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Author Topic: HMVS Cerberus continued  (Read 2920 times)

tritsch

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HMVS Cerberus continued
« on: July 17, 2013, 12:21:09 AM »

I've titled this Cerberus continued as the continuation of my postings a year or so ago.  I have tried to add to that posting but keep getting database errors.

It’s been a while since I posted , but I have made further progress with my model of the Cerberus.  Yesterday I fitted the flying deck  which now makes the model look more like the Cerberus.  I still have lots  of fittings to make and fit and also the anchors, I found out that the anchors shown on the plans are not the anchors fitted.   It was supplied with two Martin’s anchors instead of the Admiralty pattern ones shown on the plans but evidently some additional anchors were provided as well.  I also have to make or acquire the six ship’s boats, 3 cutters, a dinghy, a gig and a lifeboat  and the davits for them. It’s also about time for me to do a trial float to check how the weight’s going and whether more ballast is required.  I’ll finish it one of these days.

The davits are interesting as they pivot at the base, not something I have seen in a model shop.

Tony T

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raflaunches

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 08:55:58 PM »

Hi Tony


Looks fantastic, wondered what happened to this build but certainly glad of the wait, there is a reasonably sized group of us Mayhemers currently building Victorian era vessels and yours certainly looks the part.
I was looking through a book I bought form Doncaster Model Boat Show earlier this year which shows the Cerberus about to be scuttled, the book was one of the To Sail No More series. Bit of a sad book seeing all the ships being scrapped or scuttled but worth seeing some of the features you would not normally see when they are in service.
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tritsch

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 10:00:27 AM »

At this stage of making my model of the monitor Cerberus I have been looking at photos, drawings and the plans to make a model of the binnacle .  I was going to say that to my surprise there appears to be two different binnacles, but I have got quite used to changes having been made during the life of the ship so I am not too surprised but more puzzled

One of the binnacles is, as you might expect, just in front of the wheel, and looks like a “normal” binnacle.  The other larger “tower”  type is on the quarter deck and about 2.88metres tall.  I am modelling the Cerberus as she was, when  delivered in the 1870s and the large quarter deck binnacle was certainly there then. It is clear on the drawings and one of the photos attached shows it as at 1878.  The binnacle next to the wheel on the flying deck can be seen in various pictures around the 1890s, but unfortunately is not clear on the drawings and I can’t find a clear picture of the this area dated in the 1870s to confirm whether it was there then.

The questions that I have that someone may be able to help me with are -

Is it likely that there would have been two binnacles? And how would the one on the quarter deck be used?  From measurements off the plan it is about 2.88m tall with a ladder up to it and I can’t see how it would be visible from a steering position.

Any ideas Victorian Navy modellers or any other modellers?

Tony T 

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raflaunches

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 07:03:50 PM »

Not to say I know the correct answer, my best guess at the moment would be that the ship was one of the first ships to be built from iron and they wanted to keep a binnacle away from magnetic anomalies, the reason why so high, I would guess due to the low freeboard of the early iron ships like Cerberus it would be to keep the binnacle above the spray and waves that could potentially wash over the deck.
Like I say that's my best guess so far, others might know if it was particular to Cerberus or it was for other reasons.
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Nick B

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Netleyned

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 07:29:16 PM »

Would it be used for taking bearings for gunnery direction
The bridge compass would be in constant use for navigation

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tritsch

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 07:51:00 AM »

Thank you for your comments, I don’t believe it would have been used to take bearings for gunnery, positioned as it is, it has a limited angle of view and a position on the flying deck would have been better for this purpose.

It does appear as if it is an earlyish attempt to address the iron ship/magnetism issue.

A bit more information coming to light has helped.

Going through “The Three Headed Dog” by Bob Nicholls, my Bible for this model I found a few more clues.

In the 1867 Admiralty specification for the Cerebus is the spec -

    "BITTACLES AND STANDARD COMPASSES. To be supplied according to pattern and fitted by the     Contractors, as the Overseer may direct. "

    Not too helpful but does imply more than one.

Secondly in the chapter on the upper deck, there are the statements- 

“A master magnetic compass was mounted on a raised pedestal in the centre of the quarterdeck, where it was least likely to be affected by the ship’s magnetism. It may, however, have been fitted there solely for the delivery voyage.”

The Cerberus arrived in Melbourne in 1871, and the quarterdeck pedestal compass was in the photo taken in 1878 so it lasted quite a while after the delivery voyage. (The photo is of Captain Mandeville and crew and can be dated to 1878 from an entry in the ship’s log. He took over as captain in 1877, so the earliest the photo could be is 1877.) 

So my feeling is that the point about early days with iron ships is probably correct and that it was a “master magnetic compass”.   

From Wikipaedia -
With the introduction of iron-clad ships the magnetic deviation observed in compasses became more severe. Methods of compensation by arranging iron or magnetic objects near the binnacle were developed. In 1854, a new type of binnacle was patented by John Gray of Liverpool which directly incorporated adjustable correcting magnets on screws or rack and pinions. This was improved again when Lord Kelvin patented in the 1880s another system of compass and which incorporated two compensating magnets. These are colloquially known as "Kelvin's Balls"[1] in the UK, and "Navigator's Balls" in the US.

Flinder’s Rod (1805) and Kelvin’s Balls (1880)

This would also imply that the dated picture of the binnacle on the flying deck with  the spherical attachments was a later or modified binnacle equipped with "Kelvin’s Balls"

So my conclusion (at present) is to model both, but the flying deck binnacle not to have its spherical attachments.

Tony T
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tritsch

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 10:39:50 PM »

Having just advised about a couple of books on Cerebus, I thought I would try to update where I am with my model.  I was not successful last night so will try again. The photo attached shows the state of my workbench, but when working on small fittings you don't need much space, or that's what I try to tell myself.

I am gradually adding the bits and pieces - (fittings) and if I ever get down to it it shouldn't take too long to finish off.  One question about the ships boats that has me a bit puzzled is that all the pictures, photos I can find show the boats without any covers, just hanging from the davits. Was this normal for a Victorian ship?

In most of the pictures I can see no signs of anything fastening the boats back to the davits, they just seem to hang, yet I can not believe they weren't fixed in some way.

Tony T
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dreadnought72

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 10:17:42 AM »

Quote
...state of my workbench

You and I must have been on the same model boat building course.  %%

...But I bet we both know where everything is!

Andy
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derekwarner

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 11:37:47 AM »

Tony.....with the limited & sketchy information you have available {:-{ .....I would tend to use a reverse thought process
1. life boats surely would not have been swinging in the breeze between the UK & OZ
2. life boats surely would not have been uncovered between the UK & OZ

So add the lifeboat securing & covers to your model...............who could dispute it?............ >>:-( ............Derek
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vnkiwi

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 11:51:39 AM »

but, they may not have had covers in Port Philip Bay, when on station, or be lashed back.
just a thought
 :-))
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tritsch

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 09:41:29 PM »

thanks for the comments, I think I will leave the covers off but tie the boats back to the davits

Tony T
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John R Haynes

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 09:59:19 AM »

Normally with Warships there was usually an alternative steering position on the quarterdeck , or thereabouts and was an emergency position if the main conning position was disabled ie in an action.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMVS Cerberus continued
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 09:56:50 PM »

HMS Rupert (1871) has a set of ships wheels on the quarter deck protected by the iron bulwarks and you see a stern conning position on early destroyers often with an armoured shield in front, so having a duplicate Bittacle would be sensible.
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