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Wooden Ship Models - Fifth Edition

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Wooden Ship Models - Fifth Edition - Page Text Content

S: Handcrafted Wooden Ship Models - Sixth Edition - Malkin

BC: Ships, Sailors and the Sea Depending on who you believe, man has been around for tens of thousands of years. In that time, around 4000 BCE, rafts and other flotation devices appeared in Australia and around the Nile. That would be over 6000 years of using water and "ships" for exploration and transportation . Obviously, water transportation has been central to the development of mankind, both as an enjoyment and as a necessity. Nor is it strange that ships became an important part of warfare. Events such as the Battle of Trafalgar indeed had consequences of monumental impact... in this case the downfall of Napoleon. Young men and women, ancient and modern, have been drawn to the sea for thousands of years, to farm for seafood, explore the oceans, hunt for treasures or to serve their countries. The crafting of these ships in miniature is a passion. As purveyors of history, objects of beauty and wonder, and works of art, such ships are pleasant to view and enjoyable to craft. Patience is rewarded after hours of concentration on the smallest fitting or months of effort to produce a unique vessel of which there is but one. If I bring a smile or a wonderment to those who view my ships, then I have done my job as a craftsman and an artist. Stuart J. Malkin

FC: A Selection of Models Crafted by Stuart J. Malkin | Handcrafted Wooden Ship Models | Sixth Edition

1: The Santa Maria was a very small ship indeed. Never planned as Columbus's Flagship or its destiny. | On the Cover: Model of HMS Victory in 1805, at the Battle of Trafalgar. This almost five feet long model took four years to build. She was the subject in a National Geographic Special filmed at the Royal Navy Yard, Portsmouth, England.

2: There are 35+ models shown in this book, not in any particular order, but representative of the forty models completed over a thirty-five year period . Each is a unique handcrafted work of art, and yes, there is but one of them! | A Mississippi Riverboat in ultra miniature. | Contact Information: Cell, 760-774-0131, 7am-7pm, Pacific email:

3: The Nantucket Lightship (LV112) was a modeling challenge. She is loaded with authentic details, modified significantly to reflect a true miniature of the real thing. For instance, the lights are real lights and closely imitate the huge ones they represent. Scores of details that were present on the Nantucket are reproduced in miniature on this historic model. On a night with bad weather she was a welcome sight for many captains. | The Mayflower

4: "El Paseo" in Palm Desert, California, is internationally famous for its art galleries. Our models are represented by the Richard Danskin Art Galleries, a well established and highly respected showplace. We are honored to have been chosen by this gallery. At your request we can be there with models and provide you with insights into any of the ships to which you may be attracted. | The First Royal Yacht

5: Mediterranean Cargo Boat | Golden Hind | US Navy Picket Boat | Greek "Bireme" 500 B.C.E. | Each of our models is crafted after a long research period. Our passion is to create a model that has a place in history, usually with a unique story, reliving these events through the art and craftsmanship of model shipbuilding. Our models are heirlooms and will pass through the generations with the aura attached to the model.

6: Stuart at the helm of a full size tug.

7: Tugs are one of our favorites and usually an "in between " project of four months or so while we are researching and preparing for a major project. | Modeling Note: We use brushes for painting our models, exactly as was done on the full size ship. Many of today's ship model craftsmen use airbrushing, which creates a beautiful finish, but not authentic.

9: On the left is a close up of the figurehead on the Viking ship (below). The figurehead was assembled from separate castings, then painted with very small brushes. The picture is 10+ times the size of the little dragon figure, requiring a steady hand and careful representation of the real thing. | The Viking Ship itself is crafted from overlapping planks, imitating with precise accuracy the real ship. This model was possible only because the real ship was unearthed and provided an actual plan

12: A Modeling Note: Paints used on our ships are actually scaled.The pigments are such that the paint lies on the model to scale. That is, the width of the covering paint is to the scale of the model! This sort of precision is evidenced throughout the collection and applies to the wood, hand made fittings, masts and rigging. | On the Previous Page: This diorama was created to showcase the Tug "Boston," a fictional name used by us to describe a typical tug of the era (late 19th - early 20th centuries). | Dhow | Dutch Yacht | US Coastal Defender

13: Various ships in the collection. Modeling time varies from months to years, but each has a unique place in history and each has an absorbing tale of sea lore. For instance, the model directly above is the launch used by Captain Bligh when he was cast adrift by the HMS Bounty crew during a mutiny. "Mutiny on the Bounty" is an often told story, but Bligh's heroism in a trip across 3,618 miles of open sea with sick and tired loyal seamen is not generally known. He eventually became a Vice-Admiral. | Ben Franklin's Black Prince | USS Constitution

14: Of all 40 ships we have modeled, HMS Victory takes a special place in my heart. First, it was an early effort and a major one. Over 4 1/2 feet long, it was an imposing sight in our home. With details such as signal flags, appropriately housed at the stern and a plaque in miniature commemorating the spot on the deck where Admiral Nelson was shot. There are, literally, scores of such modeling touches that set this work apart from other efforts. Four years in construction and, ten years after the "Christening," she was sold to a celebrity. | When National Geographic Explorer TV Series learned about our model, we were invited to HMS Victory for an interview. Indeed, we were guests of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, England, during which time we were interviewed on board HMS Victory. The show aired nationally and we established a friendship with Captain Jay, now departed.

15: Stuart and Barbara during their visit to HMS Victory | There are two old ships that are still active in their respective navies. They are commissioned and available for public visits. They would be the USS Constitution and HMS Victory, both modeled by us and both with memorable and historic stories. Above, left is the "mini" Victory, with a hull barely eight inches long. And on the left page is our five foot long rendering of Victory and the ship described on these pages.

16: This is Admiral Nelson's "cabin" aboard HMS Victory as it was at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The furnishings are original and undisturbed, including the desk accessories, notably the pen and inkwell. Because of our model and our unbridled interest in Victory, we were allowed to handle the pen and made a "dip" in the inkwell, as if it was Nelson himself.

17: Our tour of Victory was a day we will not forget. Captain Jay's hospitality and interest in our model were cursors for a long and worthwhile friendship. We toured every inch of the ship, our nostrils filled with the smell of oakum and an even better understanding of naval battles in the 18th and 19th centuries.

18: Victory Under Construction | The model below is the very small (10 inch) rendering of HMS Victory, modeled some years after our showcase Victory was sold. | HMS Victory is a 104 gun First Rate Ship, still commissioned and the jewel of the Royal Navy. Our model contained all 104 guns, modeled in detail and "at the ready." The gunports, above, were cut into the hull during the long construction period.

19: Some "progressive" pictures as Victory unfolded over four years. On the left, frames and some planking in place; thousands of copper plates below the waterline and gunports (in red) cut into the hull. On this page, a view of the frames before planking; hull finished. Below, masts and rigging in place, painted. Victory is complete!

20: The model HMS Victory Launch, above, is almost two feet long and in this large scale can contain exquisite detail. It was used to move the HMS Victory anchor from one location to another and, as well, to provision the "parent" ship. The anchor davit at the stern was modeled from authentic plans and is in itself an interesting piece of 18th Century "machinery." The compass and lantern on board are outstanding miniatures. | This is a "peapod," so named because it resembles one, pointed at both ends. In use, the one and only waterman could navigate quickly from one spot to another, dropping (or collecting) his one or two lobster traps. Our model has a trap (with lobster) and a buoy, painted with the personal colors of the specific waterman.

21: T | The | The "Flattie" | The "Flattie" is one of many types of Chesapeake Bay boats. Its flat bottom allowed it to sail up narrow creeks to ply the wares of the waterman. Used originally for crabbing, now the Flattie, Skipjacks and many others are recreational as well. Still in use for crabbing, the Flattie harvests the super delicious Maryland blue crab. | This model is a section of HMS Victory, showing the second gun deck in large scale. Every battle tool is in its place and perfectly scaled... powder kegs, fuses, cannon balls, hammocks, crew tables etc. The guns themselves are rigged for battle.

22: The model above is a whaleboat, exactly as used on the Charles W. Morgan Whaling Bark. In fact, the bulwark of the ship, from which the whaleboat hangs, was modeled to create the illusion. Below is a picture of the "real thing." There are no observable differences between the model and the actual boat, except perhaps that the model contains a full compliment of gear for whale hunting. Plans from Mystic Seaport and many pictures of the actual whaleboat were the basis for construction.

23: The Nautical Research Guild is a highly respected organization, devoted to the craft of model shipbuilding. It encourages the excellence of members' models and the research that is required. Curators of major maritime museums and high ranking US Naval officers are among the membership. We are proud to be affiliated with the Guild. | Our whaleboat received the above ribbon in competition with 58 other submissions in the 2011 NRG Conference Ship Model Contest. And, it received it in the "Master Class," the highest recognition of model ship artistry rendered by the Nautical Research Guild. Of course we take pride in this accomplishment as should our clients.

24: Above: In the days of Dutch supremacy of the seas, very wealthy Dutchmen owned luxury yachts. They would sail the Zuider Zee on an almost daily basis. Royalty, especially, owned many over their lifetimes. They were named after wives or mistresses.

25: Forerunner to the US Coastguard, ships like the one below, called cutters, patrolled the coast of the United States. They saw duty during the Revolution, the early years of national growth and even during the Civil War. In the late 18th Century similar British ships conducted operations in the United States and we have modeled some of those as well. The modern Coastguard still calls their ships "cutters."

26: Royal Yacht Mary | The Royal Yacht Mary, left, was a gift from the Netherlands to Charles II when he was crowned. The 18thCentury Longboat, opposite, is a typical lifeboat stored onboard wooden ships and was the principal "shore duty" boat for provisioning and anchor duty. The hull for our model is just over six inches long. The Chinese Junk, opposite, has a very long and distinguished history in Chinese nautical lore... perhaps for some 5000 years! It was the principal design for the "treasure ships," in 1405, when "China ruled the seas." | A whaling brig from the Cory whaling family. This beautiful vessel is modeled in superb detail, with four whaleboats... each of them with all of the whalecraft details... harpoons, lances, oars, masts and sails. The hull below the waterline is coppered. The mechanism for lifting the whale onto the ship is modeled, along with the necessary removable bulwark section. The "tryworks" for processing the whale oil is reproduced in miniature and the carpenter's bench holds a minuscule ship model which the ship's carpenter is making!

27: 18th Century Longboat | Chinese Junk

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  • By: Stuart M.
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  • Title: Wooden Ship Models - Fifth Edition
  • A selection of pictures, descriptions, information and lore about some of the 40+ unique wooden model ships I have crafted.
  • Tags: None
  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: about 6 years ago