Jump to content

HMS Havock 1893 - A class Torpedo Boat Destroyer


Recommended Posts

I'm back with another adventure, a 1:48th scale model of the first ever destroyer in the Royal Navy, HMS Havock of 1983

 

Following the trials of HMS Lightning (torpedo boat No 1) navies around the world began constructing torpedo boats to launch the new Whitehead torpedoes.  To counter the threat of these torpedo boats torpedo boat destroyers were commissioned, capable of fast speed (for the time) and with guns capable of eliminating the threat.  This is nicely summaried in this video for those interested

 

 

Yarrow and Thornycrofts were the first builders to enter the race to build the first TBD's with Yarrow launching the first of the new A class 27 knotter's, HMS Havock in 1893

 

The A class vessels were all different, some having bow torpedo tubes, some not, with varying boiler arrangements (that technology was changing very fast in the 1890's) and differing level of equipment and guns.

 

HMS Havock was one of the early smaller vessels being 180 ft between perpendiculars and 185 ft overall length, displacing 275 tons fully loaded.  She had 3 torpedo tubes and 1 12pdr 12 cwt QF plus 3 6pdr Hotchkiss QF deck guns

 

Here she is as originally fitted with locomotive boilers

 

havock6

 

havock3

 

And the builders model I've already posted, also @1:48th scale

 

hms havock1893

So, its a big model, 46.25 inch long but very narrow and not too tall.  It will make a nice comparison to HMS Medea, the black painted M class destroyer I built 20 years ago.  After my loft room sort-out, I now have the space to display it, so here goes....

 

As ever, I will be building the hull in wood plank on frame with aluminium plating and brass fittings.  Where ever possible, wood for wood and metal for metal

 

While the dolls house is developing, I will be working on the drawings and have enough information gathered now to start the thread, though it may be slow to begin with.  The key decision to start recording the build came on Friday with a copy of the as-fitted drawing from the Maritime Museum archive.  I'm not allowed to post it here but Lyon's great book on early destroyers has a copy and this is a scan

 

hms havock

 

This scan does not do the plan any justice, here is a sneak of a piece of the full 84mb file

 

M4081

 

For those of you how have not had the opportunity to work from builders drawings, you are missing a great pleasure.  Victorian builders drawings (in particular as-fitted ones) are a delight, they took the trouble to draw more or less everything, the drawing even lists the small arms carried in the captains locker...  No model plan comes close

 

To supplement this wonderful plan, here are a few other references I have to help me along the way

 

DSCN3088

 

So, the journey begins, more soon

 

Cheers

 

Steve

  • Like 19
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always good to see your builds take shape, and these are fascinating boats.

So, I’ll reserve my seat, put my feet up, open the crisps, pour the wine.

Jon

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are absolutely right, the old drawings are a work of art. Looking at them, you see how the master put his soul into them.

Yes, this ship will be big! 

I'm sitting down to monitor your new building.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll definitely be pulling up a chair for this one.

 

I agree about your point on the old builders plans, I spent a day in the Greenwich archives last year going over plans for HMS Jason, Zulu, Ghurka and Acorn and was really impressed by the detail that they show. It was also lovely to actually handle them, I was quite surprised when they just bought out a bundle of rolled plans (on something like waxed linen rather than paper) and just let you unroll them and get stuck in. Its a shame that copies are so expensive.

 

Anyway good luck with the build, looking forward to following along.....

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, theskits62 said:

I spent a day in the Greenwich archives last year

I've been there a number of times, each a wonderful and memorable experience. Some good things in life are still free.

 

This rather low resolution image is available on line of HMS Sylvia  a C class boat of 1897 built by Doxford.  It gives a good impression of a typical late Victorian as-fitted drawing, luckily, Havock has more detail than this

 

hms sylvia

 

What you will notice is the change in drawing standards over the years.  Victorian plans are so detailed and coloured, you can almost build straight from them.  In the Edwardian era leading up to WW1, they get sketchier, by WW2 they are really outline only due to an increase in standardisation, leaving the detail to the shipyards and component suppliers. 

 

To the comment about expense, the digital file they sent me cost £84 inc vat.  Is that a lot?  I'm not so sure, model plans can easily be half that and you never know what errors the person drawing them let creep in.  A builders as-fitted drawing is the best document available, literally drawn from a ship waiting to be handed over to the navy.

 

As you zoom in to these plans, it is easy to see that Havock's frames were at 20 inch centres, 108 frames between perpendiculars (I love the fact that measurements in those days are generally simple whole inches).  This helps scale the digital image accurately to start the process of preparing the model lines. 

 

Unfortunately, there are no lines available for Havock, just 7 sections.  That could work for 1/96th scale, but won't be good enough for 1:48th.  So, I'm taking a leaf out of the shipyard's book and building a buck that I can take the lines from.  My plan is to make a half-hull at 1/96th scale and then either measure from that and scale it up or simply saw it into sections.  I've not tried this before, but it's worth a shot.  Once the full size frames are made, it's too hard to adjust errors, I think this will give me a better start.

 

Here is my former for the 1/96th scale half hull ready for balsa infill and a lot of sanding.  The sheer line is like a banana, wild, there are no straight lines on this hull.  I will probably use 15 frames for the 1/4 inch model.  Note my xtool is getting plenty of use.

 

DSCN3086

 

More later and thanks for your interest, I hope to do it justice

 

Cheers

 

Steve

 

 

 

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well worth the investment in the plans - especially for a longer term project. A model can only be as accurate as the reference material. 

 

I have found with my current set though that even the NMM plans have limitations once you get into the depths of the project- e.g. the dimensions not matching on two views, which can lead to head scratching! I think this is probably because of stretching/ contraction of the material over time.

 

Looks like a fantastic project, thanks for posting the updates!

 

James 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Ships doc said:

I think this is probably because of stretching/ contraction of the material over time.

I can only agree James, the scanning process seems to stretch things a little, it needs checking and double checking, with long distances especially.  Use dimensions where possible and available and then re-draw to correct.  Time consuming but worth it

 

Cheers

 

Steve

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Steve, what a fantastic project, its a great looking object, and is pure steam punk !!!!!

I'm sure that you will hit this with your usual flair, not forgetting the effortless switching between materials, the speed (it must be drugs !) as well, it will probably be finished in two weeks !!

I will be following this avidly if you dont mind !!

 

Cheers

 

David

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Dancona said:

it will probably be finished in two weeks

I sense a challenge :wink:

 

Welcome aboard, however, I'm guessing Christmas may be more likely, let us see how it progresses

 

Cheers

 

Steve

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Certainly three! I'm fascinated to see a model of such high quality come together from the keel up.

 

These were fascinating (and I think, beautiful) ships. I'm particularly fond of these early turtle bows, even if they weren't particularly successful.

 

I'm intrigued also by the process of viewing plans at Greenwich. Most ship plans are of course part of the 'objects' collection, often part of a collection in boxes, and I haven't quite got around to inquiring properly about viewing them, how much of a difficulty it is or indeed how to best obtain useable 'copies' (e.g. photos) beyond the joy of  seeing the plans in person! Of course I've been slowly compiling a probably wildly optimistic list of various plans and reports from the online listings.

 

I was at the museum with one of the little ones just this weekend, and a highlight for me are always the exquisite builders models of these early destroyers. I seem to remember many models of various sizes that I saw as a child in the old neptune hall that weren't on display, but perhaps that's just my bad memory.

 

Anyway, good luck, looking forward to seeing how such a crazy thing is done!

 

Andy

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Ngantek said:

I'm intrigued also by the process of viewing plans at Greenwich

Thanks Andy. 

 

To view the collection, the process I've adopted is to email the Brass Foundry (the plans are stored at Woolwich not Greenwich), the email is [email protected].  Andrew Lin is the guy I've most recently spoken to.  If you email and let them know what class of vessel you are interested in he will let you know what plans they have.  Specific vessels can be limiting in a search, but worth pointing out a specific vessel if you have one.  Obviously they changed over time, so a period also helps as they will have plans from various re-fits.  Lines are not so common, as-fitted drawings are the best option.  Shell expansions are rare but wonderful if they exist as they show every hull penetration as well as the exact plating layout.

 

If there are a number of plans and you want to see them before ordering (multiple plans can cost £100's so always worth seeing what you are getting before committing), they will give you an appointment to view and get the right plans out ready for you.  You will need patience, this all takes time, they are not in a rush...

 

I hope that helps, best of luck with it

 

Cheers

 

Steve

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another interesting build there Steve will be following along and hopefully learn more of this class of ship and history.  👍

 

Stay Safe

beefy

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice project Steve, I'm looking forward to it. 
 

I was wondering, as I was reading the plans, why the two propeller shaft lines weren't the same length... amazing isn't it?

 

Were the diameter of the propellers so large that they would have hit each other if positioned opposite each other?

 

IMG-1821.png

 

IMG-1822.png

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Iceman 29 said:

why the two propeller shaft lines weren't the same length... amazing isn't it

Thanks Pascal.

 

I've been drawing the props yesterday actually, so trying to fully understand the geometry.

 

Many of these early TDB's used three shafts and gears with smaller diameter props, but this one had two direct driven shafts and I guess needed these large props to absorb the Shaft Horsepower.  The prop shapes are also early and far from optimal in shape.  The hull is more like a canoe than a warship, she is only around 8 ft across where the props are and they are 6 ft 5 inches diameter.  Given the shafts are 6 ft 4 inches apart the tips would have clashed if they had been in line.  As it is, they meshed very closely indeed with an 8 inch step back on the port shaft. 

 

I've also not seen this arrangement ever before.  The draft of 7ft 6 in all comes from the prop clearance.  The hull also has no "flat" or hollow where the props are to help concentrate the water flow and no area on the rudder forward of the hinge to help balance the force.  These are very early designs and the hydrodynamics of high speed craft was still in its infancy.  Plus no bilge keels  😱  just imagine this vessel at speed in any kind of sea, breaking over the bow turtle deck and rolling like a pig's bladder.  Then try to aim a hand-trained 12 pdr high up on that tiny gun platform. 

 

Hard men, this is a calm day, try fighting from that!!  The only saving grace is that the early torpedo boats were even smaller and worse.....

 

at sea

 

Cheers

 

Steve  

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a postscript, this is my work in progress on the prop print file. 

 

It's not up to @Iceman 29 standard as I don't know how to get the loft to lose the last tiny flat at the end of the blade and the washout is only an estimate, but the views match the drawing reasonably well.  I'll print them locally and see if they look OK at this scale (40 mm blade diameter) before getting them cast in bronze by Shapeways.  Shown here with the correct overlap at the blades closest distance, outward turning

 

Anyway. most notably, you can see the different hub lengths to permit the A frames to be in line while the blades miss each other

 

props

 

Cheers

 

Steve

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On of my reference books is "Torpedo's and Torpedo Vessels" by Lieut G E Armstrong from the Royal Navy Handbooks series published in 1896, I love these old books.

 

This contains the following passages:

 

The first order for destroyers was placed with the different contractors by the Admiralty in the beginning of 1893.  By October of that year the Havock, the first of her kind, was launched from the yard of Messrs Yarrow of Poplar, and her official trial took place on October 28th.  The trials of this vessel, which will subsequently be described, were so exceedingly successful that the Admiralty at once gave out orders for the remaining boats to Messrs Yarrow, two to Thornycroft and two to Messrs Laird

As their name implies, the torpedo boat destroyers of the British Navy were built for the purpose of ridding the seas and the channel in particular, of all torpedo craft which the enemy care to bring into action .......

 

For it must be remembered that the destroyers, both in their engines, boilers and general construction, are entirely different to anything that the Navy, or indeed the whole world, has ever had experience of before.  to cram an energy of 5,000 hp into a tiny vessel of 250t and to work the engines to 400 revolutions is to represent a formidable duty to the engineers...

 

Also in that book is this illustration of the IRN vessel Sokol which I'm including for @Dmitriy1967 

 

 

sokol 1

 

Her is a picture of her, probably taken around the hand-over time, no weapons fit yet

 

sokol IRN

 

People forget the revolutionary nature of the late Victorian Navy where each vessel was likely to be already out of date when launched.  From sail to Dreadnought in a generation

 

Just sharing

 

Steve

  • Like 9
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seeing that last picture, with the men onboard, makes me realise quite how small these vessels were. It almost could pass for a 2/3rd scale replica.

Jon

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Steve D said:

Exactly, I love the hint at a ramming bow, what were they intending to ram to you think :mental:

Anything smaller than themselves, I guess. But probably anything that got in their way 😂

Jon

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Dmitriy1967 said:

there were many similar ships

Nice pictures, thanks

 

As I've said before, making a hull puts you, to some extent, in the mind of the designer in a way that no kit ever will.  You can't spend hours sanding a hull without getting a feel for the shape.

 

What is immediately apparent after looking at those pictures is that the sheer line is either straight or even slightly raised towards amidships.  See this picture of Kasumi (1902) also build by Yarrow, is similar (also note excellent plating detail on this picture, flush riveted for speed)

 

IJN_Kasumi_in_England

 

While HMS Dasher, another A class from Yarrow (1895) shows the same banana curved sheer-line as Havock raised to the bow and stern.  Also a great picture with some nice subtle weathering clues

 

Dasher

 

It may be that for the early smaller boats, they felt that increasing the bow freeboard would help sea keeping but abandoned that later on with the larger displacement boats, any guesses? 

 

I also learnt yesterday from March's British Destroyers that the draft marks on these early boats were plotted from an invisible line joining the lowest point of the propeller arc at the stern to the break in the keel at the bow.  I just love that kind of detail :book:

 

Cheers

 

Steve

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Steve D said:

the sheer line

 

I think that the photos which give the impression of negative sheer are the ones where the camera was below deck level. Trust your drawings!

 

There's quite a lot of tumblehome, battleship fashion. What effect would that have on sea-keeping? Would it make them less stable in roll?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...