Sunday, 27 September 2015

HMQS Gayundah Part 3


No, not the late, great Fred, but what a lot of people refer to as "Portholes".
The proper Naval terminology is scuttle or sometimes a "Port Light".
Port holes are more properly an opening in the ship's side and allows personnel or cargo ingress or egress.
Anyway, the Gayundah requires quite a number of scuttles and this is the method I used to represent them.

Two lengths of telescoping styrene tube.   The larger to be the diameter of the scuttle you require.   These are cut roughly into rings of the required size.   
To obtain a uniform thickness, these rough rings were filed using the hole in an industrial hacksaw for the smaller ring and I drilled a suitably sized hole in some plastic sheet for the larger ring.
Whatever you use as a filing guide make sure it is a snug fit otherwise the ring may roll in the hole and you will not get the desired effect.

Once the rings are filed to a uniform thickness, the smaller rings are glued to a backing piece of .20 thou plastic sheet.   Once dry, they are trimmed to the outside diameter of the inner ring.   They are inserted into the larger ring and glued in place.   They are recessed slightly.
Then it is just a matter of inserting into the predrilled holes in the ship's side/hull and gluing in place.

The last two photos show the hull scuttles in situ as well as the stern finished.   The curved stern was covered in thin strips of .20 thou conforming roughly to the curve of the stern and then puttied and sanded a few times to achieve a smooth finish.

The two sides of the superstructure were prepared, the scuttles were let in as well as a small rectangular opening low on the side.   Internal bracing and support tabs were also glued on the interior.

Heads and Baths.
(and other accommodation.)

From left to Right - The Chief Engineers Cabin (I think), the Boiler Uptakes and Galley and the Senior Sailors Heads and Baths.   I made up a Cutlass Rack and a Fire Hose stowage as well as some Dip Tubes (for measuring Fresh Water Tanks).   All spurious as I cannot find interior photos for the life of me, but I felt the bulkheads needed something.   I know modern day warships have their bulkheads crammed with all sorts of gear as stowage space is always at a premium but as far as the Victorian era goes???

The above mentioned accommodation spaces as well the superstructure sides in place.   These have been braced both vertically and horizontally.
In the next post I hope to deal with the Main Armament Embrasure and the 01 Deck.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A Visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Queensland Maritime Museum, located on the Brisbane River, adjacent to Southbank Parklands, Brisbane.
I thought I would share some photos I took whilst I was there.

The site of the museum is centred around the historic Dry Dock, constructed in 1876.   During the Second World War  the Dock's importance came to the fore, as Brisbane became a major Allied Naval Base.    Nearly 50 ships of the Royal Australian Navy and nearly 100 United States warships, including submarines, were maintained/drydocked.
During it's operational career,  over 5000 ships used the facilities.

The museum itself showcases the HMAS Diamantina, a WW2 era River class frigate, the Light Ship "Carpentaria", the steam tug "Forceful" and numerous historical small craft.
In addition there are many exhibits of Naval and Maritime hardware, armament, ship models, ship's fittings and lighthouse exhibits.

HMAS Diamantina

Depth Charge Projectors and Racks on the AX of HMAS Diamantina.

Hammocks in the Stoker's Mess (Starboard side)

More modern day Bunks in the Stoker's Mess (Port side)
Diamantina would have been fitted with hammocks for the Junior Sailors during her service in WW2.   The bunks would have been fitted post 1959 as HMAS Melbourne (CVS 21) apparently, was the first ship in the RAN to have them.

One of Diamantina's two 4 inch Quick Firers.

A Mk V Twin Bofors 40/60 Anti Aircraft gun.   These guns were great to watch when firing as they fired a 40mm round at a rate of fire of 120-160 rounds per minute per barrel.   This was of course governed by the loading of the 4 round clips and they would start out in unison but then would fall out and fire alternately, just like in the war movies!

Of particular interest to my self were these two examples of "Big Iron".

These were the main armament of the Colonial Queensland ships, HMQS Gayundah and Paluma.

They are Mk VII 8 inch Breech Loaders.   Unfortunately, missing the breech closing mechanism.

Potted history of the two Queensland Gunboats.

Also on display are these two examples of 18th and 19th Century  ordinance.

They were sent out to Queensland in the early days of the Colony in order to provide some form of defence.   Of particular interest is that they were cast at the Iron Works at Carron, Falkirk, Scotland.   This town gave it's name to the Carronade, which was a powerful, short barrelled anti ship/personnel weapon much used by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era.

There are a number of plaques commemorating  Australian, French, Dutch and American ships as well as dockyard and Merchant Navy personnel that have had connections with the Dockyard during WW2.   
I was pleased to see this particular plaque as my Father served in a Fairmile during WW2, ML 810.

Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 2, a Carpentaria Light Ship.   One of four identical lighthouse ships, they were stationed in the Gulf of Carpentaria for much of their service careers, hence the name Carpentaria emblazoned on the hull.

Last of the major exhibits is the steam tug "Forceful".   Built in 1925, she was the last coal fired tug in operation in the Port of Brisbane working up to 1970.   Until fairly recently she was kept in working order but is now just a floating exhibit.   Unfortunately, her bridge appears to be missing which spoils her lines somewhat.

Inside the museum are many display cases full of Naval and Maritime ship models.
These are just a few examples of the Model Shipwright's craft.

HMAS Diamantina

HMAS Australia, a  WW2 County Class Cruiser.

The Paddle Steamer "Lucinda". 
Built in 1884 for the Queensland Government, she was used in a variety of roles, ranging from servicing Lighthouses on the Queensland coast, Ministerial visits, Flagship of the Queensland Yacht Squadron to Picnic excursions for school groups.
Sadly in 1923 she was sold and became a coal lighter.   In 1937 she was beached at the mouth of the Brisbane River to form a breakwater.   She had been cut down to a bare hull.

HMAS Bathurst.
Bathurst class corvettes were very similar in design and purpose to the Royal Navy's Flower Class Corvettes.   60 of these ships were built in Australia during WW2.   56 served with the Royal Australian Navy and the remaining 4 served with the Royal Indian Navy.

In all, a very interesting museum.   Friendly staff, good access for the most part, to the exhibits and good value for the price of admission.   I will definitely be going back again, just to get more pictures of the ship models!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

HMQS Gayundah Part 2

The AX

The main Weather deck was prepared by skinning the basic hull shape with .20 thou plastic sheet.   This was shaped and sanded to the outline of the deck.   The exposed section of Weather deck aft was represented with another piece of .20 thou sheet that had been scribed to represent the planking. 

  Again Selley's AllFix was used to glue the plastic sheet to the Hi Density Foam hull.   Selley's Kwik Grip spray adhesive was used for laminating the large areas of plastic sheet to themselves.

A start was made on the AX by making up the spacers which raise the AX from the main Weather deck.

The uprights were cut on the NWSL Chopper to ensure uniformity and the assemblies were glued together and put aside to dry.

While the spacers were drying, the AX itself was cut out.  This was made from two sheets of .20 thou plastic sheet, laminated with the top sheet being scribed to represent the planking.

The AX spacers in place aft.

AX glued to the spacers.   Commanding Officer (Desig) and his Gunnery Officer admire the 4.7 inch Breech Loader.

The aft mast house was stepped in using a length of plastic tubing glued and braced into the decking and the hull.   The aft mast (to be constructed) will just slip into the mast house tube.

Finally the Bulwarks and Bulwark Stays were added to the perimeter of the AX.   These were made up from 2 laminations of .20 thou sheet.   The Taffrail was added, again using 2 laminations of .20 thou plastic sheet.

The picture above shows the completed AX with secondary and tertiary armament.   The Companionway and Wardroom Skylight are also in place.

In the next post I will commence work on the Aft Weather Deck (or 1 Deck Aft) and the main superstructure.   

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Her Majesty's Queensland Ship "Gayundah"

HMQS Gayundah, later HMAS Gayundah, was a Flat Iron Gunboat built by Armstrong, Mitchell and Co., Newcastle, England in 1884.   She and her sister, Paluma, were ordered for the Queensland Maritime Defence Force.   At this time, the Australian states were responsible for their own Naval defence in conjunction with the ships of the Royal Navy on the Australian Station.

Gayundah and Paluma were armed initially with 1 x 8"Breech Loader, 1 x 6"Breech Loader, 2 x 1.5" Nordenfelt Quick Firers and  2 Machine Guns.
For more information on these two Gunboats I can recommend the the following website which covers them in more detail than I can here:  Gayundah Info .

So, having said all this, you might be asking "what is this leading to??"
I intend to make a model of the Gayundah in 1/32nd scale., Crazy, Folly, Madness... Yes probably all of the above  but  I have a got a model of a 4.7 inch deck gun that needs a ship to go underneath it!   So over the next couple of posts, I will detail the construction of the Gayundah.


Are a good place to start and the subject is well covered on the web. 
I chose to use the plans from the State Library of Queensland and they are reproduced here courtesy of that organisation.

The plans were enlarged on the photocopier to the correct size and printed over 4 x 2 A4 sheets.   These were then taped together.

A major hardware chain here in Australia had large sheets of 5omm thick Hi Density foamboard for $20.00 a sheet.   I chose this for the construction of the hull.

The photo above shows the foam board and a half plan, photocopied from the original plan.   This was used to mark out the shape of the hull.

The hull was then roughly cut out with a new jack saw and final shaping was achieved with the bench sander and a B&D Mouse sander.   The foam board sands up very smoothly and could be left uncovered if it was to be used for a static model.

   However, I felt that bottom of the hull in particular needed a little more protection, so a piece of 3mm MDF was cut and glued to the bottom of the hull.

The MDF was cut and sanded to shape and allowance was made for the Cruiser stern.    This too was shaped using the B&D Mouse.

I should mention the glue I used for the Foam board to MDF.    This was Selleys AllFix.
A general purpose adhesive that sticks just about anything to anything!
When working with foam board, it is a good idea to make sure the adhesive is suitable as you may end up with a soggy, sticky mess instead of the Pride of the Fleet you are hoping for!

In the next post I hope to cover the hull sides and Quarterdeck (hereby known after as the AX) and the main weather deck.