Reconstruction of war junks of 16CE

Dec 2018
54
Singapore
#1
Dear Friends,

Most existed models of war junks today are based on a few known (more or less detailed) plans, published by famous scholars (F.E.Paris, A. Cherini, G.R.G. Worcester, etc.). Those plans are based on few junks observed during 18-19 centuries. However, I believe that there were countless number of distinct types of war ships of different sizes and destinations , which were actually a combination (to a different degree) of different features of so a called “typical junks”. And we have very limited pictures from ancient scholars, which allows only guess how the various ancient war junks looks like.

The idea behind this project is to use available sources and images, some modern understanding of development of Chinese shipbuilding technologies, knowledge of principles of shipbuilding, and logical extrapolations / compilations of known details- to try to recreate different types of mid 16 century (Ming dynasty) war junks, varied from known today.
Main goal of this project is to prepare the tools and clarify acceptable details for development plans for various types of junks for a specified period.

Any naval forces of any country comprise of various types of ships designed for different tasks - big battle ships, designed to fight with enemy ships during naval battles; auxiliary (smaller) war ships to support and protect big battleships; supply/ logistic/ troop carrier ships, etc.
Taking in account the restrictive policy of Ming dynasty in 16 CE, it is logical to assume, that ship on highest demand of that period was coastal defense/coast guard war junks. Those ships can be used to fight pirates and smugglers, to protect lengthy coast lines, to suppress rebellions and to maintain the order in territorial waters. Such ships may not be big ocean-going type- rather they shall be of average/small size and able to operate in vicinity of coastal lines and in shallow waters. Such ships most probably were built by local officials for their own needs, using local resources and local shipwrights - therefore shall follow a traditional design well-known to local builders, and which was specifically adapted for local conditions and environment. For northern provinces with multiple big rivers, the most suitable (and proven) type was ShaChuan flat-bottom ships.

I have decided to start with the hull of northern Shachuan junk – Hangchow trader (just because more information and some details were available), but increased in size and deliberately amended to incorporate some details /features from other designs to improve her fighting abilities. I believe that such type of ship will be best for coastal defense and river patrol tasks, especially in Northern provinces.

The length of modeled ship is about 25m and beam 7m in scale 1:96 (those selected dimensions are arbitrary and cannot be justified- my intention was to create a "reliable" design, rather than to prove the size of ship). This makes about 140 tons burthen and 40-50 complement onboard.
Armament include 4 Dajiangjunpao guns + 2 FoLangJi swivel guns (also reconstructed). Size, colors and decorations were selected assuming that this was not a just war junk, but rather a “flagship” of local administrator of high rank.


I understand that this is a first attempt and therefore could have mistakes- and would like to start this thread here for discussion, looking for help from experts. That is important for me, especially taking in account that I have access mainly for secondary resources - mostly in English.
So, any comments will be very appreciated, and I will try to incorporate in the model (if possible). If I am unable to include them in this current model, they will be taken into account in the following models - I plan to build a few models of different types of junks later.
Thank you.


IMG_7146a.JPG IMG_7151a.JPG IMG_7152a.JPG IMG_7150a.JPG IMG_7148a.JPG IMG_7147a.JPG

Some References (FYI) :
Paris, Francois-Edmond. L'Essai sur la construction navale des peuples extra-europuns ou Collection des navires et pirogues construits par les habitants de l'Asie, de la Malaisit, du Grand Ocean et de l'Amerique dessines et mesures pendant les voyages autour du monde de L'Astrolabe, La Favorite et L'Artemise. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1841.

Paris, Francois-Edmond. Souvenirs de marine conservés, ou Collection de plans de navires de guerre et de commerce et de bateaux divers de tous les pays tracés par les constructeurs ou marins ... recueillis et publiés par l'amiral Pâris ... Album. Paris, 1879. Folio.

Trimming, Michael S. K. 'The Pechili Trader: A Hull Lines Plan'. The Mariners Mirror 97, no. 3 (2011): 121.

Van Ttlburg, Hans. Chinese Junks on the Pacific: Views from a Different Deck. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.

Worcester, G. R. G. The Junks and Sampans of tire Yangtze. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute,Press, 1971.

Worcester, G. R. G. Sail and Sweep in China: The History and Development of the Chinese Junk as illustrated by the Collection of Models in the Science Museum. London: HMSO, 1966.

STEPHEN TURNBULL ,Fighting Ships of the Far East, Ospray

HG Hasler, JK McLeod, PRACTICAL JUNK RIG -Design, Aerodynamics and Handling, ADLARD COLES NAUTICAL, 1987

Jun Kimura, Principles in East Asian Shipbuilding Traditions, Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law, Flinders University

Stephen Davies , East Sails West-The Voyage of the Keying, 1846-1855, by

Donnelly, l. A. Chinese Junks and Other Native Craft. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1930.

Manguin, Pierre-Yves. 'The Southeast Asian Ship: An Historical Approach'. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 11

Manguin, Pierre-Yves, Ships and Shipping in Southeast Asia, Oxford University Press USA, 2018

Nicole Goetz, The Age of Gunpowder, 2013

Иванов С.. Боевые корабли древнего Китая, 2004

VA. Sokoloff, Ships of China, 1982,

M Flecker and W.M. Mathers: Archaeological Recovery of the Java Sea Wreck, Annapolis, 1997);

M Flecker, The Archaeological Excavation of the 10th Century Intan Shipwreck, Java Sea, Indonesia, British Archaeological Reports International Series 1047

M. Flecker, “The Jade Dragon Wreck: Sabah, East Malaysia,” Mariner’s Mirror 98.2012

P.-Y.Manguin, “New Ships for New Networks: Trends in Shipbuilding in the South China Sea in the 15th and 16th centuries,”

Kwan-wai So, Japanese Piracy in Ming China during the 16th Century (Michigan 1975).

Aldo Cherini, Dal Mar Rosso all’India e dall’Indonesia alla Cina, albomo Trieste 1986
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
13,513
Europix
#2
My comment would be: bravo!!!

Nice model, well done, proper, good detailing .... respect! I really am keen to see Your following work.

A question: why You've chosen that scale?
 
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Haakbus

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
3,622
United States
#3
This is impressive. It's been something that has bothered me, the models I saw of junks didn't really seem to match the contemporary drawn pictures and nobody ever filled out the details of the different kinds of ships besides the different styles.
 
Dec 2018
54
Singapore
#4
My comment would be: bravo!!!

Nice model, well done, proper, good detailing .... respect! I really am keen to see Your following work.

A question: why You've chosen that scale?
Thank you very much!
About scale: For bigger scale models it is easy to made the details, but they takes a lot of space at home! :) So far as I have made some models even in 1:2000 scale, this 1:96 (standard for models) is quite comfortable for me
 
Dec 2018
54
Singapore
#5
This is impressive. It's been something that has bothered me, the models I saw of junks didn't really seem to match the contemporary drawn pictures and nobody ever filled out the details of the different kinds of ships besides the different styles.
Thank you!
That is exactly what comes to my mind... I would like to try to design the junks the same way as we designing modern ships (applying same logic and approaches), but using ancient technologies.
My problem is that I am not sure which technology/elements/ details were available (or applicable) to particular type of ship of particular period.
 
Feb 2011
6,231
#6
That looks like a great construction RustyBollard. I do have one question: Were the Folangji really used as swivel guns on naval warships? I was under the impression that the Folangji came under a variety of sizes. The smallest were firearms, the biggest were small cannons, and it was the biggest ones which were placed on ships.

Also might want to ask a mod to rename the thread title from 16 CE to 1600 CE. I came in expecting to see Han dynasty warships.
 
Dec 2018
54
Singapore
#7
That looks like a great construction RustyBollard. I do have one question: Were the Folangji really used as swivel guns on naval warships? I was under the impression that the Folangji came under a variety of sizes. The smallest were firearms, the biggest were small cannons, and it was the biggest ones which were placed on ships.

Also might want to ask a mod to rename the thread title from 16 CE to 1600 CE. I came in expecting to see Han dynasty warships.
Thank you for your comments- it is important to me.

Agree with your point about Folangji- I don't know for sure if it is correct.
My assumption is based on pictures below .
Bai Zi Chong with reinforcing hoops, from 'Bing Lu (《兵錄》)'..jpg Folangji_1571.png 07.png
Also if you looks on rear part of guns on next pictures from China guns - you can see a cylinder/ pipe there.
Ming Cannon 1545.jpeg.png Ming_cannon Folangji breech-loader.JPG gun of magical-machine-batellion Ming 15CE.jpg
For me it is a place to insert the handle (as for European swivel gun shown below)- which is not useful for carriage-mounted gun
swivel-1.jpg
So I assume that 2 swivel Folangji gun of relatively small caliber will be a good compliment for bigger guns.
I had some idea to use pair of Gindals instead , but decided against it for some "aesthetic" reason.:)
Gingall.jpg
However if you have better information- I will very appreciate it.

About renaming the thread title- my apologies for confusion if any. Gladly update it , but didn't find yet how to do it- can somebody to helps with that?
 
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Aug 2013
3,622
United States
#8
What evidence did you base the reconstruction of the muzzle-loading guns' carriages on? They look different from what I've usually seen in pictures, though those were mostly land artillery.
 
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Feb 2011
6,231
#9
We know of the armaments on Ming ships because of what was recorded in the JiXiaoXinShu (New Treatise on Military Equipment).

When it speaks of Folangji on ships, it speaks of "Large Folangji" or "Big Folangji", which gives me the impression that the Folangji on ships were the biggest versions that they had.

福船应备 大佛狼机 六座: For the armament of Fuchuan ships there are 6 large Folangji
海沧船应备 大佛狼机 四座: For the armament of Hacang ships there are 4 large Folangji
苍山船应备 大佛狼机 二座: For the armament of Cangshan ships there are 2 large Folangji
 
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Dec 2018
54
Singapore
#10
What evidence did you base the reconstruction of the muzzle-loading guns' carriages on? They look different from what I've usually seen in pictures, though those were mostly land artillery.
Good point. I didn't find any reasonable picture of naval gun's carriages, so have used a bit of logic.

For European type of guns difference between land and marine carriages were size of wheels and solid wood frames- this is naturally comes from usage of guns on land or on board of ship.

china-chinese-cannon-captured-during-boxer-rebellion-date-circa-1910s-G3CRPB.jpg 800px-Bangkok_Ministry_of_Defence_Cannon.jpg
Therefore i have used available pictures of land carriages, and try to modify its in same direction.
The-ancient-cannons-on-the-top.jpg ming gun models.jpg iron-cannon-in-the-ancient-city-walls-the-ancient-chinese-military-facilities-have-rich-nostal...jpg Chinese cannon.jpg
Taking in account absence of any standardization in artillery in that period ( all pictures I can find shows different carriages), it is quite possible that same /similar carriages really exist.
9567500_1.jpg Malay cannon.jpg Korean naval cannons.jpg
It is not strictly scientific, but for me is closest approach for now (until actual carriages will be found).
Very appreciate if you can provide me with any updates.
 

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