Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: JerryTodd on December 16, 2011, 09:06:49 PM

Title: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on December 16, 2011, 09:06:49 PM
click pics for a larger image

I've set my Constellation aside for a bit to get two other hulls started.
( (

One is a 1:20th scale model of the Baltimore Clipper recreation Pride of Baltimore, a boat I work on the construction of in 1976, and crewed aboard in 1981.
( ( (

The other hull, and the subject of this post, is the Lively class frigate Macedonian.
( (

Macedonian was first set sail in 1810, engaged and was captured by the US frigate United States in October of 1812.  She was taken into US service and served as the USF, then USS Macedonian until she was broken up in 1828 and replaced with a new ship of the same name.  Today, he figurehead of Alexander the Great is all that remains.

This model is in 1:36th scale just like my Constellation and will also be a working model.  It's being constructed of 1/8" x 3/8" pine strips over plywood forms. The hull will get a layer of 3oz cloth outside and a coat of polyester resin inside.  Details like moldings, the wale, etc, will be applied to the hull after it's glassed.  Inside will get deck clamps, beams, etc as need to support the control gear.  It will also be modeled from the gun deck up with guns, furnishings, etc.

You'll notice blue masking tape on the edges of the forms - that's so the planking won't be glued to them as they are to be removed leaving the wooden shell of a hull.

( ( laying out the forms.
( ( Planking begins - 11/20/2011.
( ( Counter and transom planked up.
( ( Planking at the counter.
( ( Template for stem pieces.
( ( Fitting the stem pieces.
( ( Planking continues.
( ( The bow closed up on 12/14

That's where it is at the moment.  It's been about three weeks since planking began and I hope to have that completed this weekend.  She'll then get a few rounds of wood filler and sanding.  If I'm really lucky, she'll get resin inside the hull as well.

There's much more at my site for the project ( including a history of the ship, and more photos.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on December 16, 2011, 09:54:17 PM
Hi Jerry,

You have done a wonderful job and inspiration for me.  thanks for sharing and you have a great website.  I was curious how those copper plates would work in the water.  My frigate will be a static display and I chose not to show nail heads on the plates as at the scale I am working, you would not see it.  Kudos to you!

Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on December 17, 2011, 05:05:04 AM
I've been following your Ajax build - I watch all the 1780's-1820's period warship builds I find - especially frigates - to see the different approaches folks take with these types of ships.  They're all very helpful in interpreting some not so clear parts of the plans - especially the fellas doing admiralty type models.  There's a build of the frigate Naiad ( on Model Ship World that just leaves me speechless.

Mac will get a slightly different treatment for her bottom than Constellation did.  Instead of actual copper tape, I'm going to plate the bottom with aluminum cut from aluminum duct tape and then paint it with Krylon metallic copper paint.

Top: Copper tape
Underneath: aluminum tape partially painted copper.
left center: A bit of the painted part cut to size.
( (

This is a LOT cheaper and should be just as impressive on a model this size - though I might put a zinc block on her somewhere just for electrolysis sake.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on December 21, 2011, 03:37:18 AM
Well, the planking is done, one month after starting the first plank, I put on the last ones.  Tonight, I even yanked out all but 4 of the forms.

( ( Every other form pulled out

( (  Looking into the transom

( (  Looking into the bows

( (  Plenty of space for running gear.

( (

( ( Quartering view
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on December 25, 2011, 03:41:16 PM
Since last post the keel, stern post, and stem pieces have been attached, and a couple of coats of water putty applied.  The transom brace was replaced with an internal one and the transom top trimmed to shape.  I also made a stand to help keep her from rolling around while I work on her.  The inside of the hull was "painted" with thinned glue to get into the nooks and reenforce the planking.  This Christmas day she is ready for resin inside, and glass outside - I just need some glass cloth.

Last section of keel and sternpost going on.
( (

On her new stand.
( (

No more Noah's Ark remarks - now she looks like Barbra Streisand.
( (

Masilla Soluble en Agua!
( (

A profile shot against the plan.
( (

Puttying and Sanding
( (

Transom trimmed.
( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on December 25, 2011, 03:59:01 PM
Nice work Jerry, she is fairing out very well.  Huge!  Her draft is much deeper than my frigate model.  Do you intend on bolting on a false keel for sailing, or how will that work with this model?  Perhaps she can carry enough ballast in that deep hull to stand up to some wind?  She is going to be impressive and you are moving along nicely with the build.

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on December 26, 2011, 06:48:44 AM
I slipped out to the shop this Christmas morning and found that ole Saint Nick had not put resin into the hull  {:-{

Ay any rate, I pulled all the forms out, rubbed a little sandpaper around, vacuumed the dust out and painted in a coat of resin.

( (

( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on December 31, 2011, 06:08:37 PM
To mark out the location of gunports, moldings, etc, I made a pattern by laying some plotter paper scrap on the hull, trimming it to shape, and marking the stations on it.  I then traced those items from the profile onto the pattern.  Those things up forward that are distorted in the profile image because of the curve of the bow, were projected down to the plan (top-down) view and their location measured from a nearby station line and that transferred to the pattern while it was on the hull.

Here's Mac with the pattern attached alongside the 1:20 Pride of Baltimore hull I'm also working on.
( (

The markings on the pattern were transferred to the hull.  When it's glassed, these marks will be visible and guide me in cutting out gun ports, applying moldings, etc.
( (

Here's Mac with the Constellation of the same 1:36 scale.  The 1854 sloop of war was about the same length as the USS United States which Macedonian engaged in August 1812, so this pic give some idea of the disparity in size between the two ships.
( (

The ports and openings of the bow.
( (

I measured the level of the gun deck and spar deck at each station from the plans I built the hull from.  Marking those levels on the building forms I removed from the hull, I measured the width of each deck at each station and marked those on more plotter paper creating a new plan view of the gun deck and spar deck accurate for the model.  The model will get deck beams at each station and this drawing will help ensure the hull is the correct dimension at each one.
( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on January 03, 2012, 02:50:33 PM
The "Mac" is looking good Jerry.  I applaud your methods.    Did you use AutoCad for your plan work?


Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on January 03, 2012, 03:52:43 PM
I had the 1:48 scale drawing from the Smithsonian scanned.  I re-sized it using Paint Shop Pro version 7 - which is a somewhat iffy affair.  I cut a 10 foot section of the scale in the drawing and ask PSP to resize it to 3.43 inches - 10 foot in 1:35 scale.  PSP shows what percentage that change would be and I applied that percentage to the full drawing.  When ever I printed it though, it came out precisely at 1:36 scale (1 inch = 3feet).  I played with it trying to get it accurate, but it kept coming back to 1:36 - so I gave up and went with that.  My Constellation is 1:36, now Mac is too.

PSP has a "layer" feature, which is akin to laying transparencies over your drawing and tracing the parts you want on separate layers.  I used this feature to crate the patterns for the stations/forms.  A drawing this size pushes the limits of the software and memory.  I eventually reduced the image from 400 dpi to 150 dpi to make it smaller in memory while retaining it's physical size.  I also used the layers feature to make patterns for the keel and transom forms.

In planning my internal framing, I'm using the widths taken from the forms used in building the hull, and the heights taken from the profile.  In that way I'm creating a plan view that matches the model.  For this I am using good old-fashioned pencil and paper drafting methods.

I can't say the model is 100% accurate to the plans as the plans carry some distortion from being scanned, then the scan was scanned, re-sized; and reprinted.  There's also some things that are a little off from one view to the other that may be distortion, and/or Chapelle's doing.  At any rate, the hull shape came out nicely without any but the most minor changes made to make things fit or run fair.  I'm happy with it.  :)
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on January 07, 2012, 10:33:09 PM
I cut out 6 of the forms to reinstall as frames.  All the clamps are from gluing up the bandsaw kerf after cutting out the interior of the form.  These fellows will be epoxied into the hull and false frames/timber heads will be installed between these at gun ports and other openings; ceiling planking will go inside, when done the hull will be scale thickness from the gun deck to the rail.  The flat portion at the bottom of these frames will support the equipment deck the running gear will be mounted on.

( ( ( (

I also took the spar dimensions on page 132 of Gardiner's "Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars" and drew a spar plan in 1:96 scale.  I may pencil in Chapelle's 1818 dimensions just to see how the rig was Americanized  ;)

( (
Title: Macedonian's Rig
Post by: JerryTodd on January 08, 2012, 08:14:29 PM
I added the 1818 spar dimensions to the drawing in blue pencil.  It's a very interesting comparison.

While the American spars are longer, the doublings are nearly twice the British standard so the rig comes out only a little taller.  Because the tops and heels of the top masts wind up lower in the American plan, the tops'l ride lower.  The t'gallant sails seem to have more hoist (taller) than their British counterparts.

The American gaff is slightly longer, but the boom is shorter.  The American cross jack is significantly longer than the British standard.

It's very very tempting to go with Macedonian's 1818 spar plan, the table gives dimensions for everything, including mast heads, yard arms, tops, and all the sails.  But I wonder what sails were aboard when repaired at sea by Decatur and what spars were later made to fit her British suit of sails?  Now I'm have to do an overlay of Chesapeake's rig to see the differences between the British, British redone by Americans, and a purely American 38 of the same size.  I have to say; seeing them overlaid on each other is very different than just looking at a table of dimensions.

It's a little hard to see the blue pencil of the 1818 spar dimensions.
( (

I have more reading to do in Lee's The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860 to try to nail down what would be correct for Macedonian before the first shot was fired between her and the United States
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JayDee on January 08, 2012, 11:44:43 PM

Hello Jerry,

Your models are getting better, year on year !!!
Fantastic job !!!!!.

John.  :-))  :-))  :-))
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: Brooks on January 10, 2012, 01:59:10 AM
Very very nice, Jerry.

re spar dimensions - When I sailed aboard HMS Rose replica, the 1st Mate told me that their spars did not last longer than 5 years at sea. This was partly because they had to make replacements out of donated telephone poles, and the wood was not always the best (the ship was under-funded, eventually being sold to Hollywood partly because they could not generate enough schoolship income to keep up with maintenance). I would guess that wood was better quality in the 1800's  since it was probably all old growth with tight rings. But, I also guess that ships even then had to make do with whatever was on-hand at whatever port they entered for repairs. So, your spars, whichever source you end up using, will probably be accurate for some point in the ship's life...and since spars can carry away due to perils of the sea at any point in her career, I bet the spar plan was never perfect dockyard/per design for very long*smiles*.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on January 11, 2012, 12:00:37 AM
Ugh - telephone poles?  What garbage those things are.

Macedonian was commissioned in June of 1810 and captured by United States in August of 1812 - She probably was carrying her original suit of spars and sails - and likely had her full allotment of spares. 

The draught of the Lively includes the lower masts and bowsprit - which very nearly match the 1818 masts, except for the foremast, which is depicted significantly shorter than both the 1818 and British standard.

( (
The Lively draught scaled to 1:96 and laid on the spar plan.  The pencils show the heights of the masts according to the standard for a 38.

All the frames are in and trimmed to the top of the planking.  Two focs'l beams were drawn and cut a little high on the port side and had to be reset - no big deal, but "measure twice and cut once" works best if you actually do it.
( (
Mac & Me
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on March 13, 2012, 04:57:04 AM
Is it possible winter is done!?

I took advantage of the 70+ temperature to glass the transom.  Hopefully it'll stay above the 50's to get the rest of the hull done.
( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on March 25, 2012, 07:49:58 PM
With Mayhem down for a while, and my account here starting over from scratch I guess it's time to update Mac's status...

When last I posted, her transom and counter had been glassed.  Shortly after the rest of the hull was covered in 3oz cloth and polyester resin, sanded, resined again, etc.  Excess resin was poured into her bilges to fill up the tight nooks sealing them up and eliminating dark places where water could sit and cause mold and fungus to grow.

Pilot holes were drilled through the keel for the tubes that will support the ballast torpedo.  Macedonian will be able to ship the same ballast Constellation carries so I don't necessarily have to make another one right away.

( ( Glass rough cut and laid on the hull.
( ( Port side glassed.
( ( Starboard side glassed.
( ( Sanded and another coat of resin applied.
( ( Bilge filled with excess resin.

( ( Some work was also done on Constellation's stern, adding windows and decorations;

Pride got some deck beams and a dagger-board trunk installed for the removable fin keel she will get.
( ( Deck beams fitted.
( (  Prop notch cut in stern post; pilot hole for prop shaft drilled; dagger board trunk, with plate that will become the fin, dry fitted.
( ( Inside view of the trunk being dry fitted.

( ( In the mean-time I've been helping a friend build a 14 foot skiff in my back yard

Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on April 08, 2012, 03:34:31 AM
I want to apply the wale with top and butt planking, so I cut a few and stuck 5 of them to the glassed hull with CA.  The planks are about 10mm wide, 152mm long, 5mm wide at the ends, and the widest point is about 51mm (1/3 the length) from one end.  This looks like it will work, so when I get the wales planked, I'll paint on a thin coat of resin to seal them up.

( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on April 11, 2012, 02:41:37 PM
A couple of days later, with some interesting temprature changes in the weather, and everything was still stuck on, so I proceeded to glue on more planks.  I have 10 more pieces to complete the starboard wale, but I've run out of CA and I have to cut more pieces.

( ( ( ( ( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on May 03, 2012, 08:33:29 PM
I completed the starboard wale a couple of weeks ago....
( (

But I've been working on the Pride of Baltimore since then; the point being that it'll be easier to get a schooner sailing this season - we'll see.

( ( ( (

I do intend to get going on Mac's portside wale so when my buddy with the skiff comes over next week and start mixing up epoxy, I can dip in and get a coat on the wales  ;)
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dreadnought72 on May 03, 2012, 10:18:16 PM
Lovely piece of anchor-stock wale-work there, Jerry. Keep it coming!

Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on July 11, 2012, 07:15:51 PM
Mac's been on the shelf as I try to get ( ready to be displayed in Baltimore on the 22nd of July.
( (

I did do a little research though...
Chapelle's drawing of Macedonian shows no detail of the transom and how it was decorated.  I was leaning toward a model of the Lacedaemonian which, besides the usual molding, had painted decorations otherwise, instead of the more ornate and carved decorations shown on the Lively drawing.  I don't know if the NMM or other sources in Britain have more precise information regarding Macedonian's ornamentation, and I doubt I could afford to get it if there was; , but I did find something in Gardiners's Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars.  He shows a drawing of proposed ornamentation for two Lively class frigates building at Plymouth that were launched and completed only weeks ahead of Macedonian; Nisus & Menelaus.

( (

The level of decoration here is very similar to Trincomalee, not as ornate as the Lively drawing, but more so than the Lacedaemonian model shows.  Based on this, and my lack of any hard evidence on what Macedonian had, I designed a transom that I think is reasonable for my model of the ship, and keeps with with what her sisters were wearing at the time  :)

First off - there's a medallion, badge, or scene thematic to the ship's namesake at the top center of the transom.  Macedonian had an upper torso figurehead of a particular "Macedonian" - Alexander the Great (AtG) dressed in his battle armor.  So I went looking for AtG stuff.  

In searching for AtG symbolism the first thing I turned up was the " Vergina Sun" which is said to be the royal symbol of Phillip II and Alexander.  Although this symbol appears in a lot of Greek and Macedonian images, I don't think it was associated with Philip and his son until the 1970's - so I set that aside.
( (

The next thing I found was a nice coin with Alexander's profile on one side and the ruler sitting on his throne on the reverse.  I really liked the throne image for my transom badge, until I realized after staring at it for a while, that is wasn't AtG but Zeus.
( (

The coin did have a very nice cameo sort of profile of Alexander and I was going to use that until I remembered that Alexander came up in the cavalry and was a renowned horseman.  Being a cavalryman, though I wouldn't claim being a horseman, renowned or otherwise, I though an equestrian figure would be good.  There's several statues and paintings of Alexander on horseback and I opted for one with his horse (Bucephalus?) rearing slightly and Alex about to whack someone with a short-sword.
( (

That settled, I had to figure out the carved vine-work.  The figurehead has some bindings of his chest armor that look like vines and leaves, so I took that to the upper vine-work aft.  For the lower vine-work I used laurel leaves, mainly cause I couldn't think of anything else.

In the center, just about the windows is usually something; a flower, or symbol of some sort.  Here I opted to use the Vergina Sun symbol.

So this is what I came up with.  I think it follows well with the style of the day considering the lack I data I have.
( (

Here's a bad photo of it printed and taped to the model stern.
( (

Of course, if anyone has any information on what Macedonian actually had on her transom - I'd love to see it.  :)
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on July 25, 2012, 04:36:31 AM
I precut all the planks for the port-side wale and reshaped the transom somewhat to better fit the planned transom mentioned previously.

While planning to make the guns for the Pride of Baltimore I started looking into doing Macedonian's at the same time.
 Macedonian will require 28 long 18 pounders on carriages, 16 32 pounder carronades on slides, 2 12 pounders, and 2 9 pounders.  There's also 1 18 pounder carronade that I think was mounted in the launch.  That's 49 guns in all!
By comparison, Pride only needs 4 carriage guns and 2 swivels!

I plan to turn one of each of these tubes in wood and make a mold to cast them all in resin.

( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on October 02, 2012, 05:45:26 PM
Haven't gotten much done on any of the models as I'm still looking for work and getting ready to move before they come and make me move.  Where I'm moving there's an attached garage that larger than my current shop, but it's full of stuff which is what's slowing things down - making room for me in the new place among all the "stuff."

Mark came to put glass on the bottom of his skiff (he's been busy too with job and family and hasn't gotten to work on the boat much over the summer), and I took the opportunity to put a coat of epoxy on Mac's completed starboard wale.  I have the pieces cut for the port wale and hope to get those on in time to snitch some epoxy from Mark when he comes to do the sides and transom of his skiff.  :)
pre-bending wale planks for the portside wale
( (

I also cut out one of the gun ports.  The gun deck will be fully modeled, so the hull has to be framed and ceiling planked to get it to scale thickness.  The framing around the gunports intrudes into the hole to form a rabbet for the port lid to seat against, so I have to frame each port after it's cut out of the planking.  To keep the hull from possibly deforming as I cut the ports out, I'll frame them as I cut them.  All of it will be coated with epoxy before the ceiling planking goes on to protect it from moisture.
First gunport cut out
( (

Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on October 07, 2012, 05:03:01 AM
Mark came over and glass the sides of his skiff.  Having completed the port-side wale, I took advantage and got a coat of epoxy on.

( (

Now it's time to start cutting out the gunports and framing them.

( (

( (
Title: Putting More Holes in the Swiss Cheese
Post by: JerryTodd on October 09, 2012, 10:00:05 PM
Port side wale installed and epoxied
( (

Went into the shop to find something and would up cutting out 8 more gun ports
( (

View from the other side.
( (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on September 28, 2013, 01:58:17 AM
Well, Mark's skiff is finished, save a few minor details.  It's caught a few bushels of crabs already - tasty little critters too.

As for Mac, between trying to move and bailing out the house after a pipe broke and flooded the basement/living room/office, etc - nothing much has been done.

All three of the models were moved to my new home before the flood, and are safe.  My workshop's been moved as well, but awaits being set up.  Mac with a few more gun ports opened up, and some drilled in preparation, now sits on a shelf overseeing the shop's reorganization.

Mean while, a wonder fella from the left coast of our country is going to make masters of the 18 and 9 pounders, and the 32 pounder Carronades that I will mold and cast Mac's battery from.  I attached a screen capture from Solid Works of the Blomefield pattern 18 pounder and Carronade.
Title: Macedonian guns
Post by: JerryTodd on November 03, 2013, 12:38:37 AM
The masters for Macedonians guns (5 of each) are made, or rather, printed, and from the photos look really good.  I should have them in a few days.

The 18 pounder is about 9mm long, BTW.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: vnkiwi on November 03, 2013, 02:15:44 AM
9mm, you sure you got your conversion right?
that' just short of 3/8th inches. A very small amount, and judging by the snap-lock bags, maybe that should read 90mm?
around 3.5 inches?
vnkiwi %)
Title: The American Metric System is broken
Post by: JerryTodd on November 03, 2013, 06:07:13 AM
You're right, it should have been 90mm, about 3.5 inches.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: vnkiwi on November 03, 2013, 06:20:31 AM
very nicely done, the drawing and printing
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on November 03, 2013, 08:30:43 PM
Nice work Jerry.  Were cannons cast?  Love the skiff... who's design is that?
Title: Guns and skiffs
Post by: JerryTodd on November 03, 2013, 11:13:33 PM
I'll be using them as masters to cast the 28 long guns and 22 carronades I'll need for Macedonian, as well as 4 long guns for Pride of Baltimore's 1:20 scale 6 pounders.  Those will be cast in resin.

The cannons were 3D printed by a company in California.  Tim Bowman did the CAD drawings and offered to have them done because I shared my plans for Mac with him.  He intends to built a Lively class frigate,  Spartan, in 1:24 scale, after he get's his 1:24 scale Cruiser class brig Scorpion completed.  His Scorpion build log is on RCGroups here (

The skiff is my friend Mark's own design.  He's an avid crabber and built it to replace his smaller crabbing boat he also designed and built in the same manner.
Title: Sail controls
Post by: JerryTodd on July 04, 2014, 05:43:23 AM
Macedonian will be rigged, in RC terms, just like my Constellation.  Both are three masted, square rigged ships, with a driver and a number of heads'ls.  How they are controlled therefore, is essentially the same.

The braces of a square rigger normally attach to the yards near their ends, but this is problematic on an RC model.  The yard is normally wider than the hull's interior where the controls are housed.  This means the arms on a servo can't be as wide as the yard, even when turned fore-n-aft, as the required travel isn't available.  Modelers typically fudge this issue buy attaching the braces at a point out on the yard equal to the width of the arm on the controlling servo.

As the braces turn the yards the tips of the yard describe a circle, but the brace does not, it is a line from the block it makes it's last turn from to the attachment point on the yard and that line changes in angle and length - a cord.  In the above situation, the braces, when seen in plan form a parallelogram and everything moves equally.

If you wish to attach the braces in a prototypical manner, you would probably resort to a winch instead of a servo arm, and because of the geometry of the brace relative to the movement of the yard end - everything is not equal.  Basically, as one brace hauls the yard on one side, the brace the winch is paying out is slack.  On a model, this can cause problems, not the least of which is the line falling off the winch drum and tangling.

The normal way to deal with this is a set-up to absorb the slack and maintain some tension in the braces.  This is typically done with weights in various ways, and I myself planned to route the braces to a block on a spring and then through the deck.

Always looking for simple, efficient ways that are inexpensive and don't require machining I can't get or do, a discussion some years back suggested the winch servo be made to slide for-n-aft as it hauled the braces, maintaining the tension.  Dan put together a test rig and found it to be feasible, and went on to install it in his brig Syren.

Dan's videos of testing the winch arrangement ( (

So, this is the system for bracing the yards that will go into Constellation and Macedonian, and any other square-rigger I may build.

Both sliding winches are mounted on 5mm brass rod held by end brackets made from aluminum angle.  Each bracket measure about 5cm wide, 38mm tall, has at least a 12mm foot.  The rods are just slight further apart than the wide of the servo body.  They are about 35mm up from the bottom.  When the servo is mounted on it's blocks that slide on the rods, it's bottom will be about 4mm up from the mounting surface.

As before, one winch will handle the braces of the main and mizzen masts.  Only the cross jack, main, and main tops'l yard will be directly controlled.  The other winch will handle the braces of the foremast; namely the fore yard and foretops'l yard.  Both winches are mounted on a new servo tray that will include the servo for the head'sl semaphore arm sheeting system.  I decided to arrange the winches side-by-side, instead of in tandem, as I had them before.  This makes the new tray wider, but shorter than Constellation's original set up which will make accessing the system through the main hatch much easier.

The two trays have been assembled, mostly.  I'm still waiting for the Delrin plastic to make the sliding blocks from; I still need to make the fairleads that will ensure the braces stay on track as they pay onto and off the winch drum; and I have to seal and paint the wooden tray everything is mounted on.
Title: Sail controls
Post by: JerryTodd on July 25, 2014, 03:09:06 AM
Servo trays were made for both Macedonian and Constellation.  A length of 2 inch by 2 inch aluminum angle was used to make the end brackets and the fairlead plates.  The end brackets have holes for 2 3/16" brass rods for the winch servos to slide on.  The rods are drilled with 1/16" holes at their ends for cotter pins to retain them between the end brackets.

1/4" by 1/2" by 2" Delrin plastic blocks are the "pillow blocks" or slides for the servos.  They're drilled for the brass rods, and the winch servos have one mounted at each end.  The fairlead plate will guide the brace lines on and off the winch drums and they are mounted on one of the slide blocks.

If a servo needs to be removed, or replaced, unplug the servo from the Rx, remove the winch drum, loosen the four mounting screws (which were the ones that came with the servo, though the rubber pads and brass ferrules were not used), and out it comes.  The servo is not altered in anyway, so there's no warranty issues created by this setup.

The last image is of Constellation's servo tray with the wiring harness installed.
Title: HMS Macedonian as of the end of May 2015
Post by: JerryTodd on May 31, 2015, 07:06:30 AM
Macedonian is still on the shelf while I work on Constellation.  Some work on Constellation is pertinent to Macedonian as both models will use virtually identical control systems.

For instance, On Constellation's winches I added drums to handle the tacks for the main and fore coarses.  This obviously made them taller and the braces and tack will all put pressure on the stack in one direction, torquing the attachment between the drum and the winch servo.  To counter that I installed Delrin plastic bearing blocks on the fairlead plates that the drum can, well, bear against.  The lever moment caused by this will change the pressure from sheering to lifting where the drum attaches to the servo.

Rereading all that don't be concerned if you don't get it - just look at the pictures, they explain it better than I can.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on May 31, 2015, 07:21:36 AM
Amazing work Jerry.  My mind turns to mush with all that technology!
Title: Oh cut it out!
Post by: JerryTodd on June 09, 2015, 10:40:09 PM
I've been so focused on Constellation of late, but when I finally got free to work in the shop, I chose to finish cutting out the rest of Macedonian's main deck gunports and stern windows.
Title: Getting the model to the water
Post by: JerryTodd on October 08, 2016, 10:08:57 PM
I was supposed to take the three models to an event this weekend past (Oct 1st) but couldn't get Constellation or Pride sailable in time along with some other problems...

The last times I've taken Constellation to these events they have a pool for the models to sail in, which are always too shallow and Constellation just end up sitting there like a centerpiece.  This time I intended to sail her in the open water of the Miles River where this event was to be held.  Besides issues with batteries and a small-craft event going on in the river at the same time, I had no safe way to get the very heavy model to, into, out-of, and back from the river.  I needed to build a launch-cart or some sort.

I doodled a few design ideas, including some involving a hand-truck I have that works upright, and converts into a cart.  This was just too much.  I would wind up being bulky, difficult to transport itself, and awkward to use from what I've heard from those that use such arrangements.  I meandered toward the idea of what's basically a boat trailer and sketched a few overdone concepts until I settled on what I think is the simplest design as show in the attached images.

I based the cart on the materials I have, principally an old bed-frame made of steel angle-iron.  Two of these pieces about 1.27 meters long would form a channel to hold the 42 pound ballast tube that's bolted to the bottom of the model.  One piece about 355cm, would be mounted at right angles to the channel pieces, just forward of center, and support the axle rod.  This bed frame proved to be very hard to cut, completely wearing out the two used blades I had, along with a brand new one I got to finish the job.  The pieces are bolted together (I don't have access to welding equipment or the cash to get it done).  And some placed I intended to use short lengths of the angle-iron, I'll be using wood instead.  The diagonal braces from the axle to the channel will be some flat iron of a softer steel than shown in the drawing.

Part of the problem I've seen other people report with their launch carts was they're tendency to float, especially with inflated wheels - that will not be an issue with this one.

Interestingly, while looking through images on my computer on another subject, I noted in some pictures of Brian Clark's Killingworth that he used generally the same concept for his cart.  So there's precedent for the route I've taken.  :)  Mine is a bit simpler.  I also meant ti to be weight toward the back than the front.  My thinking here is when I put it in the water to recover the model, the back end isn't sticking up waiting to spear the model, but is sitting more like a ramp for the model to glide onto.  We'll see how that works out soon, I hope.  My channel at the bottom also prevents the model from turning or yawing on the trailer.

Anyway, I post this in Macedonian's thread because she very similar in function to Constellation and will likely be using this same cart when it's her turn to go in the drink.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: ballastanksian on October 08, 2016, 10:32:09 PM
Excellent work all round! I just found your topic and loved the cannon prints and the launching trolley  :-))

I remember my Dad cutting bed frames up for the metal. Some were tensile steel while others were softer steel, and yes, the former ate hacksaw blades and drill bits as well!
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on October 12, 2016, 10:29:34 PM
A few minor design changes...
I tried wood blocks as a socket for the handle, but they were in the way and then I though of using a flag-pole bracket for a 1 inch pole, so I shaved my handle down to fit and stuck some turks-heads on it to reinforce it against splitting.  I never realized how long it's been since I tied a turks-head, and it took me a while to remember how. :)  Another nice aspect of this cart is how small it gets.  Take off the handle and wheels and it's less than 6 inches tall and can be hung on a peg.  The side supports will stick up, unless I make them fold in when not used.

So, I still have to nail down the side supports, the ones in these pictures are temporary and c-clamped on, but the thing seems to work.  Once I get the supports figured out and installed I'll paint the living day-lights out of it.  I'm leaning towards light-blue.  Then it'll be time for the big test in the water.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on October 13, 2016, 12:01:48 AM
Jerry, you are amazing.  Hooza.... good job! :-))   Dennis
Title: Launch cart
Post by: JerryTodd on October 28, 2016, 05:51:11 PM
Took Constellation to the creek for a sail and try out the new launch cart.

She tended to want to slide back, so I'm going to take advantage of the lip behind the end caps on the ballast tube.  I'll put a wedge of oak in the channel behind where the edge of the cap will be.  The model will basically snap in place as she slides onto the cart.

There's some video captures below of launching and retrieving and a video of the day's sail on Youtube; launching and retrieving are are included at the beginning and end of the video. (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JayDee on October 28, 2016, 11:25:57 PM
Hello Jerry,

You have done it again !!!!.
Looks fantastic on the water and off.
All that Sail area and no drop keel !.
When she is fully rigged, you MUST post a video.

John.  :-)) :-)) :-))
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on October 29, 2016, 03:10:04 AM
Jerry... wonderful!  Tks for sharing.  I have a question.  With model sailboats, there is generally a drop keel extend to maintain stability.  I guess that has to do with the physics of hydrodynamics?  Since it is obvious that you are using strictly internal ballast as they did in the days of old, how much "more" ballast did you have to add to keep her on her feet?  She seems a bit low in the stern on trim, is there a reason for that?  Or is that because you have secretly installed a 357 V-8 in the stern {-) .....

Best regards,

Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on October 29, 2016, 06:29:48 AM
Constellation, and this all applies to Macedonian as well, do have external ballast in the form of a PVC pipe filled with lead bird-shot that weights 42 pounds.  It's the gray tube under the keel.  It's held to the model with two 5/16" threaded rods.  Out of the water, I can easily separate ballast from ship, reducing the weight I have to handle by 42 pounds, plus another 15 pound in the hull that removable. 

By "drop keel" I'm supposing you mean a removable fin with a bulb at the bottom.  I've seen models this size use such things, Stad Amsterdam is one I can think of off-hand.  While that provides for a greater righting arm, it just wouldn't be practical for me.  To launch and recover I'd have to go further out into water deep enough for the fin.  A fin would require less external ballast but then the model would still need the same weight to get her to her waterline, so I'd need more internal ballast.

If you look at my Pride of Baltimore thread in this forum, you'll see she will have a fin with a bulb of about 20 pounds.  Being a Baltimore schooner, with a lot of drag to her keel, and supposed to be fast and maneuverable - a torpedo like ballast tube, I think, would be detrimental to her handling.  So a fin makes sense for that model, and even she will still require some internal ballast to get he onto her lines and trim her.

I don't know how large a model has to get before the ballast can honestly be all internal and to scale (ie, no exaggerated depth), but here's a model that obviously is not that size;
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: warspite on October 29, 2016, 02:40:46 PM
I take it the larger the model - the less of a drop keel you need as the displacement needed shifts internally the larger the vessel gets, I'm screwed with victory then, lol
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JayDee on October 29, 2016, 09:16:17 PM

The drop keel has nothing to do with the size of the model.
Imagine a See-saw, turn it, so it is vertical, the top side of it is the wind, the lower side of it is the drop keel.
The Pivot point is the Hull, the wind is opposed by the weight on the drop keel.
As the keel is made longer, it will take more wind to move it !!.
Jerry has given a video link which shows what happens when the Wind wins !!. (

From the boats waterline to the bottom of the boat, is not enough leverage - - back to the See-Saw !.
My schooner,Bluenose is SEVEN FEET LONG is has a long drop keel with 45lbs of Lead on the end, which gives the correct waterline and matches the huge sails.

Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JayDee on October 29, 2016, 09:30:06 PM

My apologies for jumping into your thread !!.

John.  :-))
Title: Did you see what I saw?
Post by: JerryTodd on October 29, 2016, 11:40:03 PM
No worries Jay,

My royals and t'gallants will be easily removable, and the courses can be bunted up; lowering that end of the see-saw.  If the wind's too strong for that, then I ain't sailin'.  Anything over 15 mph is pushing toward a scale hurricane, and not being the Bounty, she's not sailing in such weather.

I'm sure there's math to figure all this out, righting-moment, hydrostatics, etc; but math is not my strong suit.  Show me the formulas and I'll plug in the numbers and share the answer with anyone that's interested.  ;)
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: warspite on October 30, 2016, 04:09:34 PM
Ok, just thought that due to the size, the counter weight would move closer to the hull and be spread over the whole length as that's a hefty tube, with 45lbs in it, mine is only about 80mm wide and 300mm+ long, (this is sovereign, an AIRFIX HMS Victory kit convert), it needed about 250g to keep it sufficiently stable vertical, but I may be a bit over protective on the righting moment.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: warspite on October 31, 2016, 10:30:26 PM
many thanks for the pm, I understand the dynamics of the larger scale, the problem I have for this vessels size is that a sail board is the only option, its so tiny and all the working are internal and detract from providing a sufficient low weight righting moment, it's sister - Victory - I'm trying to get to work properly with a decent rudder and a way of operating the sail with a winch, rather than the twisting of the masts, I have yet to see if a small tube fitted underneath would work, I have been preoccupied with other things to be able to progress any further.
Title: Back to HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 01, 2016, 04:16:09 AM
Rough cut the channels from 4mm ply and began laying out the quarter galleries
Title: Quarter Galleries
Post by: JerryTodd on November 01, 2016, 07:52:46 PM
And framing begins...

The galleries will be sheathed in 1/32" ply - is that .5mm?
Title: Quarter Galleries
Post by: JerryTodd on November 02, 2016, 01:48:36 PM
And sheathing commences...  Not to worry, I've made cardstock patterns of everything so I can duplicate this work on the other side.  ;)
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 02, 2016, 08:03:08 PM
Made a molding scraper and scraped some strips into molding with it.  The molding was applied on the starboard sheer-line with gaps for the channels.  There's another line of molding above this.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 03, 2016, 08:41:35 PM
Moldings and quarter gallery going on the port side.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 06, 2016, 08:45:31 PM
Got the port side caught up to the starboard side, and did a LOT of sanding of the clumpy epoxy on the port side.  Still a way to go before I can get some paint on her, which is what I'm aiming for.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on November 06, 2016, 10:31:25 PM
nice work Jerry, you amaze me.  Can't wait for color.   I'm into miniture WW2 naval stuff these days. Dennis
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on November 06, 2016, 10:32:02 PM
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on November 06, 2016, 10:32:58 PM
more... sorry folks for the off topic stuff.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 07, 2016, 04:04:58 AM
I have a Fletcher class DD to build as the USS Evans that I've poked at a little at a time, trying to do the oil canning in the hull.  I can only do a few of the divots before I start going nuts, and it's taking me forever - almost literally.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: derekwarner on November 07, 2016, 04:40:19 AM
A little off thread here Jerry, however the destroyer Frank E. Evans of the United States Navy strikes an unpleasant if not saddened timeline in our RAN history.... Derek
Title: USS Evans
Post by: JerryTodd on November 07, 2016, 01:14:07 PM
Different ship, Frank wasn't a Fletcher.  This was the Robert Evans DD552 (
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: derekwarner on November 07, 2016, 11:13:57 PM
Thanks Jerry....I stand corrected  :embarrassed:.... just the name as USS Evans mentioned confuses..............Derek
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 13, 2016, 06:59:57 AM
Switched over to installing jack-stays on Constellation's yards, till I ran out of eye-pins, so it's back to Macedonian, and I started making her masts...

To make Macedonian's lower masts, I looked at various sources.  Several forums, Internet searches, period pieces like Steel's.  Photos of models.  But while I could see the end product, it was hard for me to visualize what was going on, or how it got to that point.  Lee's Masting and Rigging was, in some ways, the clearest and easiest to comprehend; my problem with Lee's is trying to pick MY time-frame from the stew of data he presents.  Often only parts of things change over time, so you have to piece it together; checks from 1800-1816, hounds from 1770-1820, rubbing paunch (used to be the "front fish") from 1810-, brains from Abby Normal, and that sort of thing.
For my 1812ish frigate it seems, if I interpret all this correctly, The mast can be a single piece with cheeks and rubbing paunch added on.  It tapers from the deck to the top end.  From the top of the cheeks/hounds down, it's round except it's left flat on the sides where the cheeks attach.  The cheeks are rounded themselves to nearly blend into the mast, but there's a bit of a step or channel formed so they don't taper down to nothing at the sides.  The real hounds are a separate piece scarfed onto the cheeks.  I found it better to actually do this so they weren't in the way or getting damaged.  Lee's gives the proportions of these parts; for instance, the rubbing paunch is 1/3 the width of the mast.
I didn't put any taper in the space between decks, and the bury below the gundeck is 8-sided.  After shaping the core of the mast, I used strips of copper tape left-over from Constellation's bottom to make the banding.  Every-other band where the cheeks are is under them and need to go on before the cheeks.
So far the fore and mizzen are nearly ready to paint, and the main is tapered, but still square.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on November 13, 2016, 04:45:50 PM
Very nice Jerry.  Looks like a properly "fished" mast to me.  I also used copper tape for banding on my frigate build... only way to go in my books.  Dennis
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 13, 2016, 09:12:39 PM
It's a little thin; I could probably have done more than one layer, but once everything is painted and the spider's web is spun, I don't think it'll be a distraction.

I used wet-n-stick brown paper packing tape for Constellation's mast banding, but with the gaps between cheeks and mast I thought the copper would be the better bet.  I also got a bottle of CA with a brush in it, and gave the edges and seam a little reinforcement.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: dlancast on November 13, 2016, 10:03:40 PM
That will be fine Jerry, due to thinness of the copper, I double wrapped it around the mast for the banding... it all works and sure looks good.  Dennis
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: ballastanksian on November 14, 2016, 09:52:37 PM
It was interesting to read recently now little of the masts and spars etc are actually round. Parts are square and some even octagonal depending on the size and role of the component.

Your mast looks good. I like the bands and considerable square section as well as the beautiful knees to support the cross trees. (Excuse the unintended rhyme:O)

Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on November 15, 2016, 05:33:29 PM
Got the main mast 8-sided, round, and other shapes where they're supposed to be, banded, cheeked, and all clamped up.  The fore and main are waiting for a rubbing paunch each, and all three need their tenons cut top and bottom.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on December 29, 2016, 01:32:54 PM
Got two yards of gray Supplex very cheap from a different supplier than usual.  I think it was a remnant or the end of the bolt.  It seems a bit dark indoors, but outside and with flash it's not so bad for the sails of a British frigate.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: JerryTodd on May 24, 2019, 04:31:55 PM
Took all three models to a Model Expo at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on the 18thMacedonian got in the water for the first time with about 30 pounds of weight in her.
Title: Re: HMS Macedonian
Post by: ballastanksian on May 26, 2019, 06:31:12 PM
Looking great Jerry.