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Posts tagged with 'ship models'

Replacing model gratings – a delicate operation

17 September 2013 by Sam

detail of ship model deck with missing part

Detail of hatchway, showing the missing grating.

Ship and historic models conservator David Parsons has news of a very delicate piece  of conservation work that he has been working on:

“Oceanic 2 was built for the White Star Line by Harland & Wolff in 1899, it was commissioned as a merchant-cruiser in the First World War but sank soon after.

I’ve been working on the conservation of the builder’s model of Oceanic 2 for some time now and I’m getting towards finishing it. One of the early decisions I made was to leave the most complicated parts until last, and one of the most complicated things was replacing missing gratings.

Read more…

‘Leader’, our first ship model

11 July 2013 by Sam

large sailing ship model

Chris Moseley, Head of Ship and Historic Models Conservation, reports on a historic ship model that was recently conserved ready for a new display that opened this week:

“The ‘Leader’ was the very first ship model presented to National Museums Liverpool’s collections in 1862. It has gone on display this week in the Art and the Sea gallery in Merseyside Maritime Museum, as part of a small display about the Liverpool pilots, marking the 60th anniversary of the launch of the Edmund Gardner pilot ship.

Read more…

Happy birthday Edmund Gardner!

9 July 2013 by Rebecca

Edmund Gardner pilot ship

Today marks 60 years to the day since the former pilot ship Edmund Gardner was launched. For 28 years the Edmund Gardner was used as base at sea for Liverpool pilots, who would be transferred from the Edmund Gardner to inbound ships to guide them into Liverpool, or off ships they had guided out of the port. Read more…

Ship model conservation

27 March 2013 by Gemma

Discussing the conservation process

Often as a conservator, there are not many opportunities to engage with the public. Working in studios undertaking practical conservation work can leave little time for interaction with those who enjoy and visit the collections. So when I was given the opportunity to do a demonstration of ship model conservation at the Lady Lever Art Gallery I was eager to accept.

The Gallery is part of National Museums Liverpool, and houses a collection of fine and decorative art. The Lady Lever Art Gallery was founded by William Hesketh Lever, and contains the best of his personal art collection. As part of the education programme, the gallery runs demonstrations of various art related topics, and so I did an afternoon of ship model conservation in one of the galleries. Read more…

Book sale bargains

3 January 2013 by Karen

A brightly coloured teaset

A divine Clarice Cliff ‘tea for two’ set from Age of Jazz.

As January is synonymous with sales and spring cleaning we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and have a bit of a clear out in our book warehouse. So if you fancy bagging yourself a bargain then check out the offers on our online shop.

It’s an eclectic selection and there are some great books, my personal favourites being ‘When Time Began to Rant and Rage…’ which is a fab book of Irish figurative work and totally worth a fiver, Age of Jazz: British Arts Deco Ceramics as I’m a sucker for a deco teaset, and British Watercolours and Drawings from the Lady Lever’s collection.

If you’ve still not got a John Moores catalogue then now is the time to buy one as they’re reduced to £7.50. And if you buy it from the Walker shop you get the John Moores China version for free. Read more…

Leader of the pack.

20 July 2012 by Rebecca

Large pilot boat model being admired by two young children

The Leader model. Copyright National Museums Liverpool

The Merseyside Maritime Museum has a fantastic ship models collection from the grand Titanic/Olympic/Britannic builder’s model to the delightful ships in bottles, which always continue to fascinate me.

Whilst researching the early models, I came across the Leader which has a very impressive history as being one of the first ship models to be acquired into the museum’s collection in 1862. The model was made by Captain W. Hudson who was the Leader’s first master. Read more…

Conserving a Ship of War Model

15 February 2012 by Gemma

Ship model before and after treatment
Ship model before and after treatment

You may remember in my last post that I had taken a model in great need of conservation to the Lady Lever Art Gallery for demonstration purposes. The model had several snapped yards and masts, and missing blocks. Many people remarked on the blackness of the thick dirt, and how complicated the broken and twisted rigging was, and were interested to know how I would go about treating the model. As the treatment of the model has now been completed, I would like to share some of the treatment processes. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Liverpool Oars

6 January 2012 by Stephen

Ship painting

Image National Museums Liverpool

I used to enjoy going for a row on the park lake but now such an experience is difficult to come by.

There are no rowing boats left on Liverpool’s lakes, which is a great shame. No longer do you hear the iconic cry: “Come in number 12!” when your half hour is up.

Many marine paintings feature them but they are often overlooked – the humble rowing boat has always been a key part of maritime life. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Blue Funnel Titan

5 January 2012 by Stephen

Ship model

Courtesy Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

I remember following closely the Six Day War in 1967 when Isreal defeated the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria.


At this time I was a 19-year-old junior reporter staying in lodgings at Preston while taking a block release course in practical journalism.


We did not have access to a TV so listened to the news reports on the radio. The war was one of the shortest in history but created major disruption to shipping.


The Suez Canal was closed for eight years, forcing operators to change their routes and commercial strategies.


The canal, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, opened in 1869 and slashed journey times between Europe, the East and Australasia.


The Six Day War and the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict resulted in an Egyptian blockade of the canal and shipping lines assumed correctly it would remain closed for a very long time.


The huge bulk oil tanker Titan was one of many Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) designed during this period when operators knew they could not use Suez. They were too big to go through the canal but their large size made them more cost-effective for travelling the extra distances.


Oil transportation was one of the most profitable shipping sectors at the time. When OPEC (the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) quadrupled oil prices in 1973 it triggered a worldwide slump in shipping.


Titan was built in 1970 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and registered in Liverpool with the famous Blue Funnel Line (Ocean Steam Ship Company).


There is a superb six-foot long model of the 113,551- ton tanker on display in Merseyside Maritime Museum (pictured).


Titan only sailed under Blue Funnel colours for five years before being sold to Mobil Oil in 1975. Just seven years later she was sold for scrap in South Korea.


By 1982, when there were 577 VLCCs in the world, it was found that 326 of them including Titan were surplus to requirements.


Photographs show other VLCCs of the era including a deck view of BP tanker British Admiral about 1970. The main engine room of the British Mariner shows crew members dwarfed by enormous pipes and machinery.


Titan was the fourth and last Blue Funnel ship to bear that name. The first Titan was built in 1885 by Scott & Co of Greenock and broken up in 1902.


The second Titan, built in 1906, was torpedoed and sunk in 1940 by the German submarine U-47 with the loss of six lives.


The U-boat was commanded by Günther Prien, a notorious ace who sank more than 30 Allied ships including the veteran British battleship Royal Oak. Titan was the 18th vessel he sent to the bottom.


This is an edited version of the Maritime Tale that originally appeared in the Liverpool Echo.

Read more…

Ready to set sail…

23 November 2011 by Gemma

Main sail before treatment and junk after conservation

Main sail before treatment and junk after conservation

The conservation of the Chinese junk from Swatow is now complete. Being such an interesting project, I will briefly share the treatment processes which have transformed a dirty, unstable model, back to its original beauty.

Firstly the hull and wooden components required cleaning. The model was vacuumed to remove any loose dirt on the deck and inside the bulkheads. After testing to find the safest, and most effective cleaning materials, the hull was cleaning using detergent in deionised water, which made a huge difference to the models appearance, as the shine of the wood oil can now be appreciated. The painted surfaces on the model were carefully cleaned using saliva, which is a surprisingly effective cleaning material. Read more…

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