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JerseyCity Frankie

White metal anchor corrosion on museum model

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Posted (edited)

Recently visited the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic Connecticut and saw this superb model of Flying Fish. The cased model was excellent, great construction detail and rig. The unpainted model was aging very nicely, except for the anchors which were blooming with scale and deeply corroded. That old white metal corrosion again. In other cases I’ve seen painted anchor bursting like stuffed animals, white fuzz emerging from cracks in he paint caused by the expansion of the metal. In this case the corrosion looks like brownish orang bubles. The base under the Bow was discolored from material dripping off the anchors. Also two copper hull plates had come off. Oddly, the figure head appears fine, sugesting it’s made of stronger stuff. Real gold?







Edited by JerseyCity Frankie

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Corrosion could also be from lead as well as white metal. However, lead salts are more usually whiskery or powdery and white (lead carbonate).

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White metal contains lead, which is the culprit, I think. The worst cases (pun intended) are glass cases fitted with silicone - it gives of acetic acid fumes, which speeds up corrosion in form of lead acetate.

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Yep, I have a constitution with wonderful corroded anchors.  someday, I need to get the case off and replace the anchors, which are attached to the ratlines.  what a bummer!!  Thanks for showing what happens with this metal in an air tight case!  It's heart breaking to put all of that care into the build to see this happen to your model.

Edited by keelhauled

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Something else is also going as well, I see what looks like a drip spot from a liquid on the base wood surface. Could drastic swings in temperature cause moisture condensation on the anchor with enough buildup to drip over time?

I have also see this type of corrosion on parts using blackening agents and not being rinsed thoroughly with water after being treated. This usually starts in a hole or recess in a part.

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