Tuesday, December 20, 2011

H.M. Sherbourne - Initial Hull Construction

The Sherbourne is a plank on bulkhead (POB) kit--actually, a double plank on bulkhead as two complete plankings will be made. Since the below-deck areas are not modelled, the frames are represented by solid pieces of wood and there are a lot less of them. (My other wooden ship model in progress, the Fair American, is plank on frame [POF] and I will be posting info on it soon.)

As can be seen in the photo above, the keel and nine bulkheads have been cut from birch ply, sanded, and checked against the plans for proper size and shape.

After test fitting, the bulkheads were glued to the false keel ensuring that each one aligned at a ninety degree angle. You can also see the compound curves for the deck: convex from bulwark to bulwark and concave from bow to stern. The tops of the bulkheads must lie flush with the top edge of the false keel for the decking to lay flat. At this point the walnut bow, keel, and rudder post have also been attached.

The picture above shows the hull after the ply false deck was cut and glued to the top edges of the false keel and bulkheads. Next up: Attaching the gunport bulwarks and two sets of stern counter frames.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

H.M. Sherbourne - The Kit

The Sherbourne kit is from Caldercraft's Nelson's Navy line, produced and distributed by JoTiKa, Ltd. in the United Kingdom. The scale is 1:64 resulting in an overall length of 500mm, beam of 200mm, and height of 485mm.

The kit components are birch ply for structural parts, walnut ply and sheet for detail parts, maple strip for decking, limewood strips for the first planking, and walnut strips for the second planing. Black and natural hemp are included for the rigging and the kit includes full-sized plans and an instruction manual.

The method of construction is double plank on bulkhead--this will be explained and illustrated in the next post.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Real Deal - H.M. Cutter Sherbourne

"A Trinity House Yacht and a Revenue Cutter Off Ramsgate," Thomas Whitcombe, ca. 1810.

Cutters evolved during the second quarter of the eighteenth century in southeast England as swift channel vessels. They soon gained a deserved reputation for their speed, which was not unnoticed by smugglers who soon adopted the cutter as their preferred smuggling craft. In turn, cutters were employed by the British Customs Service to counter the smugglers. Cutters carried a large disproportional area of sail for their size and also served as advice yachts, packet boats and, during wartime, privateers.

The Sherbourne was built as a revenue vessel for the Customs Service. She was designed by Sir Thomas Slade, the designer of the famous H.M.S. Victory, and was built at Woolwich Dockyard under the supervision of Master Shipwright Joseph Harris and launched on December 3, 1763. She cost
£1,581.8.9d to build and fit. After over twenty years of service, Sherbourne was sold in 1784—a remarkably long career for such a small vessel.

Sherbourne was 54' 6" long, 19' wide and had a draught of 8' 11". She carried a compliment of thirty men and was 85 tonnes. Armament consisted of eight 3-pounder carriage guns and ten swivel guns.
Sherbourne was commissioned under Lieutenant John Cartwright, later to become a prominent parliamentary reformer, and was assigned to support the work of the Board of Customs by operating against smugglers in the English Channel. Cartwright commanded Sherbourne from December 7, 1763 until May 14, 1766. His area of responsibility was the south coast of England, including Dorsetshire and Devon.

Lieutenant Christopher Raper succeeded Cartwright in 1766 as Sherbourne's commander for the next three years. Between 1769 and 1777 the cutter was commanded successively by Lieutenants Stephen Rains, Thomas Rayment, and Thomas Gaborian, all the while remaining based in the Channel. Her final commanders were Lieutenant Arthur Twyman, from September 1777 until May 1778, and then Lieutenant Arthur Hayne until September 1779. She was then laid up.

In 1783 Sherbourne participated in William Tracey's unsuccessful attempt to raise HMS Royal George, which had sunk in Spithead in 1782. Although the dockyard rated Sherbourne as unfit for service, Tracey conducted some repairs and she was of some use.

Sherbourne was finally sold at Portsmouth on July 1, 1784.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The French Have Arrived!

Well, at least the new MiniArt set has. Their set (no. 35105) arrived yesterday from Great Models Webstore. The newness of the set is reflected in the workmanship exhibited by the figures.

The figures are molded in two sprues of grey plastic. All parts appear to be well-cast and, while not up to par with resin figures such as Alpine's, detail is excellent. Clothing folds are well-done and all five faces can actually be recognized as being different. Even moustaches are finely molded on a couple of them.
Except for the de Gaulle-like figure, all have the potential for fitting in well in the diorama I am planning for my M8. Time will tell which of the four work best with the partisans already on my workbench.