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The Ship as she sits in Portsmouth  today

                    

                       The completed Model, September 18, 2005                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Model and The Admiral

The Ship

The HMS Victory was launched in 1765 and has been in active service with the British Navy since that time.  Longer than any other ship.  As a result, it carries a significant amount of history and is very popular attraction with tourists visiting the Portsmouth Naval Yards. 

The information provided here reflects the configuration of the ship as it was in 1805 when it served as Vice Admiral Lord  Nelson's Flag Ship from which he commanded the Mediterranean Fleet. Prior to the Battle of Trafalgar the British fleet had been blockading the French and Spanish fleets in the port of Cadiz.   The battle occurred when the French and Spanish fleets tried to escape.  It resulted in the destruction of French and Spanish fleets and destroyed any hope Napoleon had of invading Britain.  Lord Nelson was killed by a snipers shot during this battle.

The ship was 216 feet high from the keel to the top of the Main Royal Mast.  It was 336 feet long from the tip of the driver boom in the stern to the tip of the Flying Jib Boom.  The gun deck was 186 feet long.  The was 52 feet wide at it widest point.  The crew consisted of 850 men (650 during peace time) and 57 officers.  It was armed with 104 guns consisting of:

  • 30 32 pound guns on the main gun deck.
  • 28 24 pound guns on the middle gun deck.
  • 30 long 12 pound guns on the upper gun deck.
  • 12 medium length 12 pound guns on the quarter deck.
  • 2 short 12 pound guns on the forecastle.
  • 2 68 pound carronades on the forecastle.

In the Battle of Trafalgar the HMS Victory used 17000 pounds of powder to discharge 62, 432 pounds of shot (2669 rounds).

The Model

From a modeler's perspective it is an ideal ship to build as there is a large amount of information available which will go a long ways to ensuring accuracy of the model.  It is being build to the layout and configuration of the ship circa 1805 using plans obtained from the HMS Victory Museum in Portsmouth, England.  Other reference material used is:

  • The book, The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships by C. Nepean Longridge.  This is an "most have" book for anyone modeling the Victory.  It provides a significant amount of detail about the ship and describes Longridge's experience building his model.
  • The book and set of drawings, HMS Victory Building, Restoration and Repair by A.R. Bugler.  There is excellent reference material in this book and in the accompanying drawings. A caution to the modeler, this book is based, largely, on restoration of the ship so does not always reflect the ship as it was in 1805.
  • The book, 100 Gun Ship Victory by John McKay.  Again and excellent reference.  The modeler should validate any measurements taken from drawings in this book with the base 1805 drawings.

The model described here was started in 1975 with laying of the keel and was completed September 18, 2005.  During that span of time over 4500 hours was spent on its construction.  It is of plank on bulkhead and frame construction.  Bulkheads are used below the main gun deck to provide additional strength and alignment.  Frames are used above the level of the gun deck as all gun decks are completely detailed with guns, fittings and rigging used in the original ship.   The model is 7 feet long and 4.5 feet high.

The gun decks are equipped with small electric lights running at reduced voltage and covered to simulate the oil lanterns used on the ship.  Views of the interior can be seen through the gun ports and stern windows.  There are pictures below of the interior of the completed model taken with a bore scope and digital camera

The stern window assembly is removable to allow access to the officers quarters and to enhance viewing capabilities.  The main hatch is removable on all decks to facilitate access to the decks should a gun or other part need repair.

The model will be rigged with all standing rigging and the running rigging used to support and control the yards.  No sails are installed.

Dimensions of the model:

84"    Length from the tip of the Driver Boom to the tip of the Jibboom.
55.5"    Length from the Stem to Taffrail.
49"    Length at the load waterline.
14"    Maximum width amidships.
56"    Height from the Keel to the Truck of the Main Mast.
31"    Length of the Main Yard. (Includes a section of the stowed Studding Sail Booms)

See the Views of the Model page for more details about the model.