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  1. My most recently completed model, HM Bark Endeavour, as she appeared in Tahiti, 1769, to observe the Transit of Venus. Total build time was just under a month. The ship is built to the scale of 75’ to 1” or 1/900. The hull was made from boxwood and planked with Nootka Cyprus. The balance of the detail is Nootka and boxwood. The masts are brass, and the rigging is a mix of nitinol and copper wire. The sea base is carved Nootka Cyprus. If you’d like to see more of my ships, they’re all at www.josephlavender.com
  2. Thanks Allan! I hope I struck the right tone there, I don’t want anyone to think I was saying some of us aren’t worthy, not at all! I’ve read every word written by McNarry and you get the sense very quickly that his clients were almost always wealthy, and sometimes royalty for that matter. He was already selling to the great and the good so that I’m sure helped to elevated his status enormously. I don’t mean that is a bad thing, but if you sell a work to a known collector of fine things, well your item becomes a fine thing too. I missed an auction a while back that had a McNarry ship. It hadn’t been taken care of well, some damage, faded paint etc. I heard it hadn’t gone for a crazy price either, wrong crowd. Those sorts of things happen at auctions. I would love to have owned it, damage and all.
  3. I just noticed this thread! My favorite modelers too! I might throw in some perspective as a private collector of art to make some of this make sense. In order to fully understand these numbers you have to remove yourself from the equation. We’re all ship modelers and everyone here is darn good at what they do. Full stop. We know the secrets behind how a McNarry, or Reed, or McCaffery was made just like how we know a Van Gogh or Monet was painted. However, their works have transcended ship modeling and entered into the world of high art. Once that line is crossed, these stop being models and become something more. A je ne sais quoi moment really. It’s like asking why Bonnard’s “le chat blanc” is in the Orsay Museum in Paris. It’s a weird painting, but it has that certain something that makes one stop and ponder it. A bit of magic behind the curtain. I work with a gallery in California for my good works, and while they typically deal in the Dutch masters, even they have heard of McNarry. So are they worth it as models? Maybe. Are they worth it at auction as high art? To the right person, certainly! The bottom line is that some ship models are special, and they evoke something in those who aren’t modelers themselves. We should enjoy the fact that these ships sell for what they do, when they do because it elevates us all.
  4. Glad you like them! I’m putting Batavia on hold and building HMB Endeavour. I need some more reference material and I’m reading a couple books on her. So once I’m finished with those, I’ll have a better understanding of the ship. I’ve decided to build HMB Endeavour. I have an idea for a simple diorama. I spent yesterday cutting the hull so today is planking day!
  5. Hey guys, glad you like! all of my models are on my website: www.josephlavender.com nothing for sale, no ads, just my ships. I don’t even take commissions anymore. I just build for the fun of it.
  6. Thank you! I need to get back to something with sails though. I have some excellent plans of Batavia, Endeavour, and Beagle and a nice looking piece of boxwood. Time to choose.

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

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