H.M. Schooner Fair Rosamond, c.1829


The Model

This model is based around the solid hull from a kit called “The Slaver” (Dos Amigos) from the old Marine Model Company with nothing else used from the kit. The hull was reshaped to improve the accuracy of the transom and to allow for planking of the upper hull. The hull is sheathed with individual copper plates below the waterline. Above the waterline, it is planking using scale width strips of American Cherry.

The model deck and deck house roof are planked with strips of degame, or lemonwood. The planking is properly nibbed at the ends and trunneled using bamboo treenails. The deck house and other deck structures are made from cherry. Masting is made from birch and the rigging is linen line with many of the larger lines hand-laid on my ropewalk.

Commercial fittings used include blocks, deadeyes, carronade and hatch cover gratings. Nearly all else is built from scratch. The anchors for example are cast in britannia pewter from a wooden master and the ensign is hand painted cloth.

Deck and Rigging plans are based on drawings by the late Howard I. Chapelle, which were obtained from the National Museum of Amercan History (Smithsonian). The use of the British Navy’s Blue Ensign is based on information provided by the Royal Naval Museum. It is based on the year 1833 when the vessel was under the command of Lieutenant Commander George Rose, and the West Africa Station was commanded by Rear Admiral of the Blue Sir Frederick Warren.

This model is a “Class C” model (Modified Kit) based on Mystic Seaport Museum’s model rating system. It now resides in a private collection in San Jose, California.

Ship Background

The Spanish owned brig-schooner Dos Amigos was an American built “Baltimore Clipper” used to traffic slaves from Africa to Cuba. She was captured off the coast of Africa by the Royal Navy brig H.M.S. Black Joke, herself a former slaver. Because of her excellent sailing qualities, she was taken into service in 1830 and renamed the Fair Rosamond and served thereafter as part of the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron.

She is typical of the extreme Baltimore Clippers built in the early 1800s. Extremely fast, but unable to carry a great deal of cargo, these ships were the perfect design for the privateers employed by the American’s during the War of 1812. After the war, the beautiful and fast vessels were not economical for anything but military use and commercial use carrying “high value” cargos – primarily illegal, such as opium and slaves. Their speed and maneuverability made them difficult to catch, which is why the British turned to the use of captured slavers in their naval campaign to suppress the slave trade.

Brig H.M.S. Black Joke capturing the slaver El Almirante

There is now a permanent exhibit at the Royal Navy Museum called Chasing Freedom, which details the British efforts to suppress the slave trade in the early 1800s.

Go To Chasing Freedom

View Service History

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H.M.S. Fair Rosamond is the former American-built Spanish slaver Dos Amigos. After being captured by the British, she was taken into service in the surpression of the slave trade.

This 3/16” scale model (1:64) is based on an old kit, using its solid hull. The model retains nothing else of the kit and is planked and coppered. It measures roughly 28” in length and 21” in height.