Modelling the last of the “Movies”: discussion and digital survey of the Eothen formerly ML286

Pablo Rodríguez-Navarro, Eliott Wragg, Giorgio Verdiani, Teresa Gil-Piqueras

Abstract

The research presented here puts together different direct and/or physical operations all aimed to enhance the knowledge and produce advanced dissemination of the very last ship from the “Mosquitos’ Fleet” which operated during the World War I and in some operations even during the World War II. The exploration of the valuable remains along the Thames River in London, the intervention with archaeology strategy, the use of digital survey procedures, the investigation of the references about the fleet, the digital modelling and drawing and the final online sharing of the 3D model, brought together to a specific digital heritage creation of an element with a high risk of getting lost. An international team worked together on the poor shipwreck of the Eothen (the last name assigned to this ship by its last owner). The intervention was operated in very odd operative conditions, with the hull invaded by the mud, the very wet environment and the daily flood of the area, such a mix of difficult conditions were a special challenge for the survey operations, which were optimized and accurately planned to allow the best and efficient result in terms of coverage and level of details. The following post-processing aimed to the production of a classic set of 2D drawings and an interactive 3D model, accessible in a real-time visualization from the sketchfab.com platform creates an excellent base for a possible following restoration/musealisation intervention, or, at least, allow digital preservation of a rich dataset of the remains of this interesting piece from the naval history of the first half of the 20th century.

Highlights:

  • The “mosquito fleet” has a specific page in the WWI naval wars. Based on a specific ship, it is missing detailed documentation, the survey of the last one can highlight that episode.

  • The digital survey of the Eothen has a strategy aimed to allow the full documentation of the shipwreck in a very difficult environment, managing floods, mud, vegetation and reflections.

  • The drawings and the 3D model, accessible from a free platform allow complete access to this ruined ship, a contribution to knowledge and a base for possible intervention hypothesis.


Keywords

motor launch; World War I (WWI); digital survey; 3D modelling; 3D laser scanner

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