WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SHIP BUILDING

The Practicum Approach

As you can see in this following picture, the main focus of Book 5, Part 1 begins with the Masting and Rigging.  All the masts (with the exception of the topgallant ones), as well as the lower yards are made up, meaning, they are constructed much as in real life practice with various square timbers, glued and have iron bands wrapped around them.  Associated with the masts and yards are the secondary focus of construction, namely, the mast caps and platforms.  The instructional text, illustrations, and photo essays are exhaustive.  Book 5, Part 1 also takes the ship builder through the process of constructing a very functional rope walk for making all the rigging.  Associated with the rigging are the myriad of blocks and tackle.  True-life practice is followed both in constructing the blocks and attaching the stropping rope as well as preparing the various types of stropping.  The author presents a unique approach of preparing most of the running rigging and attaching them in addition to coiling the rope for belaying the ends on the deck later on.  This approach enables the model builder the opportunity of constructing the running rigging at the proper length and going through a practice run to assure that all blocks have sufficient openings for the various diameter of rope, so that when the time comes for the final running of the rope and belaying it on the deck, etc., all will be well.

HMS Warrior Practicum

William J. Romero Publications

With the masts installed on the ship (no cement being used) and held together by the mast caps, platforms and crosstrees/trestletrees, the focus of construction changes to the installation of the lower shrouds.  It becomes necessary for temporarily removing the caps and topmasts in order to complete the installation of the shrouds, (hence the reason for not using any cement).  Deadeyes are turned on a lathe, chain plates are constructed, and finally it is time to wrap each shroud around its respective deadeye, and seized off after the manner of true-life practice.  A special spacing jig is constructed in order to assure that all the shrouds are evenly wrapped around the deadeyes.  The standing rigging is completed for the lower masts by installing the various stays.  To ease the model builder into the highly involved and detailed work of the mast construction and installation, Book 5 first presents the construction and installation of the bowsprit, along with all the associated standing rigging, hearts and collars.  With one's confidence level increased, the builder is able to focus upon the complicated and time-consuming construction of the masts, etc.  As you can see in the above photo, the waist area of the ship is also completed with the installation of the boat booms, and the construction of all eight ships boats.  You can expect to spend nearly the best part of an entire year simply constructing the boats and finishing them according to traditional ship-board practice.  Book 5, Part 1 is finally brought to its conclusion with the construction and installation of the ratline ropes.  The most tedious work in the entire Warrior Practicum is installing the ratlines with end loops and clove hitch knots.  To ease the pain and boredom, the author presents various diorama scenes for the builder to imitate if he so chooses.  In case you are wondering, the time frame you can expect to spend on the construction presented in Book 5, Part 1 will be about 2 years of dedicated labor of love.


The final volume in the Warrior series, Book 5, Part 2,  has taken the author 3 years to complete both the text and the construction of the model.  While the appendix contains 13 pages of beautiful color pictures, there is also available a CD with the final portrait pictures of the ship in high resolution and can be purchased through the author.  Some of these photos are duplicated here on this web site.  As far as is known, the HMS Warrior Practicum is the largest set of books dedicated to only one ship subject.  It has taken 17  years of dedicated service for the author to complete the Practicum and model.  For those who are wondering about the detailing of the ship, there are approximately 32,000 individual items.  The entire project is complete scratch built including the blocks, rope, chain, and all fittings.  The photos which accompany all the instructional text in the series number in the several thousand.  The same can be said of all of the author's AutoCAD drawings and illustrations being numbered in the hundreds.  The Warrior Practicum is designed to allow the ship modeler to construct the ship in real life practice, using the same modeling techniques as shipwrights of the 17th and 18th centuries.  The end result is that the Warrior looks like a real ship in miniature which will climax the modeling experience of all those who accept the challenge to construct a magnificient ship of the line.  Before presenting the portrait of the ship in its various poses, let me conclude my remarks as thus:  
 
I give you my thanks for letting me be a part of your life.  This
series has, indeed, been long in the making, with time shared
between model, the drafting and text.
A chapter there is to be written by you, 
for what I have begun, you are to complete.  
We measure success in achieving our goal.  
Be it perfect or less, what matters the most 
is the joy we receive, as a matter of boast.

This is an exciting Practicum because it takes you step by step through the construction of a seventy-four gun ship-of-the-line.  There are six books published, and information can be obtained by writing directly to the author at: William J. Romero Publications, 4077 Fort Simmons Ave, Fort Denaud, Florida 33935.  Telephone: (863) 675-3416.  E-mail: wjromero@toast.net.  

Summarizing the six books: Volume 1 features the exterior hull framing using the Harold Hahn method of constructing the hull upside down with all the frames embedded into slots on a construction board base.  The keel/stem/stern sections are added on.  This method of construction assures an accurate hull.  Volume 2 begins the exterior hull planking, the interior strengthening timbers, and the lower deck framing.  Volume 3 covers the lower gun deck detailing: gun making, port lids, in addition to carving the figurehead and constructing the main deck framing.  This volume begins showing some color photos in the Appendix section.  Volume 4 is truly monumental with the usual detailed drawings and many of them depicted in full color.  This volume takes you through the most challenging aspects of the ship construction, namely, the galleries and stern areas, along with their associated carved figures and friezes.  As if this were not enough, you are also instructed in making the Head Rails, constructing a myriad of detailed items on the main, forecastle and poop decks.  The fourth volume is the largest work in the Warrior series, weighing in with 554 pages and over two thousand photos and illustrations.  The fifth volume, Book 5, Part 1, begins with the construction of the ships' boats, the construction of your own custom Rope Walk, making rope, the making of the bowsprit and all the masts along with the yards, lower shrouds and deadeyes together with chain plates, block making, running rigging, ratline installation and crew diorama.  This is the second largest of the books with 459 pages.  The final and sixth volume, Book 5, Part 2, completes the top masts and topgallants, completes the running rigging to its completion and belaying points, completes the shrouds and stays, the construction of the anchors, gun port lids, lanterns and a special diorama of the ships' boys and midshipmen.  There is also the completion of the ship's history and a display suggestion as well as presentation.  There is even a chapter for the Junior Midshipman Program where fledgings are introduced into the world of ship modeling.  This final volume has thirteen pages of color photos.  

Both Book 5, Part 1 and Book 5, Part 2 are available solely through the author at WILLIAM J. ROMERO PUBLICATIONS, contact information listed above.  The complete set of HMS Warrior plans in the 3/16" scale can also be purchased through the author.  Web site http://www.shipmodelpracticums.com  

As with all the Warrior Practicum books, there are two styles of binding.  There is the lay-flat plastic comb binding, and the Limited Edition (100) with simulated leather binding which is signed and numbered by the author.  For pricing of the books as well as the shipping costs and availability, both for domestic and international customers, please contact the author at William J. Romero Publications, contact information listed above. 

The following photo album depicts various  aspects pertaining to the HMS Warrior Practicum.   Only those pictures were duplicated below which demonstrated specific points of interest by the author.