| Here are some pictures of a few of the boat models that I have built over the years. Almost all were scratch built and unique. Many were built from the prototype, including a few which required the taking offsets so hull lines could be generated.
First, is this model of the Carrie Price, a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack. I built this model to see how cheaply I could build a model, thus everything came from found materials. The wood was all from table saw cut-offs, the metal, from old wire and soda cans, and the sail from an old handkerchief. The plans came from V.R. Grimwood's American Ship Models and How to Build Them
Schooner Yacht America was a kit, built so long ago that I do not remember the circumstances, however this is from the old Model Shipways kit. The hull has sodium salt corrosion detailing on the underbody of the hull
|Circe - Swan 44|
|I must apologize for the lack of sharpness of these images, but I have only some old prints to work from, and they are not very large. However, they do give a good indication of the nature of this model.|
|I built this model of Circe for the prototype's owner, Manny Greene, in 1981. A Swan 44, designed by Sparkman and Stephens in 1971, she was a fast and reliable IOR racer. This model, intended as a tour-de-force, incorporated many innovative features, such as the use of fibre-optics for lighting, and photo-imaging for the Brooks & Gatehouse instrument faces. Virtually every bit of this model was custom fabricated, since there were no sources available for any of the parts. Sparkman & Stephens, the naval architects, cooperatively gave me access to the boat plans, and Brooks & Gatehouse very kindly allowed me to photograph the instrument face plates from some broken dials. The model, 22 in length, executed in 1:24 or 1/2" to the foot scale, did very well in competition, winning the Master Craftsman division in national competition, at the U.S Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, in 1982.|
|The model of Circe features a folding prop, rod rigging, slotted Hyde Streamstay with track feeder, a baby stay with working, flush, deck-mounted release lever box, and T-track with double-wide jib sheet cars. I used brass & bronze with various melting-point silver solders to fabricate all the metalwork. Where appropriate, electroplating was used to simulate stainless steel, since at this scale, real stainless looks too bright, and plastic-like, while nickel-plate looks real. My intention was that the model should feel like the real deal, and in this case, the lie feels truer than the truth.|
|I knew that this model would be displayed where it could be seen with the original vessel visible, through a huge picture window, on it's mooring, quite close by. Therefore, great pains had to be taken with the colors used for hull paints and gel coat. Mast rake and other proportions, if incorrect, would jump out if not perfectly correct, so I documented the whole boat, photographically, when she was hauled in November.
I had the pleasure of showing this photograph to the boat's designer, Olin Stephens. I was quite pleased that he did not realize for a few minutes that the photo was of a model, although he recognized the deck as that of a Swan 44, immediately.
|Circe's cockpit features numerous self-tailing winches, a working traveler, mounted on a milled X-profile track, and a clinometer, which is center-mounted, under the performance instrumentation. On deck, can be seen the track and cars for the jib sheets. All the blocks are functional. The four compasses, three in the cockpit and one, between the cowl vents on the forward end of the coach house, all have polished lenses and their cards, although non-functioning, are all aligned.|
|In this photo you can see details of the helm station, including the three cockpit compasses, traveler, engine controls in white, on the right, and on the left, in black with teak frame are the self steering controls, manual bilge pump and battery switch. Fabricating the Steering wheel was quite frustrating because it had to be perfectly circular and smooth with even spokes and perfectly centered hub, or it would draw the viewers attention to the flaws instantly. Despite my using low temperature silver solder, I still melted eight before getting an acceptable wheel ready for plating.|
|Circe's Brooks & Gatehouse boat performance instruments measure slightly less than 4 millimeters in diameter, at the model's scale, making them quite tricky to fabricate. In order to rear light them, they were printed on color positive film and mounted in scale instrument frames, rear lit using fiberoptics. Using a lens, the instruments can actually be read. Under the black instrument panel, the ivory colored rectangle is the boat's clinometer, whose indicator ball is barely visible, near the bottom center.
In the top left of the photograph, you can see the after end of the mainsail boom, in silver, with all it's fittings for sail control, reefing and topping lift.
|At the top of the model's 29-1/2, elliptical cross-section, tapered mast is this masthead fitting. Easily covered by a U.S. quarter dollar, there are 72 silver solder joints in it's construction. Attached to the masthead, you can find, going from left (aft) to right(forward), apparent wind indicator, rod back stay, topping lift, main halyard, masthead light, VHF radio antenna, port & starboard jib halyards, Streamstay head-swivel fitting, port & starboard spinnaker halyards, OMNI VOR antenna, B&G apparent wind direction sensor, and B&G cup anemometer wind speed sensor.|