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Courageous

HMS Bounty, 1787

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Hi All,

 

20190929-181450-1.jpg

This piqued my interest for some bizarre reason and I bought it. The plan is to put it on a sea base, that can be either with sail or anchor. I have so much to learn but haven't a clue on where to start. Suggestions on a couple of good reference books, modelling guides, what's wrong with the kit, what needs replacing...you know the drill.

 

Stuart

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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

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John Tilley posted many times on historic ship models at the ships section of Fine Scale Modeller forum.  This thread seems to cover the Bounty but starting from the much older Revell kit::

 

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/155394.aspx?page=1

 

He refers to the Scale Model articles

 

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4 hours ago, mdesaxe said:

McKay's Anatomy of the Ship book on Bounty

Looks very interesting, the prices don't but needs might...

2 hours ago, Francis Macnaughton said:

John Tilley posted many times on historic ship models at the ships section of Fine Scale Modeller forum.

He does give some insight into the Revell. How much different the Airfix will be, God knows.

10 minutes ago, Murdo said:

:popcorn:

Do you have a Bounty too?

 

Stuart

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Funnily enough, I do. I think it's currently up in the loft, unbuilt, but sprayed with black primer. Far too big to fit on the Shelf Of Shame though.      😳

 

And just realised, I have a Shelf Of Shame in the loft too...     

 

Curses!!!         :rage:

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Hi

By coincidence I started researching and building this kit two months ago.

A problem for researchers is that the Bounty began life as a simple civilian merchantman and was bought by RN to convert for shipping breadfruit from Pacific to feed slaves.

Therefore there are few drawings of the Bounty that exist. There are however some docs on-line that show conversion plans where Bligh's master cabin was converted to transport the breadfruit; eg see Australian website State Library of Victoria.

Colour scheme is therefore very much up to individual modellers.

 

https://viewer.slv.vic.gov.au/?entity=IE5772686&mode=browse

 

The Anatomy of a Ship is available free on Scribe. As Mdesaxe has pointed out, even Anatomy book has a major error in that stove chimney is the wrong way round compared with Admiralty drawings.

Prof Tilley's articles are very helpful on FSM site but IMHO Tilley is also guilty of promulgating incorrect idea that anchor hawses went through the foredeck. See Anatomy drawings for correct installation.

 The Airfix hull is generally accurate (compared to Anatomy), main issues are a badly modelled knighthead (curved raised parts either side of bowsprit), an inaccurately sloping deck, hawse holes too low and a weird breasthook. There are also no stern lanterns or pin rails or chocks for launch. A strange issue I have noticed is that the brown plastic of the kit is very brittle, much more so than newer kits.

 

 

However these are not insurmountable problems if you have the time to fix them!

I have done this and am replacing all deadeyes, blocks etc with wooden items to rig the ship as accurately as possible. I hope to do sails in same way as Jersey Frankie on the Model Ship World site (Nautical research Guild. In this way i hope (hah!) to get a decent accurate large scale model for considerably less money than the wooden kits currently  available.

Cheers

 

 

Edited by Pak75
added link

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12 hours ago, Pak75 said:

By coincidence I started researching and building this kit two months ago.

Thanks for all the info. I am waiting to receive my copy of the Anatomy of a Ship, will be an interesting to read it.

If you've only just started your Bounty, why not start a WiP here, I'm sure it would an interesting thread?

 

Stuart

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HI Stuart

Thanks for invitation but I'm not sure my modelling skills will match my research skills and I don't have a photo hosting subscription yet.

This will be a first for me and am trying new techniques and fittings so will see how i go before posting anything.

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3 hours ago, Pak75 said:

photo hosting subscription yet.

I use postimage with little or no hassle and it's free.

The rigging diagrams in the Anatomy are very scary. You don't put them all in surely, how do you choose? Not happening anytime soon but research is still necessary.

 

Stuart

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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

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17 hours ago, Courageous said:

Not happening anytime soon but research is still necessary.

 

Stuart

 

Ach! Gerronwaeit! 

 

    :popcorn:

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Aye, I really should wheesht.

 

...Considering I've already admitted to having a part started one in the loft Shelf of Shame.       😳      :banghead:

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8 hours ago, Murdo said:

Considering I've already admitted to having a part started one in the loft Shelf of Shame.

Ach! Gerronwaeit! :rofl:

 

Stuart

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HI Stuart

Not heard of postimage but will check it out, thanks.

Yes, the rigging is daunting and the simplified Airfix instructions become immediately redundant. You only have to look at Prof Tilley's photos to see how many lines there are (though last time I looked Photobucket has generously blurred the images).

IMHO, modelling a square rigger without sails would be like building a Spitfire kit without an engine. Most modellers seem to agree vacuum formed sails are not very good so I am keen to try other techniques. Part of the fun for me has been to look at rigging diagrams and books to understand exactly how a ship works. Every line has a purpose...

Again, I don't know how things will go but maybe will do some sails in use and others furled.

At present, scribing of planks on inside of gunwales has been a real pain! Trying to make plastic look like wood is another......

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5 hours ago, Pak75 said:

modelling a square rigger without sails would be like building a Spitfire kit without an engine.

My current way of doing things is to put the model into its environment, so in this case, that means a sea base. Take that one step further, if you have a ship under sail, she will need a crew unless she is the Mary Celeste, so I'll be doing 'Bounty' at anchor, sails furled with one of her boats alongside. I have seen a recent article about making furled sails and looks simpler than making sails.

One thing that I'd like to find out is about her hull. I know her hull was sheathed in copper at the time but was any of the copper visible when at anchor. I have ready that these copper hulled ships had a broad black band of tar around the waterline because of the heavy wear from the sea (to be confirmed). If you can sea the copper hull, what colour would it have been as I can imagine the effect of sea water on copper?

 

Stuart

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HI

If you look at photos of HMS Victory she does indeed have thick black band at waterline which was a form of crude anti-fouling to prevent weed growth. This 'waterline' was so thick that at anchor in relatively calm waters the copper hull would not be exposed.

 

That said, there is some discussion of hull copper colour here.

 

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/169491.aspx

 

The colour chosen for the model  would be representative of time elapsed on the voyage (Bounty only lasted three years) and amount of weed and growth for the point in time you want to portray., ie colour could range from brand new copper plates soon after refitting to extensive algae and barnacle growth.

Cheers

 

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8 hours ago, Pak75 said:

This 'waterline' was so thick that at anchor in relatively calm waters the copper hull would not be exposed.

My own investigations agree with this, so a Bounty at anchor solves the query about the copper hull. I have been watching and reading about furled sails though and I think as a first tall ship, I might be biting off more than I can chew, so Bounty could still be under sail at sea, healing over with weed, barnacles and a copper bottom...still need a crew though.

 

Stuart

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11 hours ago, Courageous said:

 healing over with weed, barnacles and a copper bottom...

That's no way to talk about @longshanks! @general melchett yes but not our Kev.

 

Martian the Mischievous 👽 

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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

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HI

My citing of FSM site was simply to provide some information in response to a question from a member and stimulate debate.

AFAIK and happy to be corrected, the copper plating was introduced primarily to combat the destructive effects of the marine borer, Teredo navalis, or shipworm. The additional general antifouling properties of the copper plates in retarding the growth of weed and barnacles etc were a secondary benefit.

 

Mdesaxe's comments re colour are very helpful, certainly the formation of the green verdigris patina requires water and air so that the copper can oxidise which is why we see it on copper on land. Below the waterline, the hull would be exposed to considerably smaller concentrations of oxygen so no verdigris. I will look at paint charts for a salmon pink colour.... but might leave a few plates in metallic copper.

 

Re crew - even in harbour or at anchor there was an organised watch so some officers and crew would have been present - routine maintenance was also done at anchor. Not much help, I'm afraid 😀

Edited by Pak75
typo

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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

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15 hours ago, mdesaxe said:

(no navy ever managed to find a real solution to the issues raised by attaching copper plates to iron hulls).

Technical solutions that worked were found and used, eg HMS Calypso, steel hull with wood plank cladding to which the underwater copper sheathing was fitted. She was in commission for 12 years as an active warship before going into reserve and then serving as a training ship. The hulk was burnt to the waterline in 1968, but part of the cladding remains on the wreck to this day.

The solutions were rarely used, I suspect,  primarily due to cost of fitting and maintaining vs increasing worldwide availability of drydock facilities to clean hulls and wider availability of improved anti fouling paints. Although the paints were not as effective, the advantages of the copper sheathing didn't justify the costs involved.

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