Wool clipper Wairoa

shipbuilder

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#1
A miniuature of the wool clipper Wairoa, at 32 feet to 1 inch (1:384). I gave up large models years ago, for the convenience of small ones that I can hold in my hand. This is a recent model of an iron-hulled sailing ship. The masts, spars and rigging are 100% metal. The hull is wood, plated with paper plates. The Wairoa carried general cargo out to Australia and New Zealand, and returned with wool. The ports did not conceal guns, they were just painted on as decoration. Collectors cannot get enough of these models, so I stopped taking privatate commissions years ago. I only build what I feel like building these days, thus keeping it in the realms of "hobby" rather than "business!" :cool:
Bob
 

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lauckstreet

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#4
Man o' man Bob, if you can do that great of a job on a small model like that, I can just imagine what you can do on a larger scale model. Your skills and workmanship are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing these wonderful miniatures.

Bob
 

shipbuilder

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#5
Thanks, Bob, but I am not of the right temprement to build large models! They take far too much space, and take too long to build. I would get bored with all that rigging, and ratlines and hundreds of fiddly knots. Then building a case would be a further expensive problem. This is the Lord Ripon, quite a complicated four-masted barque, but as I have often said, the rigging is easy with wire, as it is just glued on in short lengths! My wife paints the seas!
Bob
 

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Aginvicta

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#6
Great builds Bob, I've quite a number of your ships on other forums as well. What do you use to make the sails, they hang really well,
Cheers Andy
 

shipbuilder

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#7
Thanks Andy,
The sails are just white airmail paper. The seams are printed on both sides of the sheets on the computer using light grey, so they are not too prominent. They are moulded round an ostrich egg whilst wet to give them a wind filled effect. I hardly participate in any online forums these days as my preferred field of merchant ships only (about 1850 to about 1965) is not exactly popular amongst ship model builders. I have been hoping that their popularity may be on the increase here, and there has been a greater response of late. Sadly, most modellers hold themselves back by deciding that they can't build miniatures, and never even try. Plans are really no problem, as they are readily obtainable in books such as the David MacGregor series, or old technical journals that are available world-wide. Materials are also commonly available in the form of styrene sheet, wood, brass tube and rod, plastic rod and strip, paper, veneer etc. Very few tools are needed, but a small hobby band saw and drill press are extremely useful. Some complain of the cost of these useful machine tools, but these items can be obtained for less than the price of a good kit. Here is a Utube presentation of building a miniature model of the barque Caithness-Shire:
https://youtu.be/KtVrtCvKeqs
I do produce a number of regular downloads, some free, but most for less than the price of a cup of coffee, that contain plans, building techniques and historical details. I have a vast collection of ship plans, plus written permission from various shipowners, technical journals, and individuals, to use them in my downloads, and publications concerning merchant navy shipmodelling and history, so I am completely legit! :handgestures-thumbup: But I am NOT a plans service. They only go in the downloads or published articles or books!
I have always found life merchant ships far more interesting than warships because of the vastly different trades they followed. Life in warships in peactime seemed to be an endless round of excercises and strict discipline, wher in the merchant navy, we roamed the world in all types of ship from cargo, to passenger liners. One sea battle is pretty much the same as another to me, and when wars do crop up (as they do), merchant ships are invariably sucked in anyway! :shock: I got sucked in myself when my ship was requisitioned for the South Atlantic in 1982 /83, :handgestures-salute: but I was jolly glad to get back to normal again! :handgestures-thumbup:
Bob