century a mirror was stil a very expensive item, there fore most mirrors were small hand mirrors, and you see the shape of a stern resambles the shape of a hand mirror with a small handheld and a round mirror on top, thats why in Dutch it is called spiegel.
See below the traditional tuck and John McKay s hart shaped tuck.
Screenshot_20200427-170058_Drive.jpg

I discussed with John why he created his hull with his hart shaped stern.
His reason is there are no other sources then the Lely painting and the Royal Sovereign drawing. He states that the Lely painting shows a flat tuck and during the rebuild was transformed to a round one.
640px-Heck_Sovereign_of_the_seas.jpg
The hart shape he used as this provided the best support to the large hull and was easiest to build on this already complicated build for its time.

Personally I like his design but I haven t seen it before on other ships of the time half way 17th century.
 

Maarten

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Maarten I looked at the transom in the Lely portrait,the planking lines are in an arc,if the transom was flat,these would be straight in a diagonal fashion.That is how I reached the decision.

Kind Regards

Nigel
Hi Nigel, that was exactly I wanted to mention is this post. You can indeed clearly see an arc in the Lely painting planks at the stern.
This can only be formed when these planks are round over a round tuck.
640px-Heck_Sovereign_of_the_seas.jpg
Further more the angle of these planks with the stern is to steep and not at the 45 deg. for the time halve way the 17th century.
See below a drawing of the stern with the round tuck.
6c32554132c0c3b76dbb4066988ed3ab.jpg
Now you see the curve in the planking as on the lely painting.
So Nigel I agree with you.
 

Maarten

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Next step is the Royal Sovereign.
pz7257-001_8f598766-935c-4e13-a42c-b216526ff781_1024x1024.jpg
You clearly see a round tuck, and as Van de Velde father and son were the best maritime artists of their time they were very detailed so a trustfull source.
Then the option of change at rebuild. Rebuild were often done average every 20 years. SoS was rebuild several times during its 60 years lifetime.
But during rebuilds the main timbers were mostly kept, and I would expect the stern transom also unles there was a major damage to it.
But what we see on Royal Sovereign is that the upper transom is fully rebuild, but below the windows we still see the round gun ports of the original SoS which are not removed or rebuild. This is above the lower transom which to my opinion confirms the lower transom was not rebuild and she was originally build with a round tuck as seen in the Royal Sovereign drawing.

Then back to the SoS drawing of Van de Velde.
39846087293_e702702e69_b.jpg

Here you see a lighter spot at the lower outer edge of the stern, I think this was especially done by Van de Velde to show the reflecting light on the round tuck.
 
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NMBROOK

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Maarten

For reference this is Narim's model of Royal Sovereign.This is an exact replica of the builders model that resides in the St Petersburg's museum.The original model was a gift from Charles II to Peter the Great.The story goes;Peter's reaction was "why can we not build models like this in Russia?"This is where the heritage of Russian shipmodelling came from and why it is held in such high regard to this day


We have to take with a pinch of salt what actually constituted a rebuild.Politically at the time,rebuild sounded better than building a new ship.It is feasible that the Admiralty built nearly a new vessel but retained only a few of the timbers of the original to keep the bean counters happy.

Kind Regards

Nigel
 

Uwek

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Maarten

For reference this is Narim's model of Royal Sovereign.This is an exact replica of the builders model that resides in the St Petersburg's museum.The original model was a gift from Charles II to Peter the Great.The story goes;Peter's reaction was "why can we not build models like this in Russia?"This is where the heritage of Russian shipmodelling came from and why it is held in such high regard to this day


We have to take with a pinch of salt what actually constituted a rebuild.Politically at the time,rebuild sounded better than building a new ship.It is feasible that the Admiralty built nearly a new vessel but retained only a few of the timbers of the original to keep the bean counters happy.

Kind Regards

Nigel
Beautiful model (Narim) - many thanks for the link.
I confirm Nigel´s words, that often the rebuilts were completely new ships, the often used only some timbers for the rebuilt, but the known dates are giving us for this ship a different information

Given data (collected from different publications) from Threedecks:


Sovereign of the Seas
11.7.1659 - Docked at Chatham to be rebuilt
1660 - Brocken up to Rebuild

Royal Sovereign
11.7.1659 - Keel Laid down
26.8.1660 - Launched

Rebuilt from Sovereign (of the Seas). Renamed Royal Sovereign 23.5.1660 while rebuilding.
Date of docking to begin work is shown above as date keel laid down.

So the ship was "only" 13 months in the dockyard between docking - dismantling - "keel laying" - finishing hull - launching
I did not check until now, how long the shipwrights needed in this period to build a 100 gunner, but it looks for me relatively short ....
 

Maarten

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Maarten

For reference this is Narim's model of Royal Sovereign.This is an exact replica of the builders model that resides in the St Petersburg's museum.The original model was a gift from Charles II to Peter the Great.The story goes;Peter's reaction was "why can we not build models like this in Russia?"This is where the heritage of Russian shipmodelling came from and why it is held in such high regard to this day


We have to take with a pinch of salt what actually constituted a rebuild.Politically at the time,rebuild sounded better than building a new ship.It is feasible that the Admiralty built nearly a new vessel but retained only a few of the timbers of the original to keep the bean counters happy.

Kind Regards

Nigel
Hi Nigel,

Beautiful model, need a lot more practice before ever reaching that :)
But this is the 1701 Royal Sovereign which is a different ship then the 1637 Sovereign of the Seas.
1701 Royal Sovereign was a new build by Harding.
See painting below.
bhc3614.jpg
 

Uwek

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Maarten,Royal Sovereign 1701 is another "rebuild " of the previous Royal Sovereign.see below:


Regards

Nigel
Yes, the previous one (rebuilt in 1685) was burnt down to the waterline (27.1.1696) , and "built using some of the salvageable timbers " ....
but
The new one was ordered at 29.10.1697, means more than 1 1/2 years later, launched in July 1701 - a very long time - so they used only some timbers but really not the original vessel.

 
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Nigel and posting members,

Wonderful thread - Nigel great review!!! - member added contributions/comments are very informative as well thank you. I just acquired a copy of McKay's book - It will indeed be very much referred to as THE Guide when I start this ship -

PS:I had been in communication with Nigel about the Sergal example, after reading about his big disappointment with the DeAgostini version. Having seen so many images of same (Sergal) on Google - I noticed that some built examples appeared to have the 600+ decorative bits with superb detailing, while other built example's decorative bits looked "inferior" IMO....

Nigel shared that the 1st generation of this kit included all solid bronze decorative parts - including all guns (650+ bits). He wisely suggested that I put out an advert offering to purchase one of these early kits (black outer box). I got a responce, and did in fact purchase a "new in box" old kit - Yes indeed the solid bronze bits are so detailed. I offer no comparison - I have not looked at a current product example only in posted log images and with Google Images.....

Nigel further said that today's decorative bits are white metal formed with a lost wax casting process resulting in some loss of details. The current kit also includes pre scored decks (of no interest to me) also included is a colored assembly booklet (available online as a pdf) and pre-formed hull gun door frames that just attach to the proper hull openings - also of no interest to me.

So thanks Nigel for, your over the many years, sage advice. And thank for this very informative thread as well. Here are FYI a few images of the bronze bits that are in the old kits. Again - I cannot address comparisons with current product - Doing a bit of bronze detailing to re-again some luster.

Regards,

IMG_1671 copy.jpgIMG_1665.jpgIMG_1589 copy.jpgIMG_1563 copy.jpg
 

NMBROOK

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Thankyou Michael
I would just add though that the castings have always been made by the lost wax process,whether the master is worn or whether the white metal before plating is detailed and the Brass plating looses the detail,we can't be certain.Only an employee on the production line at Mantua could give a definitive answer.
The castings do look amazing,if you wish to maintain that appearance though,I would suggest a final wash in Acetone then spaying with a clear Laquer because they will loose their lustre through oxidization.
One final point,your stern windows will be an etched brass sheet.If you wish to have proper windows,the lasercut plywood sheet with proper window frames is available separately via Cornwall Model Boats;)

Kind Regards

Nigel
 
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