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    HMS Macedonian: a working RC model in 1:36 scale
    7 Posts ยท 7 Followers ยท 90 Photos ยท 51 Likes
    Began 5 months ago by
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    ๐Ÿ“ The Stern and Quarter Galleries
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 15 Views ยท 5 Likes
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    I was working on the stern and quarter galleries separately, but reconciling the sides with the back was making my brain itch, so I made it all one model, which helped, and didn't.

    To create a base to work from, I'm going to 3D model the aft 15cm or so of the physical hull down to the waterline, hoping that will make it all the right size and fit.

    The transom at the widest part is about 27cm across and some 10cm tall, which won't fit in the printer, so I'll be dividing it into parts that"ll assemble on the model's wooden transom, with the quarter galleries as separate pieces.

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    ๐Ÿ“ Macedonian: More details and 3D printing
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 34 Views ยท 9 Likes ยท 1 Comment
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    There's always long gaps in working on my models. Life just gets in the way for long periods sometimes. Poor Macedonian is always in third place for attention behind Constellation and Pride of Baltimore. But, every now and then, I devote myself to Macedonian alone, and even get some work done.

    As my next way-point, I would really like to get the hull to the point of painting, but there's a lot to get onto it before that can happen.

    One item are the channels. These I made of aircraft plywood, but I feel they may be too thin, and maybe the wrong shape in cross-section. So I moved onto the quarter galleries. I decided to build them up right on the hull, but I'm not to happy with those either.
    I ground the edge of a utility blade to make a scraper to shape the moldings with, but the pine is just too soft to get the appearance I want, so I'm going to pull that off when I find better wood to make them from.

    I have no solid evidence how Macedonian actually looked, in particular, her stern. In paintings there are no two alike, nor is any useful detail shown. Where you can see it, such as in Gardner's paintings of her fight with the United States, you can see much and what's visible is generic at best. I do have sketches of two other Lively class ship's stern decorations, so based on those, and the styles of other frigate sterns I could find pictures of, I developed my own Alexander the Great themed stern. At this point, I'm heavily leaning towards 3D printing the entire transom, moldings, carvings, window frames, and all; including the quarter galleries. I'll print it in several parts and simply epoxy right onto the existing wooden transom, which needs to be thicker anyway.

    Moving to the bow, Macedonian's alleged "original" figurehead exist today at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland. I say alleged because compared to other figureheads of British warships, this one looks more like a caricature of actor Michael J. Pollard.
    Years ago, someone digitally scanned the figurehead, contacted me, and offered to 3D print a model for a mere $300 US. I felt that was a bit much for a 6 or 7cm tall bust, so I passed. When I was able to 3D print myself, I contacted them again hoping to get a copy of the STL file, but they hemmed and hawed about copyrights and other nonsense (I think they actually lost the file). So, while the figurehead at the Naval Academy may actually be Macedonian's figurehead, I figure it was damaged in the fight with United States, and the American sailor that repaired it, put his own "touches" to the job. Basically, I don't think it originally looked like that. Online, I found a 3D file from someone who scanned a bust of Alexander the Great in a museum in Europe somewhere. I know of several figureheads said to be based on classical statues, and this one was the same general style as the figurehead and around early enough for someone to have sketched it back then for the carver to reference, ie; I think this is probably closer to what the Macedonian's figurehead looked like before the big American frigate bow-raked her and took off a big chunk of his head.

    Speaking of 3D printing... I got into resin printing with the intent purpose of making parts for ship models. The figurehead, decorative carvings, guns, crew figures and so on. I originally bought 5 3D printed 18 pounder Blomefield guns, and 5 32 pounder Carronades with the intention of making molds and casting the rest needed in resin. Having a printer of my own means I can print all the guns I need myself.

    The trick to 3D printing is having the digital 3D model to print - you can't print a letter till you type it. You can see a lot of stuff's been printed for Constellation over in that build-blog. Here, so far, besides a test print of Alex's head, and a couple of guns, I made and printed the ship's stove.

    I learned that from the 1780's to 1810, the most common type of stove on British warships was the Brodie type, which supplanted what was known as the Firehearth. In 1810 stoves by Lamb & Nicholson were taking over in place of the Brodies; but I have yet to find any information; drawing, photos, models, or even a description of a L&N stove. Macedonian was launched in June of 1810 and I'm sure her stove was requisitioned well before then, so was most probably a Brodie type. Anyway, that's the course I steered. In The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War by Brian Lavery, on page 198, was a chart showing stove dimensions for various ships based on gun rating and I based my model on the sizes for a 38 gun frigate. (The figures in the pic with the stove are Constellation's crew, and not 1812 period)

    The drawing of the rudder attached here, shows how it will be made from Plexiglass and brass rod. The "extension" to increase it's area is left clear, and is not removable, though the entire rudder IS removable. Side pieces in the shape of the scale rudder are glued to either side, and will be coppered like the bottom.

    The hull's be taken out on display a couple of times, one time even getting in the pool for her first ever swim.

    Another attached drawing shows her sail plan based on a drawing of another frigate, proportion-wise. Her external ballast is also shown. Constellation uses a 2 inch ID PVC pipe filled with 000 lead shot and weighing about 42 pounds for ballast. It's held to the model by 2 5/16" stainless steel threaded rod inside aluminum tubes in the hull. I need to install such tubes in Macedonian, and the plan is to place them so she can use Constellation's ballast, though I may make Macedonian her own so the two models can sail together.

    As for the sails and rig. History of the American Sailing Navy has spar dimensions for Macedonian taken in 1818. Obviously this is how the Americans re-rigged her to their standard, and not how she was rigged before her capture, so, for me, they're meaningless. I haven't found any direct reference for her spars and sails, or for any other Lively class frigate either, but I have some "standard" numbers for different rates of ships. The problem there is it's dated a decade before the Lively's and even 38 gun ships were a little smaller than the Lively class boats then. I've plugged these numbers into a spread sheet, and came up with something of a compromise between Steel's 38 and 40 gun ships specs and Trincomalee, a Leda class 38 existing in Hartlepool today. So far, I've made the built-up lower masts for the model, save the bowsprit.

    There will be a lot of 3D printed items going into the model; all of her guns, boats, fittings, carvings, crew figures, figurehead, and anything else I can think of and can manage to digitally model myself.

    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: More details and 3D printing
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Hhager2 ( Midshipman)
    โœง 27 Views ยท 2 Likes
    Impressive research n ship. You must have lots of patience. I build planes as well and military ships but even a plastic HMS Victory 1:180 scale is frustrating enough. Pic part built not painted yet I canโ€™t wait for rigging frustration. Masts not glued in nor rear deck. Itโ€™s just a kit I bought to keep me from getting bored while visiting Hollywood. Like my Rc sail boat better.
    ๐Ÿ“ Macedonian: Wale Ho!
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 35 Views ยท 5 Likes ยท 1 Comment
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    I made a technical screw-up here. The main wale should be "anchor-stock" planked; additional wales, are "top and butt" planked. I don't know why, but I used top and butt planks for Macedonian's wales, and was mostly done before I realized my error. I'll just have to hang my head and take it when some rivet-counter comes along and berates me for it.

    At any rate... Back to the old white pine again, where I sawed out the shape from the edge of the board, then sliced off the planks, one by one. These got applied to the hull with gel CA. At the hard bends, like in the bow, they are dipped in ammonia and clamped in a makeshift jig to bend them to shape. It's not difficult, but I went through a lot of latex gloves working with CA, and since I'm not a fan of jig-saw puzzles, it was a bit tedious. On this model the wales are mostly decorative, added because the real ship had them and without them you'd think something was missing, even if you didn't know what.

    Once the wales were on, they were puttied, sanded, planed, and epoxied. A friend and I were building a boat in my yard then, and the hull got a bit of epoxy brushed on, or poured into the nooks and crannies in the hull when ever there was some left over.

    I cut out the gunports in the usual way, drill a hole big enough for a sabre-saw blade to fit into and go to town with the saw, carefully.

    The hull is only as thick as it's planking, which is an issue at the gun ports and such. Basically I need to frame around the gunports not only to get the right hull thicknesses, but some of tis framing peeks into the port, forming a ledge for the gunport lids to close against.
    That's another of those puzzles I'm not so fond of, and I haven't determined yet how I'm going to go about it. The shape of the hull is what comes into play here, so I have to cut the side pieces for each gunport to shape; clamp an ammonia-dipped wood piece in place to take the shape, or even 3D print gunport frames custom made to fit each one. When I figure it out, I'll be sure to post that adventure here for you to follow. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    All this started back in the middle of November of 2011. The last picture ( I hope that's where it is) is a close-up of the fore-foot of the hull taken in early October, 2012. Being a wood hull, and kept out in my unheated/uncooled shop, the wood will move with temperature and humidity. If you look closely at the photo, there's a dark line along a seam - a crack! This is why I glass my hulls, at least on the outside, and coat them in resin on the inside. If any wood in the hull gets wet, it will swell, when, if it dries, it will shrink. This will cause seams to open, things to come loose, plywood to delaminate, mold and rot to take hold, and turn all your hard work to trash.
    Glass cloth is to resin what rebar is to concrete. A wood hull like this doesn't need glass cloth to play that part, the planking is structural enough for that on it's own, but wood "moves" more than glass, and so the glass acts a bit like shrink-wrap, holding the wood to it's job. Plainly put - paint ain't enough!

    Also, when ever something is going through the hull, like a prop-shaft for instance, I drill the hole over-sized and fill it with epoxy. When that's set-up, drill the proper sized hole in the epoxy. This way there's no bare wood that water can get too. This model will get holes drilled through the keel for rods that will hold the external ballast to the hull; that will be done in just the manner described.

    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Wale Ho!
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ RossM ( Sub-Lieutenant)
    โœง 38 Views ยท 0 Likes
    Thanks for the heads-up about through-hull holes, and glass cloth
    ๐Ÿ“ Macedonian: Big boat, lots of planking
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 40 Views ยท 6 Likes
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    As the planking progressed, the keel, fore-foot, stem, head-knee, and stern post were all fitted, and where the planking was completed, installed. Once the planking was completed, the forms were unscrewed from the build-board and the hull could be viewed upright at last.

    I knocked out the transom forms, and after marking the hull at each form, to have reference marks to measure from, I knocked out every other forms mostly to see how much trouble I'd have getting them out. The hull got sanded, shaved in places, then water-puttied, sanded, puttied, etc.

    Then I knocked out the rest of the forms. The inside was sanded and/or scraped, like where the putty pushed through seams. and the dust from that was brushed into any cracks, and diluted glue was painted in to further bond the planking. When that set-up, it was more sanding and clean up till I felt it was sealed up, and then the inside of the hull got a coat of resin.

    During all that I saw the hull would need some frames to help hold it's shape. It seemed the tumble home wanted to flatten out. I cut the some of the removed forms into frames, (like, every other one) and epoxied them into the hull.

    I made a template for the gunports and printed it on the plotter. The ends, especially the bow end, had to be extrapolated to account for the hull curving away from you relative to a flat image, so I couldn't just print the profile. As I was cutting the gunports, I noticed the squares I was cutting looked like open gunport lids, so I left them on like that. I used this to mark out the gunports and other details onto the hull. I also leveled the build-board, and then the hull on the board to mark the waterline with a block and a pencil.

    Starting with the transom, the hull got a layer of 4oz glass cloth applied. This bonds, reinforces, and waterproofs the hull. It's also pretty much transparent so all the marks for gunports, waterline, etc, and completely visible. The hull was now basically, sealed.

    One of the pics shows it sitting on Constellation. The 1854 Constellation's dimensions are close to Consitution's, so you can get some idea of how Macedonian compared in size to the United States.

    You may have also noted that all the planking is of the same thickness; there' no wales or similar variations in planking thickness the ship would have had. That's because I always planned to glass the hull, and such changes in elevation would have created tight corners making it hard to glass over. Those details, like the wales will be applied on top of the glass, as will be detailed in the next post.

    ๐Ÿ“ Macedonian: planking continued
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 70 Views ยท 13 Likes ยท 6 Comments
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    The counter planked and shaped, the hull planking comes up, over-laps it, and it trimmed flush with it. A lot of it has to make a pretty hard bend, and it takes some ingenuity to brace and clamp everything till the glue sets. Notice the spring clothespins used backwards to push against the planks.

    At the bow, the planks are tapered down to no-less than half their initial width. As the planking at the bow gets cramped, a plank needs to get "dropped" or cut into the plank on either side of it. Back aft, the span to be planked gets larger and "stealer planks" have to be inserted to take up the gaps.

    At both bow and stern, the planking runs off the stem and stern post and is trimmed flush with those timbers, forming a flat surface for the outer stem and stern post to rest on - much the way most kits are done.

    Wider planks were installed at the garboard, and a couple of planks above it, where there was a long flat run; just to speed things up a little. Eventually, the last plank (shutter plank) gets installed. There's still planking above (with the hull upright) the sheer plank, and sanding, a lot of sanding, and even some planing to do.

    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian: planking continued
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 40 Views ยท 2 Likes
    Thank you for the comments.

    I'll look up Alexander Pope. I read a couple of Alexander Kent's Bolitho series and didn't like it at all. I got a full set of the Nathanial Drinkwater series by Richard Woodman at a yard-sale, and liked that very much, despite having never heard of it before.

    I've built 3 of the Revell 1:96 scale Constitution kits, two of which were converted to RC and were sold and 1 United States kit which was RCed and sold as well. I have a United States kit now that I found in a thrift shop for $5 US. I started on it with the intent to make another RC model, it never got much past some painting. I sail in the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay and not in ponds or pools, so such small models bob about like corks. That's what prompted me to build large models with some weight to them.

    When you go to build that kit, note that the United States no longer had that "round house" back aft by the time she fought Macedonian, and lost the "Old Wagon" nick-name by the War of 1812. Model companies aren't really any good at history, and some (Artesania Latina) are almost criminal in how bad they are.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian: planking continued
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง flaxbybuck ( Captain)
    โœง 52 Views ยท 1 Like
    Wonderful Jerry. Now that is what model boat building is all about !! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian: planking continued
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง roycv ( Rear Admiral)
    โœง 55 Views ยท 0 Likes
    Hi Jerry if you like Hornblower, then also try Alexander Pope, he did a similar series.
    I also read Douglas Reeman and after a while I thought they write in a similar style. Then I found mention on the back of one of his books they were the same writer.

    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian: planking continued
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ jumpugly ( Captain)
    โœง 57 Views ยท 1 Like
    Absolutely outstanding and the 1:36 "Old Waggon" is tremendous!!! I have some of Chapelle's "Clipper" books, could not do with out them.
    Keep those pix coming Jerry!!!

    This pic is my (still to be built) 1:96 Revell "Waggon" kit boxart that was restored. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian: planking continued
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 67 Views ยท 3 Likes
    White pine's what's in all the "lumber yards" and what I always have laying about the shop. Maryland isn't where people look for quality woods.
    I build boxes and camp furniture for American Civil War reenactors, that's where the scraps come from.
    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian: planking continued
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ RossM ( Sub-Lieutenant)
    โœง 73 Views ยท 1 Like

    Why the choice of white pine for planking?,
    ๐Ÿ“ Macedonian - The Hull
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 70 Views ยท 6 Likes ยท 2 Comments
    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Add Comment
    The drawing came digitally from the Smithsonian Institution with a printed copy in 1:48 scale. I re-scaled the drawing to 1:36 to match my Constellation. I worked out which stations I was going to use as forms, printed them on the plotter I had then, pasted the paper forms to some plywood and rough cut them out with a sabre-saw. They were sanded to the line and angled so the planking would lay flat.

    Before the forms could be stood up, the build-board/bench had to be resurfaced and given a coat of flat-white paint, then marked with a center-line and station lines from the plans. Constellation and Pride of Baltimore were both built on this base, and it had gotten a bit scruffy.

    Slots were cut in each form for the 1/4" plywood "keelson" or "inner keel" for you kit builders. Once stood up on the base-board, the edged of the forms were covered with painter's tabe. The forms weren't intended to remain in the model; rather the planking would be glued to itself, and when complete, the forms removed, the blue tape keeping the planking from being glued to the forms. This is how Pride was done, and Constellation was sort-of done.

    The planking is all white pine scraps left over from other carpentry and cabinetry jobs, though I did have to buy another board to finish when the scraps ran out. Planking was cut to about 1cm x 3mm at whatever length that board happened to be, usually 50cm-ish.
    The planks went on starting at the "sheer plank" and worked towards the keel, or "up" in the world of upside-down hulls. No attempt was made to run full-length planks, in fact, that was avoided; that way I could deal with fitting one end while the other end basically just laid on whatever form it landed on. Butts, where planks met end-to-end, were joined with little blocks inside the hull, and glued with PVA. They would hold the ends together, and get removed later on. As the planking reached the counter, that was planked up to the break of the transom.
    All the planking was edge-glued to each other with water-resistant Tite-Bond II wood glue, and small common nails to hold it to the forms.

    The planking is not properly spieled (shaped to fit) but simply tapered at either end with a block plane, and if need be, dipped in amonia and bent to fit. Ammonia dries quicker and doesn't interfere with gluing like water would. It also keep you from dozing off on the job.

    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian - The Hull
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ronald ( Admiral)
    โœง 55 Views ยท 2 Likes
    The benefits of White Pine

    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Macedonian - The Hull
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง TonyAsh ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
    โœง 54 Views ยท 2 Likes
    Jerry, this is most helpful, having framed and planked a model myself, it's giving me some tips on what next I build in this manner. Do please continue advising as the build progresses.
    ๐Ÿ“ HMS Macedonian: a working RC model in 1:36 scale
    5 months ago by ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Jerry Todd ( Midshipman)
    โœง 70 Views ยท 7 Likes
    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Add Comment
    I've been into the Hornblower series of books since elementary school, but it was C.S.Forester's The Captain From Connecticut that lead me to Horry. The first story published has Hornblower in command of the 32 gun frigate Lydia. I've always wanted to build a model of Lydia, but, of course, there were no kits or plans to be had.
    My friend and I have a 16 foot Windsprite daysailer, hull #1 of 16 built, which we named Lydia. In the picture, the 20-something girl in the 40 year old boat is also named Lydia.

    After starting on Constellation, i was thinking of donating or selling that model, so I wanted to build and RC square-rigger I would keep. Lydia came to mind again, but I what plan to use for a fictional ship? I decided on a British frigate and since the lines for one were in Chapelle's History of the American Sailing Navy, and getting a copy would cost under $10 US, so that's the boat I went for; HMS Macedonian of 38 guns. At 1:36 scale (like my Constellation) she would measure...
    Beam: 13-1/2" (34.3cm)
    Length on spar deck: 55" (140cm)
    Length of the hull: 59" (150cm)
    Length over the rig: 85-3/4" (218cmcm)
    Draft: 6.7" (17cm) w/o ballast keel, 10.2" (26cm) w/ballast keel
    Making her a little smaller than "Stella."

    Later, after I'd already built the hull, I found out Lydia, of the novels, was based on the Perseverance class of frigates. One of the pics attached shows the profile of the Perseverance in front of that of the Lively class showing how small she would have been by comparison. Actually, if I had built Macedonian at 1:48 scale (which is what the plans were) she would have been very near this size.

    Anyway, what's done is done, and while I don't have the ship of my fictional hero, I have a ship that was one of 16 ships built to that class. Built at Woolwich Dockyards, England, in 1809, and launched on 2 June 1810. In October of 1812 she encountered, fought, and was captured by the American frigate United States. Captain Decatur of the United States was intent on preserving his battered prize, and after two weeks floating in the Atlantic, she was repaired enough to sail to the US. She was officially taken in to the American Navy in April 1813, though she spent the remainder of the War of 1812 blockaded in the Thames River in Connecticut with United States. She was decommissioned near the end of 1828, and broken up at Gosport (Norfolk Virginia)

    While not a glorious history, full of battles, the Lively Class did have great histories in battle; Lively, Resistance, Apollo, Hussar, Statira, Horatio, Spartan, Undaunted, Menelaus, Nisus, Crescent, Bacchante, Nymphe, Sirius, and Laurel. Ships that fough at Lissa, Naples, intercepting the Spanish Treasure ships, and more.

    My model is a representative of a great class of frigates of the Napoleonic Wars, even if it isn't HMS Lydia.

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