Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Any Other Builds => Topic started by: freelancer on November 18, 2020, 04:44:06 pm

Title: impact of model boats on others
Post by: freelancer on November 18, 2020, 04:44:06 pm
Greetings to all modelers

I have been a boat modeler for the better part of fifteen years and in that time I have found tremendous satisfaction in designing, building and sailing my models. However there was one time when the hobby had a huge impact on a wannabe modeler.

Many years ago I was building a 1/48 scale freelance model of a missile boat and published photos of the first month of the build on this website. The
deck and superstructure were in place on the hull.  I explained that my building technique involved building more than one deck/superstructure on a single hull and that it would attract a select few. I was not expecting a reply.

I received an email from this webmaster alerting me to the fact that a viewer thought the idea was " intriguing" and asked that his email be sent to me in Canada. I had no idea where this individual was living or what age he was, so I approved of the email connection and asked that my email be passed on to him. I was pleased that someone took an interest. I was surprised to learn that he was living in Alberta, the province East of my home in British Columbia.
[size=78%] [/size]
That first email was the start of a long relationship with " Pat" a senior of my age group who had decided that his newly diagnosed medical condition of Congenital Heart Failure demanded some sort of hobby to keep his mind off of his daily stress. Pat had purchased a kit of  a large tug boat but never
started the build due to a lack of modeling know-how. He needed a mentor.

I discussed Pats modeling ambitions and it was decided that Pats first RC model boat would be a copy of my current build, a 40in 1/24 scale of a PT boat. I suggested that Pat purchase the hull from the same supplier. I advised Pat that my drawings, created in INKSCAPE vector graphics could be passed over the web and that he should download and print each of the drawings. I would then email him with instructions on how to assemble each component.

Over a period of many years Pat faithfully copied all six plans of my models and built them well. He even accepted the challenge of designing his own superstructure. There was only one small humourous event in the process. When he drove for an hour to sail his first model he could not get a reverse action. He approached the hobby shop owner and asked for a [/size]possible explanation. Pat had forgot to tell him the build was a boat and not an airplane. [size=78%]

After the first two years of building Pat and his wife drove to Vancouver Island to spend a few days with me sailing at a local pond. This relationship was gratifying as I knew his medical problems had taken a back seat, in fact he mentioned that the freelance technique was responsible for lowering his stress levels and would likely extend his life.

Sad to say that Pat passed away three years later but it had been a wonderful exchange for six years and I felt that the hobby had made someone much happier.

I am wondering if any others had an experience where model boats made a difference in someones life

Cheers from Canada

Title: Re: impact of model boats on others
Post by: raflaunches on November 18, 2020, 10:59:34 pm
Hi John

My Dad and I had an online friendship with an modeller who was building a similar model to ours - a train ferry- and whilst we only communicated via email or forum we sparked up a friendship which was going to lead to a meeting with the two models at a model lake. Unfortunately whilst I was deployed in 2017 he died suddenly and it was heart breaking that he didnít get see the two models together and I would have loved to speak to him in person. We encouraged each other for about 3 years and worked out the colour scheme of the real vessel as it was in a fantastic dazzle pattern. Iíll miss Sandy and often think of him when we sail the train ferry model.
Title: Re: impact of model boats on others
Post by: freelancer on November 20, 2020, 02:47:37 pm
Hi again

My second model boat event that has some emotional impact on a non-modeler occurred about eight years ago. I was painting one of my models in my garage and a passerby took an interest in what I was doing. David was a senior visiting his daughter close by. After the usual greetings it became obvious why he took an interest in boats. This Canadian gentleman was a participant in the D-day landings on Juno beach. He was the skipper of a LCI(L) troop landing ship. During his initial approach to the beach his craft hit a mine and blew his starboard side to pieces and he was left listing badly. The LCI(L) next to him was about to depart the beach when he was told that he was going to tow Davids now empty, badly disabled craft back to home port. This was a testy discussion but it was a successful.

I asked David if he would like me to build him a model of his LCI(L) so that he could sail it at a pond within walking distance from his condo. He thought that his age would be an obstacle to any long sailing hobby but agreed to the build, a small 32 in scale model that he could transport easily. We spent some time discussing the differences in the LCI(L) superstructure configurations and it was clear that David was looking forward to his first sailing.

After I finished  drawing the plans on my computer his daughter informed me that he had passed. It was a sad day. Every remembrance day I think about what could have been.