Monday, October 26, 2009

Exercising off Williamstown

Albert acting as flotilla leader for the Victorian Torpedo Boats.

The TBs are practising steaming in columns of division.
Fortunately, it's a calm day in Hobson's Bay as all five boats here were notoriously unseaworthy! Albert was well-known for taking the water right over her bows in any kind of weather. The Nepean and Lonsdale being ten times as long as they were wide tended to roll about alarmingly when they dropped their Whitehead torpedoes from one side only.

Back to the slipways for you. I think we need to purchase a proper flotilla-leader. Perhaps a 1st Class boat. Childers?

I'm trying to put off my more complicated ship construction for the moment. I think I am screwing up my courage to the place where it sticks or something...
This will be the Victoria (II), the gunboat HMVS Alberts' big sister. I'm following what's now pretty much my standard method for larger ships; cut out a deck from thin balsa, glue it to a block of polystyrene and trim with a hot wire cutter. A sanding block trims up any rough bits and a fine pen draws in the planks and nails.
So far so good! Then it's card for the bulwarks and deck-houses and Bob's the relative of your choice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Torpedo Boats - Progress shots

Getting there - Nepean with her spar torpedo rigged out.
No. 1 wiith her spar torpedo in the stowed position, Nepean in the background.

Commissioner in the foreground, with Lonsdale abeam. The torpedo flotilla steams off on exercise.
Not too much left to do on the TB flotilla. Nepean and Lonsdale need their stanchions set up and railings rigged. I'll be going into town this weekend to buy a few odds and ends from the hobby shop. Some ventilators and the odd anchor to dress the boats up with. Apart fom that, a little more painting needs to be done and we'll be there.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rapid Progress Being Made at Williamstown

As you can see in the picture above (click for a larger version) the upper works for Nepean and Lonsdale are complete. I'll next be adding the torpedo tubes forward and then going on to puttying up the various gaps before painting and then adding the final details like the stanchions, ventilators and torpedo troughs.
Nearest the camera are No. 1 and further back, Commissioner. The blocks on the decks are their deck houses. I have only some very rough side elevations for commissioner and no reference for No. 1, so I am pretty well making things up as I go along. More interestingly from my own point-of-view is the rig for the spar toprpedoes that you can see in the "deployed" position on No.1 and in the stowed position on Commissioner. I'll probably install some sort of guide or brace over the bows on both boats to make sure the spar goes forward smoothly.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Williamstown Shipyard - Torpedoboat Flotilla

I started work last night on my torpedoboats for a mooted Fort Gellibrand game in the near future. They are from the top Comissioner, No.1, Nepean and Lonsdale. I have photographed my original Nepean for reference - it's in it's post 1886 configuration which is fine, but I've decided to do it and it's sister in their original configuration, with no dropping gear and the bow torpedo tube.
You'll notice some torpedoes I've started making to the right of the picture.

I've test-fitted the deck-houses to the Nepean and Lonsdale and you'll note the work done on the sterns of Commissioner and No. 1.
More tomorrow.