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Background It has been suggested that I should post a retrospective build log for my diorama of the sinking of the US gondola Philadelphia during the Battle of Valcour Island, Lake Champlain, in 1776. The final result is shown under “Diorama” in the gallery of completed scratch builds. A retrospective log may be unusual, but I hope that there are one or two ideas that others may find useful. If too many people get fed up with it, I’m sure they’ll tell me. The story started when I saw the Philadelphia in the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Although she sank in 1776, she was recovered in 1935 and is now on display, complete with the 24pdr British cannon ball that sank her. The Smithsonian has published a set of plans which I obtained (with some difficulty!)... .....but Philadelphia is a pretty basic and crudely built barge, and I decided that it wouldn’t make a very interesting model on its own. However, there is a modern painting by Earnest Haas of the US galley Washington standing by the Philadelphia and taking off the crew (Photo 4), and it struck me that this would form a good diorama. Washington was captured later in the battle, and the Admiralty, as was common practice, took off her lines. The draft is now in the National Maritime Museum in UK, and has been reproduced in a number of books. (I should add that my model was built before NRG published the plans for Washington). Although both vessels were small (Philadelphia is 53’7” OAL and Washington was about 80’ OAL), I have run out of room for large glass cases, so I decided on a scale of 1:144. (......to be continued)