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Of models and medals: USS Olympia commissioned build. "The beauty is a beast."


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#1 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 10:59 AM

I discovered my modelling limits in the 1960's with a few Revel airplane and ship kits.   Sometime a decade or so later, I became interested in US medals, primarily Navy.  There is no word "medaling" equivalent to the word "modeling".  That's because no manual skills are required, beyond sniping ebay auctions.  I've always liked models and enjoyed seeing the work of guys that have the skills and patience to do modeling well.   And said to myself,  lucky stiffs, to be able to do all that.  Maybe after my planned retirement in several years, I can be like a really old grasshopper at the feet of some Master Po level modeler, like my friend Dennis,  and try to see if I can learn something less than he has forgotten about model building, which he's been doing since the 50's-- with maybe a decade or two off for Vietnam (RM2c USN), work, raising a family, etc.   Dennis's favorite modelling is aeroplanes, the biplanes with lots of rigging, and tiny, little details, some of which he adds himself.  But being a true friend,  I was able to cajole him to accept a commission to build me a 350 scale USS New Orleans (CA 32)  as she would have looked when commissioned in 1934, with all the photo etch railings, catapults, etc.  The lifeboats even have "N.O." on them.  And excellent rigging, which is still taut.   He did that about seven years ago, and here it is in a display from back then with the Navy cross group to the ship's first captain.  The custom made glass case and base, with ship sitting loose on 4 hull contour carved rails was made by one of Dennis's modeling buddies, Don,  who builds mostly ships.  It's air tight and not a speck of dust has gotten under it in 7 years.  It's one of my prize possessions, since it was built by a salt of the earth guy, a nicer one you won't find, and he just happens to be a Navy vet and New Orleans native.

 

     

Attached Images

  • USS New Orleans CA 32 Model and Medals.jpg


#2 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:07 AM

So fast forward seven years.  Another medal and another ship.   But not just any ship,  the iconic,  USS Olympia, of "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley" fame.  The original ticker-tape, mass media rock-star,  who with his crew from the Battle of Manila Bay, were as big as the Beatles, 65 year earlier.   Once again, I went to Dennis to see if he would accept a commission to build me another ship.   Thankfully, he did.  Here's some progress photos from my friend, who emailed me a couple days ago, "Just want to let you know that the Beast is still under construction.  Ronnie says the pills are keeping me sane although the look in her eyes says different. This has to be the most difficult kit I have ever worked on.  The metal-etched parts are tedious but very well designed and do what they are supposed to do. (drive the modeller to drink). I could be ready to stand up the masts next week and start the rigging.  Then the base.  Then the therapy."

 

Enjoy.   In honor of my friend Dennis,  appropriately on Labor Day.

 

Attached Images

  • Olympia01.jpg
  • Olympia02.jpg
  • Olympia03.jpg
  • olympia04.jpg


#3 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:08 AM

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  • Olympia05.jpg
  • Olympia06.jpg
  • Olympia07.jpg
  • Olympia08.jpg


#4 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:10 AM

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  • Olympia09.jpg
  • Olympia10.jpg
  • Olympia11.jpg


#5 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:17 AM

To be continued...

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  • a-more-sweeping-and-dramatic-landscaped-oil-painting-of-dewey-with-the-crew-of-the-olympia-looking-down-the-spanish-fleet sized.jpg


#6 Old Marine

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 12:14 PM

That's fantastic, precise work. I am looking forward to seeing the finished model.  



#7 jeb137

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 06:19 PM

Looks great ! 

 

I'd like to see a pic of the Eagle Scout Medals you have there too. 

 

Jon B.

(Eagle Scout 73)

Newago MI



#8 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:07 PM

Jon,  Good eye and great achievement to make Eagle Scout. The Eagle Scout medals are owned by another collector, whose collection I believe is pretty much exclusively scouting medals.  I'll see what I can do to get you more pix.   Thanks,   AB  



#9 kanemono

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 07:10 AM

AB,

Great looking model. It will be beautiful when finished. Here are a pair of medals to a man who served on the USS Olympia. I have been on the actual ship many times.

Dick

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  • medals-on-bluestone.jpg
  • cutout-GCM-ellison.jpg
  • reverse-dewy-cut-out.jpg


#10 Proud Kraut

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 10:50 AM

Wonderfull thread! The detail of this ship is incredible and your friend is a real artist!



#11 Dirk

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 01:20 PM

AB fantastic job he is doing...you definitely found the right person for the job!

#12 aerialbridge

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 11:12 PM

Thanks all,  for your comments, on behalf of my friend.   Dick, the USS Olympia Dewey Medal and 1899 Good Conduct Medal for service on Olympia during the Span Am War is one beautiful medal group, thanks for posting it here. 

 

PS.   Dick, your Olympia medal group would display really nicely with the USS Olympia model when she is ready to set sail.  I could arrange to display them with her, if you'd like.  :)

 

 "Latest progress.  Remember these are progress shots.  Paint touch up will be done prior to completion"

 

rear gun deck-

Attached Images

  • Olympia12.jpg

Edited by aerialbridge, 03 September 2019 - 11:26 PM.


#13 kanemono

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 11:52 AM

Or I could display your model with my medals. I can't wait to see the finished piece.

Dick



#14 aerialbridge

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 10:56 PM

Yes, that's also true.   :o

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  • USS Vixen 6 pounder.jpg
  • USS Nahant 6 pounder.jpg


#15 aerialbridge

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 11:03 PM

...

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  • 6 pounder USS Olympia.jpg
  • USS Brooklyn 6 pounder.jpg


#16 bobgee

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 10:25 AM

Outstanding thread! Congrats to both of you! Bob



#17 aerialbridge

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 10:27 PM

 "Some rigging is done.  Photos do not show it clearly.  Next photos will use a white background."

 

Attached Images

  • Olympia13.jpg
  • Olympia14.jpg
  • Olympia15.jpg
  • USS-Olympia-massive-gun-imp.gif


#18 ArtyScout

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:26 PM

Nice job on the rigging. What are you using for the rigging? Inquiring minds like myself want to know.  :)

 

Semper Fi.

 

Manny



#19 aerialbridge

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:57 PM

Semper Fi,  Manny.     Here's Dennis's reply to your question about the rigging:

 

"The front mast is now rigged and anchors are attached.

 

The rigging is done with ordinary sewing thread for the main support lines.  All other rigging is done with monofilament nylon (sewing thread).  A #79 hole is drilled, the thread inserted and glued with a drop of super glue.  It is run through an eyelet or corresponding hole, pulled tight and another drop of super glue finishes the job.  The end is snipped flush and the line will stay in place.  Some of my WW1 models have rigging that is 40 years old and looks like the day I put it in.  Now, if I can just keep the soon to be new owner's fingers out of the rigging, it should last as long. :unsure: "

 

I've assured my friend that the new owner will not be frigging with Olympia's rigging.  :blush:

Attached Images

  • Olympia16.jpg
  • Olympia17.jpg


#20 aerialbridge

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 11:06 PM

...

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  • Admiral_George_Dewey_returns_from_Manila_on_USS_Olympia_(C-6)_to_New_York_Harbor,_1899_ sized.jpg


#21 aerialbridge

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:42 AM

 "Please note photographic evidence that the Olympia is ready to set sail.

 

The measurements for the base have been received and the brackets are out for manufacture.  I finished a little ahead of schedule and the base and case should be ready in a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, I will breath deep and seek peace."

Attached Images

  • Olympia18.jpg
  • Olympia19.jpg
  • Olympia20.jpg
  • Olympia21.jpg
  • Olympia22.jpg


#22 aerialbridge

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:43 AM

...

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  • USS Olympia 1898.jpg


#23 Story

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:27 AM

One of the USS Olympia's volunteers playing the part of Gunner's Mate, along with USN sailors, firing salute cartridges.  

 

November 11th 2018

 

5E738ac.jpg?1


Edited by Story, 19 September 2019 - 11:28 AM.


#24 Proud Kraut

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:49 AM

 "Please note photographic evidence that the Olympia is ready to set sail.

 

The measurements for the base have been received and the brackets are out for manufacture.  I finished a little ahead of schedule and the base and case should be ready in a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, I will breath deep and seek peace."

 

A superb model, stunning craftsmanship! Thanks for sharing these pictures!




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