My Workbench

Monday, December 26, 2016

1/1200 GHQ USS Constellation

Here for your viewing pleasure (I hope) is GHQ's version of the 38-gun USS Constellation. One of the original six Humphreys frigates authorized by Congress in 1794, Constellation and Congress were designed as 36-gun frigates. They were over sized for their ratings. The keels for Constellation and Congress were 135 ft long, with a 163 ft gun deck. Contemporary British 36 gun frigates had a gun deck that was 137 ft in length, and the 38-gun British frigates rarely exceeded an overall length of 150 ft. Even Pomone, a French 44-gun frigate, had a 159 ft gun deck. Humphreys designed these ships to mount 28 18-pdr long guns on the gun deck, and eight 9-pdrs on the spar deck. As designed, it would have given them a punch greater than the standard British 38-gun frigate, but in actual practice, both ships carried more and heavier guns on their spar deck than their design specified.

As modeled:
L=163'; B=41'; DH=13.5'; 1,265 tons burthen; Crew=340

28 x 18pdr long guns on gun deck
20 x 32pdr carronades on spar deck

My inspiration painting:

Standing rigging

Finished Model

Not sure what I'm doing next. Until next post........

Thursday, December 22, 2016

1/1200 Card Buildings

I was surfing through Pinterest for ship plans when a few card ships popped up, Once I clicked on them a whole new world of card models started showing up. Every one I clicked on brought more. Including buildings. All of the buildings I have bought for my 1/1200 scale terrain have been rather expensive. I wondered if I could possibly shrink down a card building small enough to work with my ships, and still be able to put it together in a decent amount of time and look good enough for the table. So I tried it and I think this is going to work.

I downloaded the following two jpeg sheets from Pinterest. Then I inserted them both, along with several others, into a Microsoft Word document. I took measurements of several of my 1/1200 Langton buildings and came up with approximately 5 millimeters per story. I shrunk these photos down to approximately 1/1200 size then printed the sheet out on paper first to check the size. Last I printed it out on 110 lb card stock.

Cutting out the now tiny pieces was fiddly, but using a small pair of scissors and a sharp xacto knife I got it done. Figuring out where all of the little pieces went was another thing entirely. I believe I mostly got everything where it was supposed to go but I did have to improvise a bit in a couple of places. Here is the result mounted on a large washer.

With a penny and a French third rate  for size comparison.
Here are a few individual buildings I completed before attempting the more difficult one above:

I have decided this is a very economical way to make buildings for my scale, and there are so many. I hit a bonanza when I found
I now have card Vauban forts, castle keeps, castle/fortified towns, whole villages, farms, etc. That's just Europe.I also now have Middle Eastern, North African, Japanese fortifications and buildings. All can be reduced to 1/1200 scale and be built. Here are some samples:

Large French Castle

Completed village (Normal 28mm scale)

Small French Castle

Small Spanish Castle

And acouple of finished castles:

And the church

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Scratchbuilt Halifax Schooners Part II

This is the update I promised when I first posted my scratch building experiment on the very small Halifax Schooners (only 9/16 inch long: Not easy! I am sure if my hands were steadier and my eyesight better, I could have done better job. I should have made the masts taller, along with a few other small mistakes. Having never done anything this small before, I was sort of just feeling my way along, referring to numerous photos, drawings and paintings on the internet. Here is the first one rigged. The second one is slightly different with a poop deck and even shorter masts, with rigging just started.

Comparison with 100 gun SOL Queen Charlotte

Rigging just started on schooner two
Thanks for looking.

Friday, November 11, 2016

GHQ 131: Temeraire class 74-gun SOL L'Achille

The hull of this model is the GHQ French 74-gun ship of the line L'Achille. I used the Langton brass 74 full scale sail & mast set for it. I actually started this ship back in April this year, but got distracted with life over the spring and summer and to tell the truth, just lost interest in the shipyard. I started working on it again here and there starting the end of September. A couple of days ago I tweaked my back so had to spend some down time which I took advantage of to finish L'Achille.

The following information is taken from the book "The Ships of Trafalgar - The British, French and Spanish Fleets - October 1805":

Designed by Jacques Noel Sane, Achille was laid down at Rochefort and launched in 1802. Her sister ships at Trafalgar were Aigle, Duguay Trouin, Heros, Mont Blanc, Redoubtable, and Scipion. On October 19, 1805 Achille made sail with the rest of Villeneuve's ships, and by 1 p.m. had cleared Cadiz. The next day Achille was place in the second division of Admiral Gravina's observation squadron, which led the entire fleet to the southwest. At 6 p.m. on the 20th Achille signaled Bucentaure (80) that 18 British sail of the line were bearing up on the rear of the column. When Villeneuve ordered the fleet to wear at 8 p.m. on the morning of the 21st, Achille was fourth from the rear fo the combined fleet. Ahead lay San Ildefonso (74), astern Gravina's flagship Principe de Asturias (112).

Achille got into close action at 1:30 p.m. when she maneuvered across the stern of HMS Belleisle (74) firing a broadside into her quarter. She was supported by Aigle (74), San Leandro (74) and San Justo (74). At 3:30 p.m. Achille received a raking broadside through her stern from HMS Swiftsure (74). Swiftsure then drew up on the larboard side and commenced pouring broadsides into Achille. Her starboard side was simultaneously being engaged by HMS Polephemus (64). Her wheel was shot to pieces and she lost her fore yard, main topmast and mizzen mast. Her commander Gabriel Denieport was killed, leaving Lieutenant Cauchard in command. At 4 p.m. HMS Prince (98) ranged up alongside and fired her heavy broadside into Achille, bringing down her main mast. Fire broke out in her fore top setting fire to the sails and rigging. A second broadside from Prince brought the flaming foremast down, destroying the boats in the waist and also smashing the fire engine pump. With little chance of saving his ship, Lieutenant Cauchard ordered the sea cocks to be opened to flood the ship and to jettison anything overboard that would aid those abandoning ship. While all ships hauled off to avoid the imminent explosion when the fire reached Achille's magazines, they lowered their boats to pick up survivors leaping overboard. Inside the inferno a woman named Jeanette, wife of one of Achille's maintopmen, ran from her station in the passage from the fore magazine. With most ladders smashed she found herself trapped. Guns and burning debris were falling through as the planking of the main deck above burnt through. Scrambling over wreckage, overturned guns and dead, Jeanette made her way to the gun room and climbed out through a stern port. Climbing on to the rudder Jeanette found herself being dripped upon by molten lead oozing from the lining of the rudder helm port. Stripping off her cloths she plunged into the water and clung to some wrekage until rescued by one of Pickle's boats. Achille became a blazing inferno and by 5:30 p.m., with a tremendous explosion she blew up.

Ship Stats:
Date launched - 1802
Length of gun deck - 182 ft 6 ins
Extreme breadth - 49 ft 0 ins
Depth in hold - 21 ft 3 ins
Tons burthen - 1929 tons
Complement - 550/600

Single Broadside Weight = 846 pounds
Lower gun deck - 28 x 36 pounders
Upper gun deck - 30 x 18 pounders
Quarter deck - 12 x 8 pounders
Forecastle - 6 x 8 pounders
Poop - 4 or 6 brass howitzers