My Workbench

Saturday, January 31, 2015

GHQ Boyne Class HMS Prince of Wales 98 Gun 2nd Rate SOL

Here is the next ship in my growing British fleet. This is the GHQ HMS Boyne model. The Boyne however, was not in any large engagements. Therefore I have modeled it as another ship in the Boyne class, HMS Prince of Wales. Prince of Wales was launched on July 28, 1794 at Portsmouth and was broken up in 1822. The Prince of Wales took part in the 1795 battle of Ile Groix and was Vice-Admiral Robert Calder's flagship in the 2nd  battle of Cape Finisterre in July of 1805. She was not present at the battle of Trafalgar, being recalled to England the middle of October, just missing the battle. Nelson had been ordered to send Calder home to face a court-marshal for his conduct at Cape Finisterre. Nelson allowed him to return in his flagship. As the flagship of Admiral James Gambier Prince of Wales, along with 38 other vessels, took part in the bombardment of Copenhagen and capture of the Danish fleet in 1807.

Length at gun deck 182'3"; Beam 50'4.5"; Depth of Hold 21'9"; Tons Burthen 2024; Crew compliment 750 men and boys.

Lower gun deck: 28 x 32 pounders
Middle gun deck: 30 x 18 pounders
Upper gun deck: 30 x 12 pounders
Quarter deck: 8 x 12 pounders
Forecastle: 2 x 12 pounders
Total Broadside Weight: 958 Imperial Pounds

I have one more 1st rate and one more 2nd rate SOL to do, then I will work on some more 74 and 64 gun 3rd rates.

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Method for Raising Navwar Hulls

Recently in a couple of posts on the Naval Wargaming Facebook site ( I was in a discussion with a couple of gamers over in Kent about the size of Navwar Napoleonic 1/1200 scale ships and them not mixing well on the table with other brands. They were using Navwar exclusively because of the low cost for these models compared with the other brands. My position was that Navwar hulls can easily be modified to play on the table with any other Manufacturer's ships.

Here are some comparison shots of modified Navwar ships with other brands of similar ratings.
Left to Right: Navwar 112 gun Santa Ana, Langton 112 gun Santa Ana, Davco 112 gun Salvador del Mundo, GHQ 120 gun L' Ocean. In this case no modification was necessary because the Navwar hull was larger than any of the others.
Same ships as above
Navwar Santa Ana and Langton Santa Anna
Top to Bottom: Navwar 64 gun Dutch, Davco 64 gun Dutch, Langton 68 gun Dutch.
Left to Right: Modified Navwar 64, Davco 64, Langton 68.
Modified Navwar 64 and Langton 68.
Raised Navwar 14 gun cutter and Langton 14 gun cutter.
Navwar and Langton, virtually no difference now.
So I thought I would modify some of my as yet unbuilt Navwar hulls and show how I do it.

Two Navwar 64 gun HMS Africa hulls, 1/16" balsa sheet, Xacto hobby knife, super glue, flat needle file.
Glue the hulls to the balsa wood, then cut around them with the knife. Fine trimming is done with a flat needle file until the balsa blends with the hull.

 Then I coat the soft wood with the same thing I coat my bases with, Americana Triple Thick Gloss Glaze. This dries rock hard and seriously strengthens the soft balsa. Any decoupage product will work for this.

Comparison with Langton 64 gun Agamemnon
Raised Navwar Africa 64 and Langton Agamemnon 64
Navwar in front, Langton behind.
Here is the process again with a Navwar 50 gun HMS Centurion. First a comparison shot with GHQ and Langton 50 gun hulls. Note the GHQ hull has previously been modified/raised slightly to match the Langton.
Front to Back: Navwar 50 gun HMS Centurion, GHQ Centurion (raised), and Langton 50 gun ship.

Glue the hull to the balsa sheet.
Cut out around the hull with a knife.
Clean and trim with needle file until the extension matches the hull. The wood is so soft this just takes a second.

Close enough!
So that is how I do it. Description: :minis:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Langton's 100 Gun Queen Charlotte

The next ship in my growing British fleet is the Langton 1/1200 scale model of the 100 gun Queen Charlotte. She was designed by Sir Edward Hunt along the same lines as the ill fated Royal George, and laid down the same year that ship was lost, and was fated to meet just as bad an end. She was launched from Chatham shipyard on April 15, 1790.

2286 tons burthen;  length 190' at the gun deck; beam 52'5.5"; depth of hold 22'4"

Lower gun deck: 30 x 32 pounders
Middle gun deck: 28 x 24 pounders
Upper gun deck: 30 x 18 pounders
Quarter deck: 10 x 12 pounders
Forecastle: 2 x 12 pounders

Queen Charlotte was Admiral Richard Howe's flagship at the Glorious First of June battle in 1794. She also took part in the Battle of Groix the next year. She was the focus ship of the Spithead Mutiny of 1796 and carried a reputation for discontent and indiscipline thereafter.

In 1799 she was sent to the Mediterranean serving as the flagship of Vice Admiral Lord Kieth, commanded by Captain James Todd. On March 16, 1800 Lord Kieth ordered Todd to reconnoiter the French occupied island of Carpalia, half way between Sardinia and the Italian coast. At 0600 hours the following morning while the Queen Charlotte was still close to shore, fire was detected in hay stowed close to the admiral's cabin, close to a slow-match kept burning in a tub for use with the signal guns. Flames spread rapidly and ran up the mainmast, setting the mainsail on fire. The conflagration quickly took hold of the stowed boats, threatening any means of escape. The ship was close enough to shore that Lord Kieth, who had spent the night on shore, could see the fire and induced several Italian boatmen to send half a dozen craft out to her. As the neared the ship the guns began going off and scared them away. A boat from an American ship did approach and drew along side, but was swamped when too many jumped in. By now the entire ship was ablaze and dozens of men, perhaps even hundreds, had crawled out on the bow sprit and jib-boom. The weight caused the sprit to fail and dumped them all into the water. The Italin boatmen made one more attempt and succeded in taking off a few survivors in the bows. As the pulled away the flames finally reached the main magazine and the Queen Charlotte exploded. Only five hours had passed since the fire was discovered and 673 officers and men perished.