musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: model

More small ships

Following my recent posts about Modelling the Union-Castle Line (2), I have added a few more additions to the collection. My major supplier so far has been Convoy Models and I have had excellent service from them them.

My newest acquisitions are the RMS Mauretania (aka the 2nd Mauretania) and one of the Ellerman Lines “City” boats.

The Mauretania does connect to my past as my father sailed “up north” on her in September 1941 when she was a troopship. The model is available as a troopship or as a regular passenger liner. or she can be painted in her cruising livery of various shades of green.   I am amazed at how detailed these resin cast models can be, especially the “Len Jordan” 1/1200 range. 

unfinished model

unfinished model (funnels unmounted)

I have been slowly working on her, and have gotten quite far already.

I still need to fix that wobbly sheer line, unfortunately when I was taping it I did not quite follow the curve of the sheer so really need to drop it slightly and correct it. Funnels have their first coat and have to be completed and I have to give the decks a second coat and touch up some of the superstructure.

My “City” boat is one of four sisters (Port Elizabeth, City of Exeter, City of York, City of Durban) that were operated by Ellerman lines and they were regular callers in South Africa. 

Unfinished model (funnel is separate)

Unfinished model (funnel is separate)

I am working on her at the same time as the Mauretania

I have painted her funnel in white and will do the divisions on it tomorrow and that will add some colour to her. I think I will call her City of Durban.  

Progress: 15/10/2014.

My other interesting acquisition I made some time ago, she is the Marco Polo. I was fortunate enough to visit her many years ago and she is still in service today, albeit under different ownership to when I saw her. 

She is a resin cast model in 1/1250 scale.

I have also been keeping an eye open for old battleships from the Atlas Editions series and found HMS Warspite to add to my collection.

HMS Warspite

HMS Warspite

I already have HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Hood in the series. although if they are all the same scale then against the other two ships Warspite is very small. 

HMS Prince of Wales. 1/1250 scale (Atlas Editions)

HMS Prince of Wales. 1/1250 scale (Atlas Editions)

HMS Hood. 1/1250 scale. (Atlas Editions)

HMS Hood. 1/1250 scale. (Atlas Editions)

Finally, I bought this on a whim.

R.N.L.B. Garside

R.N.L.B. Garside

The RNLB Garside is the St Davids station all weather lifeboat, and she was donated to the RNLI by Thomas Harold Garside and his sister Dorothy from Yorkshire.

I should be finished with the Maurie and City of Durban soon, and will update this page accordingly.

Till then.. 

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 13/10/2016

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:35

A Mini Minor with two flat tyres

Like so many young boys I always made the assumption that when I grew up I would own a car, even though we did not have a car in our family. Unlike many boys I did not dream about having the biggest, fastest and most macho car around, I dreamt about having a Mini.

Way back then the Mini was just one of an array of British, and to an extent Australian vehicles that were available on the South African market. The big Japanese and German car makers had not made that large an impact on the locals with the models on offer. For some reason I wanted a Mini and nothing less! On my daily trips by bus to primary school I would avidly keep an eye open for them and count them; with 5 probably being the norm, and 10 the exception. The part of town where I lived was not a rich area and there were more second hand cars in Mayfair than there are in Jeppe Street (Jeppe Street eventually became the hub of dodgy used car lots).

Wind forward to the point where I could theoretically qualify to learn to drive and I never did. Public transport was available, and I did not really need one, and again, our family did not own a car, so I did not come from a car owning culture. All that changed in 1989 when my aunt passed away and I decided that the time had come to learn to drive. I bought a very battered 15th hand 1974 VW Beetle Lux Bug and it ended up hanging around for a year in the underground parking of the building where I lived while I learnt to drive.

I got my license in 1990 and spent the next few years paying for repairs for that dieing Beetle which I disposed of in 1997. 

What happened to my dream of having a Mini? The Mini was no longer manufactured by then, in fact one of my workmates had amongst the last Leyland Minis around, and by then I recognised that it was not the ideal car, although it still stirred something in me. When he sold it I was very tempted to buy it off him, but it had an oil leak so decided against it. 

Amongst my few surviving childhood toys is a Matchbox Mini which was released in 1970,  and which spent most of its life in the display cabinet at home. It is a very old model now, and worth nothing except to me.

Matchbox series 29, "Racing Mini" (1970)

Matchbox series 29, “Racing Mini” (1970)

 In fact I have more than one Mini model, 

 

and of course when I see one I am drawn to photograph it. In the UK they are not as rare as in South Africa, so opportunities abound. They do command a steep price now, but I do recognise that it is not the perfect car as it does lack many of the items that I look for in a vehicle: reliability, safety, air conditioning, cost of insurance, comfort etc. If I could pick up one in a good condition at a good price I would consider it, but that is unlikely.  So, I will just have to enjoy other people’s Mini’s along the way.

 
     
 
 
   
 
     

And finally, in June 2016 I saw this half Mini at the London Science Museum. It was really quite quirky.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/05/2016. More Minis added 02/08/2016. 15 more minis added 22/08/2017

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 15:59

More Triang Minic

Following on my post from 24 January 2016, my collection has expanded a bit more with some new acquisitions. 

To go with my RMS Ivernia, I have also acquired an RMS Carinthia, as a sister ship. I have also outfitted both ships with cargo gear and mainmasts.

Because the masts and cranes are pricey, I decided to remove the gear from one of my C4 Mariner Class cargo ships and use those on the two Cunarders and convert the C4 into a early container ship iteration. Fortunately I had a duplicate Volunteer Mariner so she ended up donating her cargo gear. 

 

The containers are left overs from my P&O City of Durban and I filed down the crane housings till they were level with the hatch covers and pasted the containers onto a false deck and glued that onto the hatchcovers. I stayed with only one stack of boxes though, too many would have left them with no view to the bow. I also added a foremast but  I am not quite done with this ship yet, and of course she does not have a name, but is more of a generic interim vessel.  

My other major acquisition was the “Might Mo”: USS Missouri,
  
I have also been working on and off on the HMY Britannia. This model was available in the Royal Yacht livery as well as in a hospital ship livery. She was built to be easily convertible to a hospital ship in the event that she was needed, but she never fulfilled that role in her long career. Triang Minic used to sell the model as part of a boxed set
  
 
In 2014 I bought a Revell 1/1200 QE2 model, the intention being to waterline it and add it to the collection. 
 
 
I bought the paint and brushes and packed it all away and never built it, and like the original ship  it has been languishing in limbo until last month when I got it back with the rest of my collection from storage in Lichfield.
 
Last night I attacked it with a saw and cut away the underwater part of the hull and started to build it. The big problem is trying to find the sheer line as it is not really marked on the model. I also used gloss black instead of matt black as the matt paint is really lousy.I am probably going to have to give it a 2nd coat so will see how the matt works on it.  By this morning the QE2 was looking somewhat odd.
  
 
It is not a very complicated kit, but the painting is a pain. the upper deck has not been glued down yet, but the fore and aft decks have. And the funnel has had its first coat. This is very close to the livery that I saw her in in 1986, although she did have a few changes in her stern area then. 
 
Alongside Ocean Terminal in Durban 1986

Alongside Ocean Terminal in Durban 1986

I will try get more pics of her before I glue down the main deck,  at the moment I am waiting for paint to dry.
 
I have a 1/2000 QE2 model that was bought for me on board QE2 in 1994. It does not have any makers identification on it and I have been looking all over for an answer and finally found it on the 2nd day of 2017!  The model was made by S.R. Precision in the UK, and was available with a blue hull too. Unfortunately it is not a very good likeness and it does not fit in with my 1/1200 and 1/1250 fleet, but it is an interesting keepsake. 
 

S.R. Precision QE2 Model

 
 
Meanwhile, back at the building dock QE2 is looking more like QE2 every hour. 
 
First coat on funnel and fore and aft decks painted. Lifeboats are still not on. Big problem is that the davits were all black at this particular part of her career, but frankly painting them black was a lot of work, and I decided to leave them white. I may do it later. The other question is, what colour was the roof of her bridge and the suites as well as around the funnel?
 
Lifeboats are added, most of the superstructure elements are in place and I am starting to look at the fit onto the hull. It was not a good fit. 
 
 
But eventually I got it on and started to fit the bridge and their wings as well as try to make sense of her sheer line, as you can see it is wobbly as can be. I will sort that once all is built and when there is better natural light. I did give it a coat of matt black and it looks better. Now to fit forward cranes and mast and touch up paintwork 
 
 
Mast is on, cranes are on. I have not given the funnel its final coat as I have white drying in the funnel area. She is more or less completed now and she just needs touching up, the sheer line needs finalising, and of course I have to add colour to the lifeboats, at one point their superstructures were orange and I do not have orange paint. I have also seen her with green above the bridge.
 
The QE2 changed many times over the years, and this model has her original thin funnel which puts this before 1986, and probably just after the Falklands when they gave her the traditional Cunard funnel livery. I was also considering giving her a false flat bottom, but must first complete her properly and then she can join the fleet. Gee, I enjoyed that bit of model building.
 
A postscript. 
QE2 and Canberra were contemporaries, and that is partly one of the reasons I bought the model; to see them together once more, but on 1/1200 scale.
 
 
I was also able to buy a 1/1250 Oriana to add to the collection, and while it is a small scale it does fit in well with the QE2 and Canberra. The model is by Mercator and it sold for £20 on board the ship when we sailed on her.

(B-F) QE2, Oriana and Canberra

(B-F) QE2, Oriana and Canberra

 

My newest addition is really one of two similar vessels operated by the French Line.  The ill fated SS Flandre, or SS Antilles were both lost to fire. My particular model is numbered M714 “Flandre” so I will stick with that. Incidentally, she was also known as the “Flounder”, and was lost to fire in 1994.  
 
© DRW 2016-2018. Created 05/03/2016. Updated 20/08/2016, 02/01/2017
Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:00

Triang Minic Ships

Many years ago. I had a huge collection of model ships and boats, including two radio controlled tugs. The smaller waterline diecast vessels I had never really indulged in because I did not know that they existed. A visit to the home of one of the friends of a friend opened my eyes because he had the three major liners (Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and United States) in 1/1200 scale, and they were the start of my collection.
 
The first Triang Minic ship I acquired was the Aragon. She was in a poor condition and minus masts and half of her bridge wing. I repainted it and made masts out of pins and put her on my shelf as an oddity amongst my collection. I still have her today, bad paint job and all.

 

Then things went quiet until I picked up an advert in a local newspaper for somebody selling a collection. There were 2 Cunarders in it, as well as the Queen Elizabeth and two tugs and a light vessel and some bits and pieces of harbour. This was in the pre internet days so there was no real way of finding out what was available. He also wanted R500-00 for it, and given my dead end salary it was really out of my price range. I came very close to buying it, but never did. Awhile later I picked up a slightly used Queen Elizabeth and added her to my collection too. She was resprayed by a friend and her funnels need a lot of work.

 
I have recently found masts for her, and one day will do something about the funnels.
 
That was the sum total of my collection for many years. There were rumours of a huge collection being sold out of the country, but I had no way of knowing what was available apart from the two Cunarders I had seen and the three major liners. Nothing happened for a long time but I used to haunt the hobby shops hoping to build onto my collection and at some point I managed to pick up a Queen Mary.
 
The model above is not my original Queen Mary though, this one I found in Salisbury in 2014.  
 
I also found a mint United States in South Africa which was really surprising. By now we were in the internet era and I would haunt the net looking for more ships, the problem was no longer a lack of ships, it was more about an exchange rate that made them very expensive and postage that was never guaranteed.   
 
My last South African acquisitions were on a local auction site, namely the Aquitania which does need a lot of work. 
 
as well as a Canberra in a poor condition
 
and a mastless model of the NS Savannah
 
I have since replaced my Canberra with a better one and found white metal masts for the Savannah. 
 
Triang also had a range of warships, and while I did not really look for them I would buy them if they were affordable, and I managed to acquire a DKM Bismarck
 
as well as an IJN Yamato
 
When I left South Africa in 2013 I left my ships behind, but hoped to get them back with me at some point and to add to my collection until then. 
 
In 2013 I attended the Maritime Festival  in Southampton. And on display there was an almost complete collection of Triang Minic ships and I was able to see what I was missing (and there was a lot).  My first acquisition in the UK was the Queen Mary pictured above as well as a Naval Harbour Set.
  
That set included HMS Bulwark and HMS Vanguard
vanguard32
 
  
I also started watching ebay and buying modern warships that interested me. Including HMS Daring, HMS York,  HMS Chatham and of course HMS Ark Royal.
rnships20
 
  
I also picked up three very nice C4 Mariner class cargo ships. 
 
and even bought a Ellermans container ship: City of Durban
 
 
and a thumping great bulker too.
I brought my collection across in 2014 and it was still small compared to what it could be.

The 2014 Maritime Festival in Southampton once again had a Minic collection on display and I did quite a lot of drooling over it.

 
 
More importantly, I was able to add the Caronia to my collection, 
 
  
and bought a Canberra to replace my existing one. 
 
My most recent acquisitions were DKM Scharnhorst
 
  
 
 
 
  
Sadly she is in need of a lot of work, but considering that she is quite an oldish model I was lucky to find her. Those missing Cunarders still haunt me though (Carinthia, Carmania, Franconia, Sylvania and Saxonia), but considering how many years it has taken to get to this point anything can happen. I am also on the lookout for an SS France to complete my major liner collection.
 
  
and I would like to add an American battleship to my battleship collection
 
  
But that is for the future. Anything can happen in these collections, it seems to happen in spurts and bumps, and who knows what I will have tomorrow.

My passenger ship collection.

IMG_7958

 
The Triang Minic ships are nice momentos for a ship buff like myself, but once again, they are only of worth to a collector like myself, and not to somebody else. So hands off my stash!  (I have images of my 2016 expanded harbour available too)
 
There is a part 2 to this post which may be found here 

forwardbut

 
© DRW 2016-2018. Images migrated 02/05/2016. Added pointer to part 2 of the post 20/08/2016
 
Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:05
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