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My Transition From Large To Miniature Models - 1970

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Bob Wilson23/06/2009 12:54:40
1900 forum posts
277 photos
As I said in the MARY CELESTE thread, my transition from large to small models was immediate.     On completing the BAY OF BENGAL at 8 feet to 1 inch, I immediatley transferred to miniatures and my first miniature was also BAY OF BENGAL, this time at 32'=1".    Here are the photographs.   Not very good, beacuase I was just starting developing and printing my own at the time!
I had got fed up of taking months building models and the associated problem transporting them home.      At the time, I was serving aboard the passenger liner S.A. ORANGE (Ex PRETORIA CASTLE) and that is where the 32.5 inch BAY OF BENGAL hull was built.    I took it home to rig it.    The hull construction was quite difficult because my cabin was very small and most of the time we were boiling and simmering in the tropics - no air-conditioning!     Shortly afterwards, I found myself promoted and my cabin was four times the size of my previous one and air-conditioned as well.       By that time, (only a few months after completion of the large model) I had obtained a copy of SHIPBUILDING IN MINIATURE by  Donald McNarry and so built my first miniature in the air-conditioned luxury of RMS WINDSOR CASTLE.
I have built the occasional big one since then, but really, it is 99% miniatures for me these days.

Bob Abell23/06/2009 15:57:25
9337 forum posts
2985 photos
Excellent models, Bob
I like the non equidistant spar spacing!
But what about that wave midships?
Bob Wilson23/06/2009 16:21:23
1900 forum posts
277 photos
The top three yards on each mast were moveable.    When the sails were stowed, they were all moved down to the positions they are shown in.    If they were left like that, sail could not be set because the fore stays and even braces were in the way.   When sail was set, these yards were hoisetd to their fullest extent and then the spacing was more equal and sail could be set OK.    The ship is shown anchored in a long swell with waves sweeping towards it.   The one 'midship may look a bit too high, but it was common enough for them to slop past anchored or stationary ships.
A lot I don't like about both models now, but I was very happy with them at that time, 39 years ago.
Bob Abell23/06/2009 16:27:37
9337 forum posts
2985 photos
I like this era of sailing ships a lot and I spend hours on "Ships Nostalgia"
I suppose you do too?
Just in case you don`t, here it is......
Bob Wilson23/06/2009 16:42:51
1900 forum posts
277 photos
Yes, I am there as well, still as Shipbuilder and many of my old shipmates are there too.
Talking about the wave, look at this.    Ths ship (about 40 feet longer than BAY OF BENGAL) was stationary.    I am approaching in a small boat.      Less than a minute after taking the photograph, I had to jump from the boat onto the ladder hanging down the side of the ship and get aboard as soon as I could before the next wave came.    At the top of the next crest, as soon as my feet found the ladder and my hands gripped the sides,  the passing wave was gone leaving a 20 drop below me into the trough (so the crew told me who were awaiting my arrival.   Never thought much about it until I developed the picture and then I though "Did I do that?"
Happy days and the glory of an adventurous youth.     That was in 1982 in the South Atlantic and I was in my 22nd year at sea!

Barry Foote24/06/2009 08:13:44
161 forum posts
93 photos
Brilliant Bob. I really do enjoy your work..

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