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Iron barque - 25 feet to 1 inch - Scratchbuilt


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Hello MN,

Again a museum piece finished. I admire you for all your patience, building these sail ships.

You mastered these subjects into the smallest details. Keep sharing them with us.

Regards, Orion

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Thanks,

I don't have much patience though!😎    It took 84 hours to build, spread over 53 days.   That included making the display case and carrying case.  I like to see them taking shape after the first couple of hours work!     What does surprise me is that other ship modellers often say they haven't the time to build anything like this, so they stick to kits, but when I ask how long it takes to build a kit, it is usually many months, or even years!

Bob

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This model was severely damaged on its way to Belgium two days ago - it looks like a write-off -  The best one I have ever built!

Bob

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I'm so sorry to hear that Bob, you must be devastated.

No matter how well it is packaged, once an item leaves your hands, it's in the lap of the Gods.

I just hope that the postal service will reimburse you fully for your time and efforts.

Do you plan to remake this model?

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Thanks Chris,

It went via a courier, and was fully insured, but they are already indicating that it is unlikely I will get much back, hinting a few quid to pay for the repair!   But it is not so simple to repair something as small and complex as this, especially as it is rigged in wire.    Also, anything I do get will be taxable.     As Rudyard Kipling said "If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same!"    I am not terribly upset by  it, but will be quite annoyed if they fail to pay out.   They can't play the "insufficient packaging" card, as they have delivered 43 models for me, all over the world for the past nine years without damaging anything, and all that time, they have been happy to take my "extended cover" payments!     I don't know if I will repair it until I see it!   This is just a hobby with me, following 31 years at sea, and I am now 74!    I would imagine it will be "collection only" from now on.     I haven't taken private commissions for years, and only build what I feel like.      I am planning on writing a book on the building of it.  The proceeds from the model were going to pay for the printing of the book, with a considerable amount left over.   But I refunded the buyer in full, including the delivery charges, a few days ago.   So at the moment, the whole project is very much in the red!      Strangely enough, in many ways, I feel like a millstone has been lifted from my back, as I have been under constant pressure to produce more, but now I have an excuse to cut down to "collection only" that will reduce the demand by a tremndous amount.      I do get fed up of being regarded as a business, when I build them mainly for pleasure, and the continuous pressure to take on private commissions, or the never-ending "If you ever think of building.......!!       -   Freedom at last  ☺️- Bob 

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You seem to be quite at ease with the situation Bob, I don't know if I'd be so calm about it. 

I do hope everything works out for you. 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do about your future projects. 

Happy Modelling. 

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It is the 275th model I have completed since leaving the sea in October 1992.   Most modellers I know take many months or even years to just build one model, and at the end of it would never dream of selling them.     The value to me has been preserved in the hundreds of photographs I took of the building process.   It is annoying to lose so much money, and I really doubt if the insurance will pay anything realistic.   Therefore I take great comfort that I can use it as an excuse (and a very good excuse at that), not to send any more out via couriers.    If anyone wants them, they will have to collect.     Everyone seems rather stunned at the moment, as I seem to have been regarded as an immortal ship model building robot!😮 which is what I felt like at times over the years.      Nothing I can do about it anyway.     If it had got there in one piece, it would have been gone from me anyway, and the money would just have been handed over to my wife, who uses it for housekeeping, so I never benefit finanically from it anyway.     Any materials I purchase for modelmaking comes out of housekeeping, and we each get the same amount of spending money each month, so it is a self-financing hobby.      I now have the freedom to indulge in my other passion - writing!    

Bob

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm glad you've got it back Bob. 

I must admit that when you first said it had been damaged in transit, I feared the worst and had visions of a box full of scrap wood. 

The damage appears to be confined to the sails and rigging areas, do you therefore think that it will be repairable? 

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The rigging is totally destroyed!     I would need to take it all off and start again.     The courier told me it is "not too bad, just a few sails need re-positioning, and a bit of the rigging needs re-threading! 😱 "    It is rigged with wire, and the vast majority of them are broken, or puilled out at the roots.   I feel they are paving the way to giving me a few pounds compensation at the most.    It will never be as good as it was to begin with because it will be more dificult to work on, now it is fixed in the cumbersome base and sea.    At the moment, I am not doing anything to it until I hear what the insurance plans to pay out.    Afraid that is the end of me ever sending them out by courier again, even in the UK.   Couldn't face that again.   It is now over two weeks since I reported the damage and they are still dragging their heels.   They will be "collection only" from now on.    Pity, because a lot went to the USA and the Far East.      It would have been better for me if it had been either lost or squashed flat, and receiving the full amount it was insured for!     It looks like my shipbuilding activiteies will be strictly limited from now on, but have been doing it for more than 60 years now,      Interest in this type of model in the UK is pretty minimal, and storage space in a small house is limited, even for miniatures.

Bob

 

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Hi Bob,

I saw on your FB feed about the damaged incurred, really bad news for such lovely model. Unfortunately, this has had a knock on effect with your future builds which is both understandable and regrettable. Hopefully, we'll see the occasional build from yourself, and all the best with your writing.

On a side note, did you ever write an article about how you do your sea bases? I have the article on making the case, very nice.

 

All the best.

 

Stuart 

Edited by Courageous
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Hi Stuart,

Thanks.    Yes, I did an article on making seas, it is included in "Scratchbuilding Merchant Sailing Ships, A Dying Art!    Details via my FB page.   I have just announced "collection only" from now on, so that will severely restrict things.   But at age 74, I guess it doesn't really matter all that much.   I can still carry on building them, and when the space to store them has run out, I will just stop until some of them go.   There are a few local collectors interested.     In some ways, it comes as a relief, as I was always worried about them getting there safely, especially to the USA or Far East.     I did a half-hearted build log on FB about the Gulf Stream build, but had a number of prospective buyers come up all the way through, trying to stake a claim to it, and that sort of thing makes me lose interest and I slow down.     Collectors seldom pay any attention to my requests to refrain from trying to reserve models whilst they are being built, some even wanting to pay in full before they are even finished.     So, I have decided to only display the completed models from now on.      As I have said before, very few modellers have the slightest interest in building merchant ships, only collectors are keen on them.        

Bob     

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  • 3 months later...

I have now laboriously restored the Gulf Stream.    Not quite as good as it was, but acceptable, and must confess that I am now quite fed up with the whole show of model shipbuilding!😐

Bob

 

Edited by ShipbuilderMN
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That is a fabulous restoration Bob! It looks really good to me, but I know you are in a better position to judge the before and after.

 

It is such a shame you feel like you do about your ship building, it has been a huge part of your life, hasn't it? The reasons are understandable though, and I really hope you can continue with this. As you say, only show them when finished, that should take a lot of pressure off of you.

 

I would certainly like you to continue if you are happy with that, I know you have inspired me at least to try my hand at scratch-building, for which I thank you immensely.

 

All the best,

 

Ray

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Thanks, it is only minor things that are wrong with it, such as bits of glue that I couldn't remove fully from various spars and sails, but not really noticeable.   But it is a great weight off my mind to have it back in one piece again, as for the past few weeks, I found it very depressing to look at the remains, and feel that I had to do it all again.    Then finally, I started, and worked very hard in order to sort it all out and put the whole affair behind me.      But it is no longer for sale, after all this, we don't really want to part with it, so it will join our permanent collection.

Bob

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The model is still beautiful. I do understand your pain though when something you spend so much effort and time building gets damaged. I am glad that you feel you want to keep the model after all that has happened. I had a model which was destroyed (maliciously) and it affected me so badly I actually stopped building models for about 5 years. I started on a replacement but I still can't manage to progress it so many years later.

As it is I am currently in a state of dread as I am waiting to receive my collection after a transit across the Atlantic in a shipping container. Seeing your post has given me reassurance that it is possible to recover from a disaster,  thank you!

It is really hard to get across to some people that a model is a piece of art. Had it been a painting or sculpture the response would have been different.

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For what it’s worth- if you are in a bit of a rut - have you ever thought about building something other than ships. 

After many years of building 1/48 aircraft I have made a firm decision not to limit myself to any subject or scale and find that I’m always bursting to get to next subject.

just a thought.

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I am not in a rut at all🙂      The problem is that there is no safe and suitable way of transporting them now, as I am not prepared to go through that lot again.     I have built so many, we haven't room to keep them all, so they must be sold.    This makes collectors think that I am a business, where I am not - it is just a hobby, and they are continually asking what the next one will be, can they reserve it etc.    I have even had unsolicted "deposit" cheques sent to me that annoy me no end!  ☹️ or offers to "pay in full" before I even begin.    I  may increase the writing, that is already surprisngley successful,  because everyone then has access to the end result, and I don't get any pressure.     Bob     

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An epic recovery in my book but like others have said, only you can really see the before and after. It is such a pity that transportation issues and external pressures have forced you to make the decision you have made, I just hope that we'll see some of your work occasionally as it inspires many.

 

Stuart

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Not sure how I missed this thread to begin with though it did conicide with a tough time for us as my MiL began her fight with cancer that took her a couple of months later. I'm sure I would not have been nearly as philosophical about this as you appear to have been Bob, all credit to you. I can sympathise with your frustration when a hobby stops being fun & becomes a chore, time for a sea change of some sort, your collection only sounds like such a plan. Good luck.

Steve.

PS Stunning repair job on Gulf Stream, she was a very handsome vessel.

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Thanks Steve.,

So sorry to hear of your loss.

I knew I could repair the Gulf Stream, it was just the thoughts of doing all the work again so soon that wore me down, and I didn't even make a start for many weeks, but when I did, I soon put it to rights.

Bob

 

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Thanks, It has always surprised me that they are not very popular amongst model shipbuilders.    The main reasons given are because the rigging is too difficult and they don't carry guns beng merchant ships).    Neither argument is remotely valid as the rigging is the easiest part as it is just wire glued on in short lengths with no knots anywhere.   The fact that it doesn't have guns (the ports are just decoration, painted on) surely makes things simpler, as you don't have to make what is not there!🙂  

As for the hulls, a sailing ship is infinitely simpler than a steam ship or warship because it has fewer deck with not many rails, ladders, lifeboats, deck machinery etc.    If it is the missing war aspect that bothers you, that is also invalid, because when wars occur, merchant ships are invariably dragged in as well, whether they like it or not!   Example, Jervis Bay (Below)    Now, that was a complicated model, and her name has gone down in history for her heroic deed in WWII!  of drawing a German battleship away from a convoy, resulting in her loss, but allowing the convoy to escape.

Bob

 

 

 

Edited by ShipbuilderMN
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