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Model Boat Builder Gallery - Working Models

Model Boat Builder Gallery

Display, Working and Pre-Owned Models.


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peggy1.jpg
Peggy542 viewsThis fine model of a North Sea Herring Drifter represents a vanished era. They were built in their thousands, but now only one remains in preservation. They evoke not only a vanished industry, but a major change in our attitudes to the natural world.
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Peggy554 viewsThey were built to pursue "the silver harvest, free to all", the herring which once swarmed in the North sea in huge, seemingly inexhaustible shoals. Now, due to a combination of overfishing and pollution, herring stocks have collapsed to the point where no more can be landed from the North Sea. We are learning, slowly and late, that the natural world is not an inexhaustible storehouse of resources to be plundered at will.
peggy3.jpg
Peggy538 viewsThis model is over four feet long, and weighs over twenty pounds. She is thus fairly demanding of display space. Every expedition to the water demands careful planning, to get her in and out of the car without damage, and to transport her safely from the car-park to the water. But what a magnificent picture she makes! Models of this kind carry a level of detail, and acheieve a presence on the water, which their smaller sisters simply cannot match. She has a full range of working features, including navigation lights which work in two modes; steaming, or lying to her nets.
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Peggy (detail)573 viewsA professional commission for a model of this nature is usually a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. I have had some extremely satisfied clients for models of this size. It will bring you the most enormous pleasure, and it will continue to do so for many years.
Eagle-eyed readers may recognise one of the photos from "Model Boats" magazine, in which it has featured.
(model by John Davies)
Pond_yacht_completed_general_view.jpg
Pond yacht restored361 viewsThis large pond yacht model, a family heirloom, came into my workshop in a pretty dreadful condition, with a nasty crackle-finish paint over much of the hull, (there was enough left to ascertain her original colour scheme, but it was in a horrible state) crude holes hacked in the decks over the mast step and rudder head, no hatch, no chain plates for the shrouds, no rudder and no keel (I cast a 35 lb lead keel for her and faired it in fore and aft), damage to the deck planking, especially over the counter, and no rigging parts whatsoever.
(Model by family builder, restored by John Davies)
Pond_yacht_Deck_detail_complete.jpg
Pond yacht restored deck detail349 viewsI quite deliberately did not restore her to the best finish that would have been possible. She was a competent amateur built model, so that was the standard I endeavoured to reproduce. Her owners got her back in a condition very like she would have been when she was brand new, and yes, she can be sailed again.
(Model by family builder, restored by John Davies)
ryhope1.jpg
Ryhope565 viewsThis little tug was built for the same client for whom I built "Peggy", the large steam drifter model. She is an example of our "part completion" service. He had already made a competent job of the hull, but had got stuck on the superstructure, which is a good deal more complicated and difficult than it looks.
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Ryhope (detail)491 viewsI was able to complete her at a very reasonable price, as there really weren't too many hours in the job. Now he has two models; one large and magnificent, the other a pretty little thing he carry in one hand, and can take to the water on impulse.
(model completed by John Davies)
Solebay1.jpg
HMS Solebay 1363 viewsThese are perhaps not the best of photographs, but they're well worth including, because it's such a fine, impressive, highly detailed model. The Battle Class destroyers were very handsome ships.
(Model by John Davies)
Solebay2.jpg
HMS Solebay 2343 viewsThis example was modified from the Deans Marine kit for improved accuracy, and featured in Traplet's Focus File series.
(Model by John Davies)
Solebay3.jpg
HMS Solebay 3342 viewsOn the water she has a lively and convincing performance, and is a complete delight to run.
(Model by John Davies)
solomon_browne1.jpg
Solomon Browne625 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)
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