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. (I have since replaced here broken bridge)
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 and Aquitania with better ones 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.
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. 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, she has since had her upperworks painted in a lighter green. While taking new pics I realised that I had never quite finished painting her. I better make a plan and finish her off.
and bought a Canberra in a better condition to replace my existing one.
My most recent acquisitions were DKM Scharnhorst as well as SS Nieuw Amsterdam. She too is a “work in progress”. and RMS Ivernia 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.
The Triang Minic ships are nice mementos 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
DRW © 2016-2021. Images migrated 02/05/2016. Added pointer to part 2 of the post 20/08/2016, added “open in new tab” option to links and unbolded them. 12/11/2018. Removed all links that point to the former triangminicships page which now has an error “Executing in an invalid environment for the supplied user” 14/07/2019. Added in some new images 26/05/2021