Member Paul Reck has officially declared his model of the American Revolutionary War gunboat Philadelphia complete. Paul has been working on this scratch built model for about 2 years. The model is built at 1/2″ scale (1:24) and is based on a very detailed 16-sheet set of plans he purchased from the Smithsonian.
The cannon and swivel gun barrels were turned from wood.
Furled sails and awning were make from silkspan.
Philadelphia was one of the boats built by Benedict Arnold on Lake Chaplain, New York. In October of 1776, the Philadelphia and a collection of other newly built boats faced an advancing line of British ships. While the Philadelphia was sunk and the Americans were forced to retreat, the British advance was stopped.
A photo of the early stages of construction taken at the September 2017 club meeting. Paul’s is a plank-on-frame model, but all his framing work is hidden by the hull planking.
Paul points out some of the fine details given in the Smithsonian plans.
For more information about the gunboat Philadelphia, visit the following link to the Smithsonian’s web site: https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/gunboat-philadelphia Ω
Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights member Tom Shea brought in his completed New Bedford Whaleboat model at our meeting last month. Tom completed the model last year, but realized he hadn’t brought it in to a meeting in its completed form.
There were some 60,000 of these boats built by for the American whaling industry. They were sturdy boats, but put to very hard use and had life spans of not much more than three years. Today, maybe two dozen survive in maritime museums.
Tom’s is a 1/16 scale model based on a kit from Model Shipways. The kit is an excellent one, featuring plans and instruction book developed by Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr. Tom constructed a special stand that the boat sits upon and displays the all the boats oars, which are each sized differently depending on the rower’s position in the boat.
One of the most difficult parts of this kit, according to Tom, was all the small details of all the hardware carried by these boats, including harpoons, lances, compass, rope tubs, and more. In the last photo shown below, there’s even a knife in its sheath sitting on the stern platform.
Tom chose to give his model a dark, weathered finish, which really gives a feel of an old well used whaleboat – a beautifully done model. We’re all hoping it will end up on display in our ship model display cabinet outside our workshop on the Eureka. Ω
Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights member Paul Reck has been going to town on a French bomb ketch he’s been building from a discontinued Amati kit. He’s been building it for a friend of his and has only had the kit since November. So, he’s clearly been really going to town on this model.
The kit, listed as Nave Bombarda, is a 1/75-scale plank-on-bulkhead kit of an 18th-century ketch-rigged bomb vessel. He got the model from member Leo Kane, who hadn’t started the kit yet, and who originally bought it from Ages of Sail. Sadly, the kit is no longer in production and is difficult to find now.
Paul sent these photos along, but we haven’t seen the completed model in person. I’m hoping that we’ll have a chance to get a better look at it at the next meeting of the shipwrights, which is this coming Saturday. I think everyone’s going to be amazed at how Paul did such a beautiful job in what’s probably not more than 6 month’s time!
Ship modeler and commodore of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights, Paul Reck, has been a busy bee with his ship modeling projects. But, that’s nothing unusual for him. Paul recently put the finishing touches on a 1/4″ scale model of a U.S. Navy Anchor Hoy from the early 1800s. His model is based on a drawing and notes found in the book American Ship Models and How to Build Them.
Paul Reck explaining the details of the Anchor Hoy at the April meeting.
HSPMS member Paul Reck shares some photos showing his progress on his 1776 Lake Champlain gunboat Philadelphia, which he is building from scratch in 1/24 scale, based on plans purchased from the Smithsonian.
Paul Reck showing his progress on the gunboat Philadelphia at the October meeting. Member Dan Canada at left.
The original boat was built on Lake Champlain as part of a small fleet of boats by Benedict Arnold in 1776. The project was a race to hold off British plans to move into the Hudson River valley. The boat was lost in the Battle of Valcour Island later in the year, but the loss of this and the other boats of the fleet was a strategic victory for the Americans, as it held off British plans until the end of the campaign year, when it became too late for the British to carry them out for another year.
Royal Danish Arsenal Museum in Copenhagen now also houses the Royal Danish Maritime Museum. The Sea Power maritime exhibit is on the 2nd floor of the building. In addition to hundreds of models, there are uniforms, weapons and other artifacts.
I included a few photos of maritime interest, including boats on the canals, a tall ship and the Naval Chapel with a large ship model hanging in the middle.
[Editor’s Note: These photos were published by Jerry Bellows, a long time member of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights. He and his wife Fran are active volunteers at Hyde Street Pier and you might catch them on the pier in 1901 period costume on the second Saturdays from March through December.]