Michael, The guns look very good, especially the hardware on the carriages, right on the money. If you are removing things, you could also remove the pinrail above the gun in the last picture and replace it with a big cleat for the mainsheet. We have this feature wrong on the ship in the museum - our bad!
OK so those two pinrails will also be removed. Thanks for the update, your work is certainly also evolving as new data are discovered. I spent a weekend in Stockholm in the mid 90's I would love to return to once again visit the museum. On my list (:-)
Absolutely beautiful work, Michael. I am returning to our wooden ship model hobby after a two year hiatus and have a large scale Wasen built by a factory in Vietnam I just took possession of, yesterday. I am trying to determine if the hull shape is correct, or close. If it is then I will take down the rigging and repaint over the powder blue upper works. I am making a list of what i need to change including all of the main deck guns and the rigging blocks, which are thimbles!
Vlad, the model is correct, since he is holding the fore top. The fore top and the main top (the one reconstructed in the museum) are not built in the same way! On the fore top, the side planks run on top of the end planks, while on the main, the end planks run on top of the sides.
I am afraid that I cannot read the discussion you referred to, I do not speak Russian.
The drawing that you posted is an illustration of a generic top of the period, as reconstructed by a modern author, not one of the tops from Vasa. It is also incorrect as regards normal practice, based on the surviving archaeological examples of actual tops (three from Vasa, one from Mary Rose, one in the Kalmar museum, among others) as well as illustrations of the construction of tops from 17th-century sources and surviving original tops in models, such as the 1650s Swedish model called (erroneously) Amaranth.
As the director of research at the Vasa Museum, part of my job is to record the remains of the ship. From this I can tell you the following:
1. Parts of all three of the original lower tops survive. The main top is more or less complete, about half of the fore top survives, plus most of its crosstrees, and many small fragments survive from the mizzen top. I have personally documented all of these in detail (see the reconstruction drawings below for the results).
2. The construction shown in the drawing you appended does not agree with the reality of the surviving tops from Vasa and other sources in the following respects: there are too many planks used for the floor, there are too many radial knees and not enough stanchions supporting the rail, the construction of the sides is over simplified, the lubber's hole in the center is not usually square but slightly rectangular, and the mounting of the puttocks is not in the top railing (which is too light to carry them) but in the heavier main rail. The illustration comes from James Lees, The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860 (p 19), and is accompanied by the following text: "The method of constructing the tops in the seventeenth century is unknown and it is only possible to give a conjectural idea." So Lees did not actually make this drawing on the basis of any direct evidence and it is extremely suspect. I prefer to rely on actual evidence, of which there is plenty.
3. Vasa's lower tops have the following characteristics: a. The base is usually made of only two or three planks on each side, oak and 6-7 cm thick. The direction of overlap varies, with the end planks on top in the main top and the side planks on top in the fore top. b. The lubber's hole is rectangular, slightly longer than wide, and more or less centered within the circle of the rim, although the hole in the main top was offset to one side by mistake, which required a cutout in the port edge of the hole to accommodate the mainstay. c. The fore and main tops have 18 radial knees carrying the railing, while the mizzen has 12 knees. d. There is a stanchion mounted in the edge of the floor between each pair of knees to support the railings. e. There is a short, thin vertical piece between each knee and stanchion, which we call a strut, connecting the floor and lower railing. f. The edges of the knees, stanchions and struts have grooves to carry thing filling planks, so that there is an uniterrupted wall around the top up to the lower railing. g. The puttock irons pass through holes in the heavy lower railing, with the holes protected by rectangular iron wear plates nailed to the top of the railings. There are four puttocks on each side of the fore and main tops, three on the mizzen. h. There are a number of holes through the top which act as fairleads for elements of the running rigging of the topsail and topgallantsail.
4. The reconstructed top on display on the 6th floor of the museum (shown in your photos) is not entirely correct in its construction details (it lacks the thin filling planks in the sides, for example), but is a fair representation of the main top. The fore top would look a little different.
The model top is not a bad representation of the reality, considering the scale and the mass production methods. The pieces are all a little heavy, I think that the sides are a little more vertical and higher than in the real tops, and the side wall detail is simplified, but all in all not so bad. They even got the uneven lengths of the knees right. This is not entirely surprising, since we supplied the drawings from which the models are made.