Tag Archives: vallejo naval and historical museum

Ship Modelers Meet Again at the Vallejo Museum, California

After a long hiatus, mostly fueled by the Covid pandemic, I organized a gathering of local ship modelers on Saturday, March 19th, at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. This particular group used to meet quarterly at the museum, but haven’t gotten together in nearly 3 years.

In addition to 6 ships under construction or repair, two unstarted projects were presented. In addition, we had 3 special guests, including the new museum director, Melinda McCrary – for those that know the previous director, Jim Kern, he retired late last year. The other two guests were from a special project in Vallejo for teaching STEM skills to young people, which involves, among other things, building boats!

Our members come from as far west as Marin to as far east as Sacramento and Rocklin. We range from first time ship modelers, to experienced builders of large 3-masted warships. But, it’s not all about sailing ships. One of our members, Steve Cowdin, is the builder of two of the large battleship models currently on display at the U.S.S. Iowa Museum down in Los Angeles, as well as a restorer of the U.S.S. California model at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.

U.S.S. California model.

Given that we traditionally meet only once every three months, our next gathering should be sometime in or around June. The amount of time should be enough to allow us all to make a little progress on our projects.

For me personally, I can definitely say that the meeting inspired and motivated me to make some good progress on my ship modeling projects. It even got me to pull out old projects to re-evaluate them and possibly resume one or two of them.

I’ll be looking forward to our next get together. But, in the meantime, a couple other local ship modeling clubs have resumed their in-person meetings, and I’ll be involved with those. I can only hope that those go as well as this one did.

By the way, if you’re in the area and are an active ship modeler and interested in coming to our get-togethers in Vallejo, be sure to leave a comment below, and I’ll add you to our group email list. Ω


Ship Modelers Meet-Up, Vallejo

After about a year long hiatus, local ship modelers in the greater SF Bay and Sacramento areas will once again be getting together at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. The date for the gathering is Saturday, May 11th, at 10am.

This group was meeting fairly regularly, about 4 times a year, but with other life issues getting in the way, not much in the way of ship modeling was being accomplished by the bulk of attendees. But, it’s been long enough now that there’s been some interest in getting together again. People have had some time away and, hopefully, have had a chance to either work on a project or they’re ready to get back to one and need some inspiration.

I really like the idea of ship modeling clubs myself, but not as a form of simple entertainment. I really want them to be times to share and learn and to find out what people are working on.

Even if one has no model progress to show, maybe a model is too difficult to transport or nothing has been done since the last time it was brought, one can share by taking part in discussion, or by simply bringing a small assembly, book or tool – maybe an unstarted kit, even.

The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum is a nice little museum located near downtown Vallejo at 41 Marin Avenue. You can find out more about the museum at http://vallejomuseum.net. Ω





First Ship Modelers’ Meet-Up of the New Year

Well, it looks like it’s official. The next online forum ship modelers’ meet-up is schedule for January 3rd at 10 am. The location is again at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. This must be about the group’s 5th get together and it is a growing bunch. The group is still small, but last month was our biggest meeting to date. I think we had some 8 people in attendance, two of whom were first timers there.

Maybe it helped that it was the birthday of one of our members and someone brought a cake. No birthdays this time, but we’ll likely have our usual fare of coffee and bagels. Plus, there are always lots of models at these meetings. In fact, the ratio of models to attendees is the highest I’ve seen in the whole San Francisco Bay Area since I moved up here back in 1999.


What’s a ship model meeting without ship models? Mamoli Royal Louis is in the background and Corel’s Wappen von Hamburg in the foreground.

There are kit models, scratch models and kit bashed models alike brought to our meetings.


New ship modeler Dave Wingate showing his progress on scratch building a lightning-class sail boat.

In addition to the models, there is always a lot of great discussion about the models and about ship model related topics. Plus good company with good people.

If you’re interested in joining us, post a comment with your contact information. Ω