Jump to content
aerialbridge

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

Recommended Posts

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.

 

 

post-18406-0-99788700-1567449953_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

post-18406-0-29119800-1567451167_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-26995400-1567451175_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-62607200-1567451182_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-27720700-1567451190_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


donation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif
donation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif





 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Always looking for information on the USMC from 1916 - 1920, exp the 11th Company in Haiti and in WW1, 4th 5th, HQ Company.

Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist'

donation2009.gif2015
donation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

post-9487-0-79713400-1567523398_thumb.jpg

post-9487-0-88949900-1567523412.jpg

post-9487-0-03261600-1567523424.jpg


donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif
donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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-

post-18406-0-37787000-1567581086_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outstanding thread! Congrats to both of you! Bob


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif
"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Semper Fi.

 

Manny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

post-18406-0-61892200-1568357456_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-14176200-1568357465_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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."

post-18406-0-59148500-1568796054_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-32869300-1568796062_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-09127300-1568796070_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-15511200-1568796079_thumb.jpg

post-18406-0-69302100-1568796086_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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!


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif
donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dennis's son is a professional woodworker and was commissioned to make the base. "Two book-matched figured claro walnut pieces for the base. Still thick and need to be cut to size. Final confirmation on 20x5 inside dimension"

 

post-18406-0-18147900-1576974672_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.