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SS Hydrograaf, 1:100, 3D, hydrographic ship of Royal Dutch Navy

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SS Hydrograaf, 1/100, hydrographic ship of the Royal Dutch Navy.








Shipyard: Fijenoord shipbuilding and engineering company in Rotterdam

Keel laying 11 October 1909
Launched 26 January 1910
Employed 4 May 1910
Out of service 16 October 1962 


Active status
Home port Den Helder; 1985: Amsterdam


Owners: Netherlands
Owner 1998 - Rederij de Hydrograaf BV Weesp
Charterer Dutch Glory
Previous owners 1910 Royal Netherlands Navy

1964 Sea Cadet Corps, Rotterdam
1985 The Sailing Museum Ship Foundation, Amsterdam


General characteristics


1910 Hydrographic ship
1985 Saloon boat


Length 40.5 metres
Width 6.70 metres
Draft 1.80 metres
Displacement 297 tonnes
Passengers 200 maximum (since 1985)
Propulsion and power 2 steam engines, two screws, 411 hp
1985: 2 MAN diesel engines, 2 x 480 hp

Speed 10.5 knots



Port of Morlaix (29), France.




A little history:


The ship was built in 1909-1910 by the Scheeps-en Werktuigbouw Fijenoord in Rotterdam . The ship was launched on 11 October 1909 and launched on 26 January 1910. As was customary at the time, it was a steamship with two coal-fired steam engines. With a draught of only 1.80 metres, she was perfectly capable of operating in the shallow coastal waters of the southwestern Netherlands, the Zuiderzee and the Waddenzee.


On 4 May 1910, the Royal Navy commissioned the Hydrograaf . As a rule, the ship served as a depth survey ship in a particular area from April to October. Outside this season, it was not possible to carry out bathymetric surveys because of the weather. The vessel was officially commissioned and decommissioned for each season. During the winter months the ship usually stayed in Hellevoetsluis or Willemsoord, Den Helder . The ship did not sail in the grey colours of the navy, but had a black hull and yellow superstructure. In 1921 the ship was reinforced by the Eilerts de Haan, built at the same yard.


The Hydrograaf was used several times as a royal yacht during visits of Queen Wilhelmina, Prince Hendrik and Princess Juliana to the waters of South Holland and Zeeland.


There was a cabin below deck at the stern for this purpose. During the royal visit to Zeeland in 1921, the royal party spent the night of 15 to 16 September on board the ship, which was moored in the port of Vlissingen. 


In May 1940, the ship left Vlissingen for England. During the Second World War, the ship was used as an accommodation ship for the bomb disposal service. On 25 September 1943, the ship arrived in Harwich to serve as a depot ship. After the conquest of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, the ship was placed at the disposal of the commander in Zeeland in October 1944. She immediately served again as a survey ship to better map the important access to the port of Antwerp. After the war, the ship returned to the service of the Hydrographic Service. As such, she was withdrawn from service by the Royal Navy on 16 October 1962 and replaced by the modern ship Zeefakkel. She was the last coal-fired steamer of the Royal Navy.


From 30 August to 8 September 2006, the Hydrograaf was used as a stage for the theatrical performance of The Sinking of the Titanic, one of the open-air performances at the Zeeland Nazomer Festival. The audience was taken on a journey through Zeeland's waters from various ports, during which the story of the sinking of the Titanic was told as a metaphor for the decline of Western civilisation during a tour of the ship.






This ship often comes to France, in summer, during the various national maritime festivals, such as "Tonnerre de Brest", La semaine du Golf du Morbihan, Terre et Mer etc.


Thanks to Roland for finding me the necessary plans to draw the hull in 3D.


At 1/100 the ship will be 40.5 cm long overall. 


A nice model never reproduced in plastic, there is a paper/cardboard version. 






Some nice examples exist in a large scale sailing version.




I had the chance to see her several times, at Brest 2000, at sea, and more closely in the port of Morlaix, which is what gave me the idea to reproduce this elegant ship in 3D printing lately.


The version will probably be the 1910 one, at least with the elements I have at the moment.





1/100th scale sketch of the hull, nothing final, nothing finished:

















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This is brilliant! 👍


What a great subject and I know you will do a fantastic job on this.


What a joy that this brave and historical  little ship still lives. 


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Thank all! 


@Steve, no, all the ship parts will be printed. I will try to insert a texture to imitate wood.



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I'm still drawing the hull lines according to the plan, I had to add some more because of the limitations of my 3D program and to refine the surfaces, it's taking quite some time, but I'm getting the hang of it.












Good progress today due to bad weather.. There are some minor modifications to do.













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The stern of this type of ship is quite complex to draw in 3D. The boilermakers had to have fun on this part.


I spent as much time on the rest of the ship as on the stern.


Positioning the hawse tubes today. There will be a new anchor model to draw, I have placed this 3D spare one in the meantime.






I concentrate on the front forecastle with my tried and tested 3D drawing methods and sometimes new ones.


This forecastle is peculiar with its "gutters" on the edges. I have estimated that the deck floor must have looked something like this at the time.


You can see from the contemporary photos that parts are missing, dismantled but not replaced for cost reasons perhaps, in order to replace the steel sheets underneath this floor which suffer a lot from corrosion as they cannot be maintained. 








It can be seen that the anchor chain stopper pattern is almost identical to that of the SS Nomadic ( 1910 ).





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1 hour ago, Iceman 29 said:

SS Nomadic

Well I really enjoyed that build Pascal so I have high expectations with this one looks very interesting and I do enjoy your history lessons along the way.  :book:


Stay Safe


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Thank Beefy, you welcome! 


Yesterday's progress.






You can see that the 2 lines of rivets have been partly removed, or eaten by rust, replaced by an arc weld perhaps.

The ones on the bow are still partly there.








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Thank Guy!


It has been sensibly pointed out to me that they may be conical head rivets which are flush with the hull, so normally reserved for the areas most in contact with the water, to offer low resistance to water or ice possibly induced by thousands or sometimes millions of rivet heads (3 million for the Titanic). A bit like on planes.


I will leave it like that for aesthetic reasons concerning the model.


An interesting discussion on rivet types with some documents.


A conversation from 2007 can be conducted by the late Gerard Piouffre, a french  specialist of Titanic, under the pseudo " Mathusalem ":














Hot Riveting. 



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Small progress on the  emergency steering wheel system. It's not finished yet.


I did not remake a wheel, it is in my 3D drawing stock that I made and was intended for the Nomadic.


I would just delete the English language markings on the wheel.













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  • Iceman 29 changed the title to SS Hydrograaf, 1:100, 3D, hydrographic ship of Royal Dutch Navy

Some details added on the stern today. 


I added the reinforcement legs of the SB and PS bulwarks, the small doors of the bulwarks.


I corrected a few small errors in the shape of the stern, especially the longitudinal one.
















Belgian or Dutch beer?


The forward wood deck.




I will probably reproduce this version, nice picture, both folding masts are in place. You can see that the chimney has been shortened on the current version probably to have less air draught to pass over the decks.


The other important difference is the extension of the forecastle, which has been closed in addition. 










This plan is very useful, you can see the main section of the lifeboats, the cables system and the chains of the steering wheel of the bridge. 





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Gidday Pascal, with the smooth shiny finish I wasn't sure if this was an actual model or a computer-generated image, still in the planning stage (I don't understand computers much). But the reflections indicate to me it's an actual model. Regards, Jeff.

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I'm in the design phase, it's taking a bit of time because I have to insert a lot of details to make it look realistic.


I'm only focusing on the shell, I'd like to do a test print to rectify surface defects if necessary.

Here it is ! 


Propeller shaft assembly, propeller, small stern bead, water outlet hatches, name.  











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Gidday Pascal, thank you for your response, but unfortunately I don't speak French or have a translator program. The new images look very good, particularly with the wheel and screws. Regards, Jeff.

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I couldn't find a picture in dry dock to know if the propellers have a divergent or convergent rotation, a friend found this, even if it's a small picture, it's enough to determine this parameter.


Here it is divergent. The SS Nomadic propellers are convergent.





I'm going to change all this and follow the plan, that's the best.


It has 5 portholes in the stern and 4 in the bow at hull level. 


It's symmetrical.


For the forecastle, it's asymmetrical, 2 to starboard and 3 to port.


I will remove the front doors from the bulwark. The flap will be in this place.



















I worked las days on hollowing out the forecastle to accommodate the portholes, fittings, chain locker tubes, toilets, showers and washbasins.


I also rectified the configuration of the bulwarks, towards the original 1910 plan, doors, hatches, portholes.


This forecastle was originally open in 1910, then closed and extended later. You can see the added enlargement box on the more recent photos, not very aesthetic.


The walls will be printed separately from the hull for painting reasons and also to avoid a known 3D printing problem with the walls facing the printing plate (cushioning phenomenon).

















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Thank Steve, this ship is very pleasant to model as I have a lot of documentations in terms of plans and recent photos. But I have very few period photos unfortunately. 


..And it is very attractive.

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I fitted the missing railing, the stairs to the forecastle, the descent to the lower deck under the forecastle.











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End of the skylight drawing, add some details of the bulwark. Starting to draw the hull plates, quite time consuming. 








Thanks to a friend for this nice picture of the front clerestory, it allowed me to refine it.





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