Building the RMS

I have always wanted a model of the RMS St Helena, but they always evaded me because there are not too many available in the first place.  To the best of my knowledge the only commercially available  1/1250 model of the ship is by Rhenania. I was fortunate enough to get one in July 2021. 


The easiest way to get one is realistically to scratch build one and see what that turns out like. There are however, a few problems with that scenario. The first being: where do I get plans from?

A line drawing of the ship is easy to find, I have quite a few on my computer as it is.

I have been lugging around lots of images of the ship since she first entered service, and among my stuff is the A&P Appledore publicity handout above. That will serve as the basis of my project. Problem number 2 is that while I do have accommodation plans of her, I do not have a top view of her, so there things are going to be somewhat icky.

Interestingly enough there are 2 versions of an Oceanic casting of the ship in 1/1250, and I have been “in the market” as they say. However, they are very scarce and probably way out of my budget range. My usual supplier, Tim at Convoy Models managed to lay his hands on one, and this is what it looks like. I have a sneaky suspicion that this was a concept that never reached fruition, probably because the RMS is not one of those well known glamorous Cunarders that everybody swoons over (or should I say used to swoon over?). She is a working ship and is really a hybrid between cargo ship and cruise ship.

**Update 12/2017**

I have since managed to acquire one of those casts myself and it is a very poor casting with the port side superstructure needing a lot of attention. I have since commenced work on the ship and have managed to fill some of the holes in the superstructure and hull and it looks as if I will be be completing this model, at least to a point where it is recognisable as being the RMS.  My 2nd Oceanic casting did not have the damage to the one side and was marginally different. (One hull is hollow, the other isn’t, one had rudimentary davits)

I eventually finished my scratch build RMS and looking at it rationally it was a mess. I also completed both of the Oceanic RMS Models and they came out better, but the poor castings really complicated matters and while the ships are done they will never be as good as I hoped, although they are better than nothing. I still have some work to do on them though and I learnt a lot with this casting, but realistically my poor eyesight is making it too difficult to do small work on these models. 

Oceanic casts. One almost completed

Scratchbuild RMS is in the background. Partly completed Oceanic cast in front

Oceanic casts almost completed

The RMS in London in June 2016 on what was supposed to be her final trip.


I also found a 3d print model of the original RMS St Helena that had been printed in 1/1250 scale. Following a lot of hoops that I had to jump through I finally got the ship and she looks like this.

The crane booms will go as will the two small cranes on the upper decks, and possibly the mast too.  will replace them with thinner booms and change the mast to what it should look like. The late Howard Burr took the image below of what she looked like when she was in service as the RMS.

She will be an interesting build, and if I had thought of it at the time I would have ordered another and made her into an Avalon iteration. *Update* She proved to be a very difficult ship to finish, I could not get a smooth surface on her and glue just would not stick to her either. Her mast unfortunately broke before I got to do anything to it. She was an interesting experiment though and I see that there is a Falklands Island service version of the ship. Looking at it now I never did complete this model, leaving it half painted and without portholes etc. One day I will complete her.

Where did she come from? Shapeways

Update 10/10/2020.

Albatros has released a model of the original RMS St Helena that I have just acquired. It is also available as a Falklands version.

Albatros St Helena and unfinished Shapeways 3d Printed version

Albatros RMS St Helena

DRW © 2017-2021. Rhenania image. Created 04/06/2017. Updated 18/06/2017. Posts combined 30/01/2018, some parts of original post removed and some text and images added 26/03/2019. Images replaced 16/07/2021

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