HMS Miranda (1879); Warship; Sloop

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary builder’s full hull model of the composite screw-sloop ‘Miranda’ (1879). A highly detailed model showing the layout of the numerous fittings needed to operate these small but important vessels. It clearly illustrates the transition of the fighting ship from sail to steam since the single screw is mounted in a stern frame, which can be raised when the vessel is under full sail thus reducing the drag effect. It also has a telescopic funnel, which again, when under sail, would be lowered so as to reduce the risk of fire and interference of the main course sail – hence the saying ‘up funnel down screw’.

At this scale the model is able to illustrate in detail the rigging and operation of the muzzle-loading guns including the stowage of the shells on deck inside the bulwarks. There is also a full set of boats rigged to the davits, which includes an early example of a steam cutter.

The ‘Miranda’ was built at Devonport dockyard in 1879 and was one of a large number of composite-built sloops, and measured 170 feet along the gun deck by 36 feet in the beam with a tonnage of 1130 burthen. It had a complement of 139 men and was fitted with a 900-horsepower engine capable of a speed of 12 knots. The ‘Miranda’ had a fairly uneventful career with its only service abroad in Australia from 1883–86. It then returned to Chatham and was later sold for breaking in 1892.

Object Details

ID: SLR0098
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model
Display location: Not on display
Vessels: Miranda (1879)
Date made: circa 1879
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall model: 315 x 1216 x 350 mm

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