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  #11  
Old 04-23-2019, 06:55 AM
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Michael Mash Michael Mash is offline
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Hello Ab:

That is a captivating account of your work and its connection to history.
It motivated me to do some reading about the second Anglo-Dutch war.
This period is descriptive of a complicated political landscape between the Dutch, English, Swedes and Danes.
Trade routes were worth fighting for, as were the overseas possessions of the various European powers.
Your three final images of the model are beautiful and showcase your attention to detail.
I think I’ll do some reading to learn more about that era.

Don: That is a gorgeous image of the Kalmar Nyckel. Thank you for the introduction.

Mike
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2019, 07:45 AM
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Vermin_King Vermin_King is offline
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Had to go back and re-read the whole thread. Quite interesting. And it turned out to be a very beautiful model
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:29 AM
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Seahorse Seahorse is offline
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Thank you, Ab, for the next very interesting lesson. It is a plaesure both to read and watch your work.

Tomek
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2019, 10:20 AM
missileer missileer is offline
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Once again, fact has proven stranger than fiction! A thoroughly enjoyable history lesson involving ancient sailing conditions, centuries old ship construction, art, fraud, modern model building technology and forensic investigation. It has all the elements of a great mystery novel! You never fail to amaze and entertain. I thank you, sir.

John
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  #15  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:09 AM
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Michael Mash Michael Mash is offline
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Hello again Ab:
I decided to print the recent part of your thread, and read it during my lunch break.
Your description of your “Fire Ship Hypothesis” was good reading, and I think your conclusion is plausible.
It was clever to build the models needed to help support the idea.
Giving that ship a “military” purpose provides answers to many questions about its construction.
Perhaps we can never be certain, but that is part of the fun of it.

Mike

Last edited by Michael Mash; 04-23-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:17 PM
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Quite fascinating! Interesting conclusion, but would fire ships have such elaborate decorations? I thought these "expendable" ships were usually rather plain in appearance, or would that be a giveaway to observers as to the ship's real purpose?

Since the lack of crew accommodations indicate that this pina was not intended for long voyages, could it also be a purely coastal patrol ship used for day cruising and normally spending the nights in port with the crew ashore? Something like a revenue cutter used for customs enforcement, or port defense against raiders?

David T. Okamura
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  #17  
Old 04-24-2019, 05:04 AM
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Erik Zwaan Erik Zwaan is offline
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Ab, this is a very informative thread. I don't know much about shipping history but have always found it amazing that these old ships were built according to rules of thumb and "the master builder's eye". Never were detailed construction drawings used. In my profession, without any detailed drawings no plant would ever be built without financial disaster. The way you document yourself is almost like science.

Interesting facts mentioned by Don as well. It's remarkable that a Dutch built ship brought Swedish settlers to North America, whereas later on in the 1650s the Dutch governor of the New Netherlands settlement, the (in)famous Petrus Stuijvesant (the name Peter was used by the English, never by the Dutch), invaded New Sweden to annex it to the larger territory of New Amsterdam and surroundings. And a few years later New Netherlands was swallowed up by the larger surrounding English settlements. Pacman avant la lettre.....

Erik
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  #18  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:24 AM
rjccjr rjccjr is offline
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Hi Ab;
Admittedly this thread is the first of your entries which I have read. Perhaps some of this information is material that you are already aware of, but some of it may be useful. First, the further back in time you go finding and gathering information becomes more difficult. You are mostly forced to rely upon contemporary paintings and drawings, which are unlikely to be accurate even when done by the same hand. One corrects his work as he learns more about the vessel. This is even a problem when the sources are supposedly authoritative, right up to the present day. I'm much more familiar with later vessels, such as The USS Constitution, for which there is abundance of data. When researching for accurate models, even of contemporary vessels, you quickly find that two sets of data rarely agree. Ideally you have to pick a particular moment in a ship's career and build to that. The further back in time the harder it is to do. The modeler is forced to do a great deal of extrapolation. It takes some nerve, but the alternative is no model. The good news is, if you are making sense of the project no one can really refute you choices.

A couple of things to keep in mind are that sailors, in the time you are researching were shorter in height, lighter in weight and had a much narrower body mass index than current people have. They were more sinewy and muscular. Their life span due to the ardors of their profession was on the average half the average life span of modern man. Arthritis could cripple a helmsman by age twenty four. In those days one could build a smaller ship and cram more people and equipment into it.

Another matter was that merchant vessels were generally much lighter built than warships. the frames were further apart and the planking thinner. Ninety feet for length can be misleading. Is it length over all, waterline length, length between perpendiculars or other? The length to beam ratio is very significant to the ship's characteristics. Since cargo space was the lifeblood of merchant vessels, they tend to be rounder and wider below the waterline than warships. In any case the frames would necessarily be fair.

Stability was a significant problem. The vessels depicted here appear somewhat shallow draft, and very lightly framed to carry eighteen cannon along with a cargo load, especially with such a small crew. It was common practice to adorn the hull with false cannon ports and cannon. At a distance it could deter an approaching vessel. Up close, not so much. Draughts men usually showed cannon apertures in side views. It does not always reflect the number of cannon actually carried at any given time. In that time artists tended to portray what they saw, thought they saw, or remembered. That was not always a reliable representation. Even if the cannon were very small of bore, that's a lot of weaponry for a merchantman. The concussion of a broadside would really overstress the timbers, and the weight would strain the center of balance significantly. Even on small warships, it was a common cost cutting measure to carry just enough crew to man the cannon on only one side of the ship, moving the gun crews to the other side as the ship came about. Even so, the moving of so much weight from one side of the vessel to the other would make sailing a very tricky proposition for a merchantman, especially in a rough sea. A significant number of guns meant powder and shot, which would take away cargo space. There was also training of gun crews to consider. Time training meant time away from the sailors primary purpose, running the vessel. In short, it cut into profit.

The bottom line consideration is that you have to give it your best estimate if you want the model. However, they certainly are attractive. Hope at least some of these considerations are useful in your endeavors.

Regards, rjccjr
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  #19  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:26 AM
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abhovi abhovi is offline
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Well gentlemen, thank you all for your unexpected and interesting reactions. I never supposed the intricacies of dealing with historical sources would rouse so many educated replies. The bottom line for as far as this forum is concerned in my opinion is that working with paper allows for creating quite quickly three-dimensional comparing material. But of course it is quite shocking to find out that sources from a well-established museum turn out to be false. Nothing to blame the museum of course, the fake drawings were purchased from a collector early in the 20th century, together with over a hundred other draughts, which are absolutely real. Without specific knowledge nobody could suspect them to be false.

Working with written sources, like specification contracts may seem an uncertain affair to some of you, but stil, if you see how specific some of the information in the contracts is, you would be surprised. Here is a sketch I made after such a contract. For my friend Rene it holds enough information to make a nice set of working drawings.

A 90 feet long pinas by Storck-scan.jpg

About the name 'pinas': it is tempting to translate it to 'pinnace', but that would be wrong, because a pinnace is a completely different vessel. A pinas in Dutch context is an armed trader, just like the Kalmar Nickel obviously is. I like the shape of that ship, but don't believe that ugly blue color. No offense.

Fire ships: yes, they were decorated. Not very sophisticatedly, but enough to give the suggestion it was a 'normal' ship. Perhaps they used old decorations from ships that were taken apart, I don't know.
I suggested that a vessel like this might have been a fire ship, but I don't really know. In the model I did not try to work out the theory, otherwise I would have added dredges to the yard arms, a big hatch in the tuck, to give the crew the chance to get away in the sloop, towed behind the ship, after they had set fire to it. I also did not model the open pipe-lines through the ship, filled with fast burning stuff to spread the fire instantaneously. It was just a theory.

Thanks again for all your undeserved praise and useful suggestions. We will probably never know about the real purpose of this ship, but at least it was a nice project to carry out. You will probably see more of the ship in a composition made by my son.
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  #20  
Old 05-02-2019, 08:54 AM
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abhovi abhovi is offline
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Here are two 'Calm' photo-paintings by Emiel.
Making models under windless conditions it tricky, but here it seems to pay off...

A 90 feet long pinas by Storck-17.-ships-calm-kopie.jpg A 90 feet long pinas by Storck-18.-hoeker_en_kaag-kopie.jpg
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