Looking to do the HMS Surprise

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by Chief400, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Chief400

    Chief400 Member

    Allrighty gang....one of my grail kits is to do Jack Aubrys HMS Surprise from the MAster and Commander Novels. The closest I have found thus far is SHIPYARDS HMS Cleopatra.....she too is a 28 gun frigate (the REAL HMS Surprise was a 32 gun vessel and sold out of the service in the 1780s)

    Anyone got anyopinions on this kit? I figger its gonna be a longterm and far in the future....butI'd like to have it to say I gots it....

    A cardmodel of Tall Ship HMS Rose would be acceptable as well, since they used her for the Surprise in the movie......frankly any 28 gun British Frigate would do.....:grin:
  2. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    As with the books the HMS Surprise was fictional. The Royal Navy has used the name Surprise several times. As I remember in the series the Surprise was a captured French frigate with what would be called a sharp prow. Any 28 to 32 gun frigate model could be called the HMS Surprise and be relatively “accurate”.

    I was told by Tirta who is a member of this forum that Shipyard had announced that they would be printing a model of the HMS Surprise. Their web site does not show this perhaps the copyright laws got in the way.

    Jim Nunn
  3. Chief400

    Chief400 Member

    Yep.....there wasn't an HMS Surprisse in the 1796-1815 timeframe of the novels....so a 28 gun would work....so I went ahead an ordered the Cleopatra....the only reason I would like the HMS Rose is because thats the popular media version of Surprise......I figgr with a scanner and Illustrator I can convert Cleopatra to Surprise fairly easily.....

    "Bluff bow, stiff, weatherly....a fine seabird.......Old...no....she's in her prime..." Jn. Aubrey, RN
  4. swiftsword

    swiftsword Member

    Yes - I remember seeing the Shipyard anouncement myself. At a later point, it was supposed to be a set of plans for a 28-gun frigate "Surpize". Now there's nothing. Patrick O'Brian left notes about the ships after which he modelled Jack Aubrey's commands.

    Check this out: http://hometown.aol.com/batrnq/index.htm


  5. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    I have been harboring the same dream. To build the Surprise or as close as a kit can get me. I have the Cleopatra. Some time ago a leading member of this group was deep into the building of the Cleo. Larry's passing left the cleo as a fond memory. The build thread was a joy and a testiment to Larry's gifts and to the quality of the kit. For some time it was archived. I do not know if it survived the recent raids on our site.

    I know that Christop has a galerie of his build on his site

    I believe that the plans of the Surprise originally posted on the Shipyard site have been renamed to the Enterprise. I suspected copyright issues but have no first hand knowledge. http://www.model-shipyard.com/plany-en.html

    I hope that this thread can continue and collect what little is know on both the HMS Surprise and the HMS Cleopatra.

    Oliver thanks for the link, you beat me to it. I had logged on tonigh with the intention of posting that link. I also would call your attention to the Sept/Oct 2006 issue of Ships in Scale with a review of a scratch build of the Surprise build by Antony O'Connor. He states that he based much of his build based on the paintings by Geoff Hunt (the cover images of the Master and Commander series).

    I have some questions I hope we can discuss.
    So do we have a real ship in a fictious setting as indicated by the links Oliver posted. Is the Enterprise a way around the copyright issue ( a 28 gun frigate)?

    The description calls her a 28 gun frigate in the Jack Aubry site. However the detail of the ship confuses me: "Armament: Upper Deck twenty-four 9-pound long guns, Quarterdeck eight 4-pound long guns and four 12-pound carronades, Forecastle two 4-pound long guns and two 12-pound carronades. Apparent actual armament: Upper Deck twenty-four 32-pound carronades, Quarterdeck eight 18-pound carronades, Forecastle two 6-pound long guns." Are the carronades and two 6 pounders not counted in the designation?

    Lastly what can be said of the original HMS Cleopatra? Can any of our polish speakers tell us what Model Shipyard has to say about her?

    I am hoping to build some documentation on both ships.

  6. cdcoyle

    cdcoyle Member

    On sailing men-of-war armed with long guns, carronades were not counted for gun totals, so that takes care of those. The long guns in the forecastle were chase guns, and I'm not sure if those were counted or not. And as Capt. Aubrey did in the novels, a captain could bring aboard armament paid for out of his own pocket, plus he some leeway in configuring his ship, so a frigate rated at 28 guns may well have carried more. Many smaller men-of-war after 1800 or so had their long guns removed entirely and replaced with carronades, which gave the ship greater weight of broadside, but at the expense of range.

  7. Chief400

    Chief400 Member

    The Enterprise plans seem to be close to the Surprize in her "Nelson Chequer" preferred by Jack Aubry. This seems that it would only require modification to the paint scheme on her hull. Indeed, the plans look very similar to the Cleo as printed. Seems I got the last Cleo from the Paper Model Store, so I'll have to wait til I have her in my hot little paws before I can weigh in on weather the conversion is warranted. If nothing else.....black paint covers all! (Hush my mouth) I'm hoping perhaps the appropriate parts can just be scanned and recolored.....

    On another note......fans of Jack Aubry will delight in seeing Commodore Aubry's HMS BELLONA is avalible from Shipyard as a kit too!
  8. Chief400

    Chief400 Member

    WOOT! Cleo came today! Now thats service!!!! Looks like she's already in a slight Nelson Chequer.....not 100% the same as the photos....anyone got the Cleo Thread?
  9. Chief400

    Chief400 Member

    I have possessed the magic and majestrythat is the Cleo Thread......adn I find that the project is a bit less intimitading......Definately a long term build.....I find I am in need of a tutorial on the basics of rolling masts and spars from paper...I am conviced that Cleopatra can be built into a convincing Surprise......the Nelson Chequre may be painted on afterwards possibly.....and I am thinking on ideas for coppering her bottom as opposed to haveing it in white stuff. Perhap scanning the parts in, redatialing in Illustrator and making it avalible to everyone that wants to take a shot at it?
  10. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    I would welcome a copy of what you are able to do with the recoloring. I have Cleo as well.

    On a related question. The Cleo thread continues on for some several more pages and is hosted on the present site. However the images are gone. Is there any way to recover the "second part" of the thread with images?

  11. Chief400

    Chief400 Member

    OK...looks like midway on Page 12 out of 13 it switches over to the new site in JAn 2004. Is there more after this?
  12. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    There is more, do a search on this site for Cleopatra. You will find a thread which Larry picks up on the building of the mast, however the photo's are lost.

    I wanted to add that on teh Model Ship World website http://modelshipworld.com/phpBB2/portal.php

    There are discussions of cardmodeling and the Cleo. The following quote adds to the information known: Cleopatra was the 4th ship in Sir John Williams' Amazon class of 32 gun frigates. She was ordered in 1778 and launched the following year. The Amazons were an updated to Slade's earlier Niger class.

    This lead to the following link.http://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/results.asp?image=10325731&wwwflag=2&imagepos=8

    Just for those who like to know such stuff. John
  13. swiftsword

    swiftsword Member

    Incidentally, but not entirely OT - I just recently found out that the U.S. Navy, too, had some bad-a*s sailing ships. After 1812 Congress funded nine ships of at least 74 guns. Some of these were actually built, including the huge 120-gun Pennsylvania. I have hull plans for the "North Carolina", 74, but I have only one photo and a so-so drawing, and no idea what the rigging plan might have been. Google had no answers whatsoever. Does anybody know more?

    BTW - It irks me that at least one of these ships survived until 1926. Why couldn't they have saved her? :(

  14. Bluenoser

    Bluenoser Member

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