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Model Boat Builder Gallery - Working Models

Model Boat Builder Gallery

Display, Working and Pre-Owned Models.

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US Coast Guard boat.642 viewsThis model came to us for refurbishment, as a box of rather battered bits. The brief was not to fully rebuild, but rather to reassemble, repaint and refurbish. This sort of job can be done at quite an economic cost. She looks smart in her new paint, and will go on to give pleasure for years to come.
Tug Furie.778 viewsThis working model of a steam tugboat is twenty-seven inches long. She is small enough to be easy to store and display, easy to transport to the water, but big enough to carry a convincing level of detail. She has a good presence on the water.
She is a complete pleasure to sail. At the end of a demanding day's work, take a little ship like this to the water. Put her afloat. As she gathers way, spinning her delicate web of illusion, looking every inch a little ship in great waters, you can feel the day's cares wash away. Model boats can be very therapeutic.
She is based on the famous Dutch steam tug "Furie", now preserved. Tugs are an important part of the Dutch maritime heritage. The Dutch are the world's marine salvage specialists, and many of the world's largest and most powerful tugs sail under their flag. "Furie", exemplifying a vessel from an earlier age, is something of a national monument.
This model is now in the famous Childe Beale collection.
(model by John Davies)
Trafalgar Surfacing.743 viewsBlow ballast and up she comes!
(Model by John Davies)
Trafalgar diving.627 viewsPump in ballast and down she goes. She will run beautifully under water, fast, level and stable. Unfortunately, she defied all attempts to photograph her doing so! All my attempts produced lovely pictures of areas of open, empty, water. But that's the point of a submarine really. Underwater, they can be very hard to detect.
(Model by John Davies)
Trafalgar class submarine.627 viewsJust like the real boat, the model Trafalgar class is not really happy on the surface. But pump in ballast and she slips below into her true element.
(Model by John Davies)
Trafalgar class submarine.683 viewsThis big black beast is a Sheerline Models Trafalgar class submarine. The Trafalgar class boats are the Royal Navy's current class of nuclear hunter-killer boats. They are among the most sophisticated, quietest, most effective boats in the world. The model is quite an intricate little machine. Just like the real thing, both rudders and planes work, and an onboard tank will either flood with ballast or blow it out.
(Model by John Davies)
Swift (steam launch)781 viewsHere is an interesting example of what can be done. The client supplied us with a wooden hull in a very rough state. He had picked it up in an antique shop, and liked the lines. We completely rebuilt it. We installed a simple interior, and a small steam plant. Just look at the engine! You can almost smell the steam and hot oil.
(model by John Davies)
Solomon Browne929 viewsOn December 19th, 1981, the
coaster "Union Star" suffered engine failure off Mount's Bay, in a violent gale. It seems possible that the captain failed to realise how close in he was. The Penlee lifeboat "Solomon Browne" approached the casualty not in the huge rollers offshore, which would have been dangerous enough, but in the boiling cauldron of rocks and broken water close inshore, in darkness, amidst enormous breakers and hurricane force winds.
They made repeated runs alongside in the most appalling conditions. Twice, the lifeboat, all twenty-three tons of her, was picked up and beached on the casualty's hatch covers. Despite this terrible battering, they kept coming back. They took off four of the eight people aboard, but were overwhelmed before they could rescue the others. There were no survivors.
The small village of Mousehole was thown into deep grief. Then they showed true heroism. They mustered a new crew and asked for a replacement boat within hours.
As well as being a justly honoured piece of lifeboat history, the "Solomon Browne" makes a wonderful model. At 1/12th scale, fittings are sturdy. She fits in the car. She is as seaworthy as you would expect. While she is a lovely display model, she really comes into her own on the water, where she is startlingly evocative of the real boat. She makes a tiny, but not unworthy, tribute to some very brave men.
She will usually draw an audience. Rattle an RNLI collection box at them. The lifeboats need your help. Remember, they might be out again tonight.
(model by John Davies)
Small fishing boat. (detail)720 views
Small fishing boat.708 viewsNot all working models have to be big and expensive. This little motor fishing vessel shows that quite a small boat can incorporate a delightful range of detail. We have a particular fondness for this type of model. It will sit on a bookshelf and add a touch of colour and interest to your room, but you don't have to rearrange the whole room to make space for it. It is easy to transport to the water, and if the pond is some distance from the carpark, you can carry it easily in one hand. She looks good on the water, and her seaworthy lines assure her of a good performance.
(model by Frank Hasted)
Sir Galahad.735 viewsMy father spent the war in minesweeping trawlers. I built this model of the "Sir Galahad" for him in 1985. It was the first model boat I ever built.
Sir Galahad.702 viewsReaders of Traplet's "Introdution to Marine Modelling", which I co-authored with Chris Jackson, will recognise the model from that book, in which it is prominently featured.
(model by John Davies)
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