Name of Model: Ranger Period: Pre Civil War Type of Model: Modified kit
Name of Modeler: Martin Jelsema Scale: 1/4″ = 1′ Build Time: 300 hrs
Build materials: wood, metal fittings, cord and cloth.
Ship’s Story: This was not a model of a real ship. Rather, it depicts a “typical” revenue cutter from the early to mid 1800’s. This type of ship was manned by the U.S. Revenue Service, a predecessor to the U.S. Coast Guard. Its main purpose was to stop smugglers and others who violated U.S. customs taxes. For their size, they carried a lot of sail. They were built for speed and armed with a single pivot gun.
Modeler’s bio: This was Martin Jelsema’s first build since “retiring” as a marketing consultant some years ago. As a teenager he built the wooden schooner model of the Bluenose. He collected tools for the next 50 years in anticipation of renewing the hobby. Martin lives in Littleton with his wife Gus. He’s been a member of Rocky Mountain Shipwrights for 10 years
Description: The photo shows a variety of ships in bottles built and inserted by Dan Siemens. He is continually challenging himself by using various sized and shaped bottles and ship types. Most recently, he has been going smaller and smaller. All his projects are scratch built (except for blowing the bottles themselves).
The model in the foreground is a skiff being prepared for insertion into a bottle, while two hulls are being readied for masting.
Modeler’s Bio: I do accounting as my day job but love bottling ships when I can find time. I started five years ago after watching the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Name of Model: USS Constitution Period ship sailed: 1797-1850 Type of model: Kit, solid hull
Modeler’s name: John Lamb Scale of model: 1/8″ = 1′ (1:96) Build time: Several years
Description of build, including materials: Most materials used in building the ship were in the kit except the rigging materials. I used plans and guides from several modeling companies for ideas for the most realistic and historical appearance of ship as she was modified during her history, especially after experiencing battle damage. The USS Constitution Museum in Boston was most helpful as were the members of the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights club.
Ship’s history: Commissioned in 1797, she remains an
active US Navy vessel in museum status. Her most famous expeditions were in the
battles of Tripoli Harbor in 1804-5 and during the War of 1812 when she
defeated the British ships HMS Guerriere, Levant and Java. She was undefeated
throughout her history and helped establish a young United States as a
formidable world Naval power.
The modeler is a retired USAF pilot and commercial pilot with 10,000+ hours of
flight time and 1000 hours combat experience.
This was my first wooden ship build which shows an inexperienced builder can
complete a complex and challenging task.
Ship’s Story: The Red Dragon was a Chinese junk.
These ships have sailed the Far East oceans as far as Africa for over 3000
years. They navigated with the help of the sun and over 2500 greater stars.
Navigation became a lot easier when they invented the compass in the 11th
Century. The junks were always built with watertight bulkheads which the
Chinese learned from studying the structure of the bamboo plant. Junks are
still built today, the same way as they were built centuries ago.
Bio: Erik has been a member of the Rocky
Mountain Shipwrights since he was bitten by the modeling bug after visiting the
RMS show in 2003. He completed his first model in 2004. Erik hails from Norway,
where he was around boats during most of his youth. He attended the Norwegian
Naval Academy and sailed on a merchant ship for a year. He came to the USA in
1962, and earned his BSCE and MBA degrees from the University of Denver. He is
currently semi-retired as a transportation engineering consultant.
Name of Model: Venetian Galleass Period: 1530-1600 Scale: 1:150
Modeler’s Name: Mark Persichetti Type of Model: plastic kit highly modified Build Time: not estimated
Build Materials: This
model is built from a kit produced by the Imai Company of Japan about 40 years
ago. That kit, while depicting a unique
old sail- and oar-driven wooden warship, is made up of molded-plastic parts.
All the smooth-plastic surfaces were sanded with coarse-grit paper, to give
them a wood-grain appearance. Sails are vacuum-formed thin plastic, sanded in
two directions to give them a woven-fabric appearance.
Ship’s Story: The
Galleass type was an expansion of the typical Mediterranean rowed galley, which
were long and narrow, propelled by oars in poor wind conditions, and by
triangular-shaped ‘lateen’ sails in good winds.
Galleys typically featured battering-ram extensions at their
bow, just above the waterline. At the Battle
of Lepanto in October 1571, the
combined Christian fleets under command of Don Juan of Austria fought against
the Turkish fleet commanded by Muezzenade
Ali Pasha. The loss of men on both sides
was almost equal, but Turkish ship losses were close to 17-to-1 compared to the
Christian fleets. Modeler’s Bio: Mark has been making models since the 1950s.
His first sailing-ship model was a smaller-scale Old Ironsides kit by
Revell. Ships have been his favorite modeling subject since then. He has
been a member of Rocky Mountain Shipwrights for over ten years.
Name of Model: Obelisk Barge of Queen Hatshepsuit Period: Ancient Egypt
Modeler’s Name: John McGann Type of Model: Scratch built Scale: 1/8”=1’
Build Materials: John produced the drawings from Bjorn Liandstrom’s book, Ships of the Pharaohs. The obelisks are pink granite from the quarry in Aswan from which the original obelisks were fashioned. The model is constructed of sycamore just as the original barge was.
Ship’s Story: The barge was used to transport two 98-feet long granite obelisks from Aswan to Karnak. The ship is depicted on the wall of Hatshepsuit’s funerary temple, Deir El Bahri.
Modeler’s Bio: Retired construction superintendent. John’s been modeling for 75 years
Name of Model: REPUBLIC Period ship sailed: 1903 – 1909 Type of model; Scratch waterline
Modeler’s name: Bob Fivehouse Scale of model: 1″ = 32′ Build time: About 8 months
Description of build, including materials: The model has a solid basswood hull and basswood deck houses with paper overlays for the cut-out windows. The decks are holly and the funnel is brass. The masts are wood turned to a taper. The boats are carved wood and the rigging is copper wire. The rails and stairs are photoetched brass. The model was built from plans drawn by Mr. Fivehouse based on the original rigging plan supplied by the builders.
Ship’s history: The REPUBLIC was built by Harland
& Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1903 as the COLUMBUS for the
Dominion Line service to Boston. Her main particulars were: Length = 570’
Breadth = 67.8’.
After only three voyages she was switched to the White Star Line and renamed
REPUBLIC for the service from Boston and New York to the Mediterranean (usually
Genoa, Italy). She was on such a voyage in 1909 when, on January 23, after
leaving New York, she was rammed in the port side amidships by the Italian line
FLORIDA in heavy fog just off the Nantucket lightship. Her wireless operator
made the first known call for help using a radio and a number of ocean liners
leaving New York An attempt was made to tow her to shore but the next day she
sank. She was the largest ship in the world to sink prior to the TITANIC.
Her wreckage has been located in about 270’ of water. She was purported to have
had gold on board worth 1.6 billion dollars by today’s value. This has not yet
been recovered but more about the REPUBLIC can be found at http://www.rms-republic.com.
Bob Fivehouse is a retired teacher who has been building ship models most of
his life. He built the ship models for the dioramas at Ellis Island in New York
City and for the Montauk Point Lighthouse on Long Island as well as models for
Columbia University and many private collections
Name of Model: Virginia Period ship sailed: 1819 Type of model: Modified Kit
Modeler’s name: Gary Duncan Scale of model: 1:41
Description of build, including materials: Plank on frame, brass, die cast and fabric. Many pieces were replaced using walnut.
Ship’s history: The Virginia was designed in 1819 and launched that same year. Also known as “schooners”, these boats offered great maneuverability and elegance. Equipped with a central swivel mounted carronade and lightly armed plus high speed the Virginia was used for pursuit and intercepting tasks as a coast guard boat.
Modeler’s biography: Retired construction
superintendent. This was my first build. Thanks to all my friends at Rocky
Mountain Shipwrights for their help and inspiration.
Name of Model: yacht America Period ship sailed: 1851 Type of model: modified kit
Modeler’s name: Ed Quam Scale of model: 1/4″=1′ Build time: 2 years
Description of build, including materials: Bass wood, brass, fibber
Ship’s history: The yacht made history by beating all competitors in what is now call the America Cup race. She was radically different in design than the other ships highly praised. She met a sad end in the marine dock at the Naval Academy when a noreaster set her down.
Modeler’s biography: Edward is a retired former Intelligence officer. Born and
raised in Colorado educated at CU, DU and Harvard. While stationed in
Washington D.C. he was and is a member of the Washington Ship Model Association
and a Plank member of the Nautical Research Guild. He has built over 25 models
and has displayed them in various venues around the country.
Name of Model: Matthew Turner Period ship sailed: 2018 Scale of model: 3/16″ per foot
Name of Modeler: Ralph Buckwalter Type of model: Scratch Built Build time : Not estimated
Turner is being built by a nonprofit organization Educational tall ship
in Sausalito California. The ship is still under construction and is by
volunteers and financed through donations of money and material. It is named
for one of the most famous ship builders on the west coast in the late 1800’s,
Matthew Turner. This ship is based on Matthew Turner’s brigantine Galilee which still holds the record for
wood hulled sailing vessels between Tahiti and San Francisco. This will be the
first wooden ship of this size built in the San Francisco bay area for over a
The new ship is being built for Douglas fir the same material as
the Galilee but instead of large
planks the ship is made from laminated planks. The estimated life of this ship
is about 100 years because of laminated beam
The Matthew Turner is 100ft along the deck, has a 25 ft. beam and draws 10 ft. of water. She will carry 7,100 ft. of sail. The vessel has 39 births for the students on longer training voyages. The ship will be used for educational training.Modeler’s biography: Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.
Modeler’s biography: Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer, has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.
Name of Ship: Die Kogge von Bremen Period: 1380 Scale: 1=40 19/64″=1′
Name of Modeler: John R. McGann Type of model: scratch built
Brief History of Original Ship: 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.
Description of Model: 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.
Modeler’s Bio: Retired commercial construction, general superintendent. First ship model completed 1944.
Name of Model: S.M.S. Seeadler Period ship sailed: 1888 to 1917
Modeler’s name: Giuseppe (Joe) Presta Type of model: Scratch
Description of build, including materials: Build from scratch using as reference a Revell plastic model of the same ship. Materials: Commercial pine strips ( 2″x1″) , red wood scraps, some balsa, pine dowels , etc.
Ship’s history: Built in Scotland in 1888 as PASS of BALMAHA, purchased later by an American cotton broker, in 1914 during WWI was captured by German submarine, taken to Germany and renamed S.M.S Seeadler. Under the Command of Felix Count Luckner, it sailed all the oceans sinking enemy ships. The ship was wrecked on the island of Mopelia on August 12, 1917.
Modeler’s biography: Retired engineer from Lockheed Martin Company. As youngster, he was interested in building model airplanes from scratch. Later in life, his hobby was building HO train layouts. This is his third model ship. The other two were one from plastic kit and the other from a wood kit (Great Republic).
Name of Model: Yacht Blue Moon Period ship sailed: Early 20th Century Type of model: restored kit
Modeler’s name: Nathaniel Fay Scale of model: 1/8 inch Build time: 2 months
Description of build, including materials: This is a Constructo kit from Spain. I got it from another Shipwrights estate partially completed, but missing many parts. I re-painted it, finished and rigged it. I built the case for it as well.
Ship’s history: I don’t know much about it. The directions stated that she sailed out of North America. She is a Marconi rigged schooner, this is a fairly modern rig. I would place the Blue Goose as being designed and built in the 1930’s in America, as a pleasure yacht.
Modeler’s biography: Nathaniel Bowditch Fay, is a direct descendent of the author of the American Practical Navigator, Nathaniel Bowditch. He a retired Navy Reservist, serving twenty one years in the Navy Reserve after four years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He is a graduate of the University of Denver. Staying in Colorado after graduation. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Marblehead, MA. Essentially growing up around the ocean and boats. Previously held a US Coast Guard license for tenders for Marblehead Harbor, working as a launch operator for the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead.
Name of Model: New Bedford Whaleboat Period ship sailed: 1700’s until 1900’s Type of model: Kit with improvisations
Modeler’s name: John Lamb Scale of model: 1:16 Build time: 80 hours
Description of build, including materials: Plank on frame process using basswood, mahogany, balsa wood, metal fittings, multiple threads.
Ship’s history: Whaleboats were a key part of the whaling industry. They were built to to inexpensive and expendable. Approximately 3000 a year were lost to weather, destroyed by whales, or just worn out from use. They helped make the cities of New Bedford and Nantucket, MA wealthy. The development of kerosene, oil and natural gas largely ended the whaling industry in the United States.
Modeler’s biography: Novice model ship builder.
Retired military and commercial pilot.
Modeler’s Name: Martin Jelsema…………. Name of Ship: Charles W. Morgan
Brief History of Original Ship: Whaler built in 1843. It was active, mostly in the Pacific with many hunts of more than two years. The Morgan still exists! It is berthed at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, and was recently restored for the second time.
Description of Model: This began as a vintage Scientific Models kit, but aside from the hull and deck furnishings, the model was fashioned from the plans of the Model Shipways version of the Morgan. That meant modeling a 1:120 model using plans for a 1:60 scale model – meaning all the masting and rigging had to be scaled at half-size.
Approximate number hours spent building the model: didn’t keep track
Model Size: 17″ long, 13″ high………………………. Scale: 1:120
Modeler bio: Aside from building a wooden hulled Blue Nose schooner as a teen, Martin did not take up ship modeling until 2009. Martin has spent a career in marketing communications, working for ad agencies, IBM, Information Handling Services and Coors Ceramics. He founded his own marketing communications and branding company, Signature Strategies, in 1985, and retired 2010. He and his wife, “Gus”, celebrated 53 years of married life.