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Restoration of Old Model Ship


Intex

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Hi, I am new to this forum, but have been doing restorations of one kind or another for many years.

I have what we think is a very old Model Ship that was brought here by great grandparents from Spain (We were told). For sure it is over 60-70 years old

I do not know if this is the correct forum sub-heading to list this topic, but I would like to get help with the following:

 

1. What type of ship was this, A Spanish Armada supply ship (No Cannons) ?? or something else.

2. Was this a one off, or some type of Kit at the time?

3. How should I begin the restoration and follow thru?

 

I have started to glue the masts together, I was at one time all together, but I boxed it up thinking I would work on it in a few months, and it stayed boxed through 3 moves, storage, abuse by movers, and when I opened it last week, everything sticking out was broken. Most of the sails, look like they were some type of cotton or linen, with hems and seams, and then hardened in place as if fully filled with wind. They also seem to have wire in the hems. A couple are completely destroyed, and some have rips, I tried to clean one with a paintbrush, and the dirt came off, I tried also soapy water, and it cleaned just a wee bit, but the water did not seem to ruin the fabric.

 

Most all of the rigging is crumbled, but the "catwalks" ?(triangular webbing to climb the masts are all OK, since they were also strengthen with some lacquer or glue. The wood is OK, needs claeaning and maybe a coat of tung oil?  The bottom half of the hull is either apinted in a crackler finish like car undercoating or the paint has crackled with time.

 

The name plaque on the Ship says "Santiago" underneath it says PORTUGAL.

 

Approx 32" long, 34" high to tip of mast.

 

Without any pictures it will be extremely difficult for me to re-rig it. I am a sailor, but of 16 ft. boats, not three masters.

 

Any help much appreciated

 

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Hi, Welcome to MSW (should we call you Intex, or..?)

 

With respect to your questions: I suspect that it is not a kit, but a decorative model. Used to be very popular around the fifties in Europe.

Sometimes they were intended to represent a certain type of ship, sometimes they were just a mixture of 'ship-like' details.

Your model is (I suspect) from that last category: three masted, rigged with tops, square rigged (but I can't get how the mizzen was rigged.)

 

The hull, however, has clipper and yacht-characteristics, but can by no means represent (scalewise) a sailingship: that hull with three masts will tumble over)

The superstructure, has some 'clipper-like' design charactyeristics.

 

So:

1. no Spanish armada for sure.

2. perhaps no one-off, certainly no kit, and if produced in a larger series, probably the last surviving 

3. I guess, but am not an expert: 

  - take pictures of all stages of your work (try to get as much detail on the rigging you can still get before taking it apart)

  - try to take the whole thing apart (especially the damaged parts without using brute force)

  - clean the parts and repair (not overpainting, but filling in the missing parts)

  - put everything back together.

 

The other route is: try to put everything together without taking apart, and fill in the missing gaps.

 

The result will be a very nice decorative model with a story. Not a museum quality ship model.

 

Jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s  all just opinions for the most part but I think most will agree it’s a charming “decorative” model that is worth restoring. Not all old broken models are worth restoring! In my opinion it’s certainly not a kit. I’m guessing whoever built it wished it to evoke a generic fishing vessel, not a specific vessel despite its having a name. “Decorative” means, in the context of ship Models, a lack of realism in scale and detail. A decorative model builder isn’t concerned with a precise representation, details on decorative models are often toylike. Look at the portholes on the deck house: the builder had some off-the-shelf round parts so he incorporated them. So the size of the resulting portholes was determined by the availability of the part, not any measurement taken from an actual vessel. 

The life ring would suggest the size of a human but the boat suggests another scale, as does the stove. No doubt the model builder had the parts on hand and his vision did not necessitate that the scale of the parts needed to match precisely. had He intended a more serious representation the parts would match.

Whaling vessels are typically the only ships with stoves exposed on deck so a case can be made that this is a whaler. However the other halmark of the whaler are multiple whaleboats, usually at LEAST three but often six boats with davits for each boat. Your model has only a pair.

theres also a red navigation light in the Port Shrouds (not catwalk) and I’m guessing there was a green one in the Starboard Shrouds? This feature dates the model to a more modern era-I don’t know when nav lights came into widespread use but certainly late 1800’s but my impression is the builder was making a representation of a modern fishing vessel or yacht, the absence of big cargo hatches precludes a transport.

  

Quote

 

 Niagara USS Constitution 

 

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Thank you everyone for your input, as I continue, if I have questions, where shall I post them?

I was thinking that with the size and type of the portholes, that this was not a scale model..., but its been in the family, so I will do my best to restore it, without going overboard

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Post a log for the restoration in the Scratch Model area with the keyword "RESTORATION" at the end of the title.   Have some fun with this and good luck.

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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  • 1 month later...

I'll disagree with a few and say it may well be a kit. I just finished a 70 year old restore and had many of your questions when I started. Interestingly, your boat while completely different than mine has the same style and feel to it. Even the name plate is similar in design.  As mentioned - pictures, pictures, more pictures. Every piece of wood. Every sail. Every rope. From both sides and front and back. You will thank yourself one day.

 

Don't take things apart piece by piece if you can help it. For instance I cut the rat lines (the triangle climbing ropes-catwalk) right at the hull and was able to take out the entire mast with everything still intact. The mast then becomes just one project in many for the restore. Working on items off the boat is a lot easier than on the boat.

 

I was also able to keep much of the original material in place. You will find that modelling ropes made today don't look much like those made years ago so the more original you can reuse the better. The same goes for other materials.

 

Have a look at the structures on deck. Even under the structures. Take them off.  I took off a skylight and there was the manufacturers name stamped on the deck. A company out of business for almost 60 years now. But if you find a piece of info like that, Google is your friend. You might even find the same model today on Ebay and now you have spare parts.

 

Save every scrap you remove, cut, sand, etc. It may be just the thing to make a repair somewhere else on the ship.

 

For some reason, many kits back then were of fictitious and fictional boats. Mine came from Treasure Island. Since there was no real model to go by, a lot of artist discretion was used. Does it look like any real boat? Not really. Does it matter? Not really.

 

In my signature there is a link to the restoration build log I kept. It shows a lot of what I am describing here. If you are going to follow thru with a restore I strongly suggest you consider a log.

 

Good luck and enjoy. There will be frustrations, just persist.

Sail on...... Mike         "Dropped a part? Your shoe will always find it before your eyes do"

Current Builds:                                                          Completed Builds:

Lancia Armata 1803 - Panart                                   US Brig Niagara - Model ShipwaysSection Deck Between Gun Bays - Panart  ; Arrow American Gunboat - Amati    

 Riva Aquarama - Amati                                           T24 RC Tugboat  ;  Hispaniola - Megow - Restoration ; Trajta - by Mikiek - Marisstella ; Enterprise 1799 - Constructo                             

                                                                   
                                                               

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  • 2 years later...

I bought this model ship, which is over 6 feet long, a decade ago in Barre, MA. It was built in Lubec, Maine and I need help restoring her. I am in Charlotte, NC. I would love to know more about the history. It has hand carved people and buoys to go with it. Very primitive and loved. I want to hire someone to restore her or restore her for placement in a museum or place that would make people happy. I posted it on FB because I couldn't find any takers and received so much feedback that I decided to make a more serious search for help. 

 

How do I insert a photo?

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Julie, I suggest you start a new topic and include some photos.  Here's  alink on how to upload:   

 

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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  • 1 year later...

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