Silver Award - Ship Class - Euro Scale Modelling 2017 (Houten - NL)
Bronze Award - Class S2 Ships 1:72 and larger - Euro Model Expo 2017 (Lingen - DE)
Remembering the beginning of 2014, I look back to my awesome time in Plymouth. Unfortunately, in that period Southwest England had to struggle against heaviest storms since many decades.
While absolving my Master studies in the lovely historical harbour district Barbican, one day I was walking along the waterfront as I discovered that Lifeboat. It was towing a small sailing boat back to the marina. Back in my room of a typical British flat, which I was sharing with three fellow students, I directly took my laptop to look for the kit.
Four days later, I was holding the Airfix kit which is shown below in my hands and I called the Plymouth Lifeboat Station. A little later, I followed a friendly invitation and visited the Llifeboat station at Millbay Marina and was allowed took pictures of each and every detail.
In this sense, I would expressly like to thank the first Coxswain Dave Milford who led me over the boat.
Here some facts about the Plymouth RNLI Station and Lifeboat cited from the official website Plymouth is home of the All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) "Sybil Mullen Glover" and the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) "Millennium Forester". Both are berthed inside Millbay Marina. The "Sybil Mullen Glover" was personally named by the Queen when it was handed over to the Plymouth RNLI Station in 2003. It is a boat of the Severn class which is 17 meters long and is the largest type in the RNLI's fleet. Her displacement is around 40 tonnes. She has a top speed of 25 knots and a operation range of 550 km at max speed. A Severn class boat normally goes to sea with a Coxswain, Mechanic, Navigator and 3 or 4 crew members. A daughter boat is kept on board and can be launched by crane. This boat is called a Y-Class and is used regularly for access into shallow water and transfers between vessels at sea. As with all of the RNLI's all weather lifeboats, the Severn class is fully self righting. The ALB carries various equipment, including first aid kits, stretchers and medical gases.
Already before starting my build, I had to notice that there are much more details to add. So, I firstly concentrated my work on upgrading the actual surface of the boat. For example, I added a layer of common flour to all deck sections to make it look like anti-slip coating.
The greatest challenge with painting was to find a realistic degree of gloss for the main colours orange and blue. Therefore, I applied more and more coats of Future to get an acceptable appearence. Due to the fact, that most of the kit decals were more or less transparent on the dark blue underground, I decided to utilize some alternatives for the the majority of markings. For example, I applied various films from a vinyl-cutting machine, either as a negative airbrush mask such as for the hull numbers, or as a positive to put it directly on the boat such as the yellow and red stripes or the ship name in the stern.
As already said, the scale offers much more potential details as it was realized with the actual kit. Therefore, most superstructures and details were upgraded with scratchbuilt made of styrene, copper wires, cables, etc. As you can see in the pictures below, I have put a lot of meticulously detailed work into the individual components as for example the boat crane, side cranes, masts, rails, etc.
In parallel to the boat, I started to create a nice socket base. Following the heavy storms in the beginning of 2014, I found the boat running at full speed and breaking through a massive wave an very appropriate scene. So, I started building a kind of wood box and formed the main structure of the wave with polystyrene. A first layer of gypsum should give a first look of water structure. The next step was to make the socket look nice an of high quality. Therefore, I ordered a nice American walnut veneer which was easily be applied with an iron. Beforehand, I gave it a personal touch as you can see on the following pictures.
After finishing the boat, I continued with the water. Therefore I did much research on how to make realistic stormy water and waves. In any case, placing the Lifeboat onto the socket was the first step. For this purpose, I applied a second layer of gypsum which is more accurateas it is bordering the hull at the water line.
To be continued...
The first shooting without socket.