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About mdesaxe

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  1. There is a good source from which you could start in Thomas James Oertling's book Ships' Bilge Pumps: A History of Their Development, 1500-1900. It can be accessed as an ebook (for which you must pay about €10). The pump diagram from Unicorn is for a chain pump. While these existed at the time, they were not introduced into sailing vessels until the mid-eighteenth century. Excavations of shipwrecks from around 1500 indicate that the pumps then used were suction pumps similar to the traditional village pump on land and with a hollowed log forming the barrel. Maurice
  2. A piece of trivia. I believe that Guinness invented the pressurised keg. My maternal grandfather (a Frenchman who moved to England in the late 1920s as a steam locomotive designer) became chief engineer at Guinness. In the early 1950s he was tasked with overseeing the design of a system that would allow Guinness to export its product as a draft beer to North America and the pressurised keg was the outcome.
  3. A minor detail, but 'Scott of the Antarctic" was Robert Falcon Scott and his son was Peter. The book is indeed amazing - my father brought a copy home after he was demobilized in 1947 and I vividly remember reading it (in what was for me a rather foreign language) when I was about 7 years old - and drawing MTB's all over the place. Maurice
  4. I did a little checking and found that the 'gun turret' version was in Dutch markings. Maurice
  5. There is a Special Hobby kit of the Electra Junior (L12). I have seen both a civilian version and another that was a bomber or gunnery trainer (I think) with a turret-like mounting and, I seem to recall, Spanish markings
  6. Before copper sheathing, in general the principal defence against borers was sacrificial planking; the various other potions were to discourage fouling organisms. Copper sheathing accomplished both - it was not only a physical barrier but also the copper oxychloride poisoned both the fouling organisms and the borers (much more efficient to kill them before they started work!). The principal disadvantage of the ablative property was that the plates became thinner over time and had to be replaced. I'm sure that, on occasion, rather than stripping the entire bottom and replacing it, overhaul workers simply replaced the most worn plates. Polly Scale made a very nice acrylic paint called Reefer Orange that is a quite good match for chemically-cleaned copper. I don't know if it available at all now, but it might give you an indication of the right direction for a current paint. Maurice
  7. There are considerable misconceptions about copper sheathing on ships and its appearance. The comments by Mr. Morrison on the Fine Scale Modeler forum cited by Pak75 are only accurate in very particular circumstances. Copper sheathing was introduced by the Royal Navy in the 1760 and put into widespread use during the American Revolution. The Navy found it highly effective initially but soon discovered some significant obstacles that required major remediation to address them. The most important was fastening the plates to the hull. Although a physical barrier was interposed between the plates and the hull and the plates themselves were attached using copper fastenings, it soon was found that these fastenings interacted with the ferrous fastenings holding the ships together, wasting away the iron with potentially disastrous consequences. The solution was to refasten the entire fleet with copper, at least below the waterline – a prodigiously labour-intensive and expensive process. The question then is why would the Admiralty undertake this task if the outcome would be that “marine growth was unimpeded”, to quote Mr. Morrison? The answer, of course, is that the outcome was very different from this assertion. Copper plates in seawater interact to form a molecular thickness ablative layer on their outer surface of copper oxychloride. This does two things – it poisons marine growths and it washes away as the ship moves through the water, leaving a clean surface behind to which these growths cannot easily attach. The only time a ship with a coppered bottom accumulated any significant quantities of growth was if it spent prolonged periods of time - months - stationary (the ablative surface would not then wash away) or it operated exclusively in fresh water (the salt is necessary for the creation of the poison). Consequently, the colour of the copper sheathing on any vessel on active service in salt water was that of chemically-cleaned copper: essentially salmon pink. This is borne out by a considerable body of art work painting during the first half of the nineteenth century. In large part, the greenish patina on modern models is an imposition of the effect readily visible of rainwater and airborne pollutants on copper roofing . In the second half of the nineteenth century most merchant ships moved from using copper to using Muntz metal, an alloy of 60% copper and 40% zinc with traces of iron. This was considerably cheaper than pure copper and quite effective. However, as anyone knows who has operated a vessel in salt water using sacrificial ‘zincs’ to slow erosion of ferrous equipment (such as rudders), zinc reacts to salt water very differently – it acquires a whiteish surface layer. This, and the fact that Muntz metal is an alloy, means that an appropriate finish for merchant vessels in service in that period is a very pale grey mixed with washed-out blue-green (from the copper element of the alloy). An excellent rendition of this effect is visible on the once gorgeous Longridge model of Cutty Sark in the Science Museum in London (which was in a very sorry state when I last saw it – a testament to curatorial inattention). Warships continued to use copper as long as wood was used for hull construction (no navy ever managed to find a real solution to the issues raised by attaching copper plates to iron hulls). Some fleets, notably that of France, continued for quite some time to build wooden-hulled vessels for foreign service precisely because of this problem. In home waters, the problem of fouling on iron hulls was addressed by frequent docking (not an option on almost all foreign stations) and then by developing anti-fouling paints, most of which even now are not as effective as copper sheathing. Maurice
  8. Until the 1950s there was a belief among more sophisticated car owners in Continental Europe that right hand drive conveyed the cachet of a British connection, so large numbers of European car manufacturers built their top-end vehicles with right hand drive. Somehow I don't think that belief that could possibly become the case again. Maurice
  9. Stuart One answer to simplifying your rigging is to leave off the sails. This will enable you to omit all the sail handling lines. You still will need to include the yard braces, lifts, and halliards, but you can ignore things like sheets, clewlines, bowlines, and buntlines (and probably some others). In fact, they do not make much sense if they are included and there are no sails. Maurice
  10. Not really that much more dangerous than locating the tank on top of the engine (as on almost all motorcycles). Filling the tank and dripping petrol onto a hot engine at the end of the process can be quite interesting (but not actually that dangerous)! I once saw a rider accidentally drop a lighted cigarette into his tank while filling it - I don't think I have ever seen someone move so quickly (though nothing happened because the tank was full and the vapour was not confined)!
  11. Even though this source is rather old, the series of articles in Scale Models from January 1979 by the late John Tilley still remain one of the finest descriptions of the ship and the necessary corrections. Tilley was the curator of ship models at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News at the time and among the most meticulous of researchers (he subsequently went on to a distinguished academic career). I seem to remember he also published on this subject in Model Shipwright, but my own copies of the early issues are in storage at the moment and inaccessible. You might also look at John McKay's Anatomy of the Ship book on Bounty but be aware that Tilley and several other researchers thought he was not quite as accurate as he could have been (you might have to explore the web to find these details). Hope this helps. Maurice
  12. 1) The dragon (or other) heads, from archaeological evidence, seem to have been demountable and fitted into sockets in the top of the stempost. There's a fair amount of speculation that they were removed when the ships were returning home (to indicate the crew was travelling in peace) and fitted when they were outbound and raiding or attacking. 2) The oars would not usually be used with the sails except in low wind conditions. The oars stowed inboard on the deck or on crutches somewhat above the deck to keep them out of the way. 3) The best way of making model sails I've seen has been to sandwich a thin paper pattern between two layers of silkspan (material used to cover radio-control flying model aircraft). There was a good detailed article about the process in the Nautical Research Journal for December 2018. You might be able to access it through a library or through the Nautical Research Guild's website. 4) The sails almost certainly were made from wool and not cotton or linen. Your best reference would be to go to the website of the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde (in Denmark). the website is in English, too, so it should be easy to navigate. The museum has built several replicas on the basis of archaeological work done there (I actually worked on the first one as a volunteer far too many years ago). Hope this helps, Maurice
  13. Chromed wire wheels are a feature of vehicles whose owners intend only to show them off rather than drive them hard. The process of chroming the spokes weakens the metal, so chromed wire wheels on a high-performance car are dangerous - the spokes are more likely to break under stress. Most wire wheels on high-performance cars usually were painted or stove-enamelled (often a silver colour) to protect the steel spokes. Maurice PS: Alumium is not a good material for spokes; usually steel or stainless steel was/is used. the rims and hubs often could be aluminium because the mass was greater.
  14. I should point out that I corrected my entry 27 with entry 30, in which I used the actual inventory numbers rather than relying on the usually-reliable statement of William Laird Clowes. The State Papers inventory only listed four small guns. Nonetheless, just because the inventory did not list Clowes' 17 small guns does not mean that they could not have been added as a temporary expedient. There is a fair amount of iconography depicting ships of this period, some admittedly of uncertain reliability. You might enjoy exploring the online collections of artwork depicting warships of the 16th century at the National Maritime Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the collaborative Dutch maritime museums site maritiemdigitaal.nl (in Dutch only) for ideas if you have not done this already. Maurice
  15. From State Papers Henry VIII, ccv, 160 and restated in Instructions drawn up by Sir John Hawkins in the latter part of Elizabeth's reign (cited in W.G. Perrin, British Flags, their early history at sea, with an account of the origin of the flag as a national device, 1922) "The Ld. Admiral shall beare a flagge of the Armes of England upon the top of his Mayne-mast. And a flagge of St. George one the foretopmast." The "Armes of England" is the Royal Standard. Things have changed since then, no doubt. Maurice
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