Tag Archives: ship model club

Bay Area Ship Model Meetings Schedules

This seems to be one of those months that isn’t good for ship model clubs in the Bay Area. Two groups, the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights and the South Bay Model Shipwrights have had to adjust their schedules and/or meeting locations due to problems with their regular meeting places.

The South Bay Model Shipwrights, which normally meets at the Los Altos Library on the third Friday evening of the month was well prepared for changes to their meeting location since they have to reserve it well in advance. This month’s meeting is being held at the home/workshop of local ship modeler Bill Tandler on Saturday, March 22. This is the second modified meeting schedule/location in a row for the South Bay group, but the schedule should be back to normal in April and beyond.

The Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights just found out that work is being done on the gangway entrance to the ferry boat Eureka. So, there is no access to the group’s workshop. There is no word as to whether anyone has checked with the park to find out if we can meet somewhere else for the meeting and an email was just sent out to the members that the meeting is being canceled.

Regular Meeting Schedules:

South Bay Model Shipwrights normally meets on the third Friday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Los Altos Library, 13 South San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, CA 94024. This group often has a nice presentation program and access to the meeting room is right off the library parking lot, so model transportation is very convenient.

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights meet on the third Saturday of the month at 9:30 am aboard the ferry boat Eureka within the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park (just look for the ships). There is no free parking nearby except for the members/volunteers and by the time the meeting is done, the park is open to the public, so you do have to navigate wandering tourists – good to know if you plan to bring a project. There is free parking at the bottom of Van Ness Avenue which is about a 5-10 minute walk along the Aquatic Park.

Ship Modeler’s Forum Meet-Up happens at irregular intervals. It’s not a club, but more of a get together of folks who frequent the on-line ship modeling forums. For now, the small gatherings take place at the  Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum at 734 Marin Street, Vallejo, CA 94590. The location is fairly central to those who have been attending and the meeting room is directly off the parking lot, so moving models is very easy. The next meeting isn’t set yet, but probably a Saturday morning in late May or early June. An announcement will be posted when a schedule is set.

Red Oak Victory Model Shipwrights seems to have the most consistent meeting schedule. The group meets on the second Saturday of the month at 10:00 am in the Petty Officer’s Mess aboard the Red Oak Victory.


Happy Birthday Red Oak Victory Model Shipwrights!

Today is the 15th anniversary of the Red Oak Victory Model Shipwrights group that meets at Pt. Richmond, CA. The group, currently meets aboard the SS Red Oak Victory at 10:30am on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Tom Bottomley, who has headed that group since the beginning is, stepping down, taking a well deserved rest after so many years of leadership, and member Charlie Moran will be taking the helm.


Some months ago, I poked fun at the group’s third name since I first attended the meetings. But, admittedly, the nature of the club has changed and the current name makes sense and solidifies its ties with the historic ship. For me, I’ve never felt comfortable carrying my projects up the gangway and through the narrow passages, and into the confines of the small Petty Officers’ Mess, where the meetings take place. So, I stopped going to the meetings. I’d hoped for an eventual relocation, but the name change made it clear that was not going to happen.

Still, the club has remained active under Tom’s great leadership and will hopefully continue do so for many years to come with Charlie leading the way. I’ve always stayed in touch with Tom and still officially on the newsletter list, and I continue to wish the gang much success.

If you live in the area and are interested in ship modeling, you should contact the group. At the moment, the contact is still listed as Tom Bottomley and you can reach him at bottomleythomas at aol dot com (just replace the at with the “@” symbol and the dot with an actual “.”).

The SS Red Oak Victory, by the way, is part of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park. She was launched in 1944 and is the last surviving cargo ship built at the Kaiser/Richmond Shipyards. Her restoration is an ongoing project, but she’s looking very good thanks to the Richmond Museum of History and their volunteers.

If you’re in the area, you should really take the time to visit the ship.

SS Red Oak Victory – Home Page

Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures

While this event has already come and gone, I thought I should make a mention of this annual event that takes place this time every year in San Jose, CA. This is a big showing of vendors, primarily serving the doll house miniatures enthusiasts, of which there are apparently many.

IMG_0009 IMG_0014

Every year, one of the members of the South Bay Model Shipwrights club is invited to display a couple of his models. This year, there was more room, so the club was asked to participate. Three large and three small models were provided by club members, giving some great public exposure to ship modeling. I participated with two models, my Mary Taylor model and my in-progress 18th Century English Longboat model based on a kit from Model Shipways.


IMG_0023 IMG_0024 IMG_0025 IMG_0018

In addition to the models, the club provided a human presence to answer questions about the models and about ship modeling in general. It was a two day event and it was fun to work a shift meeting people who were interested in knowing more about the models.

I worked a few hours one day and discovered that a couple of the vendors were ship modelers. One of them, Steve Goode, has a mail order wood supply business that I’ve used many times in the past. I forgot that he was a friend of ship modeler Lloyd Warner, who also used to sell milled woods for ship modelers and still sells linen rigging line and some of the best rigging blocks available.

I’d never met Steve Goode, so it was nice to finally get a chance to meet him in person. I looked as his sample of wood again and realized that his is about the best modeling wood available. As he put it, he is more concerned with quality rather than price. So, his stuff is a bit pricier, but the quality is top notch. I’ve included his contact info on my Resources page in the menu above.

In any case, I’m looking forward to participating in this event again next year.

October Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights Meeting Update

Well, the government was back in business in time for the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights to meet up… But then the BART strike began. Since people didn’t want to face additional traffic that would result, we still didn’t end up meeting.

But, in any case, I’m sure there will be people in the workshop on Saturday mornings now. And, hopefully all will be okay for the November meeting.

Government Shutdown – October Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights Meeting Cancelled

With the U.S. government shutdown, many people are feeling the effects, many good people are just left in limbo while congress can’t agree to fund the government. For myself, the first direct impact, as minor as it may be, is that our ship model meeting on Saturday had to be cancelled. Our meetings normally take place in our workshop which is on national park property. That’s not that terrible as we could always find another location to meet. But, the worst part is that we are barred from entering the park to get to our stuff in the workshop.

Luckily for me, I don’t really have much I keep there. Also, I have all the tools I need at home, so I really don’t need to use the shop. But, some of our members are working primarily on projects in the shop and also have their model there as well. So, until things get worked out in Washington, we’re stuck.

Hopefully, things will get worked out soon.