My Workbench

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Davco 1:1200 HMS Temeraire, 2nd Rate, 98 Guns

(I note that this post gets viewed frequently so I want to point out that the rigging is incorrect, done before I had a good reference to go by.)

This is the Davco 1:1200 2nd rate, 98 gun ship of the line HMS Temeraire. She was one of  three ships of the Neptune Class, all of which took part in the battle of Trafalgar. Her two sister ships were the Neptune and the Dreadnought. Temeraire was launched in 1798, with a displacement of 2121 tons. She had a complement of 738 men and boys.
Gun Deck: 28 x 32 pounders
Middle Deck: 30 x 18 pounders
Upper Deck: 30 x 18 pounders
Quarter Deck 8 x 12 pounders
Forcastle: 2 x 12 pounders

The 98-gun Temeraire was one of the key ships that took part in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Britain was bracing itself against the possibility of invasion by Napoleon. Napoleon had succeeded in bringing together fleets from France and Spain, in order to ravage British interests. The Battle of Trafalgar was to sow the seeds of British colonial power for many years, as well as decisively destroying the Napoleonic threat.
Admiral Lord Nelson was the genius commander behind the British tactics in the battle: a master tactician, and already a national hero. The French fleet was commanded by Admiral Villeneuve. He had 33 ships, compared with the British 22. By dawn of the 21-Oct-1805, the two fleets were visible to one another. Nelson arranged his fleet into two columns, to pierce the enemy line head on. Nelson's Victory ploughed straight through the line, taking terrible damage, before opening fire. The Victory smashed the French flagship the Bucentaure, with Admiral Villeneuve, the only man left standing on the quarter deck.
Then the Victory's progress was blocked by the Redoutable. The Temeraire, captained by Sir Eliab Harvey, flanked the Redoutable on the other side, and the Victory and Temeraire smashed their foes with shattering broadsides at point blank range.
Captain Jean-Jacques Lucas of the Redoubtable said: "It would be difficult to describe the horrible carnage caused by the murderous broadside. More than 200 of our brave lads were killed or wounded. I was wounded at the same instant, but not so seriously as to prevent me from remaining at my post ... A little later a third ship [HMS Temeraire] came up and stationed herself astern of the Redoubtable and fired into us at pistol range; in less than half an hour our ship was so riddled that she seemed to be no more than a mass of wreckage. In this state the Temeraire hailed us to strike, and not prolong a useless resistance. I ordered several soldiers who were near me to answer this summons with musket-shots, which was performed with the greatest zeal. At the very same minute the mainmast fell on board the Redoubtable. The entire stern was absolutely stove-in, rudder-stock, tiller, and two tiller-sweeps, sternpost, wing transoms, and transom knees were in general shot to pieces."
The ships behind Victory engaged the Franco-Spanish fleet as they came through. A musket shot from the Redoubtable hit Nelson and knocked him down, breaking his back: he was taken below and missed the battle as it climaxed towards British victory, although he was kept informed at all times. The Temeraire continued to fight the Redoutable and managed to smash the French ship Fougueux in the process. The tactic of piercing the Franco-Spanish line was successful, and during the storm which blew up later that day, many of the crippled vessels were finally destroyed. Nelson died in the course of the battle, and was given a state funeral.
Thus the Temeraire acquired its legendary place in British naval history.

Now the sunset breezes shiver
Temeraire! Temeraire!
And she's fading down the river.
Temeraire! Temeraire!
Now the sunset Breezes shiver
And she's fading down the river,
But in England's song for ever
She's the Fighting Temeraire.

Henry Newbolt, 'The Fighting Temeraire', 1898

Like the Davco HMS Agamemnon, this model required new masts, yards, jib & sprit, and the fore staysail//fore topmast staysail/flying jib. It turned out to be a very nice model.

Here are a couple of comparison shots with GHQ's HMS Victory on the left and Davco's HMS Temeraire on the right. I think they will look OK on the gaming table together.

I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed building it.

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