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H.M.S. Diana Quarterdeck

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"Crew-mate Raul Guzman shares a very unique dio scene with us in this MSW photo feature, The H.M.S. Diana Quarterdeck!"

H.M.S. Diana Quarterdeck
The H.M.S. Diana was a heavy frigate with 38 cannon and carronades. She was built in 1794 and she would serve as a scout and convoy escort due to her speed. She served in the Royal navy from 1794 till 1815, when the Dutch navy purchased her.

My model in 1/35 scale is a diorama of a good portion of her quarterdeck. The quarterdeck on a frigate was a very important part of the ship. It was the command center where the captain and/or the officer of the watch would closely supervise the business of running the ship.

Filming on the Quarterdeck
In the last half of the 20th century there was a TV series entitled, "You Are There," in which it conveyed to the viewer at home watching on their TV, the sense that they were seeing historical moments live. One of the episodes in that series was about England's legendary naval hero, Admiral Lord Horaio Nelson and the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.

In my diorama I am depicting the filming of a segment of this episode showing Admiral Nelson and a Marine officer inspecting the quarterdeck activity of one of the ships under their command before the upcoming monumental battle. My model is a scratch built model is 1/35 scale.

I bought the cannon balls (bee bees), the belay pins, eyebolts, blocks, deadeyes and the 4-crew members; everything else is built from scratch. I used various woods to get the colors you see on the hull. Only the blue section has been painted. The ship's wheel, capstan and skylight I made from walnut. The cannons (4) and the carronades (4) I turned from brass rods. Their carriages I made from bloodwood. I made the gratings from boxwood.

The mizzen top is made of ebony. The crew members were all the same upon purchase, I managed to change their appearance cutting limbs and reattaching and using epoxy putty. The quarterdeck was made in 55 actual working days requiring 261 hours and 33 minutes.
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About the Author

About Raul Guzman Jr. (raulguzmanjr)

I am a 55 year old retired Texas History teacher (28 years) and an avid cyclist (28 years) who lives in McAllen, Texas. Living in south Texas enables me to ride my bike almost any day of the year. I spend my retirement days doing as little or as much as I want in building wooden ship models or shi...


Wow! This is a wonderful diorama! It is inspirational. Where did you get the quartermaster and the gunner figures? Thank you for sharing this with us. Chris
MAR 14, 2008 - 12:53 AM
That is a very nice dio. Your Neslon looks pretty darn close to the old guy. "I am Admiral Nelson. And here is my fin!" Thank you for sharing!
MAR 14, 2008 - 01:08 AM
Now thats what I call modeling. Very good dio. I must have looked through all your pics 3 or 4 times just to get a feeling for all the detail.
MAR 14, 2008 - 03:08 AM
Raul, that is just fantastic.... thanks yet again for sharing! Every time I re-opened a pic, I sw more detail... cheers! James
MAR 14, 2008 - 10:34 AM
Awesome stuff Raul! Gator
MAR 14, 2008 - 12:16 PM
I would like to thank the people who have praised my HMS Diana quarterdeck diorama. The figures (scale 1/35) I ordered from Meteror Productions (they recently went out of business). I ordered extra figures (they were all the same) and cut and used epoxy putty to make the figures look different. I also ordered their quarterdeck diorama made out of resin. I only used the diorama for measurements and made my diorama out of wood and greatly enlarged it. I also used extensively the Anatomy of a Ship series book on the HMS Diana to get the size of things. The carronades and cannons were turned from brass. The red in the model is bloodwood, the black is ebony, and the yellow is boxwood. I wrote an article on the construction of this model for the Model Ship World forum. A link to this article can be found on my Diana quarterdeck page on my website (www.guzmanshipmodels.com). Raul
MAR 18, 2008 - 07:02 AM