Repairing the Santa Maria

One of the projects I’ve had for some time now is the repair of an old model of the Santa Maria for a client. The model was built in the 1920s or 30s by his grandfather and was not kept in a case, so it had been affected by ages of dirt buildup. Worse, the model had fallen and the whole thing was something of a mess.





I took on the project last year, along with the other projects I’ve been working on. But, it’s finally near completion. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here on the work I did on it. Just wanted to share the kinds of things that come up for a ship modeler and something that has been occupying a portion of my time.





My goal with this model, was to keep as much of the original builder’s work as possible. That meant that it was more important to repair broken parts than to replace them. Also, if there was something on the model that wasn’t entirely correct, making it more correct was not a priority. Getting it back into good shape was.

As you can see from the photos, it’s a lot cleaner, but there are still a lot of loose lines yet to be belayed. Also, I have a few parts I’d removed early, such as swivel guns, to keep them from getting lost or snagging the rigging.

With this project near to completion, I’m looking forward to having it behind me and getting back to the Colonial Schooner…



And speaking of the Colonial Schooner and ship model repairs, I had a bit of an accident a couple weeks ago and was putting the Santa Maria back on the top of one of a pair of free-standing bookcases. I was trying to avoid some things on the floor and lost my balance and went crashing into the book case.

I made a desparate and, if I do say so myself, valiant attempt to protect the Santa Maria model, which I was struggling to hold safely as I went crashing to the floor. Some of the rigging did get damaged, but fortunately, it was all minor stuff and within a day I was caught up with where I was before the accident. Oh, and no broken bones, just scraped my shin a bit.

Unfortunately, the lower shelf of the book case suffered and when I looked for the Colonial Schooner model on the top shelf, it was gone! I found it laying on it’s side on a box on the other side of the bookcase. I was amazed that it didn’t suffer as much damage as it could have. Basically, some rigging got loosened and the jib boom got tweaked, splitting the bowsprit cap. But, other than that, the model was still in good shape. So, more repair work for a little while yet… Ω



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