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Author Topic: A new Pointy Thing!  (Read 2808 times)

tonyH

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A new Pointy Thing!
« on: March 05, 2017, 01:11:43 PM »

I was missing the Pointy Thing, so I thought a Mark 2 version was in order!

This is a spar torpedo launch from 1886 courtesy of drawings from Service Historique via the Dreadnought Project to 1:12 scale so about 1 metre in length.
Plank on frame with cloth/epoxy skin. Bespoke Cheddar boiler via Clevedon Steam with one of their Libra engines. The oil separator has a cold-water pipe down the centre to act as a condenser and the steam exhaust comes out of the port side of the boat.
The 70mm prop is bespoke from George Papa in Romania.
Remainder of fittings and 3 man crew still to do plus the painting when the temperature gets a bit higher!

Steering should be a bit better than the earlier Pointy but..............

Cheers

Tony
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raflaunches

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 02:23:14 PM »

I wondered what the project was going to be! As always a stunning model of an oddity- my sort of model. :-))
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tghsmith

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 03:49:14 PM »

looks great.. have to love the time frame. so much change so fast...
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ballastanksian

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 08:21:41 PM »

And I am sure the change to self propelled torpedoes couldn't have come quick enough for the poor crew who had to launch themselves even at the far end of an explosion, assuming that scythes of rotary cannon and small calibre quick firing gun fire wasn't enough  {:-{

She really looks lovely Tony and I look forward to reading more about Pointy II :O)
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tonyH

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 09:15:57 PM »

Thanks chaps,

I just felt like a change from the more major ships.

The torpedo pole is about 11metres long, i.e. almost as long as the boat and I assume that the crew expected the bows to be lost in the 'bang'
In fact, the drawings show a heavy bulkhead just ahead of where the gas canister sits in the model AND a pair of rowlocks almost in line across from the canister, just in case.
I've not been able to find out the charge weight but the volume of the 'bomb' is about 9 litres which should give a weight of charge of at least 20 lbs, assuming the density of the explosive is greater than 1.0.
What the blast effect of detonation some 5-6 ft under water and about 25 ft away would be, Dieu only knows!

Any ideas?

 {:-{
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ballastanksian

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 09:27:25 PM »

I hope that some trials were done with moored boats and setting off charges at the same distance. The back blast from the explosion deflected by the enemy ship's hull would have to be factored in as well.



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tonyH

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 10:46:57 PM »

There seems to be very little info about the results. The French seem to have used them in the Far East and I suppose that they could have been less suicidal against wooden hulls.
The picture is from the 1850s I believe against a Chinese fleet.
I don't know whether the RN ever used them but the Americans did.......where?
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Akira

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 01:10:48 PM »

Very nice! A wonderful subject, reminds me a Civil War era boat,
Any chance of arming that torpedo? LOL
Jonathan
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Ian K

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2017, 06:19:00 PM »

Hi Tony,

The spar torpedo was used with mixed results, during the American civil war.

The Confederate navy (southern forces) employed them in open steam launches and the david type semi submersible torpedo craft.

CSS david was used in an attack against the broadside ironclad USS New Ironsides at night in 1863.
There is plenty of info out there on the subject, just search for spar torpedo boats.

http://thomaslegion.net/civilwartorpedoescivilwarminesweapons.html
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tonyH

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2017, 09:39:25 PM »

I should've done more research :embarrassed: Thanks Ian!

Don't think I wouldn't try Jonathan!

The reason I chose the French version was the same as my normal one - that the plans are original, of interesting subjects and FREE!

I'd not even checked the date depicted in the earlier posting, simply because the torpedo mount and the vertical boiler looked more basic than the 1886 drawings.

Now it seems that it follows on with these ones that depict possible the last meaningful use of a spar torpedo attack, at the Battle of Shipu on 14th February 1885 when French spar torpedo boats either damaged or sank the heavily armed, but unprotected Chinese frigate, Yu Yuen, of 2600 tons with 2x8.2inch, 8x5.9inch and 12x4.7inch guns, while the Chinese fleet was blockaded at Shipu.

The commanders of the 2 boats lived to tell the tale and were heroes, in more ways than one!

Did we ever use them in anger?

Cheers

Tony

PS you may notice on the postcards that they seem to have Imperial Chinese stamps!


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tghsmith

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2017, 10:26:27 PM »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_B._Cushing  one of the first "modern" torpedo boats was named after him..
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tonyH

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2017, 11:32:09 AM »

Just going back to the weight of charge, according to an article in The Mariners Mirror from 1954, the original US spar torpedo, the ones carried by surface vessels in the Civil War, carried a black powder charge of 150lbs, while the ones on the David submersibles was about 50lbs. Six vessels were sunk in the course of that war.

The weights appear to have been exceeded somewhat on the Hunley, whose torpedo was reported as carrying 165lbs of black powder! The plan was that Hunley would ram the target, her torpedo was detachable from the spar and was held in the target hull with a spike, Hunley would then reverse and the torpedo would be fired by a long cable when she had retired enough.
It appears that the remains of the torpedo were found to be still attached to the spar when she was raised.....Oh Dear %)

The regulation charge in the USN at the end of the century was approx. 34lbs of gun cotton!

I'm assuming that the charge used by the RN would have been somewhat similar. The photo attached is a still from a training film from the 1890's taken in Portsmouth Harbour. The film is in the National Archives in Kew.

Tony
 
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ballastanksian

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 07:42:41 PM »

The distance of the explosion from the hull looks just right.
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Bob K

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 08:18:50 PM »

This thread is really interesting  :-))  I love unusual old warships, I doubt you could find more unusual than this.
Any further historical information on these boats would be most welcome.

Well done !
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Bob K

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2017, 10:57:43 AM »

Fascinated by this build, I have been trawling Google to find out more about spar torpedo boats.
This link is very informative . . .  http://dawlishchronicles.com/the-spar-torpedo/

The crew operating them must have been crazy, almost Kamikaze odds of surviving the attack.
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tonyH

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2017, 11:53:30 AM »

Hi All,

As usual, the information is conflicting.
From the information so far from Kew, the 2 photos attached were from trials of a 150lb spar torpedo on 26th September 1871. I'd assume black powder. One source suggested that they are stills from a film, so could be sequential. I'm looking further into that bit.
Judging from the angle and the 'normal' length of the spars, the detonation would have been about 3m under the surface. Judging from the angle of the funnel and, of course, the spar, the boat was headed towards the explosion. Whether it was moving or not is in question.

Was it the right distance?
Was it kamikaze?

This was not on the front line. It was a trial. If the boat WAS going ahead, and if there had been a steel or wooden wall at the end of the pole there would have been the back-blast that Ian mentioned earlier. The two officers in the picture from the battle of Shipu lived through it.

I can't be sure, Bob, but I think Descartes has a 12.5m launch fitted. The sort of boat that would have been used so maybe a minor additional fitting is in order %)

Cheers
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tonyH

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2017, 04:55:57 PM »

The film mentioned before is on YouTube https://youtu.be/uKMWNggqBmk and isn't the one the other stills were taken from. 

Portsmouth 1897

Tony
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Bob K

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2017, 07:18:01 PM »


I can't be sure, Bob, but I think Descartes has a 12.5m launch fitted. The sort of boat that would have been used so maybe a minor additional fitting is in order %)

Cheers

Descartes was 1897, so right era.  Largest boat is a 9.6m.  Can't really see a heavily gunned protected cruiser needing a spar torpedo boat, but a very tempting idea though  O0
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tonyH

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 07:14:52 PM »

Don't know whether the point should be red but at least I'll be able to tell which is the more dangerous end.
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ballastanksian

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 08:45:16 PM »

I like the expression of the skipper:- Determined but wary, but then whow wouldn't be even if the pole should allow for a safe distance.

That is a lovely model, it is good to see her complete after a hiatus  :-))
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Akira

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Re: A new Pointy Thing!
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2017, 10:28:48 PM »

Wonderful model. The colors are perfect. She looks to run at a nice clip too. Great Job!
Jonathan
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