Monday, December 13, 2021


It is finally finished. The ghost ship sails away. All the wood work and sail work and rigging and even the forgotten archor are all done.
As I mentioned previously, there were no plans/instructions, and therefore all mast and boom and yard measurements are made up to look proportionately correct first against the hull, and then against the masts and remaining space.
Now it is time to get a parrot and a peg leg and set sail for the high seas.  Aargh...
John Clearwater

The shipbuilder considers parrots and sailing away

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Wooden Model Two-Masted Ship

I have no name or even scale for this model. I bought it from AliExpress for a mere $12 shipping included. It arrived in two weeks. Today is day eleven (11) of the build. There are two basic problems: 1) there were no plans/instructions; and 2) the wood is plywood instead of solid single type wood. You can only bend plywood in one direction. So this has been a bit of a challenge. The goal here is to make a ghost ship or sort of disney pirates vessels with a lot of crud and dirt and aging. Hull crud is baking soda and crushed pencil shavings. The entire thing has been spray painted with a dirty black, then sanded down to show highlights.
John Clearwater

Saturday, October 23, 2021

HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales, in 1:700 scale

HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales, in 1:700 scale, by Chris Flodberg.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021


Russian naval cannon in about 1:25 scale from an unknown model company in China through AliExpress. The gun and fittings are metal and the carriage and base are wood. There is a selection of photo etch brass parts. I cut the base down from being a massive circle to something which will more easily fit in a cabinet. The instructions leave a lot to be desired. I started this kit maybe four years ago and abandoned it because of the two large metal sprue attachment points under the barrel which would show up in the finished model. I was unable to grind them off with a power tool so stopped work. Then last week I thought to just use a metal file, and within ten minutes the points were gone, so I sprayed it with Tamiya metal primer then a DIY store satin finish black. The imperial crest on the cannon is well done, and was brought out by sanding and scraping the paint away to reveal the goldish brass beneath. The water in the bucket is blue paint later covered with a drop of epoxy cement which dries like a layer of water.    John Clearwater

Wednesday, September 01, 2021


Cunard had Swan Hunter build this record-breaking ocean liner in 1906 as a twin with RMS Lusitania. Unlike the second ship, the RMS Mauretania (named after the Roman province of North-West Africa) served for 27 years, and held the Blue Riband speed record on the North Atlantic for 20 years with a speed of nearly 50 km/hr. It was the first ocean liner to utilize steam turbines instead of pistons to carry over 2160 passengers across the Atlantic in five days. It was the largest ship in the world until 1910.
This is the very old (1964) and very rough Airfix kit, and was part of a series of kits of British ocean liners. The whole build was an exercise in nostalgia, as I attempted to imagine myself as a small boy who received a paper-wrapped kit in about 1966 and proceeded to glue it all together and paint it from little pots of British Humbrol paints. It all went together in a week and was very much the fun model build of a child. Smoke is cotton wool with Vallejo soot powder.     John Clearwater

RMS Mauretania

RMS Mauretania
RMS Mauretania

Friday, May 07, 2021

R.M.S. TITANIC (Suyata)

This is the very new first model from a new Hong Kong company called Suyata Models. The kit (SL001) is a cartoon version of that spectacular failure of a ship, the R.M.S. Titanic, or as The Onion put it, "the World's Largest Metaphor".  
This is a superb kit in so many respects. The moulding is beautiful and the fit fantastic. It is cast in four colours, but I still painted everything using various Vallejos and Tamiya gloss white acrylics.
Witht he kit I also bought the laser cut wooden decking. There were about 25 pieces of decking, and I took the better part of a day applying it after first sticking it to my fingers. However, it was a great way to learn about applying wooden decking to model ships. There was no decking for the aft flying bridge so I used excess wood to make proper decking for that piece. I also added chain for the anchors; rigging; a sternpost flag; and filled in all the portholes with clear glue.
Here is my first-view pre-build in-box review:
The Onion says this was the final transmission from the Titanic: "Titanic struck by icy representation of nature's supremacy STOP insufficient lifeboats due to pompous certainty in man's infallibility STOP Microcosm of larger society STOP". Strangely there are almost as many lifeboats in this cartoon kit as there were on the real ocean liner.
John Clearwater

Work-in-progress in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast,
which just so happens to be in my spare bathroom...

Saturday, February 27, 2021

March 2021 Virtual Zoom Meeting

Capital Marine Modellers' Guild will have a virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Please contact club management by email for information on how to participate.