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Author Topic: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius  (Read 14550 times)

Edmund

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A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« on: December 13, 2015, 02:57:02 pm »

The pond is covered with ice, and anyway its awful cold outside so to the workshop to have a play around. 

I've an old and rather badly made fibreglass hull I'd acquired from somewhere.  It was for a brigantine, so intended to have a bowsprit and has a squared off counter stern.  What to make? - it could be a sailing ship.  Or how about a Victorian steam ship.  It's a period not many people model, partly I suppose because there are few photos.
 
Ships didn't have much superstructure but instead were generally full rigged as they carried sails to supplement their engines.  Now I don't think at a model scale something powered by both sails and motors would be easy to model.  Scale sail needs a lot of weight beneath the water line, and anyway early Victorian powered ships had paddlewheels which would be difficult to work with sails. 

So a ship with paddle wheels and rigged with masts and booms.  They do appear in museum and collections and one that appeals and fits the hull within reason is the paddlesteamer Sirius which made the first fully powered crossing of the Atlantic in competition with Brunel's Great Western in 1838. 

So not an exact scale model - a bit wide and deep - but at approximately 1/48th scale a fair representation of the type of ship of the period, and a whole series of pictures of models of the Sirius available off the internet and other sources to show rigging and deck fittings and so on. 

So we'll see how we go....

joppyuk1

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2015, 03:17:41 pm »

Looks like an interesting project. Keep posting the pictures please.
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John W E

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2015, 04:09:06 pm »

Hi there Edmund

Not sure if you know, but, Model Boats had an article on The Sirius.   I cant remember when it was - I think it was the 70s or 80s - there was a pic of a model on the front - I think the model was steam powered - I will look to see if I can find the magazine.

aye

John
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John W E

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2015, 04:12:48 pm »

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Liverbudgie

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2015, 04:24:28 pm »

This Sirius was built by will Mowell who went on to build the Great Briton, HMS Warrior and HMS Thunderer.

LB
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Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 04:35:18 pm »

Fantastic! 


While doing a little research of my own, as I was waiting for glue to dry, I realise that I have a book, SS Great Britain, the Model Ship by William Mowll and that has in its first chapter a description of him building the PS Sirius, and even has some pictures and a simple plan.  He built a steam powered version and I rather suspect that might be the one covered by Model Boats magazine.  The dates would fit.


Excited now I've found a plan but realise that my hull is a bit chubby with a 1:5 ratio length to width as opposed to the 1:7 ratio of the original.  More stable which might be good for a paddle steamer but I think mine might have to representative of type rather than a scale model.

Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2015, 04:44:57 pm »

The results of glue drying!  The paddle shaft in place.  6mm steel rod through short brass tubes.  The mechanics go in place first of all....

ballastanksian

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 07:22:52 pm »

Now that is a fine project coming along. Your project is definitly on my watch list Edmund. Keep up the good work :-))
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mickyrubble

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2015, 09:15:31 pm »

Hello Edmund,
 I will follow your posts closely .I love paddlers.Keep up the good work.
 :-))
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Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2015, 12:12:48 pm »

A little more work on the ship! 

First the rudder - a nice kit from Mobile Marine Models which makes a good strong large rudder to your own design.  All the metal work is included to add to a plywood rudder.  So the tube is epoxied into place as is the lower hinge at the keel and in the background the rudder glueing, a rather oversized one, to help in steering.  The paddle wheels will be on a single shaft with a single motor so the rudder is going to have to do all the work in steering.

The paddles are part of the reason for building the ship.  The paddle wheel kit came from Germany and was for a sternwheeler - I have previously built a sternwheeler using the wheel - the W H Bancroft.  A friend sold me another set of them.  This time I've built the wheel  in two parts.  Each part will be glued to a brass tube and that will be attached to the paddle shaft with a split pin. 

Is the ship going to be the PS Sirius?  A little more research into vessels of the era and I discover the PS Forfarshire built a few years later.  It was built about half a mile from where I live, in a Dundee shipyard, and was made infamous or famous when wrecked off the Farne Islands, when Grace Darling rowed out to rescue the passangers and crew.  Paintings show a very similar paddle steamer, brigantine rigged, but the dimensions fit my hull much better at 1/48th scale.  As for deck fittings and arrangements, no one will ever know as there are no plans or pictures.  But it was always going to be a generic model of an 1830's/40's paddle steamer.....

ballastanksian

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2015, 01:14:38 pm »

That is coming along fine Edmund.
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Terry

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2015, 04:59:43 pm »

Quote
"The paddle wheel kit came from Germany"



Who was the supplier, interested to know.


Thanks, Terry.
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Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2015, 05:20:43 pm »




Who was the supplier, interested to know.


Thanks, Terry.


I've attached the link which I hope works.  It is designed for a sternwheeler called Chaperon.  They deliver quickly with no problem.  About 30 with the postage.




http://www.engel-modellbau.eu/catalog/index.php?cPath=219


Terry

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2015, 05:25:21 pm »

Thanks for the quick reply Edmund, link does work.


Cheers, Terry
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ballastanksian

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2015, 09:19:51 pm »

That is quite reasonable considering the cost of other drive systems for tugs etc. Even with motors, it would still be reasonable.
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Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2015, 09:46:07 pm »

It's a good strong paddlewheel for a non feathering application.  Driving  my sternwheeler a como motor with a 1:50 gearbox makes it steam along very powerfully.

It is about [/size][size=78%]6 inches across so quite big.  I think I will add a rim to it to try and make it look more like a nineteenth century wheel - and paint it red! I have fixed the plastic hub with glue to a brass tube which is then pinned to the shaft with a split pin, so that the wheels and shaft can be removed from the boat when needed.[/size]

ballastanksian

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2015, 09:47:20 pm »

Brill!
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tobyker

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2015, 11:09:38 pm »

A cousin of ours was drowned when the Forfarshire was wrecked. Apparently he had been selling horses and was on his way home with his gold and didn't want to let go of it when the ship sank. He is buried in a graveyard in Nottingham.
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Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2015, 01:40:43 pm »

Went down to the McManus Gallery in Dundee this morning to see the figurehead of the Forfarshire but its away in storage.  I'll need to see if I can get another visit into the stores to see if I can see it. 

But there were some paintings.  First the rather over the top Victorian melodramatic Wreck of the Forfarshire, survivors clinging to a raft with the lighthouse, like a warning finger pointing to heaven, with Grace Darling and her father heroically rowing the dinghy in the stormy waves.  The detail is of the rowboat.

There was a portrait of Grace Darling as well, and another of her father but the glass over the paintings and the computer display behind made it impossible to take a decent photo.

I'm getting quite taken by the Forfarshire as the vessel to model.

Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2015, 04:57:10 pm »

Researching what I could about the Forfarshire, I found the builders, Adamson and Borrie of Dundee.  Adamson was the shipwright and Borrie the engine maker, and they had a partnership that built a series of steam ships through the early nineteenth century.

I found the plans of a similar ship to the Forfarshire, built by Adamson and Borrie, almost the same dimensions, built a year later in 1837, named the Sea Horse.  Only difference seems to be that it was three masted instead of two masted.  Interesting in that it shows the general arrangement of the ship, and where the deck houses were and the hatches and skylights and companionways which can give me some ideas for my ship.  It would be unlikely that ships of a similar period from the same ship yard would have been that different.

Sea Horse sailed between Ireland the United Kingdom and later in life, in 1845 sailed to Australia and spent another ten years transporting miners for the Australian gold rush before disappearing from the registers in 1855

ballastanksian

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2015, 06:40:01 pm »

I think it is fair to say that in general, ship development is 'Evolution' rather than 'Revolution' as can be seen by the fact that eary steam ships were sailing ships with steam power and why such interesting oddities as Novgorod and the Winnan's cigar ships became dead ends.

Therefore, unless the customer specified something really new and unusual, that ship builders fayre would be accepted with provisos such as a slightly larger deck house, an extra mast and perhaps a different paddle housing or similar.

You won't go far wrong copying the references you have acquired Edmund.
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Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2015, 07:19:23 pm »

A little more work, supports for the deck, motor support, paddle box outsides.  Also a little alteration to make a proper clipper bow.  Beginning to take shape... 

ballastanksian

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2015, 07:39:53 pm »

Top notch work Edmund.
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Edmund

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2015, 08:16:23 pm »

Best of a bad job.  I'm realising what a rubbish fibreglass moulding it is.  It's not symmetrical which shows as I measure up the deck, and I've had to fill the gel coat in various places where it's not connected to the matting.  I'm hoping its going to be waterproof! Let's hope that it will all look beautiful when complete!  I can't remember where I got the hull from - not a commercial production in any case.

ballastanksian

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Re: A nineteenth century steamship, PS Sirius
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2015, 10:38:52 pm »

Can you do a water test now before you advance too far? It might mean some quick varnishing etc but it looks like your build will be intricate and I am sure we would all hate to see your efforts take a dive.

A good example is our Bob K, who spent ages on his Polyphemus and had the tinker sink on him last year after completion. Luckily, being a trooper, he did restore it to working order.
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