My Workbench

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

GHQ HMS Bellona 74 Gun Common Ship of the Line

My block finally over after completing the scratch-built fort, I went back to work on the GHQ 74 gun Bellona. This is my first real attempt to build stay sails and second time with studding sails. I'm thinking it didn't turn out too bad. Definitely the most sails I have put on a ship. The rigging was a bear. I used Rod Langton's book as a guide but unfortunately he does not explain how to rig the stay sails, just how to mount them.

Bellona was a 74 gun ship designed by Sir Thomas Slade and laid down in Chatham Dockyard in 1758 and launched February 19, 1760. She was 1615 tons (bm), 168' long at the gun deck and 138' long at the keel. Her beam was 46' 11", with a depth of hold of 19' 9". Her compliment was 650 officers and men. Her armament at launch consisted of:
Lower gun deck: 28 x 32 pounders
Upper gun deck: 28 x 18 pounders
Quarter deck; 14 x 9 pounders
Forecastle: 4 x 9 pounders
Bellona was the prototype for the British 74 Gun Common Ship of the line and eventually had 40 or more near sister ships.

Bellona saw service in The Seven Years War, The American Revolutionary War, and the Napoleonic Wars. In 1801 she participated in the Battle of Copenhagen despite having grounded on a shoal.


Tracing out the sails

Sails cutout, formed and numbered

Scratch masts mounted

When my modeling block hit me I separated all of the painted sails with spars so I wouldn't get confused where they went when I came back to it.

This is a lot of rigging!

Bases for Bellona and future HMS Defence

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Small Scratch-Built Fort

It has been awhile since I have done anything in the shop. I have developed a ship block for some reason I can't explain. I started HMS Bellona back in September, and got the the masts and sails scratch-built and hull partly painted. Then I went back to work. When I came home I went to Tactical Solutions. After that I would come down to the shop, pick up Bellona, and put her back down. It just wasn't there. No urge, no desire, nothing! And it has been like that ever since. I have tried to fill in the blog with posts of my friend Rory's great stuff until this block disappears and I can post my own stuff again.

So the other night I had a thought that maybe I should try something other than a ship, maybe that would break the block. And besides, I thought, I haven't done my self imposed annual requirement to produce at least one piece of terrain. So I decided I needed another fort. Not one attached to an island or shoreline this time, but a small one I could move around like Rory did with his Toulon Tower. The main part is just a plastic bit I pulled out of my "parts" bin (I save all sorts of odd bits, drives my wife crazy, but you never know when you might need something), probably off of some sort of bottle or package. I filled it with wood putty almost up to the edge and let it dry over night. The next evening after the filler was dry, I cut a 4mm strip of card stock, then measured and cut off 4 bits to fit the wall. I super glued them to the wall at 4 equidistant points for abutments, then coated them with PVA glue. Then I cut a 1mm strip of thinner card. I cut that into 3mm sections and glued them around the inside wall for gun carriages, Then I cut 0.020 gauge music wire into 3mm sections for the cannon and glued them to the card carriages around the wall. Whle the super glue dried I used an exacto knife to "press in" the block lines into the 4 abutments outside the wall. Then I painted it. I decided not to go gray stone this time, but more sandstone like the stone from Greece around the Levant to North Africa. It took about a full hour of time, and most of that was waiting for the glue and paint to dry to do the next part. Last I drew in the cannon ports using an ultra fine point black Sharpie permanent marker, then spray sealed it. 

The good news is that the night after i finished the fort I was actually able to pick up the Bellona and nearly finish painting the hull and deck. I will just have to wait and see how the rest goes, but I am hoping the block is nearly gone.