I have added the My in front of Diana so I do not get thousands of hits on my blog about a car crash in Paris.

This blog is about my next model HMS Diana.

Last fall when I finished The Mathew I was left with a problem.  Normally I start planning the next model a full year before finishing so I could spend time selecting an idea and searching for plans.  I was so focussed on finishing the Mathew to give to Ryan and Corrie before Christmas (and I had a little heart issue) that I only realized that I did not have another project on the ways.

So I went to my inventory of plans and realized, that while the model of The Victory was great I had no desire to take on a project that massive.  I really enjoyed the model of The Juno, a British 32 gun Frigate from 1780 that I built many years ago and the only completed model we have at home.

But I did not want to repeat the same model so I decided to make The Diana a 36 gun Frigate built in 1794.  Problem was I only had a book on it and not the detailed plans.  I thought I could use the scantlings from the Juno but, while basically the same, the Diana is a bit larger.  So lots of adjustment of plans for the frames.

Then, in one dark and lonely night as I was anticipating my upcoming heart operation…(I probably had too much to drink that night)….. I decided to make it in the admiralty style. Lets go out in a glory.

This is a huge commitment for a model shipwright

Admiralty style is how the contractors would provide models to the Navy board in the 18th century to show how the ship would be contoured.  They hired the best model builders of the time to produce the hull models.   The lower frames are left open to show the run and sheer and planked above with all the artwork . The frames are adjacent and have to be finished inside and out.  This  framing is nothing like the way the actual ships were framed, it is an artistic style.  The model builders were well paid artisans and the models remain today in the museums in England even if the ship was never commissioned.  Basically today, admiralty style is only done by a model builder trying showing off his skill.

I spent 6 years on The Sutherland which was in the admiralty style and a year making the hull.

Years later I made the Fubbs (a much simpler model) in the admiralty style and I swore I would never build another.

Somehow I forgot this lesson and decided to make the Diana in the Admiralty style.  Started it last October and now have a basic frame structure  Every night over the last few months  I would come up from the shop telling Pat “Never let me make an Admiralty model again”

The framing is so finicky.  You have to line up the spaces and the frame thicknesses over a curve.   What you see in the picture is still rough (the top of the frames have to be trimmed) but what you are looking at is $100 of pear wood where 99% is in the discards and sawdust.

But I am kind of happy with the results and you will see more photos as the model proceeds.   I also include a picture of The Fubbs to give you an indication of what this will look like when I am done.  I will not fully rig the model because the art is in the hull…… There will be many more blogsDSC_0005_3