Model Ships - John Edwards
As an eleven year old boy, fascinated by all things Nautical, I was very excited seeing a model of a Royal Navy minesweeper built by one of my school friends, and I spent a good deal of time during the next five or six years building plastic kits, and scratch-building any ships that took my fancy, making my own plans often using obscure photographs---my Dad seemed impressed!
As a sea cadet I did various courses at RN establishments, and in February of 1960,with a school friend, I spent two very happy weeks on an old Ch Class destroyer --HMS Chaplet-- as she went from Plymouth to Hull and back. That year I did try to join the Navy but sadly, my eyesight let me down, and as the need to earn a living was on the horizon, my interest in modeling gradually transferred itself to other things and the hobby lost its hold over me.
It was only many, many years later that my interest returned after coming across a book by Glynn Guest about radio control model ships, showing how to install it in a very simple, but effective working model. I was so pleased with the way it turned out and the fun I had sailing it, that I resolved to obtain plans of ships that took my interest and to scratch build them as historically accurately as I could. I was especially fascinated-- almost to obsession at first --with the building of the hull using a plank-on-frame construction. Since then, despite the availability of commercially produced hulls, my preference has always been to build my own, mainly because I enjoy doing it, but also--providing I can get the plans-- because it gives me so much freedom of choice and scale, as well as the responsibility for accuracy of detail.
I usually purchase plans from the National Maritime Museum -- they have a huge stock -- but also Glasgow University ,who have many of the plans from the Scottish yards such as John Brown, Scotts and others.
My current project is a WW 2 Dido class cruiser HMS Argonaut in 1:96 scale, which I started in April of 2015. Progress has been very rapid and I hope to float her very soon in order to ballast her and give her a run on Setley Lake, meeting place for the SRCMBC (Solent Radio Control Model Boat Club -- see web site). At present there is quite a lot of work needed on the superstructure and other details. In the past I have mainly used Styrene for this, but on this model I have used thin birch ply, laminating it with very thin styrene, which always makes a very nice surface for painting.
HMS Argonaut is the second cruiser model I have built, and my eighth model since around the year 2000. She may well have to be my last due to lack of space in my small flat, but it is good to have a wide choice when it comes to sailing.
I have written several short articles for Model Boats magazine over the last six or seven years, and there are many photos of my models to be seen on the website of the SRCMBC.
Phone 01202 293 917 or 07946 208 934