This model of a present day cargo container ship was a commission build for Gulf Stream Marine of Houston. They wanted a model about 5 feet long that they could use at shipping conferences around the world at their company booth. This model is almost entirely scratch built. The four bladed propeller with a left twist and the smoke stack (Lowe’s plumbing elbow) were purchased, everything else was scratch built.
| This was my first venture into this type of vessel as I usually build the historic wood sailing vessels. In order to make this ship, I was given (via email) the plans for the BBC Mississippi that the model was to resemble. I had the plans printed, sized to the actual size of the model. I worked from these plans and was given about 200 photos of the real ship in order to make the machinery on the forecastle and poop deck and other aspects of the ship. The photos were an absolute must since I had never built such a model and have not visited or been on such a vessel. |
| As for the construction method, the hull was built in a bread and butter style made up of seven layers of top choice white board. Three of the layers were hollowed out to reduce weight. The other types of wood I used for this model were poplar and basswood. The deck house was made out of layers of poplar and the deck house alone took about 100 hours to complete. The rail posts were poplar with the railings made from piano wire. These rail posts were grooved with a small table saw. Most of the model is made out of wood. |
| The cargo for the ship was to be turbine windmill blades. I was given a small model of one to see as I made my master blade at the size needed. I carved, shaped and sanded the master in about 2 hours. I then proceeded to make a two part mold using Alumilite RTV silicone. The mold’s two parts were so large that it caused problems. I casted 41 blades, discarding one. They were cast with Alumilite Resin.|
The model was built in 66 days and took 460 hours and 8 minutes. From the day I started, I did not take a day off. The ship model weighs 32 pounds. When the cargo blades were added, the weight increased to 45 pounds. Scale is around 1/94.
Here are some of my Other Wooden Ship Models.
Click on an image to see a larger photo.
Just below is a 1/48 scale scratch built carrack using cherry, walnut and ebony.
|The models in the row just above are made with kits. They are a Mamoli galleon, blockade runner and the Mamoli USS Constitution (Best of Show Austin 1998). Just below is a 1/25 scale scratch built galleon.|
|Just above is a schooner made from a Corel kit depicting Stephen Fuller Austin's supply ship, the Lively, for my Texas History class.|