Page 1

001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 2


001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 3

Shipwright The International Annual of Maritime History & Ship Modelmaking Edited by John Bowen & Jean Hood


001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 4


Elizabeth’s Sea Dogs How the English Became the Scourge of the Seas Hugh Bicheno 9781844861743 £25.00

Nelson’s Navy The Ships, Men and Organisation 1793-1815. Revised Edition Brian Lavery 9781844861750 £40.00

The Great Trade Routes A History of Cargoes & Commerce Over Land and Sea Edited by Philip Parker 9781844861415 £40.00

All Hands The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy Since 1939 Brian Lavery 9781844861552 £25.00

For further information relating to these titles and many other books on military, naval and maritime history please visit

© Conway, 2013 First published in Great Britain in 2013 by Conway, An imprint of Anova Books Ltd 10 Southcombe Street, London W14 0RA All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. All photographs reproduced by permission of the contributors unless credited otherwise. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

The Shipwright team are very pleased to receive suggestions for articles and contributions to the annual for consideration. If you are interested in contributing please send an outline, together with details of proposed illustrative matter, via post to the Anova Books London address (see above) clearly marked ‘Shipwright Team’ or send an email to: We cannot guarantee to return posted material so please only send copies for initial consideration.

ISBN 9781844861606 Printed and bound in China

Shipwright accepts advertising. For more information please contact:

Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 387 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016-8810

Frontispiece: Forecastle and deck details from Philip Reed’s model of the Hampton Court 1678 featured from page 58. Tailpiece: Troops advance onto Sword Beach from LCT 455 in Malcolm Darch’s diorama detailed from page 32.

001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 5

Contents Shipwright 2013 Contributors




Min of the Desert


by Dr. Cheryl Ward

The Ship Model Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: Interview with Jeroen van der Vliet and Ab Hoving.


Creating the radio-controlled HMS Royal William, 1692


by Victor Yancovitch

The Ships in the Computer


by Thomas Schmid

LCT 455: A D-Day Beach Diorama

32 Fittings for kit models

by Malcolm Darch


by Trevor Copp

HMS Hampton Court 1678 Part 1: Shipwright’s Reports for the Hampton Court


by Richard Endsor FRSA

Part 2: Modelling the Hampton Court


HMS Porchester Castle 1943: from grey Atlantic 76 to silver screen by Lucian Ploias


by Dr. Danial Nolan

Modelling the Flying Cloud by Lloyd McCaffery



by James Pottinger

Memphis 1947

by Philip Reed

Enter the Clipper Ships

The Collier Coalisland 1921


by Robert A. Wilson FRSA

Marie Jeanne: the tuna fishing boat from Concarneau, 1908


by Brian Shreeve

MV Nareau 1962: On Her Majesty’s Island Service


by John S. Laing

Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition 2012


Book News


001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 6

Shipwright 2013 Contributors Trevor Copp Retired dental surgeon Trevor Copp lives on Jersey in the Channel islands, where he works part time in the summer for Jersey Heritage in diverse roles that include ‘emergency repairer of thatched roofs’. His modelling interests used to include Gauge 1 live steam and radio controlled gliders, but for the past ten years he has modelled solely ships, and has donated three to Jersey Maritime Museum. He specialises in enhancing kit models, with the aim of bringing new modellers to the hobby. Among his other interests he includes flying sailplanes, flying on shopping trips to France, singing and lifesaving. Malcolm Darch Malcolm Darch served his apprenticeship with a prestigious timber yacht builder on the River Hamble, and spent ten further years in that industry, building and repairing yachts – including that of former prime minister Sir Edward Heath. When taxation crippled the industry during the 1970s he turned to full-time ship modelling, working to commission. His models, which span the previous four centuries, have been sold to private collectors and museums across the world. His most recent completion, The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers’ ceremonial livery rowing barge of 1656, was unveiled in September 2012 at the livery company’s London hall. He is currently working on a four-and-a-half-year commission to build Nelson’s HMS Agamemnon of 1781. He lives at Salcombe, working from a studio overlooking the sea. Richard Endsor His international engineering career spanned the production engineering of air compressors and the writing of computer programmes for the aerospace industry until he returned to England and established himself as an independent supplier of engineering data to the aerospace industry. Much of his spare time has been devoted to researching 17th century ships and shipbuilding practice. The result was The Restoration Warship (Conway, 2009), which received a Certificate of Merit at the Mountbatten Maritime Awards 2010. His paintings have been exhibited at the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and he is currently working on a book about Restoration fourth rates and helping with a project to build a full size replica of Lenox at Deptford. 6

Shipwright 2013

John S Laing John Laing is a retired Merchant Navy officer from Sydney, Australia, who has been building ship models for about twenty years. He is an amateur naval historian and a volunteer model maker at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney who is interested in and builds models of ships of all periods. Lloyd McCaffery Lloyd McCaffery has been a scale ship modeller since the 1960s, and his 3.5 inch model of HMS Prince, with each of its 100 guns bored out, achieved a world record price for a contemporary ship model when it sold in 1990 for $100,000. He specialises in miniature scale and in intricate carving, and is the author of Ships in Miniature. Although best known for his ship models and figureheads he has also produced highly detailed miniatures as diverse as the Wells Fargo Stagecoach and anatomically correct dinosaur skeletons. He lives in Colorado. Dr Daniel Nolan At the age of ten Daniel Nolan went on a short trip in a currach (a traditional Irish craft with hide stretched over a wooden frame), which engendered an enduring love of the sea. A retired medical practitioner living in his native Ireland, he is a keen yachtsman and sailed a Contessa 32. In 2011 his book Clippers – The Ships that Changed the World was published by Malbay Publishing and is the first of a projected trilogy of books. Lucian Ploias Lucian Ploias is a professional model maker and restorer, working at the Vancouver Maritime Museum where he has managed the model shop since 1996. Born and educated in Romania he began modelling ships at the are of 11 and graduated in Mechanical Engineering at Bucharest in 1991. Five years later he emigrated to Canada. He has been commissioned by private clients and museums in several countries, including the maritime museums of Amsterdam and San Francisco, and his work has ranged from the 1928 yacht Lady Van, a multiple winner of the Lipton Cup, to a Viking ship and the liner Empress of Asia.

001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 7

James Pottinger After growing up in a fishing family in the Shetland Islands, James Potttinger served an Engineering Apprenticeship with Scotts’ Shipbuilding & Eng. Co in Greenock. Following service as Engineering Officer in Merchant Navy worked in engine drawing offices and latterly in management in the marine and offshore related industry in UK and abroad. He has contributed around 200 ship and boat model plans for three UK model magazines and, since retiring, has added marine oil paintings to his interests.

Dr Cheryl Ward Director of the Center for Archaeology and Anthropology at Coastal Carolina University, Dr Ward is co-principal investigator for maritime artifacts at Gawasis. She recently reconstructed and sailed an ancient Egyptian seagoing ship featured in a BBC television programme. Research projects include participating in remote surveys of the Black Sea; excavating the world’s oldest planked boats at Abydos, and directing an underwater archaeological survey off the coast of Turkey where Roman-era pirates operated.

Philip Reed Philip Reed started his career in fine art with six years training at three different London art schools specialising in painting and pottery. He then went on to teach both subjects for the next twenty years. It was during this period that his involvement with ship modelling started, and in 1980 he left teaching to concentrate on his model-making full time. He has built models ranging from the 17th to the 20th century for private collections and leading galleries in both the UK and USA. He has also undertaken extensive restoration work on prisoner-of-war models. He is the author of four books and numerous articles.

Richard A Wilson Richard Wilson was a ship modeller before he joined the Merchant Navy as a radio officer after leaving school and training at the Merchant Navy College. He served at sea for over forty years, including a long period with Union Castle, and subsequently spent eleven years in RMS St. Helena, which was unexpectedly requisitioned for the Falklands Conflict in 1982. He came ashore in 1992 to concentrate on interests including ship modelling. He lives in Lancashire with his wife, Christine, who paints the seas for his models. He has written for Shipwright since 1974.

Thomas Schmid German computer modeller Thomas Schmid was a keen modeller of ships, aircraft and tanks before his job as a computer systems administrator in a printing house brought him into contact with the new field of computer aided design. He began creating ‘virtual’ 3-D ships as a hobby, before building a new career as an illustrator and a creator of accurate 3-D models and animations for films and documentaries seen on TV channels such as Discovery and National Geographic. His work is also used by the producers of kit models.

Victor Yancovitch Victor Yankovitch had a varied career until his retirement, from managing apartment buildings to accompanying opera singers on the piano. His twin loves are music and modelshipbuilding, the latter on the grand scale: his thirteen-footlong radio-controlled model of HMS Victory was purchased by a group of Japanese businessmen. An unworldy man, he lives a simple life in Vancouver where his wife manages a free dental clinic for the poor and homeless. This is his first contribution to Shipwright.

Brian Shreeve Brought up on the Norfolk Broads where he developed a love of small boats and, later, a passion for dinghy sailing, Brian Shreeve became a veterinary surgeon and took up modelling on retirement. He specialises in improving the authenticity of commercially available wooden static-sail kits of 18th century square riggers and 20th century sailing fishers Shipwright 2013 Contributors


001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 8

Editorial Some forty years ago Shipwright was founded with the aim – or, as we would have to say today, mission statement – of encouraging, supporting and showcasing the highest standards of scratch-build scale ship modelling. Under the editorial command of John Bowen that purpose has remained constant, while allowing the journal’s content and appearance to evolve. While four decades may be a long time in editing, ship models have been made in various forms for some four thousand years as grave goods, votives, teaching aids, dockyard models, toys, apprentice pieces, and decorative objects in their own right. Among the images that illustrate Dr Cheryl Ward’s inspiring account of the construction of Min of the Desert a replica of an ancient Egyptian sailing vessel, is one of a model ship found in the tomb of Meketre and dating to some 2000 years B.C. As befits this anniversary edition, therefore, the features cover a wide range of periods, types and scales, and include work by both familiar and new contributors, amateur, academic and professional, from several countries. Representing the great age of the American-built clipper ship is Lloyd McCaffery’s beautiful model of perhaps the greatest of them all:Flying Cloud. His account of the research that preceded his detailed construction is complemented by Dr Daniel Nolan’s history of clippers, in which Dr Nolan emphasises the early 19th century scientific research that led to the iconic hull form exemplified by Flying Cloud. Richard Endsor and Philip Reed have co-operated to create a two-part article on the seventy-gun third rate ship of the line HMS Hampton Court (1678). Endsor, an acknowledged specialist in the construction of Restoration warships, has mined the archives to produce a narrative of the construction and history of the original ship, quoting from the shipwright’s weekly progress reports. His piece is followed by Reed’s illustrated account of how he built his exquisite miniature Navy Board model of that same ship. Moving fourteen years up the line, and from the sublime to the majestic, we have Viktor Yancovitch’s 100-gun ship of the line, HMS Royal William 1692, which demonstrates a triumph of sheer passion and ingenuity. The author, a newcomer to Shipwright, had already built this vessel from a kit, but then took on the challenge of scratch-building a purely wind-powered, radiocontrolled version at 1/32 scale, with all the compromises required to ensure it was rugged, watertight and stable. 8

Shipwright 2013

The stalwarts of the 20th century merchant navy are represented by two models. James Pottinger has contributed another of his much-valued Modeller’s Draughts, this time of CoaIisland, 1921, a typical example of the small steam colliers that plied the coastal route in the days when British coal powered the country’s homes and industries. However, 1921 was an inauspicious date for any British collier to enter service: the year of the National Coal Strike, when production fell dramatically to around 125 million tons.1 The second workhorse, Moss Hutchinson’s 1947-built general cargo ship Memphis, is brought to life in Robert A Wilson’s comforting account of his modelling experience, one that, like Yankovitch’s, should encourage scratch-builders, especially when they see his finished result. Shipwright’s initial focus had been solely on scratch-built sailing vessels. Engine-powered ships were soon embraced, and, with the arrival of high quality kits, a place was found for kit modellers who made significant modifications. A kit was the basis for Brian Shreeve’s French tuna fishing boat, a type once seen all along Brittany’s Atlantic coast, but after extensive research he decided to scratch-build the major part of the model to accommodate the new information. Further encouragement comes from Trevor Copp’s self-explanatory Fittings for Kit Models, the latest in a tradition of Shipwright articles that have helped modellers improve the realism of their kits or make the step up to scratch-building. Realism and drama are centre-stage in Malcolm Darch’s LCT 455. Some models can easily be appreciated in isolation; others are the better for some context, and this is exemplified in Darch’s detailed D-Day diorama, commissioned by the son of the LCT’s First Officer who decanted his cargo of tanks and troops on Sword Beach on 6 June 1944. His article is yet another that demonstrates how research into every area, allied to technical brilliance, is more than repaid in the finished model. John S. Laing showcases his model of Nareau, a small 1962 steamship which from 1972 became an integral part of life in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands while was employed on government service. As with his model of Tautunu (see Shipwright 2011) Laing used his personal experience of life on the islands to create an authentic model, and, like Darch, he has found a way to display it in its particular context.

001-031_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 11:56 Page 9

Since the foundation of Shipwright, the wider world has changed dramatically, affecting model shipbuilding in contrasting ways. Certainly in Britain, there has been a dramatic decline in the teaching in schools of many core craft skills required by the scratch-builder. A flood of cheap self-assembly furniture has diminished the need for many tools beyond a drill and an electric screwdriver. Surgeons and certain engineers may require increasingly fine motor skills, but fewer careers than ever before require the holder to be competent with lathes, chisels, saws and soldering irons, let alone appreciate the intrinsic qualities and properties of different woods and metals. Perhaps for that very reason, intricate workmanship continues to astound people, and when Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum reopens to the public in April 2013 it will offer visitors a complete gallery devoted to its huge collection of ship models of which the public has seen virtually nothing for more than a century. In anticipation, Shipwright 2013 is thrilled to open with a tour of the mouth-watering collection, in the company of the Curator of Ship Models, Jeroen Van Der Vliet, and the retiring conservator, Ab Hoving – who needs no introduction to Shipwright readers. We foresee a steady stream of Shipwright readers heading for the Netherlands this year. Back in 1972 the Iron Curtain that divided Europe was firmly in place, and in Romania Model Shipwright was evidently banned as a subversive publication. Nevertheless, Lucian Ploias, a keen modeller who was studying in Bucharest during the violence of 1989-1990 that surrounded the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime, and who was even briefly arrested, managed to acquire a complete set via the black market. His first contribution to Shipwright represents a nod to our modern celebrity culture: HMS Porchester Castle, a Second World War corvette that is probably better known for her post-war film roles than for her contribution to the Battle of the Atlantic. Computers have revolutionised our world. During the 1970s they were becoming vital tools for naval architects and engineers, and once they escaped into the private home they brought benefits to ship modellers. The Internet, which arrived only in 1991, has linked professionals and hobbyists from across the world, and anyone can now source materials from around the world with the click of a mouse. Searchable online museum and archive catalogues, uploaded historical

documents and photographs, and the on-line book trade have all made it much easier to locate and access sources of information. Sophisticated graphic capability may have lured young people away from traditional hobbies in favour of computer games, but together with Computer Aided Design it revolutionised not only naval architecture but kit production. It has also produced a radically new form of modeller: the virtual modeller who works in wireframes and pixels. While producing computer-generated images and animated sequences for Titanic documentaries, German computer modeller Thomas Schmid made time to describe this dark art for Shipwright and to explain how his work parallels and benefits that of traditional modellers. What of the next forty years? That will be very much up to the readership. Shipwright’s content is commissioned from modellers like yourself. New blood is always welcome. If you have solved a thorny problem or have a particular knowledge or expertise, please share it; if you know someone who could be a valuable contributor, recommend them; And, above all, tell the readership about the ships or dioramas you have built. Before we come looking for you. John Bowen & Jean Hood, February 2013

SOURCES AND NOTES 1 Source: A Century of Change: trends in UK statistics since 1900 Joe Hicks & Grahame Allen, House of Commons Library/ 21 December 1999.



032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 58

HMS Hampton Court 1678 Part 2 A MINIATURE NAVY BOARD MODEL by Philip Reed RESEARCH For several years now I have been nurturing the idea of a model of the Hampton Court of 1678, and having decided to semi-retire from professional model making and build a few models purely for my own pleasure, I decided to make this my first project. I have always had a general interest in ships of this period and have spent many pleasant hours perusing the drawings and paintings of the Van de Veldes in the National Maritime Museum catalogues. I was aware of a ‘supposed’ model of the ship and a contemporary draught at Wilton House near Salisbury. I knew this model was not in fact the Hampton Court but was one of the other of John Shish’s third rates – exactly which one there seemed to be conflicting opinions about, but it was certainly not the Hampton Court as it lacked her unique twin stern galleries. This model has now finally been identified by Frank Fox as the Essex of 1679. Consequently a pilgrimage was duly made to Wilton House and with much appreciated help and support from the staff I managed to photograph both the draught and model, taking dozens of shots from all angles. Armed with these, along with the Van de Velde drawings of the ship, I felt I had enough information to start preparing some plans. I also had a copy of Deane’s Doctrine of Naval Architecture edited by Brian Lavery, and I intended using the tables and drawings from the book along with the known dimensions of the Hampton Court as the basis for these plans. It did not take long before I found myself having doubts about the direction my drawings were taking and wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew. At this point I gave John Bowen a call to see if he could offer any advice. He suggested contacting Frank Fox and also Richard Endsor, a man he assured me who knew more about seventeenth century ships than any man alive. Both Frank and Richard proved to be helpful and endlessly generous with both their time and 58

Shipwright 2013

shared information and pointed out in no uncertain terms that Deane’s Doctrine was no starting point for a model of Hampton Court, something I was already, rather reluctantly, realising myself. Richard also informed me that his book The Restoration Warship, detailing the building, history and anatomy of the Lenox, sister ship to the Hampton Court and built concurrently on the double slip at Deptford, was due for publication in just a few weeks’ time. This has to be the sort of coincidence that a frustrated model maker can only dream about. While waiting I set about preparing timber for the frames and making a start on the case for the model. I can only say that when the book did arrive it surpassed all expectations, the many, many years of research that went into its preparation resulted in a volume of such comprehensiveness that for the first time a really accurate model has become possible. I have at all stages of building the model bowed to Richard’s seemingly unassailable knowledge, deviating only where my own particular preference on the carved decorations coincided with similar features to be found on contemporary models. Like the framing, many aspects of the Navy Board Models of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century were at odds with the ships themselves. So in this instance I have chosen to follow a middle course. This seemed to involve many hours of cogitation, trying to marry what I knew to be correct for the vessel and what would be more in keeping with the Navy Board tradition – and also, I must admit, what I personally found more attractive and interesting from the artistic perspective. It may seem strange that the topic of artistic interpretation should be brought to bear on a model of this nature, as opposed, shall we say, to that of a waterline subject, where more obvious and varied choices of colour and tone abound along with the need to create the illusion of movement of both the subject and the wind and water. I studied and worked in the field of fine art for many years at the beginning

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 59

Above: Starboard side of the finished model.

HMS Hampton Court 1678 Part 2 59

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 60

of my career, and I see no real difference in the approach I had to my painting all those years ago and the way I tackle a model nowadays. Whatever the subject, there are technical considerations regarding the timbers, paints and stains to be used, and then the model with case and stand need to be brought to a homogenous completion. As with human portraits in oils no two ship models of the same subject portrayed by different artists will be the same. I have tried to imbue this model with the feel and aged patina of the models of the seventeenth century. I have enjoyed attempting to create the appearance of old and darkened timber, gilding not quite as bright as it once was, and, overall, to produce a work that draws the viewer back in time, I know there are those who contend that these models would have looked new and fresh when originally built, and that is how they should be built today, but that’s not as we see them, and I for one loved these wonderful old models, their history enshrined and reinforced by their ageing, all part of their undoubted fascination and ability to put us in touch with the past. So to summarise, the model was approached as much as a miniature representation of a three hundred year old model as a purely craft project. I am afraid that a detailed description of the construction of a Navy Board Model would not be feasible within the limits of a single article, or even several, but I hope to give an overall picture of the process here. For anyone wishing to have a go at one of these models I have covered the subject in detail in two of my books; Building a Miniature Navy Board Model covers the same hull construction methods employed in the building of Hampton Court and Period Ship Modelmaking covers the rigging of a model at this scale using copper wire. The research for the model was simplicity itself after the publication of Richard’s book. This provided me with both lines and plans in profusion, all that I needed to do was to remove them from the book (this is now an unnecessary sacrilege as separate copies can be purchased through at 1⠄48th scale) and get a local printer to reduce them to 1in = 16ft. I amassed copies of all the Van de Velde drawings of the ship; these include some excellent depictions of her stern which enabled me, I hope, to produce a reasonable rendition of those most attractive stern galleries.

CONSTRUCTION The construction of the model followed my usual practice; the accompanying photographs show this in sequential order. No.1. Boxwood blanks for the lower section of the hull at various stages of preparation. In the background can be seen a stack of blanks that will form the lower section of the hull; in the foreground some are being marked and cut to size beside a couple of the templates that were used to mark 60

Shipwright 2013

them. In the centre is the jig used to keep the sections accurately aligned during the different stages of assembly; this method was used by Donald McNarry and works perfectly, providing, the jig is accurately constructed in the first place. Its great virtue lies in its simplicity, consisting in essence of two pieces of timber assembled at right angles, the longer of which has a groove cut along its centre. A strip of box is then cut to fit the groove and stands sufficiently proud to locate in slots cut in each of the blanks. No.2. With just a few blobs of Seccotine the blanks have been glued together and clamped. No.3. A variety of sanders and templates are used to roughly shape the hull. No.4. Using a disk sander with an adjustable table, the stern is now trimmed at an angle, and boxwood for the stern timbers glued in place, once again, with spots of Seccotine; veneer spacers are incorporated between all these items. No.5. The stern is now given the same treatment, and the whole hull is further sanded down. Masking tape is applied to delineate the run of the futtock ends, and all sections of timber to be removed are marked in with pencil. The photograph in the foreground is of a contemporary model on which I am basing the style of this model. No.6. Showing the sections being broken up ready for the removal of the centres. No.7. After the centres of the frames have been removed on the scroll saw they are further broken down or - if necessary - reassembled to form double frames. Two cuts are then made at either end of each of the sections to be removed, two on one side of the frame, and one on the other. The sections are then reassembled on the jig and periodically cleaned up on the inside using the drum sander. No.8. These frames from the stern of the ship were broken down into singles before removing those sections that will eventually form the deadwood, see photograph 6. Note that on these also there are very small sections that need to be removed between the middle futtocks and the deadwood. They are then reassembled into doubles, before, as with the other frames, removing the waste wood between the futtocks. No.9. After the aft-most frames have been assembled the tiny sections that will form the deadwood are glued one to another whilst on the model, taking care to ensure that they do not become glued to the hull. Next, I cut a groove in the base of these and glued a strip of timber in it. This is just an extra precaution to ensure they do not come apart or distort. No.10. Here can be seen two sections of deadwood: the one I have been working on, and another for the bow. The sides have been sanded down to reduce their size and have then been brought back to their original dimensions with the application of veneers. They are in the process of being trimmed to their original profile. No.11. All sections of deadwood and the stern frames

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 61








8 HMS Hampton Court 1678 Part 2 61

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 62










Shipwright 2013

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 63








24 HMS Hampton Court 1678 Part 2 63

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 64



Shipwright 2013

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:03 Page 65



28 have been glued in place and the hull given a good rub down. Keel and sternpost have been fitted, as well as a rail of boxwood that runs right around the top of the hull; both this and the keel are doweled to the frames ensuring a very strong and stable structure. No.12. Another identical rail is now lightly glued to the first one, using just a few spots of Seccotine, and then holes are drilled at intervals down through both of them. The upper rail is then broken away and short bamboo dowels inserted into the rail fitted to the hull. No.13. The upper rail is then glued and doweled to the block of solid jetulong from which the upper section of the hull will be carved. The two sections can now be accurately and easily separated and joined at will. No.14. The upper section is now carved to shape and hollowed out, just leaving a few temporary bridges for stability. No.15. All the gun ports pierced and the hull ready for a final trim and sanding. No.16. With the upper section removed the lower and upper gun decks are installed. In this photograph the framing of the upper deck is completed. No.17. A fairly simple carving of the lion figurehead was

made and fitted. The fine detail was built up with artist’s gesso applied with a fine brush. No.18. Turning my attention to the stern I delineated the main levels of the quarter and stern galleries with thin ply before fitting jetulong inserts where required, hollowing them out as necessary. No.19. With all the decks completed, the bulkheads are built up with a combination of clear plastic, card or any suitable acetate, Bristol board and wire. No.20. Some time ago I made some two-part rubber moulds for casting gun barrels and carriages for late eighteenth and early nineteenth century models. This is not nearly as daunting as it might appear, but for a novice it might consume considerable time before managing to get the resin flowing smoothly and achieving decent results. These provided barrels for Hampton Court but obviously the carriages were not usable. No.21. For the gun carriages, port wreaths and odds and ends of repetitive carved work around the ship I prepared these simple moulds. They have none of the flow problems associated with the more complicated two-part ones. Just a smear of resin across the top, and (usually) a perfect sheet of HMS Hampton Court 1678 Part 2 65

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:04 Page 76

HMS Porchester Castle 1943 FROM GREY ATLANTIC TO SILVER SCREEN by Lucian Ploias THE SHIP The Castle class corvette was a natural successor to the Flower class. While the Flower class was part of an emergency program to counter the menace of the German U-boat, the Castle class were well planned ships designed especially for the same task. These were far superior with better seakeeping capability, speed, armament and crew living conditions. HMS Porchester Castle was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd. at Wallsend on Tyne. She was laid down on 17th of March, launched on 21st of June and completed on 8th of November 1943. On 25th December 1943 she was allocated to the Western Approaches Command, based at Londonderry, until the end of the war. On 9th of September 1944, HMS Porchester Castle, teaming up with HMS Helmsdale, depth-charged and sank U-484 off the Northwest of Ireland, then on 11th of November she sank one more enemy submarine, U-1200 off Cape Clear, south of Ireland. After more than one year of Atlantic service in January 1945 she took a twelve-week refit, then saw two more

Right: HMS Porchester Castle (F362) (courtesy


Shipwright 2013

months of action before the war’s end, escorting surrendered German U-boats from their bases in Norway. From July 1945 up to the end of the year she was allocated as an air-sea rescue vessel for the African Western Command. While serving in this duty she took part in the scuttling of the requisistioned passenger steam ship Edinburgh Castle, built in 1910, whose return to England was considered impractical. Edinburgh Castle was towed off Freetown Sierra Leone and sunk with gunfire. The following year Porchester Castle carried out similar rescue vessel duties at Gibraltar and in 1946 she was laid up. In April 1951 she was again prepared for service and after commissioning on 15th May was allocated to the 2nd Training Squadron, based at Portland, for anti-submarine warfare and general seamanship training. In 1952 she was given the part of the fictional HMS Saltash Castle in the in the film The Cruel Sea, and in 1956 while again laid up in reserve she took part in another Second World War film, The Man Who Never Was. Her career was brought to an end in 1958 and she was towed to Troon for scrapping.

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:04 Page 77

Above: Port side view of the completed model.

HMS Porchester Castle specifications: Class and type: Castle class corvette Displacement: 1,060 tons, full load 1580 tons Length overall: 252’ (76.8 m) Length between perpendiculars: 225’ (68.6 m) Beam: 36’8 (11.18 m) Draught (mean): 13’6 (4.1 m) Draught (max): 15’9 (4.8 m) Installed power: 2,880 IHP (2.14 MW) one 4 cylinder triple expansion steam engine, two Admiralty three drum type boilers Fuel: 480 tons Propulsion: Single screw Speed: 18.5 knots Range: 9,500 nautical miles at 10 knots Complement: 90 (peace), 130(war) Sensors and electronic systems: Type 272 radar; Type 144Q sonar ; Type 147B sonar Armament: One 4-inch Quick Firing Mk.XIX High Angle/Low Angle combined air/surface gun One Squid Anti-submarine mortar One depth charge rail, 15 depth charges Two 40 mm Bofors single anti-aircraft cannon Two 20 mm Oerlikon single anti-aircraft cannon

THE MODEL This was my second naval model built to 1:200 scale. Entirely built from scratch, it has a length of 384mm, a beam of 55.9mm and a draught of 24mm. I followed detailed plans of the ship drawn by the late Norman A. Ough in 1955 while the ship was still in existence. This class of ships had graceful lines, so the hull (built on the bread and butter system) required seven lifts, each 4.2mm thick with the exception of the top lift which was 9.5mm. For larger models I use either plank on bulkhead or plank on frames methods, but for such a small model bread and butter was a fast and precise method of generating the hull. I know for most of the experienced modellers this method is an old story, but I would like to share with you how I did it in this particular case. The model being destined for display only, the lifts were left solid with no empty space being necessary inside the hull. After making cardboard templates for the outlines of each lift, I transferred these outlines to the timber. I milled my timber from a wellseasoned plank of fine-grained yellow cedar. This wood is an excellent material for planking hulls for models as well as for real wooden boats. The lifts were cut about 2mm-3mm larger than outlines and assembled with screws into a rough hull block. The bow section and the stern were also roughly cut, and then the entire hull was shaped using files, rasp, plane, scrapers and basically anything that can remove the excess wood and leave a nice shaped hull. When this stage was done, I made a temporary stand out of two 6mm dowels, inserted into the hull bottom, and a plywood base. This is important for the next step which was the coating of the hull with an epoxy filler, and this stand was used to keep the hull upright. I used West System epoxy resin with a slow cure hardener and 410 microlight filler. This filler is a powder-like substance HMS Porchester Castle 1943


032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:04 Page 78

which mixes with the resin. I added small quantities of filler to resin while mixing it with a stick until I reached a mayonnaise-like viscosity. Before I coated the hull with this filler I applied two coats of CPES (clear penetrating epoxy sealer) to seal the wood and make the filler adhere better to the hull. When this was set I sanded using 220 grit sand paper and applied a second coat. At this point I made the bulwark on the aft part of the ship as well as the checkered steel upper deck and forecastle deck. These were made from 0.2mm brass sheet and epoxied to the wooden hull. A third coat of epoxy filler was then applied and after that a final sanding using 600 Grit wet sand paper. Now the hull was ready to get her first coat of primer. After this coat a final check was done to spot any hidden imperfections and correct them. For painting I used a Paasche airbrush and acrylic flat paints. At this stage, I found it expedient to mount the finished hull permanently on her brass pedestals and base board. I turned two brass pedestals on my lathe and mounted these on a nice piece of oak as the model base. The hull was then secured with wood screws to this base. From this stage on, the only material used to construct the superstructures, armament, masts and all other fittings with the exception of the ship’s boats was brass. One of its main qualities is that it has a smooth surface which doesn’t need to be filled; just a quick sanding with fine sand paper and it is

Above: Hull ready to be painted.


Shipwright 2013

ready for painting. Only a few tools are needed: a vice, an anvil, a scorer which can be ground from an old hacksaw blade, tin snips and – very important – a ball-peen hammer. Soldered joints must be cleaned and washed with water to clean up flux residue. Soldering in itself is not such a hard job. The parts to be joined must be well prepared before soldering. I use a 60W soldering iron and a butane torch. Before soldering I make sure that all the parts fit well together and I use only wooden clamps to keep them tight. If the parts to be soldered are too large for my iron I use the butane torch to preheat them. I started with the four-gun platform and then with the lower bridge area. I made cardboard templates from the drawings for each side of these parts. Then I drew on the brass sheet the unfolded shape of each part. I cut the shape using the scorer (which is used to mark off breaks or bending points in the metal, much as a glass cutter does in glass, and which is very accurate and clean compared with cutting with scissors), or a fret saw with a special blade for brass. I used flat nose pliers to bend various angles and then soldered the joints. For the Bofors guns platform the two cylindrical columns were turned on the lathe. The platform was soldered on top of them. On a twentieth-century warship there is always a multitude of metal structures built from angle iron. ‘T’ or ‘I’ bars

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:04 Page 79

Above: Hull still on a temporary stand, showing brass superstructures.

can be made using the scorer in combination with a straight edge, resulting in a sharp clean groove along the metal which will bend, allowing for clean breaks or bending for the formation of these profiles. ‘T’ bars can be formed by soldering together angle bars. HMS Porchester Castle had a heavy lattice type fore mast with a dish antenna for the type 277 radar and topped by the famous HF/DF aerial. This complex structure was modelled using 0.5mm brass round bar, soldered on a wooden jig. The crow’s nest was made from a brass tubing cut to shape, the radar dish antenna was made from a copper ring soldered on a piece of brass mesh previously formed into a hemispheric shape. The HF/DF aerial was a bit more challenging due its size, 100mm total height. Aerial wires 0.07mm were soldered to the frame for which I used 0.15 mm copper wire. Thin brass sheet was also used to make the funnel, being fitted around an elliptically-shaped wooden dowel. The funnel cage was soldered up from copper wire and fitted to the shaped hood. The entire assembly was given two coats of primer before it was painted. The funnel hood with its cage were painted flat black. One interesting feature of this ship is the shape of the boiler room cowl ventilators. On most ships these were curved elliptically shaped, but on this and few other successive ships of this class they were simpler, being of a rectangular cross sectional shape. Based on information gathered from a photograph showing the forward set of these vents, I made them using brass rectangular tubing filed to the right shape and then soldered on a round brass tubing. The mushroom vents of various sizes found everywhere on the ship as well as the vent trunks in wall of superstructures were made from soldering round or rectangular brass tubing.

I am lucky enough to be in possession of a complete set of drawings of Royal Navy warships’ details by Norman Ough as they appeared in Model Maker magazine during the 50s and 60s. The wealth of information found on these drawings is remarkable and a must for every model maker who is willing to get as much accurate detail on his model as possible. The main armament on this ship consisted of one 4 H/A Mk XIX naval gun. Following Norman Ough’s detailed drawings I could get all the dimensions for the many parts that were visible outside the turret. The barrel was turned on the lathe from a brass rod, the gun base plate and the two side plates that receive the trunnions were also made from soldered brass. The turret sighting hoods were cut and bent from .3 brass sheet and then soldered on the shield. The 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon guns were made following the same procedures and also from brass material. The depth charge mortar, known as the Squid, consisted of a rectangular base with reinforcement gussets around it and three barrels mounted on a 30 degrees angle. A servo motor is placed on the fore part and a gear with a flying wheel on the aft part. The whole assembly is placed on the lower bridge platform, one foot to port of the centre-line, and this was also made of brass. I tried to the best of my abilities to add as much detail to the open bridge, like gyro repeater, flag lockers, compass binnacle, voice pipes etc. In addition, the venturi shield was made by soldering it to the bridge sides. Guard rails were photo-etched and installed along the hull into holes which were drilled before paint was applied, avoiding in this way a whole lot of trouble. HMS Porchester Castle carried on board a 25ft motor boat, a 27ft navy whaler, a 16ft dinghy, two 12ft and one 10ft Carley floats. The 27ft whaler reduced to 1:200 scale is only HMS Porchester Castle 1943


032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:04 Page 80

Above: Radar platform and Bridge structures.

Below: 25 foot motor boat and 27 foot whaler in their quadrantal davits.

032-083_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:04 Page 81

Top and above: Upper bridge and port side views. Note the one cent coin is 19mm in diameter.

42mm in length. This was planked (clinker) on a wood former using paper planks glued on paper ribs. There are fourteen strakes from keel to gunwale on each side. The top plank, which carries the rubbing strake, is broader than the others. After the planking was done the shell was removed from the wooden plug, and stem, keel and stern post were added, followed by the rudder, thwarts, gratings, oars and other specific equipment was added. Everything was painted flat grey and installed on its quadrantal davits. The 25ft motor boat was also clinker planked with paper planks, this time on a solid piece of wood without the need to remove

the shell from it. This boat has a small cabin with four brass ports on either side and a small hatch inside the forward canopy which were painted white. The hull was painted grey with a black rubbing strake and then installed on standard quadrantal davits. The Carley floats were tackled next. I made these from brass rod bent to shape and then soldered to a bottom made out of a thin brass sheet. After that I painted them a flat dark green and installed a wooden grating and four oars for each float. In my opinion rigging is probably the most challenging item to model for a modern warship at such a small scale. HMS Porchester Castle 1943


084-153_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:13 Page 130

The Ships in the Computer AN INTRODUCTION TO 3-D SHIP MODELING by Thomas Schmidt As a child I was fascinated by plastic models of all kinds. I never tired of assembling as many as possible, whether tanks, airplanes and ships, always supported by my father who served in the German Navy at the end of the Second World War. In 1994, after finishing my course in Computer Science, I started working in a printing house as a system administrator. There, in the layout department, I was able to get my hands on all the fancy graphic and layout programs which were needed to produce books.

Above: The author’s 3-D rendering of the Admiral Graf Spee.


Shipwright 2013

Consequently, I was not very happy with being able to create only “flat” 2-D illustrations, and after seeing Babylon 5 on TV I knew I wanted to do the same. I bought my first software licence in that same year, a program called LightWave 3D, the software used for creating Babylon V, and I immediately began to model ships – first spaceships, then warships. When looking for a candidate for my first 3-D ship model I was after a rather simple ship with a hull shape that was not too fancy. I already knew that the hull of a ship would be the

084-153_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:13 Page 131

tricky part. Everything else can be constructed by just modifying simple 3-D shapes such as boxes, cylinders, and spheres. The German Deutschland Class roused my attention, especially the Admiral Graf Spee. But there was a problem: the internet was only just starting to appear, and all I had was a book about the Deutschland Class Pocket Battleship showing some drawings about the Pocket Battleship Deutschland. At this time I did not have very much knowledge about these ships and I believed I could easily use the hull lines from Deutschland and adapt this to create an Admiral Graf Spee hull out of them. I was horribly mistaken! During my creation of Graf Spee’s hull I decided to pay the Bundesarchive in Freiburg a visit. Soon I discovered some original drawings of Graf Spee along with other drawings, including the original hull line drawing in 1:50 scale. I immediately realized that the shape of the hull was significantly different from that of Deutschland and that the dozens of hours I had already invested had not been worth very much. I did not make this mistake again. I learned that any 3-D ship model projects have to be as well researched as possible before it could even start to make sense. Finally I got my Admiral Graf Spee done and the model later starred in numerous documentaries about the ship.

INTRODUCTION TO 3-D MODELS & MODELLING From time to time I receive emails, mostly posted on my website, asking me questions such as: What scale is your model made in? My answer is always: 1:1 How heavy and from what material is the model made? These questions are a result of a big misunderstanding. 3-D models only exist in the computer until somebody uses these datasets to bring them into the real world by producing a realistic-looking picture or by creating a 3-D print. To understand how a 2-D drawing of a ship can end up as a 3-D model it is necessary to understand how 3-D modelling works. The process in creating a 3-D ship model starts, as do all model projects, with the research into the ship. The better your sources are, the less painful the modelling process will be. To explain the workflow in transferring a set of 2-D drawings into a 3-D model, I would like to walk you through my method of creating ship hulls by showing you what it took to create the hull of HMAS Sydney. This 3-D model was commissioned in 2009 by David Mearns and used for illustrations in his book about the search for and finding of the wreck of HMAS Sydney. David also provided a set of original drawings of the ship.

Position: Rendering of my HMAS Sydney 3-D model.

The Ships in the Computer


084-153_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:13 Page 132

Above: The section drawings selected for creating HMAS Sydney’s hull.

2-D TO 3-D, STEP BY STEP Before I started this process I looked carefully over all available drawings and photos and selected the drawings that were needed to recreate the ship. In creating a 3-D model it is very important to put into the computer only as much information as is necessary. It is much easier to add information than to take it away later. I realized that ten section drawings and some deck drawings would be enough to create this hull which, compared to those of other ships, is rather simple. I also traced 132

Shipwright 2013

the profile of the hull to make possible the precise 3-D positioning of decks and sections. It also helps in detecting variances in the different drawings. Because the original drawings are hand drawn it is most likely that a comparison of the profile with the section drawings will show some variance. To re-trace the 2-D drawings in this case CorelDraw was the software of my choice. But any 2-D drawing program like Adobe Illustrator or even the free InkScape will do the job. These traced 2-D shapes, the sections, some decks and the profile of the hull are then imported into the 3-D applica-

084-153_SHIPWRIGHT 2013cor_Layout 1 22/03/2013 12:13 Page 133

Above: Screenshot of 2-D shapes positioned in 3-D space in LightWave 3D’s modeller.

Above: Here we see a simple rectangle polygon structure. Left the top view and to the right a shaded perspective view.

tion and precisely positioned in the 3D space. I usually work in 1:1 scale during modelling which means I make sure that in this case the hull has a length of 160 meters. With the 2-D guidelines in place the final - modeling of the hull could begin. The method of my choice for creating the 3-D ship hull is called subdivision surfaces. At this stage

I do not bother with any hull details like the armour belt or the portholes; the goal is to get the basic hull shape together. Subdivision surfaces are made using a simple polygonal structure to create an underlying smoothly curved object. To explain this method we need to have a look at the following examples. The Ships in the Computer


Shipwright 2013