Lizzie Metzner – Great Lakes Schooner

A scratch-built model of the Great Lakes schooner, Lizzie Metzner by Ralph Buckwalter

A scratch-built model of the Great Lakes schooner, Lizzie Metzner by Ralph Buckwalter

Modeler’s Name: Ralph Buckwalter
Period: 1888
Scale: 7/64 in. per ft.
Type of Model: scratch built solid hull
Build Time: not estimated

Build Materials:
No plans were available for this ship. Based on the plans for a similar ship which was 46 ft longer than the Lizzie I reduced the plans so the overall length was equivalent to the 81 ft of the Luzzie. I built the hull based on these plans modifying the hull based on the photos I had of the Lizzie. . The hull was done using the bread and butter method which consists of multiple thin lifts of wood cut to lines taken from the plans . I was intrigued by the triangular sail on the fore mast. I sewed all of the sails and bent them on as shown in the photos.

Ship’s Story:
The Lizzie Metzner was a typical Great Lakes Schooner which was used to carry various cargos on the great lakes. She was built in 1888 Rand and Burger in Manitowoc Wisc. for the firm of Mashek and Metzner of Kewaunee Wisc., who owned the south pier in Manitowoc. Wisc. The Lizzie Metzner was 81 ft. in length, had a beam of 21ft 8 in. and a depth of 6ft 9 in. Her gross tonnage was 77. She was built from blue oak and cost $1200 when delivered. The Lizzie Mitzner had a shallow draft,less than 3 ft.,and had a centerboard that could be used to take advantage of this shallow draft. She had a Raffee sail, a triangular top sail, on the foremast. These Raffee sails were the trademark of many Great Lake schooners.

Modeler’s Bio:
Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000. His first model was a pirate ship.

Le Hussard

A kit of the Le Hussard was modified and constructed by Ralph Buckwalter

A kit of the Le Hussard was modified and constructed by Ralph Buckwalter

Modeler’s Name: Ralph Buckwalter
Period: 1845
Scale: ¼” = 1’
Type of Model: modified plank on bulkhead kit
Build Time: not estimated

Build Materials:
Build Materials: This model was built from an Artesania Latina kit that has been modified to more closely represent the description listed in the “Global Schooner”. I also used some information from “Souvenirs De Marine” by Admiral Paris which had better details than those of the kit. This included rigging and deck furniture. All sails were hand machine sewn and not the ones supplied with the kit. I also used a product named “Quicken” to stiffen and shape the sails.

Ship’s Story:
Le Hussard is identified as a French Brigantine built in 1845 in the kit, although she is described in the “Global Schooner” by Karl Heinz as a French Schooner. She was larger than her American and British counterparts. She has the following measurements: L – 98’ 6”, W – 27’ 11”, Depth in hold 9’ 2”. Her main feature was her armament. She carried two rotating carronades, 18 pounders, one in the bow and one in the stern. These rotating carronades were supposed to make Le Hussard a foe to fear but I don’t think this was the case. The bow panels would drop down so the carronade could be aimed at vessels low in the water close to the ship.

Modeler’s Bio:
Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000. His first model was a pirate ship, Black Falcon

Black Falcon – pirate ship

The Black Falcon was Ralph Buckwalter's first ship model

The Black Falcon was Ralph Buckwalter’s first ship model

Modeler’s Name: Ralph Buckwalter
Period: 18th Century
Scale: 1:100
Type of Model: plant on bulkhead kit
Build Time: not estimated

Build Materials:
This was Ralph’s first ship model. It is made from a Mantua kit. The kit utilized a plank on bulkhead type of construction. The planks were bent when wet using a hot iron. The model kit supplied sails but they were ugly and I decided not put them on the model since the instructions were not very detailed and for a first model I did not think I could make them look good.

Ship’s Story:
This is supposed to be one of the ships used by Captain Kidd the famous Pirate. It is a two masted Brigantine from the 18th century

Modeler’s Bio:
Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.

Hannah in a Bottle

Ralph Buckwalter's model in a bottle is a kit build of the topsail schooner Hannah

Ralph Buckwalter’s model in a bottle is a kit build of the topsail schooner Hannah

Modeler’s Name: Ralph Buckwalter
Period: Revolutionary War
Scale: 1:100
Type of Model: Miniature in a bottle
Build Time: not estimated

Build Materials:
The Hannah was built from an Amati kit which included the bottle. I modified the kits rigging, masts and yards. The supplied rectangular metal masts and yards which I changed to wood more closely represent a ship of this era. This greatly complicated the placing of the model in the bottle since the wooden masts and yards were a little larger in diameter then the metal components. I also included a second yard on the fore mast which was not shown in the photos of the completed model in the kit but was shown in the instructions. As you will note from the dimensions below it was a tight fit.

Ship’s Story:
Brief history of the original ship: The Schooner Hannah was the first American armed naval vessel of the American Revolution and is claimed to be the founding vessel of the United States Navy. The Schooner was hired into the service of the American Continental Army by General George Washington. Washington commissioned Nicholson Broughton to command the Hannah on September 2nd 1775. Two days later she was pursued by the HMS Lively and another British vessel. She and took protection in the Gloucester Harbor. Hannah’s brief naval career ended on October 10th 1775, when she was run aground near a small American fort near Beverly by the British sloop Nautilus. Shortly after this Hannah was decommissioned by General Washington since he found more suitable ships for his cruisers

Modeler’s Bio:
Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.

S.S.Republic

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