Shackleton’s Antarctic Exploration Ship Endurance by Paul Reck – Completed Model

Just about two months ago, we posted an article about HSPMS member Paul Reck’s work on a model of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic exploration ship Endurance, based on  kit produced by the Spanish ship model kit maker OcCre.

Paul is building this on commission. And, while he wasn’t in any hurry to get it done, he’s already wrapped up this project in record time.

Paul chose not to build the model with sails, leaving the model with a classic “bare poled” look. He also made some small modifications to the model, based on photos he found on the Internet of the actual ship.


As Paul noted early on, this is a big model. We’re not sure where the final home is for this model, but we’re guessing that Paul’s next project is crating the model up to ship across the country.

Only time will tell what Paul’s next ship model project will be. He had good things to say about the OcCre kit, so perhaps he’ll build another one soon. But, being primarily a scratch modeler, he’ll probably be working another 1/2″ scale yacht model commission. Check back here for an update on his model work. Ω

Shackleton’s Antarctic Exploration Ship Endurance by Paul Reck

HSPMS member Paul Reck was commissioned recently to build a model of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic exploration ship Endurance. Paul chose to build the model based on one of the newest kits produced by the Spanish ship model kit maker OcCre, which he was able to acquire from the online shop of Ages of Sail, where he’s purchased kits and fittings before. Though it’s just across San Francisco Bay, for Paul, paying for shipping seemed to be a far better alternative than the time and hassle of dealing with Bay Area traffic!

Marketing photo from OcCre of their Endurance kit, showing their version of the finished model.

Marketing photo of OcCre’s Endurance kit, showing the kit contents.

Paul only recently got started, commenting that it’s a BIG model, at just under 30″ long. Because the ship has a relatively short bowsprit, that means the hull makes up even more of that total length.

The OcCre kit features a double-planked hull, but since he’s planning on painting the model, Paul is considering just leaving off the second planking layer, which is made up of very nice quality sapelli wood, which closely resembles mahogany.

Paul had lots of good things to say about the kit, including the instructions. While there is a limited amount of text, and what text there is is in multiple languages, he found the photo-based instructions to be clear and easy to follow.

The Endurance is his first OcCre kit, but is sounds like it probably won’t be his last. He mentioned that he was interested in finding a good beginner ship model kit from OcCre, and he thinks he may have found one in OcCre’s Polaris kit, which is a beginner kit based on a Virginia pilot boat design.

But, getting back to the Endurance, Paul mentioned that the kit is well designed, and that the instructions have you planking the decks before attaching them to the hull, making them very easy to plank, since there are no bulwarks or deck structures to get in the way. He also liked the use of sycamore for the provided deck planking, though he did say that there is some color variation between strips of wood.

The instructions make mention of a set of wood dyes that OcCre makes. Since these are water based dyes and not wood stain, he was intrigued and found some for sale on the Internet and ordered them. So, there may be a delay in construction of some components until his dyes arrive.

In the meantime, he submitted these photos of the model under construction, as well as the following photo of one of the laser-cut sheets, showing the parts for the ship’s four boats, which are miniature kits in themselves.

We’ll post more photos from Paul’s project as he progresses.

Paul Reck’s Gunboat Philadelphia Model at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Special congratulations are in order to our very own Commodore Paul Reck with the induction of his model of the Revolutionary War era gunboat Philadelphia into the collection of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum!

Check out the story of how the model ended up traveling across the county in a seat on a United Airlines flight.

Boat on a Plane: A new acquisition travels home

Paul’s model is a 1/24-scale scratch build, based on a set of plans obtained from the Smithsonian, where the original gunboat is preserved and on display. Ω


Member Progress Photos – January 2020


HSPMS member and commodore Paul Reck recently shared some photos of his current project, the Wanderbird. The boat was originally built in Germany as a pilot schooner for the city of Hamburg.  The former owner of the boat sailed it around Cape Horn in 1936, then continued around the world.  His son commissioned the model.

The hull of the model was constructed from lifts made of Monterey cypress.



Clare Hess is currently building a model of a simple 25-foot long riverboat from Niigata prefecture, Japan. The boat’s hull is built from 5 pieces of wood. The 1/10-scale model is made from Japanese cedar and is based on a boat that was built by Douglas Brooks and Japanese boat builder Mr. Nakaichi Nakagawa in the Fall of 2019.

The latter model build is being documented on the builder’s website here:

Gunboat Philadelphia – 1/2″ scale scratch model by Paul Reck

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: Ω

New Bedford Whaleboat by Tom Shea

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

Newly Completed French Bomb Ketch by Paul Reck

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!