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Nov 03, 2009, 01:12 PM
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DanL's Avatar

Syren, Brig, SC&H R/C Square Rigger, 1/24 scale

This is a start to a new thread to continue posting info that was previously being posted on a very long thread, "Square Rigger kit-18 Gun Brig-of-war of 1797", at:

Another thread with R/C Square Rigger technical/build/operation info is
Design Details for R/C Square Rigger Operating Systems at:

The Syren Homepage is at:
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Nov 03, 2009, 09:41 PM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
Lovely work, Dan! Its always a pleasure to read about your build.
Nov 11, 2009, 02:48 PM
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DanL's Avatar

Pics from summer '09

Have a lot of pics from the past season. Here are some...
All these are from a kayak with Syren underway.
Juggle Tx, camera, paddle...oh, cellphone is ringing...

FOR MORE of this type of post, see Jerry Todd's attempt to get a new Scale Sail Model forum approved so that all this type of info will be in one easy-to-find location. Thanks.
Here's Jerry's link to post your support for the new forum:
Last edited by DanL; Nov 11, 2009 at 02:53 PM.
Nov 26, 2009, 12:42 AM
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Syren pics from the past

Fleet pic is Beneteau's Pictou, Paratrooper's Surprise and Syren.
Nov 26, 2009, 11:22 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Such a fine model that actually works! She a wonderful piece of art and craftsmanship Dan, and a tribute to SC&H as well. You really ought to compile a book on how you super-detailed the kit. It would boost sails, er, sales for Phillip.
Nov 26, 2009, 12:00 PM
If you cant find it Build it!
Beautiful details Dan! Really a great build. Amazing rope work, You are the master!
Nov 26, 2009, 06:07 PM
Those are the most beautifull ships I have ever seen.

They look absolute real, you guys are it, no question about it.
Dec 21, 2009, 06:00 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by DanL
Fleet pic...
Dan, you clearly have a different definition of "scale" than I do!

Those ships are STUNNING! Amazingly complete and realistic detail for working models! Absolutely amazing!!!
Dec 22, 2009, 12:02 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Nice ships.
Dec 30, 2009, 02:17 PM
Semper Fi
GreenAmphibian's Avatar
EXCELLENT!!! That is a beautiful ship you have constructed.
Dec 31, 2009, 01:21 PM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Here's a video of Dan setting Syren up for the coming season:

Niagara Rigged and Ready (0 min 56 sec)

Note that no cranes were used - just crew and capstan.
Jan 01, 2010, 01:56 PM
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New firing carronades

Building the improved larger bore 16-gun system for Paratroopers Surprise got me started in an arms race with myself. I decided to also build a new system of 9 + 9 carronades for Syren.
As I thought about it - scale model guns or working guns? - I decided I had to come up with both: working scale model guns.
Pics show first steps.
I turned 18 brass barrels and prepped breech plugs. Need to add the nichrome ignition element to the plugs - same as built for Ray's guns. To make them "scale", the barrels will fit into the cut-off breech sections of the SC&H cast resin carronades and mounted on the carronade bases. The brass barrels will slide in and out of the bored out resin breech so that the breech section and carronade base can be permanently mounted, wired and rigged on the deck. The brass barrels will have friction contacts to connect to the permanently mounted base. The "negative" electrical connection thru the brass barrel is easy, but still figuring the best way to make the "pos" connection to the insulated contact on the back of the plug.
Another approach may be to make a mold and cast new resin carronade breeches for the brass barrel inserts rather than cutting up all my other scale carronades.
The bigger guns produce much more smoke and sound than the current small bore design, are still in scale (see brass barrel and scale resin barrel comparative pic), are less finnicky with the new hand made igniters vs small glow plugs, and the new fast loading system makes them really much more convenient and practical to operate. The in/out barrel design allowing scale rigging of the breech and base will hopefully work out well.
Last edited by DanL; Jan 03, 2010 at 12:07 PM. Reason: added ignitor drawing
Jan 06, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Firing carronades - rotary switch construction

Almost finished with the rotary switch to fire the new 18 carronades, 9 port and nine starboard, each side separately.
Had to make this rotary switch more comapct than previous ones to fit 20 contacts (18 guns plus an "off" position at each end of travel) and still fit inside the Syren hull.
The switch body is a ring cut from a 2" PVC pipe union. The servo travels 180degrees, but has a double ended, double stacked contact arm arrangement that allows use of the full switch body circumference for contact placement. Top row of contacts is for starboard, lower set for port guns. A separate SPDT switch changes the common wire connection between the starboard and port guns, so only a single set of guns fires on one full rotation. Servo travel is slowed down by a NFSD-2 Servo Slow Down module (backordered from Hobby Lobby).
Contacts are small rivets.
Contact layout was done on a computer, printed, glued to the PVC ring, mounted on a lathe chuck just for convenience and drilled by hand.
Terminal strips used have proven to be the easiest and most flexible way to connect the gun wiring to the switch. Only one wire is required per gun. The "common" wires all go to a single ground connection.
Last edited by DanL; Jan 06, 2010 at 12:25 PM.
Jan 06, 2010, 01:37 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Very innovative, as usual DanL. Will the resin accept the momentary bulging of the brass as the gun fires? You might want to test before chopping all your nice resin guns.
Jan 06, 2010, 02:47 PM
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DanL's Avatar

Scale carronades

Thank you. It has taken over two years of immersion the "cannon hobby" to get the design this far.

So far, I've cut up two carronades and I do regret it. So I am having a friend make a mold for the rear portion of the barrel as shown in the previous posts. The brass firing barrel will be self contained and slip into the scale barrel and carriage. That will allow complete scale rigging of the guns, since they will not need to be disturbed to remove and service the working barrels.

On the matter of pressure etc., I spent a lot of time on cannon and special effects forums and have tested extensively, and my findings are these:
- The carronades use less than 1/4 of the smallest, small-cannon powder charge I can find any reference to.
- The barrel length is extremely short relative to the large bore diameter, limiting pressure build up.
- NO projectile is ever used - only a very low mass, very pliable foam plug to keep powder in place and water out.
- After over two years of firing, there isn't even the slightest sign of barrel swell or damage, even in the smallest thin-wall guns made.
- There is no noticeable gun temp increase after discharge - at all.
- I've tested double loads and see no signs of damage, barrel swell (by micrometer) or blown out glow plugs. (And note that the threads in the barrel are very shallow because of the too large ID vs the proper ID for glow plug threads)
- Guns are fired on the water, well out of range of any person. And I use a homosote board hood as a deflection cover when I test fire.
- The guns are more like very small squibs used for special effects (the bullet burst on an actors chest) than cannon barrels.
- As a test, I put a full powder load with a foam wad into a 1/4" x 1.5" long piece of plastic soda straw. A glow plug was press fit into the breech end of the straw. I fired that straw 7 times and gave up. Absolute truth: NO damage to the straw at all. It could probably have been fired 100 times.

The soda straw test confirms to me that the pressure build up is minimized by the light load, the low barrel L/D ratio, no projectile and the low mass/low resistance wad. Still, I take precautions not to expose myself within range of firing carronades. I still consider these as cannons and potentially dangerous, but feel I am excercising due caution.

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