Gunboat Philedelphia, 1776 – Model Progress Update by Paul Reck

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.

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A Change of Pace for Paul Reck

Ship modeler, lead volunteer and club Commodore Paul Reck said he got burned out on his current project, the schooner yacht Mayan. He’s been wrestling with trying to get a a nice weathered look to the model’s teak deck and needed a break.

He had acquired a neat little vintage plastic kit from the old Pyro Plastic Corporation and has been working on it lately. The whole model is only about 9-1/2″ long overall and around 1:170 scale according to one website (no scale is given on the box).


Because the yards were molded as part of the sails, and he didn’t want to put sails on the model, he had to fashion some yardarms from maple.

The thin and “bendy” nature of the plastic masts, it took a very careful touch with the rigging to keep everything straight. But, it was difficult to keep lines from getting too slack.


Paul also didn’t want to use the pre-molded plastic shrouds and ratlines, so rigging that part was an extra challenge, but he seemed to really enjoy the build.

Hopefully, we’ll see the model, in person, at the next meeting.

NRG’s 2015 Photographic Ship Model Contest

The Nautical Research Guild held their annual conference in Mystic, CT, at the end of October. While only one of our Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights members was able to attend to representing our group. At the NRG banquet, our group members took a larger share of the honors.

The winners of the 2015 Photographic Ship Model Contest were announced at the dinner event. All models entered into the contest received a ribbon based on total points earned in the scoring. The top models in the categories of Journeyman and Master received medals. Three medals, either Bronze, Silver or Gold, were awarded in each category, for a total of six medals, with Hyde Street Pier members taking home with 2 of the 6 medals.

Clare Hess, receive a Bronze medal in the Journeyman category for his model of the Private Armed Schooner Lively, 1813, while Paul Reck was awarded a Silver medal in the Journeyman category for his model of the Grand Banks 32, Willie II.

Clare’s Lively model is a 1:48-scale scratchbuilt model of a small, single gun privateer, typical of the early pilot boat model privateers of the War of 1812. The model was based on kit plans by the late Jim Roberts.

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Paul Reck’s Willie II is a Grand Banks 32 that was built around 1978 and used by the St. Francis Yacht Club as a race committee boat. His model was built from scratch in 1:16-scale and is on display at the Yacht Club.

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Watch the upcoming NRG Journal and the NRG website for a full report on the contest.

Note: This story originally referenced the wrong yacht club for the Willie II. The correct yacht club is the St. Francis Yacht Club, not the Corinthian Yacht Club. Thanks to David Wingate for catching the slip-up!

The Good News – Classic Yacht Model by Paul Reck

Long time Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights member and president Paul Reck shares a slideshow of a model he built in 2010 of the 60′ yawl-rigged yacht Good News. The original boat was designed by Sparkman and Stephens. The plank-on-bulkhead model was scratch built at a scale of 1/2″=1′ using white pine with sugar pine hull planking and deck planked with Alaskan yellow cedar.


The model features wire rigging and many parts that had to be built from scratch. Paul put together a nice little slide show of his build, which you can access on his Dropbox account here:

Good News Slide Show Note that it’s not necessary to have or to create a Dropbox account. Just close the window that asks you to sign-in.

The model was built for the St. Francis Yacht Club, where it now resides. It is one of 70 models (many of which were built by Paul) featured in the recent publication, The Models of the St. Francis Yacht Club, which is available only through the yacht club. Ω



Paul Reck Reports on Grand Banks 32 “Willie”

Ship modeler and lead volunteer Paul Reck reported today that the model of the Corinthian Yacht Club’s committee boat is nearly complete and sent along a couple photos. The boat is a Grand Banks 32 that he scratch-built with the assistance Tom Shea. The 1/16-scale model has appeared at various stages of construction over the past several Hyde Street Pier ship model meetings.

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