The Objects

17th Jul 1815

4 (2) (1).jpg
5 (2) (1).jpg
Source: Naval Museum of Alberta

A model of the Bellerophon

Contributed by: Juliana Saxton

This model was built by John Boon of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Its size is 100 inches x 31 inches (scale: 1 inch = 1 foot). The model took more than 10,400 hours to build over the course of eight years.

The Bellerophon model is housed in the Naval Museum of Alberta, a component of the Military Museums of Calgary, dedicated to educating the young people of Canada about their military histories.

Mr. Boon’s description of the model

• She is set up as she would have been in 1815: cleared for action with her lower ports closed, waiting for Napoleon to attempt his escape or to surrender.

• She is painted black and white as were British fleets of that time.

• Bellerophon’s boats would normally have been covered with canvas during this waiting period, but I have shown them in a different light. The long boat is shown on the beams (on the port side) loaded with casks ready to go ashore to fetch fresh water.

• The Captain’s barge is also on the beams (starboard side) always ready in case the Captain required its services.

• The cutter, on the port side in the davits (note the swivel guns) is ready to take on Marines who would intercept any small boat approaching Bellerophon.

(Information courtesy of Alison Mercer, Assistant Curator, Naval Museum of Alberta)

Of interest

The model shows HMS Bellerophon unrigged. Ships being maintained, repaired or held in reserve were placed “in ordinary”, that is to say, without masts or rigging. When called into action, it took only two and a half weeks to rig a ship of this size to ready her according to Admiralty Orders, for sea, battle or other duties.