My Workbench

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Navwar 40 Gun Swedish Frigate Venus

Capture of Venus
Venus was a Swedish frigate designed by Fredrik Henrik af Chapman. Launched at Karlskrona July 19, 1783, she sailed to Gothenburg where she was assigned to the local naval station, commanded by Adolf Ulrik Sheldon. Three years later she was under the command of Major Magnus Hansson and attached to the Gothenburg squadron. On June 1, 1789, Venus was patrolling just outside the Norwegian coast. Norway was ruled by Denmark and considered neutral. The day before, lookouts reported a Russian squadron of two ships of the line, two frigates and a cutter.

Commander Hansson expected to be able to stay ahead of the Russians due to the ship's excellent sailing qualities. Unfortunately the wind died off and stopped him from reaching the open sea. Cornered by the Russians, Venus took refuge in the fjord of Christiania (Oslo), expecting the protection of a neutral nation. The Russian ships followed, the cutter Merkuny starting the action. The larger ships positioned themselves to be able to fire along the length of Venus.

Hansson had placed springs on his anchor cables and used them to good effect to train his guns on the Russians, damaging the first of the arriving adversaries. But when the line of battle ships were in place and began to fire, Hansson dropped his colors. According to testimony from the Danish/Norwegian pilot, commander Hansson immediately boarded the Russian flagship claiming the attack as a crime of war.

The frigate was taken into the Russian navy and participated in the battle of Revel and in the battle of Vyborg Bay in 1790 under the command of British Admiral Roman Crown. She served in the Adriatic Sea between 1805 and 1807, and in the Agean Sea in 1807. She was sold to the Kingdom of Naples in Palermo to avoid capture by the British.

Length: 128 ft.
Beam: 32 ft.
Draft: 10 ft.
Compliment: 160
Armament: 26 x 24 pounder long guns and 14 x 6 pounders

Fregatt Venus

As you may notice, this Navwar model is the HMS Indefatigable 44 gun. I also have the Davco and Langton Indefatigable models. I chose the Davco version for the Indefatigable because it matched the Davco Agamemnon hull so closely. The Indefatigable was a cut down razeed 64 gun of the same class as the Agamemnon. In studying this Navwar hull, I realized there are only 40 guns/hatches, not the 44 of the Indefatigable. I decided to model the two Navwar Indefatigable models I have as Swedish 40 gun frigates. The photo is of one of the packs, base coats on the hull and the completed base.

American Triple Thick Brilliant Brush-On Gloss Glaze is what I use on my bases. It dries rock hard and has a nice water gloss.
The masts are my usual scratch built.
Making the ratline/shrouds.

 Sails and spars made and ready to mount.
 Mizzen mast done.
 Main course set with main stay sail.
Main top and studding sail set. Note the beginning clew line wrapped around the mast.
Clew lines attached to sail. This strengthens the attachment of the sail to the mast.
Main top gallant sail set with the start of the clew line around the mast.
Clew line tied off on the front of the mast.
Foresail and stuns'l mounted.
Fore top sail and stuns'l on.
Finished and fully rigged.

Turtle Island

Several years ago my youngest daughter, the "Artist", sculpted a sea turtle from clay in school. After they fired it she brought it home. I have had it laying around the shipyard for quite a while and have used it in games as an island. My daughter (now in High School) remarked about me keeping her old sculpture. Then she made a suggestion. Why don't I just paint it and make it an island? Why didn't I think of that? So I did.