S.S. Republic

Ralph Buckwalter built this Civil War vintage model from scratch. It is also a prize-winning model.

This model was scratch-built by Ralph Buckwalter.  The hull is poplar and
basswood, the decks are redwood. Sails are silkspan, paddle wheels are
HDPE plumbing fittings and wood, small boats are crafted from cigarette
paper, and railings are etched brass. Ralph spent some 1100 enjoyable hours building the Republic.

The S.S. Republic was built in 1854 in Baltimore, Md. as the S.S. Tennessee. During the Civil War she was seized by Admiral David Farragut in New Orleans. The vessel’s name was changed to U.S.S. Mobile and was sold in 1885. Renamed the S.S. Republic, she was chartered for a commercial line running between New York and New Orleans. On October 19, 1865 she was ravaged by a hurricane off the Georgia shore and had to be abandoned. She sank with some $400,000 in gold and silver coin aboard. One-hundred and eighty years later, in 2003, she was salvaged and one-third of the coins were recovered. One of those coins is encased at the bow of the model.

Period : Civil War
Model size: 30” long, 14” tall
Scale: 1:120

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