Navis Lusoria – Roman Troop Ship

John McGann is building this model of a Roman troop ship, Navis Lusoria, from scratch

John McGann is building this model of a Roman troop ship, Navis Lusoria, from scratch

Modeler’s Name: John R. McGann
Period: circa 300 AD
Scale: 3/8”=1”
Type of Model: Scratch built
Build Time: 200 so far

Build Materials:
The Model is entirely scratch built and under construction using beech wood to replicate oak. The photograph is of a full sized reproduction of a “Navis Lusoria” displayed in the Mainz Museum

Ship’s Story:
The Navis Lusoria (Dancing Ship) was a riverine troop ship that was used by the Roman Legions to patrol the Northern Border of the Empire. The Rhine, Moselle, Main, and Danube marked this Northern Boundary. In 1981 during the excavation for an extension of the Hilton Hotel at Mainz, Germany the remains of five of the vessels were discovered. The wrecks have been salvaged and are displayed at The Museum of Antique Shipping, Mainz.

Modeler’s Bio:
Retired commercial construction general superintendent. First ship model completed 1944

De Kogge von Bremen

John McGann scratch  built this model plank-for-plank as the original 13th Century De Kogge was found and raised.

John McGann scratch built this model plank-for-plank as the original 13th Century De Kogge was found and raised.

Modeler’s Name: John R. McGann
Period: 1380
Scale: 1=40 19/64″=1′
Type of Model: Scratch build

Build Time: 1,000

Build Materials:
Scratch built of Apple Wood from the plans of the ship developed during its recovery and re-construction. The mast and rigging had not been installed, only a small portion of the decking is shown as the original decking was not recovered. Note: that the deck is athwart the vessel rather than fore and aft.

Ship’s Story:
The Cog or Kogge was a type of vessel used by the Hanseatic League for 500 years. The original ship was built of Baltic Oak in 1380 and swept from the builder’s yard by a flash flood of the Wesser River. Recovered during the dredging of the river in 1962. Now displayed in a museum at Bremerhaven, Germany.

Modeler’s Bio:
Retired Construction Supt. Modeling for 75 years

Christopher Columbus

Scratch built model of the 1900-1934 Great Lakes excursion boat by John McGann

Scratch built model of the 1900-1934 Great Lakes excursion boat by John McGann

Modeler’s Name: John R. McGann

Period: 1883-1933
Scale: 3/32″ = 1′
Type of Model: scratch build from original plans
Build Time: 500 hrs.

Build Materials:
Scratch built from original plans of wood, styrene, and paper.

Ship’s Story:
The only passenger ship built to the whaleback design. Built at West Superior, Wisconsin in eighty one days. She served as an excursion liner on the Great Lakes from 1883 until 1933. Scrapped at Manitowoc, Wisconsin 1936. Length 363′ Beam 42′ Tonnage 1,511 tons. Carried more passengers than any other vessels on the Great Lakes.

Modeler’s Bio:
Retired construction supt. Model builder for 75 years

HMS Bounty

HMS Bounty

This is the first John McCann ever built – 67 years ago.

John McGann built this model from a kit in 1944 when he was 16.
It was his first. Since then, John has lost count of the number of
models he has built, but it has been a continuous avocation for 67 years.

The Bounty was a collier purchased by the British Royal Navy and converted to an armed transport. It’s mission was to collect bread fruit seedlings in Tahiti and transport them to Jamaica to feed the slaves on the sugar plantations there. The crew mutinied and cast Captain Bligh and 18 loyal crew members adrift in a small launch. After an epic voyage of 3,618 miles, Bligh landed at Timor, while the Bounty sailed to Pitcairn Island with a partially native crew where their descendents live to this day.

Period: 1789
Model length: 24”, height: 22”
Scale: 1=48

Die Kogge von Bremem

John McGann's De Kogge

John McGann built this model plank-for-plank as the original 13th Century De Kogge was found and raised. This model was awarded Best in Show at our annual Ship Model Exhibit

The Die Kogge von Bremen has been recovered from the bottom of the Weser River and now is on display at Bremenhaven, Germany. It was originally built in 1380AD. She is the only Cog still in existence. The Cog is a vessel type first developed about 900AD in Holland as a merchant vessel of the Haneseatic League. Cogs carried crusaders to the Holy Land and Marco Polo began his trek to China aboard a Cog. The Cog was a major improvement in ship building in that it carried a greater cargo than a Viking ship, required a smaller crew, and was easier to defend. It was the first European vessel to mount a rudder. No hatches were used – instead the deck was removable to gain access to the cargo hold.

John researched and built this model from scratch, mostly of apple wood. He estimates the project consumed some 2000 hours.

Period: 1380
Model is 30” long, 17” tall
Scale: 1=40 (19/64” = 1 foot)