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ShipbuilderMN last won the day on April 17 2015

ShipbuilderMN had the most liked content!

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About ShipbuilderMN

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    Obsessed Member

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    Ship modelling. Writing. Vintage radio design & construction.

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  1. ShipbuilderMN

    SS Onyx 1898...help!

    Stuart, I have sent you two photographs of the Onyx via Facebook messenger. Bob
  2. ShipbuilderMN

    SS Onyx 1898...help!

    I would agree that it was one of Robertson's, but I have no idea if the plans still exist. - Bob
  3. ShipbuilderMN


    Stuart, Thanks, I felt that I had made a very good job of that particular model, the British four-masted barqe Marion Lightbody, but it was a bit of a flop. I sent it to the Christie's maritime auction, London in 2004, and it sold for £150. After deductions for commission, I got £100, but I had paid £25 transport fees, leaving me £75. Then comes along the ever-hungry income tax and takes another £15, leaving me with £60. Taking 57 hours to build, I got £1.05 an hour, and from that, one can deduct the cost of materials as well! After that, I got the reputation of "knowing the cost of everying and the value of nothing," and it was all uphill after that! Bob
  4. ShipbuilderMN


    Big pens for big hands! Bob
  5. ShipbuilderMN


    I have put a few slide shows on utube, but they have now discontinued the ability to make more. Not just to me - slide shows on U Tube have been discontinued for everyone, although the ones produced before that remain in position. Here is one for building the steamer Politician: https://youtu.be/dbKlh_aa9r4 It would be too laborious to make a moving video. Bob
  6. ShipbuilderMN


    Polystyrene sheet shaped with gas torch with flame turned down to low level. Covered in crepape paer glued on with white wood glue. Painted with Humbrol enamels. Bob
  7. ShipbuilderMN


    It can't help being cost-effective when compared to across the counter cases. You need a small hobby bandsaw to cut the acrylic sheet, but quite a simple process, if a little tedious. One hour to cut veneer and assemble the base quadrant (wood). One hour to cut acrylic panels, and fit them in the base quadrant. One hour to veneer the case edges. One hour to make inner base and green felt base. Then as long as it takes to polish up the woodwork. The actual cost is the cost of the acrylic (3mm = £3 per square foot), plus 18mm base quadrant, veneer, and green felt about £5. I usually spread the work over four days or so. To me, they look better than ready made cases, and are certainly a lot cheaper. But I have been told that I come into the class of those who "know the cost of everything, and the value of nothing!" I do not take private commissions, but have worked very hard over the years to produce high-quality miniatures by my own efforts, using my own peculiar methods, and developing my own style of ship model. Bob
  8. ShipbuilderMN


    I completed this model of the SS Californian in 1996, and sent it to the Christie's auction house in London, where it sold in the maritime saile for £300! I then forgot all about it, but it turned up again a few weeks ago in the catalogue of Charles Miller Ltd (Nautical auction house, London). At the sale yesterday, it sold for £558! It took exactly 38 hours to build, over a period of 14 days (timed on a stopwatch). and that included making the display case and carrying case! 32 feet to 1 inch (1:384). Scratchbuilt. Collectors love models of merchant ships, but ship model builders are not too keen on them, usually preferring warships! I never really considered the Californian model to be anything special, but it was nice to see that its value has increased considerably over the past 22 years. Pretty poor photograph, but that was before the days of the digital camera! Bob
  9. ShipbuilderMN

    RMS Tantallon Castle 1894

    Not much chance of that, I am afraid! The ship model scene is dominated by kits, and kit producers do not seem very keen on anything that does not have guns. Not that I would like the situation to change, because I am reluctant to build anything that has been produced in kit form. I prefer the obscure, or semi-obscure, merchant ship every time! Bob
  10. ShipbuilderMN

    RMS Tantallon Castle 1894

    Well, I would imagine the plans went up in the atomic attack, but they may have been published in a tcehnical journal when the ship was completed such as Shipbuilder, Shipbuilding & Shipping Record or Shipbuilder & Marine Engine Builder. Here is a model of her in the USA, they may have plans - Bob https://rlkitterman.deviantart.com/art/NYK-Line-Ship-Fushimi-Maru-666905603
  11. ShipbuilderMN

    RMS Tantallon Castle 1894

    Good looking ship. The Japanese did produce some magnificent vessels. Your Fushimi Maru was completed by Mitsubishi at Nagasaki in 1914 and torpedoed by the USS Tarpon in 1943! Bob
  12. ShipbuilderMN

    RMS Tantallon Castle 1894

    The colour was called "Lavender grey." Belonged to the Union-Castle Line, in which I served myself for 11 years from 1965 to 1976, when I had to leave because they decided to sell all their ships! They were once a very famous line, but these days, hardly anyone has heard of them, unless they served in them, or had some connection with them. If you do a Google search for Union-Castle Line, you will see hundreds of pictures of their ships. They looked really beautiful when lying in the sunshine in Cape Town, with Table Mountain in the background! Here is one I built of Winchester Castle. - Bob
  13. ShipbuilderMN

    RMS Tantallon Castle 1894

    You will rarely see models of this type of ship built these days - I have often wondered why! Bob
  14. ShipbuilderMN

    British four-masted barque

    Hi Lars, Thanks, but I was not looking for kits, I meant that very few modellers scratchbuild them, or are even interested in them! I never build kits of anything, not having the money, space, time, patience etc that is required. Plus I prefer the freedom of being able to build anything I want, subject to finding the plans. And as there are far more plans of merchant ships around than warships, it is ideal, and I don't normally build warships anyway, although I have done the odd one. This is my model of the Preussen, built from bits and pices. The masts, spars and all the rigging are metal, the rigging being fine copper wire. The model took just over 100 hours, spread over a few weeks, and that included making the display case and carrying case. Bob
  15. ShipbuilderMN

    The end of my sea career

    The RMS St. Helena docked at 0915 local time for the final time at Cape Town yesterday, 17th February 2018. Passengers disembarked shortly after. As soon as the cargo is out, the ship will be laid up for sale. At the age of 27 years, probably for scrap. The airport on St. Helena is functioning with smaller aircraft. There was to be an air link from St. Helena to Cape Town that would have been most convenient for the islanders, but it has been cancelled for political reasons (Don't ask me what reasons - I don't know!). The flights are now St. Helena to Johannesburg, at quite high cost. Heavy cargo is being taken care of by a small ship that they have just acquired that is called Helena! That is curently delayed in cape Town, because another ship carrying the St. Helena freight has not arrived! It has all been rather an expensive exercise, but RMS St. Helena is gone now - and will not be coming back! Bob