Model Engineer Exhibition 2010


The number of entries in the competition was again disappointing although the actual quality of models was as high as ever. It does seem that boat modellers are less willing to enter competitions than they once were, although one visitor remarked to me that the low entry was not altogether surprising as the Exhibition has been predominantly billed as a model engineering show in recent years with little mention of the marine element. There are of course also a large number of regional shows these days which has had an impact on attendance levels as far as individual events are concerned. However there were also a good number of boats displayed on the club stands, several of which had received awards in the past.

Not all classes had entries and the full results are shown in the separate table. David’s photos show the standard of work on display so I will just confine myself to general comments on some of the more outstanding models.

The models

Brian King is a well known and respected contributor to this magazine and his models have won him many top awards in the Exhibition (and internationally) over many years. He has a particular fondness for battleships from the Victorian era and this year’s entry was the French pre-dreadnought 1898 battleship Bouvet  which was lost with over 600 crew after striking a mine during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. Brian’s model captured very well this rather odd looking warship with her excessive tumblehome. Despite a few minor imperfections the model was otherwise very hard to fault and easily achieved its Gold Medal.
Another entry which the Judges were all very impressed with, was Robin Burnham’s 27 foot Naval Whaler built in almost exactly the same way as the original full size boat. I saw this model at the Society of Model Shipwright’s exhibition earlier in 2010 and a closer examination wearing my Judge’s hat this time, confirmed that this was indeed an exceptional model fully deserving of a Gold award as the photo shows.
Six of the entries received Silver Medals. Two went to David Brown’s latest collection of submarines; HMS Thrasher featured some very interesting deck detailing while his model of the steam driven K class K14 illustrated what extraordinary engineering feats these craft were despite their rather chequered and tragic history. The mechanism by which the funnels were lowered into their wells preparatory to diving was of particular note. A rather different subject was John Garnish’s 14th Century Mediterranean Cog, a well-researched and unusual model and very nicely presented with much detail. Notably, the athwartships square beams used to hold the sides of the vessel together also doubled as scuppers for clearing the decks of water.
Going back another 1,700 years was Alan Ludbrook’s fascinating model of the Syracusia built as a showpiece for Hieron II of the Greek city of Syracuse in Sicily. Unfortunately the ship turned out to be too large for the harbours of the time and was given to Ptolemy III of Egypt where it became a visitor attraction in Alexandria. Nobody knows exactly what the vessel looked like, but Mr Ludbrook has drawn on a variety of ancient sources describing it and his interpretation is probably as good as anyone will ever get in bringing this extraordinary vessel back to life. As well as the Silver Medal, Mr Ludbrook was also awarded the H. C. Evans Trophy for research. A fine model of a Southwold Beach Boat of 1893 was entered by Michael Gilbert with exemplary standards of construction and finish. The final Silver award went to George Bandurek for his enhanced kit of the Jotika naval cutter HMS Sherbourne from their Nelson’s navy range. This model demonstrated just how much can be done to enhance what is already an excellent kit by drawing upon research from contemporary sources. The result transformed what is intended to be an introductory kit into a work of art! Sherborne was also awarded the Model Boats Kit Class Trophy.
Four Bronze Medals were also awarded as well as one Very Highly Commended, two Highly Commended and one Commended. A heartfelt ‘Well done’ to all the entrants for their personal achievements.

Nearly all of them had provided comprehensive documentation and in some cases information sheets for the public which is very commendable. There is just one point worth making in that the judging team do not have unlimited time at their disposal and simply want to be satisfied that the model has indeed been properly researched and the results ‘taken on board’ so the documentation should be aimed at demonstrating this in a readily digestible format. It is possible to provide too much information as well as too little! Good appropriate documentation can frequently lift a good model into the next award category.

Brian Paddison’s lifeboat display

This was a very popular attraction with his Trent class RNLB George and Mary Webb also being a candidate for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and missing out on that top slot by just a whisker. Brian was on hand during the exhibition demonstrating all the working details of his superb model that has full cabin and engine room detail.

Clubs and traders

Once again it was nice to see several club stands around the exhibition, supplemented this year by some specialist model boat traders including Metcalf Mouldings, Component Shop, MMB, Model Power, A Model World and  Models by Design. There was even a pool, although the outside location in the freezing weather conditions did limit its use.

Marine Classes Competition Results

Class C1: Working scale models, Scale 1:1 to 1:48

David Watkin          Kapitan Stoewahse Pilot Cutter                          Very Highly Commended

Ronald Devine         Steam Launch Miranda                                        Commended


Class C4: Non working scale models, Scale 1:49 to 1:384

Brian King               Bouvet, French pre-dreadnought battleship    Gold Medal and Earl Mountbatten of Burma Trophy

David Brown            HM Submarine Thrasher                                     Silver Medal

David Brown            HM Submarine K14                                               Silver Medal

David Brown            HM Submarine J.1                                                 Bronze Medal

David Brown            HM Submarine Tiptoe                                           Highly Commended


Class C5: Sailing ships of any period, working

Richard Chesney    Thames Sailing Barge Sirdar as in 1938          Highly Commended

Geoffrey Yarham     Fishing vessel Albatross                                       Commended

Geoffrey Yarham     Sailing vessel Flying Foam                                  Commended


Class C6: Sailing ships of any period, non-working

Robin Burnham      27 foot Naval Whaler                                             Gold Medal

Alan Ludbrook        Syracusia ancient ship                                          Silver Medal and H. C. Evans Trophy

John Garnish           14th Century Mediterranean Cog                      Silver Medal

Michael Gilbert       Southwold Beach Boat 1893                                Silver Medal

David Hawksley      English First Rate c1706                                      Bronze Medal

Robin Burnham      Cornish Pilot Gig                                                    Bronze Medal

Michael Puttock      HM Schooner Sultana                                           Bronze Medal


Class C9: Marine Kits

George Bandurek   HM Cutter Sherbourne                                         Silver Medal and Model Boats Kit Class Trophy