Do you intend to build her at 1/25 scale -
- or again at 1/50?
Some studies about ships guns and gun barrels 17th century:
This topic is actually too huge to show more than a few examples.
But it was/is fun to digg into it!
I also bought myself some model cannons -
just for the taste of it.
And I still haven´t decided which ones to use for my big galeon model.
Right now they are just standing/laying around in my livingroom.
I simply love to look at them - and at the same time I´m happy those cruel times around the 30 years war in Europe are long gone.
Now this is quite an interesting mixture of cannons and gun barrels in styles, centuries and sizes I think.
Over the past year I´ve been looking for a system to compare different hulls of 16th - 17th (and also 18th) century sailships with each other.
I wanted to find some kind of (maybe hidden) pattern(s) which would make it easier for me to compare different linedrawings from different shipsizes and to increase my own understanding of the development of ancient shipdesign.
Again, mainly from the end of the 16th century, when my started model of the "Red Lion" 1597 had originally been built - which is still Queen Elisabeth I. time; - and also not too far away from the time of the spanish armada campaign 1588 - up to about 1660-1670, when the 4 english/dutch wars happened.
Why am I especially interested in this particular period of time?
Because during these 60-70 years a significant and rapid change in shipdesign happened! And appearantly throughout all european seafaring nations as well.
But I doubt that this development happened in a continuos way - and at the same "speed" from one nation to the other. It didn´t happen parallel. Definitely there wasn´t only one common "attitude" of what a ship should look like to work properly; - and there definitely also wasn´t only one "school of design" either.
Different nations, different intentions, different strategies and also different ideas how (naval) problems should be solved.
Anyway - my own main problem was/is, that not so many ancient ships are documented precisely. And furthermore, most of the ships which are documented well are the biggest units of each time and nation. The big battleships, as we would say today. But little informations can be found about the development of the smaller units like frigates or corvettes.
There has been an evolution - definitely.
But it either hasn´t been properly documented, or these informations have been lost (or even destroyed) later on.
There are HUGE GAPS between the well documented ships.
There are also lots of things in this evolution, which don´t really make sense.
Why did they do it "that way" in 1637 - and in a completely "different way" in 1660? - and what conclusions happened from 1600 to 1637 to build something like the "Sovereign of the Seas" for example. Which would have been absolutely impossible around 1600!
The more I look at it, the more GAPS I see!
But that even isn´t the worst part of it!
In all these naval books and ship plans I have collected by now several vital informations have been omitted - they simply do not exist or are even false!
I - for example - have one book about the well known "HMS Victory", three different plans at a scale of 1:100 from different sources of it and a big wooden kit of it as well. That kit is "said-to-be" 1:84, but when I rechecked that with the other plans I have I came to the conclusion it can´t be 1:84! More like 1:80
Then I searched for informations of the displacement of the original "HMS Victory" which is the best documented ancient warship, as it still exists in reality.
I even have been aboard her myself in 1992, when I visited Portsmouth during holydays back then - 20 years ago.
I didn´t find the displacement of the Victory in any of these plans, nor in the book about the Victory. But I found this information in another naval book.
Is says: "3300 tons".
So I recalculated that to the size in which I want to build my big galeon...result: 89,1 kg displacement for the model at 1:20.
Then I took the next ship, where I have (relyable?) informations about the displacement - recalculated it to the same length from stem to stern as the Victory has, same width mainframe and identical draft as well, but the result was:
55,3 kg displacement!
Recalculated that THREE TIMES for both ships and rechecked if I had done anything wrong - NOPE!
So it is clear to me, that only ONE of these two informations can be right -
or both are false!
For now I have NO IDEA, how to verify which dispacement my planned galeon hull may have! It could be 89,1 kg - or 55,3 kg - or something in between...
I´m aware that the "HMS Victory" hasn´t got much to do with the period of time I´m researching.
When the Victory took part in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, she was 40 years old allready. Completed around 1765, minus about 2 years construction time makes 1763, minus maybe 1 additional year for designing her makes it 1762. not sure about that. Anyway.
So she is definitely 100 years younger than the end of the period of time I´m interested in.
I know that!
The ships of the 18th century are much better documented than ships of the earlier or later 17th century - thanks to Mr.Fredrik Henrik af Chapman (Architectura Navalis Mercatoria) for that also!
But I´m looking for/researching the time between 1600 and 1660 - most of the 17th century.
So I can use the Victory and other ship plans of the 18th century only as a comparison, not as specific plans where I want to build a model.
Mainly I´m searching for overall design-trends!
Because I want to understand how all these changes in shipdesign came about.
I´m not looking for a specific ship, I´m looking for the concepts they used back then -
and why they used them.
The "red line" so to say. Ariadnes red line.
Mr.Minotaur - can you help me out somehow?
United States, MS, Columbus
Joined Nov 2001
One of the more annoying issues I came across while researching the French ship Le Requin was the difference in displacement and weight. Different sources would list the same number but in a different context, i.e. 220 tons or 220t displacement. When trying to figure out the weight of a 1:48th scale model of the ship, the calculated scale weight kept coming out to around 5 pounds ... much too light from my expirience with 1:144 scale ship models.
It took some digging, but I eventually managed to figure out that before the mid 1800s, ship weight was usually measured in actual weight and not displacement. When iron clads and iron ships revolutionized warships in the late 1800s, designers started using displacement (the weight of water displaced by the hull) versus actual hull weight. Using a similier sized 1:144th 1905 warship hull for comparison, I eventually guestimated a 8 pound model weight for the 1:48th scale Le Requin. The model finished up within a half pound of that guess at 8.5 pounds.
So what does all of this mean? Welp, it seems that depending on who drew what plan and what thier information source was may have confused actual weight and displacement weight. If displacement weight is assumed, chances are the calculated model weight will be lighter than if actual weight was used. Such was the case with the Le Requin. It is probably safe to say that any weights given for a pre-1850 ships is most likely actual weight and not displacement weight.
As a side note on ship evolution; until the mid 1800s, ship evolution could be measured in hundreds of years. It was slow. A ship design was more likely to change to address a practical need versus a performance enhancement. Such as is the Korean Turtle ship, originally designed in the 15th century and built to counter Japanese pirates in the 1500's. Yet over the next 200 years the Turtle ship remained essentially unchanged because there was no reason to change it, no outside influeance to force the Koreans to change the design.
It was not until iron ships and steam propulsion arrived on the scene that ship evolution accelerated to breakneck speed compared to the previous few hundred years.
Changes. . .-
While I thought about ways to make this whole project more real (to me),
I stubled about the problem of realistic figures (figurines) - especially within the proper timeframe - about 1630 to 1660 or a little bit beyond that.
This is the time of the 4 wars between England and the Netherlands -
Louis XIV. of France, the thirty year war in Europe, and the time of musketeers in general.
Now looking for figures at the scale of 1:24 or 1:20 didn´t get me very far...-
Then I found this single 1/16 scale resin figure of the Chevalier.
And then I found more and more figures of all different nations which fitted exactly into that desired timeframe.
Now it seems as if everything is coming together.
Cannons and gun barrels.
As you may have noticed so far I went a different way regarding the cannons.
There are several 1/16 kits of cannons from companies like KRICK,
MANTUA, AMATI, ARTESANIA LATINA and others.
There are also cannons of different centuries and nations available,
again those informations are NOT of the most relyable kind...
Some of the stuff I found (still) doesn´t make sense to me.
But there is also a single 1/17 (?) model from KRICK of a 24-pounder of an american coastal cannon dated between 1780-1812...and I still have no idea, why this should be 1/17 and not 1/16 scale too...
wouldn´t make a difference in the end. Why the hell did they produce it for 1/17 and not for 1/16 scale like all the others are?
Anyway - what I did for quite some time now was to look around on Ebay.at,
Ebay.de, Ebay.com and other sources for all kinds of available used and new model cannons,
model gunbarrels, cannon kits and so forth.
And of course I also wanted to take care of my wallet.
Means, I have enough time and looked out for the best offers.
Some auctions are still running...
(I hope nobody of this forum comes in between )
Basically I just wanted to know, what is allready there -
as I simply wanted good masters and take silicone moulds from them,
to cast the number of cannons needed - in an as-cheap-as-possible way.
Styles are very different, lengths of gun barrels too -
and again, lots of informations regarding these kits are not really relyable...
I still haven´t decided how much care I should really take for historical correct detailing...
What I really looked for from the beginning where two sizes of cannonbarrels which could possibly come from one foundry - smaller size about 12.0 -12.5 cm, the bigger ones about 14.5-15.0 cm.
You know - really 17th century style and identical proportions for both barrel sizes. Didn´t find any...
Maybe this week or next
I finally will be able to show you all gun barrels I actually have bought.
That´s a good example, Tim!
actually there is NOT enough space on the main deck for these cannons!
When they would roll back after firing them or would be pulled back for loading,
you still would have to load them from OUTSIDE - can you see that?
On these pics these cannons would have to be loaded from outboard...
And the deckopening is too wide also.
Just yesterday evening we had "Master and Commander" again on Austrian TV.
I had seen this movie 5 or 6 times before, and again I noticed how far you need
to have those cannonbarrels inboard, to be able to load them properly.
And of course the loading-"sticks" need to be as long as the gunbarrel itself,
otherwise you couldn´t load the "muzzleloaded" cannon properly...
That doesn´t make sense at all.
An other aspect regarding (1/16) scale and size relations:
Some time ago I was able to buy a set of nice cannons according to the ship plan.
But in fact they are far too big. 17.5 cm - would be 2.80 m at 1/1.
The puppets/dolls I found are fairely ok - 11.0 cm - would be 1.76 m at 1/1.
The musketeers at a - said-to-be - scale of 1/16 are unfortunately 13.5 cm high...this would be 2.16 m at 1/1... more the size of a todays NBA-Player if you ask me...
Even my nice Chevalier with his 12.0 cm is actually too tall - 1.92 m at 1/1.
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