Guns in 3D

6 01 2010

Frederik Hyttel, one of the students here at the Maritime Archaeology Programme in Esbjerg won our “HMS St George gun modelling competition”…- well, or just delivered an incredibly detailed model…
You can download his model of an iron 12 pounder lifted from the wreck of HMS St George below. Frederik’s model is based on the total station survey of a gun and carriage on display in the Strandingsmuseum Thorsminde. To view the Rhino 3D file, you need a copy of Rhinoceros3D. A fully functional evaluation version can be downloaded here. The Sketchup file can be viewed and modified with the free 3D modelling software Google Sketchup.

Iron 12 Pounder HMS St George (Rhino3D file – 17MB)

Iron 12 Pounder HMS St George (Sketchup file – 26MB)


The St George Rudder and Cannons Day

6 01 2010

Recording the guns of HMS St George

The day we were all going to know as St.George Rudder and the Cannons Day started very early, in fact way too early for most of the Maritime Archaeology students, but as dedicated students we sacrificed our sleep in (which never goes past 9:30 of course). After traveling north through the Danish tundra we arrived at the edge of the Nissum Fjord. To be exact the small settlement of Thorsminde where the Strandingsmuseum was situated. Here we started the day by (under protest) being split up into two groups. We were to take turns in taking points with the Total-Station as well as measuring the remaining canons and carriages of the St.George by hand and in precise measurement drawn archaeological drawing of the famous St.George Rudder.

After the (which has known to be a standard procedure) arguments and discussions of the first group, about whether the 3 cm diameter hole in the 7m rudder was on an original part of the rudder or a reinforcement, the archaeological drawing could start! Unfortunately at this point one and a half hours had passed and it was time for a change of stations.

The recording of the cannons had to be continued. Using the total station we started with 4 orientation points on the ground, and then recording points at every important angle and curve which would later be used to create a 3D model by using a program, loved by the students, called Rhino. With little coffee breaks and a short excursion to the pier the work made steady progress, plus we got to a free tour of the  museum by the very welcoming director (who also provided the coffee).

By the time it was starting to get dark, the last points of the carriage were being taken and recorded, and the last details of the St.George rudder were being drawn (this turned out to be an amazing drawing thanks to our special portuguese friend). Once finished we could make our long way back home to Esbjerg…

Watch this spot for the results!

Isger Vico Sommer

Recording the Rudder of HMS St. George

22 04 2009

In week 12 (16th – 10th March) the students of the Maritime Archaeology program partook on a survey week to learn more about different methods of recording. What was being recorded was the rudder that most probably belonged to the English ship of the line HMS St.George that went down on the west coast of Jutland in December 1811. When wrecked she was using an emergency rudder, because the original rudder, which we recorded, had been lost earlier. The rudder is now located at the Strandingsmuseum St.George in Thorsminde on the northwestern part of Jutland where many of the recovered artifacts from HMS St.George are on display.

Rudder port side

Rudder port side

We used various recording tools such as photo documentation, sketching, and written descriptions of what we perceived. We also measured the rudder using a total station, where we measured angles and distances from the total station to the points that we survey. A total station is an electronic theodolite integrated with an electronic distance meter, which is also capable of storing data.

Students recording

Students recording

To complete the numerous tasks we were divided in groups and subsequently changed around tasks to ensure that all had the opportunity to try out the various methods. It was important to get all of the recording completed precisely while we were at the site, so that it would be possible to do the post processing at a later time.

Using the total station

Using the total station

The most time consuming part of the recording was the total station work, there were many many points which needed to be measured in; the outline of the whole rudder, the nails and nail holes, the different sheeting and different marks in the wood. The points we got from the total station we later processed using the software Rhinoceros 3D. The processed results will offer us the opportunity to create a 3D model of the rudder.

With the results of our recording the class will ultimately produce an article, which is intended for publication in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. We have now divided into different groups that will look closer at the description of this rudder, the methods that we have used to record it, and also look at shipbuilding, contemporary shipbuilding dictionaries and other rudders from the same period.

Liv Gardsjord Lofthus