Archive for the ‘Model Ships’ Category

Forrest Gumps’ Jenny Shrimp Boat

September 27th, 2010

In 1994, Director Robert Zemeckis and Paramount Pictures released an instant American classic film, Forrest Gump. Never before had a movie captured the most formative period in United States’ history , from the early 1950s to the late 1960s, in such and interesting and moving way. Forrest Gump rang so true and moved so many people that it grossed over $670 million dollars in theaters worldwide. In fact, Forrest Gump was so acclaimed that it received thirteen Academy Award nominations and won seven Oscars, including for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Leading Actor. As with all great movies, certain scenes having a last affect in pop-culture, this is no different with Forrest Gump. Who could forget about the Bubba-Gump Shrimp Company Forrest started with Lieutenant Dan in honor of their fallen friend Bubba? Still today, people happily utter Bubba-Gump shrimp every time they see a shrimping boat.

Ship From Forrest Gump

Tom Hank’s Oscar winning portrayal of the slow, yet loveable, Forrest Gump invokes many fond memories for movie lovers around the world. One of the most memorable parts of the movie was when Forrest decides to make his fortune catching shrimp in Louisiana. Of course, Forrest named his boat after his one true love, Jenny. The Jenny Fishing Boat, has to be one of the most well known boats in the history of American cinema. What could be better than celebrating your love for Forrest Gump than with your own personal model of the Jenny Fishing boat? Handcrafted Model Ships (HMS) has just that, an impressive exact replica of the boat from Forrest Gump.

Authentic Jenny Fishing Ship

Creating The Perfect Jenny Fishing Boat Replica

Handcrafted Model Ships is not just offering any old replica to the Forrest Gump fans, no they are offering a precise work of art. The Jenny Fishing Boat comes to you looking exactly as it does in the movie. Everything from the paint scheme, to the spotlight on the cabin, to the safety buoy, are included. Yet, most notably, the HMS Forrest Gump boat includes the large trademark fishing nets that Forrest and Lieutenant Dan so diligently worked with to fill the boat with shrimp. Upon laying your eyes on it, you will know that the HMS Jenny Fishing Boat is the real deal. For those of you who are collectors, you will be happy to know that the Forrest Gump ship comes fully assembled and with a display stand.

The Forrest Gump Boat Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

Simply put, no model ship collector or movie fan should be without the Forrest Gump model ship. It brings together a timeless American classic movie with excellence in model shipbuilding that only Handcrafted Model Ships provides. Who doesn’t smile when they think of Forrest working hard to catch shrimp on his beloved Jenny Fishing boat? It is a must-have in any collection. As our customers already know, ordering is a cinch, and the Forrest Gump boat will arrive at your door fully assembled and ready to be displayed. Order today and own a piece of cinematic and nautical history.

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Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow Model Ship

September 24th, 2010

When you think of classic television programs, which shows come to mind? It’s probably safe to say that Gilligan’s Island would be near the top of anyone’s list. After all, how could anyone forget the catchy theme song known as “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle.” Even today, young and old alike love to joke around by singing the famous three hour tour theme song chorus when starting out on a trip whether it be on land or by sea. And who cold forget the famous SS Minnow boat that wrecked on an island somewhere in the south pacific stranding Gilligan, The Skipper and the rest of the gang? The Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow is undeniably more than just a TV prop, it is a piece of American’s golden age of television.

Ship from Gilligan’s Island

Even though TV magic would have us believe that the show was filmed in the Hawaii or another tropical pacific location, it was really shot at CBS television studios in California. For those of you who don’t know, there were actually several SS Minnows used throughout the filming of Gillian’s Island. Footage of one of the SS Minnow boats, the ship using in the opening credits, was taped from a boat actually stationed in Hawaii. Another boat was brought to the TV set from Hawaii, and the third was actually built in the CBS studios for the purposes of the show. Yet, the most famous Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow, and the one that still exists today, was originally named the Bluejacket and was used primarily for the second and third seasons of Gilligan’s Island. This SS Minnow is still functional and is docked on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. It is now used mainly as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, not all of us have the time or the funds to make it to Vancouver Island, and that is why Handcrafted Model Ship’s (HMS) SS Minnow replica is the prefect solution to incorporating a nautical memento of Gilligan’s Island into your life.

Authentic SS Minnow Replica

Making A Great SS Minnow Replica

As with all products from HMS, the Gillian’s Island SS Minnow is an exact replica. Even the biggest classic TV aficionados will realize how accurate the replica is as soon as they lay eyes on it. The Minnow comes complete with matching blue and white paint, just as the boat exhibits in the show, and the of the smallest details like the hanging life buoy and ships’ cabin were not forgotten. Better yet, the SS Minnow comes completely assembled and ready to display, with the base-stand included. Owning a ship that so perfectly resembles the boat from Gilligan’s Island is a sure-fire way to have a conversation starter in your collection that everyone will be interested in.

The Gilligan’s Boat Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

What could be a better gift or addition to a collection than combing two American pastimes? Millions of us love of the sea, and all things nautical, as well as the silver screen. This is exactly what customers will be getting with the SS Minnow replica; a passion for the sea meets a timeless piece of Americana. There is no reason to delay, the boat is a work of art, and Gilligan’s Island is still as adored today as it was in the 1960s. Take advantage of this opportunity and order the Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow model ship from Handcrafted Model Ships today.

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Civil War Ships – Monitor Model Ship

September 22nd, 2010

When Civil War enthusiasts and history buff alike think of famous naval battles of the Civil War, what usually comes to mind? Of course, it could be none other than the fierce battle between ironclad ships. That’s right, on March 9th, 1862 the Union’s newly constructed Monitor met the Confederate’s USS Virginia (also known as the Merrimack), at the Battle of Hampton Roads at the mouth of the James River. For months, the USS Virginia had been terrorizing the traditional wooden ships of the Union forces. In order to put a stop to this the Union made an ironclad ship of their own, The Monitor. Historically, this was a very important battle because the Confederates were using their powerful ironclad USS Virginia to sink Union ships and break through the crucial Union naval blockade of Virginia. In order to maintain the blockade and naval supremacy the Union new it needed its own ironclad ship. So was born the Monitor.

The Monitor Ironclad Boat

Even though the Monitor and USS Virginia blasted away at each other for hours, neither was able to overtake the other. Historians tell that this was the result of both ships being well protected by their iron armor. Yet, strategically, it was considered a victory of the Monitor. Not only did the Monitor act as the counter to the Confederate’s ironclad ship, but also upheld the Union naval blockade of Virginia. Therefore, the Union cheered the battle as a victory and historians marked the battle as great leap forward in naval technology. Seeing that the Monitor is such in important vessel for both boat lovers and history aficionados, what better way is there to commemorate groundbreaking ship than with an authentic replica? In that case, Handcrafted Model Ships (HMS) is at your service with the official Monitor Civil War model ship.

Authentic Monitor Replica

Crafting The Perfect Monitor Replica

As will all ships from HMS the Monitor replica is top-notch. This Monitor ship is not a model ship kit, it comes 100% assembled and ready to be displayed. The ship’s exact dimensions are 21″ long x 5″ Wide x 7″ High (1:98 scale), the perfect size for viewing as well as being easily placed inside a collector’s showcase. This Monitor replica was fabricated using the photos, drawings, and plans from the original ship. No detail was sparred, everything from the iron rivets that cover the boat to the genuine cloth Union flag are included in this Monitor replica. Furthermore, the trademark turrets from where the Monitor fired upon its enemies are also present on HMS’s Monitor ship.

The Civil War Monitor Ship Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

No model ship collector or history buff should be without the Monitor model ship. This replica brings together a pivotal moment in American history with excellence in model shipbuilding. Truly, this is something only Handcrafted Model Ships can provide. As our customers already know, ordering is a cinch, and the Monitor will arrive at your door looking just they way it does on the web site. Order today and own a piece of US Civil War and nautical history.

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The USS Constitution Model Ship

September 20th, 2010

Just as some presidents, sports stars, and award winning actors go down in the annals of history as “all-time-greats” or “best ever,” in their respective fields, this also holds true for naval ships. Undoubtedly, those who know the history and tradition of the USS Constitution would agree it is, to say the least, a legend. Interestingly enough, the USS Constitution was born from the establishment of the US’s first ever naval fighting force. In 1794, congress passed the Naval Act, which mandated the construction of a navy for the United States in order to protect its shores and ships of commerce. Boston-based ship designer Joshua Humphreys immediately got to work and created one of, if not the most, legendary ships in the history of naval warfare. When the USS Constitution was completed in 1797, it was larger, more heavily armed, and better constructed than any ship the world had even seen. From that day forward the Constitution helped demonstrate Untied States’ naval might and established America as a world power.

Battleship USS Constitution

Once it set sail on the high seas the USS Constitution quickly gained a reputation as a top-notch battleship. Her enemies found her to be such a formidable opponent and were so frustrated when they saw cannon balls and other munitions bounce right off of her, that she gained the name Old Ironsides. This reputation preceded the Constitution as she participated and won many battles in numerous wars. Old Ironsides vanquished her opposition in The Quasi war of 1798, The First Barbary War of 1801 and, most famously, the War of 1812. Unbelievably, the USS Constitution is one of the only naval ships in history to never lose a battle. Even more amazing is that the original Old Ironsides still exists today, as a museum, in Boston, Massachusetts and is the oldest vessel still afloat in the world. Honestly, has then ever been a more amazing ship? Why not celebrate this nautical landmark with a replica of the USS Constitution from Handcrafted Model Ships (HMS)?

Authentic USS Constitution Replica

Creating The Perfect USS Constitution Replica

If you are looking for standout replica of the USS Constitution battleship, look no further than the one designed and crafted by Handcrafted Model Ships. Their version of Old Ironsides is an exact 1:123 scale model, comes fully assembled and includes a base-stand. The HMS USS Constitution has been meticulously painted to match the actual USS Constitution that exists today. Furthermore, the ship was fabricated using the design plans from the original USS Constitution. Once you gaze upon it, you will realize that there is not better USS Constitution replica anyplace else.

The USS Constitution Battleship Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

No model ship collector or nautical history fan should be without the USS Constitution model ship. It brings together a shining example of American naval might with excellence in model shipbuilding that only Handcrafted Model Ships provides. As our customers already know, ordering is a cinch, and the USS Constitution will arrive at your door fully assembled and ready to be displayed. Order today and own a replica of the greatest ship to ever sail under the American flag.

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Titanic at the Bottom of the Ocean – Rediscovering the Titanic

June 3rd, 2010

RMS Titanic Models are best kept off the bottom of the ocean.

Attempting to find the wreckage of Titanic, and raise her from the ocean floor, had been an idea circulating around since shortly after the sinking. Until September 1, 1985, no attempts to do so were successful. The joint American-French expedition, led by Jean-Louis Michel (Ifremer) and Dr. Robert Ballard (WHOI), managed to find the wreck by way of a side-scan sonar from Knorr and Le Suroit. The French ship Le Suroit began searching a 150-square-mile target zone on June 1985 using a deep-search sonar. Le Suroit covered 80 percent of the zone, with the American ship Knorr covering the remaining 20 percent. Titanic was discovered at a depth of 2.5 miles, and more than 370 miles south-east of Mistaken Point, Newfoundland. This was about 13 miles from where fourth officer Joseph Boxhall determined where Titanic was originally located. Ballards crew used approximately 2.33 miles worth of rope in their attempt at surfacing Titanic. In 1986, the first manned dives to the wreck were conducted by Ballard in the submersible Alvin.

In 1982, Ballard requested funding from the U.S. Navy for his Titanic project, but was only given it on the condition that he first examine the sunken U.S. nuclear submarines USS Thresher and USS Scorpion in a covert manner. The discovery of Titanic’s wreckage led to arguments of whether or not she had split during her descent being put to rest at last, as it was visibly seen that she, indeed, did split apart. The stern lied about 600 meters away from the bow, and faced opposing directions. Her bow had hit the ocean floor under the fore peak, and went sixty feet deep into the ocean floor silt. The bow was still mostly intact, aside from parts of the hull that had collapsed. The collision apparently had forced water out of Titanic through its hull, blowing off one of the steel covers weighing about ten thousand tons. The stern section appeared to be in worse condition than the bow, as it had been torn apart during its descent most likely. This is probably due to air that was trapped inside of it being antagonized by conflicting pressures between the outside and inside, causing an implosion. Damage was likely increased due to the sudden collision with the ocean floor, causing the decks of the stern to collapse.

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Titanic – The Famous Band

June 1st, 2010

Titanic Model Ships are shipped with everything except the band.
The band of Titanic is one of the most mysterious and legendary tales that comes from the ill fated ocean liner. Titanic’s eight-member band was led by Wallace Hartley, and upon panic of the passengers during Titanic’s sinking, assembled in the first-class lounge to play in an effort to keep everyone calm. As the ship continued to plunge, the band moved to the forward half of the boat deck, and continued playing even when their doom became apparent. All members of the Titanic band died that night while playing. However, the final song they played is still up to much debate.

Mrs. Vera Dick, a first-class Canadian passenger reported that the final song played by the band was the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. However, reports indicate that Mrs. Dick had left by way of lifeboat an hour and twenty minutes previously, and could not have been there to witness the final song played by the band. Although, the band’s leader, Hartley, did say once to a friend that if he were on a sinking ship, “Nearer, My God, to Thee” would be among the songs he would play. Harold Bride, one of the wireless operators, reported in 1912 that he had heard the song “Autumn” just before the ship sunk to the depths of the sea. This account of Harold Bride was popularized in the Walter Lord book A Night to Remember. Despite this, neither the hymn “Autumn”, or the closest version to it, waltz “Song d’Automne”, were in the White Star Line songbook for the band. This still remains the best testimonial as Bride was the only person who could have possibly heard the band’s last song, as he floated off the deck just before the ship went down.

The questioning of whether or not the band played “Nearer, My God, to Thee” as their final farewell is thought to have originated as a myth from the wrecking of SS Valencia in 1906 in Canada, which may have had an impact on Mrs. Dick’s selective memory. Furthermore, two versions for “Nearer, My God, to Thee” exist, including a British version and an American version that have very different musical settings. In the film A Night to Remember, the British version is used; while the 1953 film Titanic incorporates the American version as its swan song.

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Titanic – Causes of the Disaster

May 21st, 2010

RMS Titanic Model

Construction of the Titanic Hull

The Titanic was originally thought to have sunk from the iceberg cutting a gash into Titanic’s hull. However, sonar technology has discovered from the buried impact point of the ship that the iceberg actually hit the hull causing it to buckle, and thus let water flow freely into Titanic. While the steel plating used for Titanic was arguably the best carbon ship plate available at the time, detailed analysis of small pieces of the steel plating from Titanic’s wreck hull discovered that the one to one and a half inch thick plates were composed of a metallurgy that loses elasticity in icy waters, thus becoming brittle and susceptible to cracks. The steel plating was determined to have a high content of phosphorous and sulfur. The high content of phosphorus is known to create fractures, while sulfur forms grains of iron sulfide that make cracking easier, and the lack of manganese makes the steel less ductile.


Many speculate that Titanic could have been spared had it hit the iceberg head on instead of attempting to maneuver around it. The resulting impact from a head on collision would have probably been absorbed by the naturally stronger bow, only killing a few of the passengers near the bow. Furthermore, a forward collision would have likely have resulted in only two – four compartments flooding, which the Titanic was designed to be able to handle.


Another cause of the disaster according to the British Inquiry read “that the loss of the said ship was due to collision with an iceberg, brought about by the excessive speed at which the ship was being navigated”. The Titanic was thought to be travelling at her normal cruising speed of 22 knots, less than her top speed of 24 knots. Maintaining normal speed was a common practice in iceberg prone areas, as it was thought that icebergs of a threatening stature could be seen in enough time to be avoided successfully. The sinking of the Titanic caused the British Board of Trade to begin regulating the speed of vessels traveling in iceberg waters. Popular culture speculates that J. Bruce Ismay instructed Captain Smith to increase speed in order to make an early landfall, and this can be seen in the blockbuster hit Titanic, that was released in 1997. However, little to no evidence suggests this being a possibility.

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Titanic – Salvaging the Remains

May 19th, 2010

Titanic Model Ships

Large debris comprised of ship pieces, furniture, dinnerware, and personal items were scattered over a square mile. It seems that all wood, carpet, and human remains were consumed by undersea organisms. Dr. Ballard and his team refused to bring up any artifacts from their Titanic expedition, as they deemed doing so to be grave robbing. However, international maritime law permits that artifacts must be recovered in order to establish salvage rights to a shipwreck. Since then, the Titanic has underwent a number of court cases revolving around ownership of artifacts, and the wreck site. RMS Titanic, Inc. was given rights to ownership of salvaged artifacts, and became criticized for taking items from the wreck. Approximately 6,000 artifacts were removed from the sunken Titanic, where many were put on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.

These attempts at salvaging artifacts from Titanic are allegedly causing her to decay at a faster rate than she would on her own. This is thought to be the case by scientists such as Robert Ballard, who believe that tourists landing on the deck of Titanic in submersibles are promoting a faster decay of the once unsinkable ship. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that between the extra visitors and the underwater microbes that have been eating away at Titanic’s steel since its sinking, “the hull and structure of the ship may collapse to the ocean floor within the next 50 years.” Ballard has written a book entitled Return to Titanic, published by the National Geographic Society, which includes photographs of the deteriorating promenade deck and the damage caused by submersibles landing on the ship. Titanic’s mast is nearly completely deteriorated, stripped totally of its bell and brass light, and a gash on the bow section runs through where block letters once spelled “Titanic“. Also, the brass telemotor that used to house the ship’s wooden wheel is dismantled to an almost unrecognizable point, and the crow’s nest is completely deteriorated.

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Titanic – Investigating the Disaster

May 17th, 2010

Model of the Titanic

Investigations into the Titanic disaster were planned before the survivors were even brought back to New York. The United States Senate brought an inquiry about on April 19, just one day after Carpathia brought the survivors to New York. The inquiry chairman in the Senate, Senator William Alden Smith, decided to round up passengers and crew for their accounts of what happened while the incident was still freshly imprinted in their minds. Smith also subpoenaed British citizens who were still on American soil, keeping them from returning to the United Kingdom until the inquiry was over on May 25.

A British inquiry helmed by Lord Mersey began on May 2nd, and lasted until July 3rd. During which, the testimony of the passengers and crew aboard Titanic, and crew members from Californian and Carpathia were taken into account. Investigations led to the assumption that safety rules were out of date, and new laws were needed in order to prevent a similar disaster from taking place. The improved safety laws included: improved hull and bulkhead design, access throughout the ship for more efficient passenger movement, better lifeboat requirements, improved life-vest designs, regular safety drills, improved passenger notification, and more advanced radio communication laws. Investigations also led the inquiry team to discover that while first-class passengers had plenty of lifeboat space, third-class passengers were not even aware of where the lifeboats where, or even easy access to get to them if they did.

The SS Californian and Captain Stanley Lord were found to have failed in properly assisting Titanic. It was discovered that while the Californian had observed the lights of Titanic at 10:10 pm, and had attempted to warn by radio the Titanic of the icebergs ahead, they were angrily dismissed by Jack Phillips, the wireless operator of Titanic. By 11:50 pm, officers aboard Californian had noticed Titanic’s sharp turn, giving them a port side view, and had attempted Morse light communication between 11:30 pm and 1:00 am. However, Californian’s Morse lamp reportedly had a distance of only four miles, making it invisible to Titanic officers. Captain Lord relieved his post at 11:30 pm, and Second Officer Herbert Stone notified the Captain at 1:15 am that Titanic had fired five rockets. The Captain gave instructions to continue attempting communication with Morse lamp, then went back to sleep. Three more rockets were seen at 1:50 am, and Stone noticed that Titanic appeared to be listing. At 2:15 am, Captain Lord was notified that the ship was no longer visible. To this, Lord asked if any of the rockets had colors in them, and he was informed that they were all white. The Californian eventually responded at 5:30 am, when Chief Officer George Stewart awakened the Wireless operator Cyril Evans to inform him of the rockets that had been seen during the night. They were then notified by Frankfurt that the Titanic had sunk, and the Californian then set out to help.

Inquires dictated that Californian was closer than 19.5 miles to Titanic, and that if Captain Lord had awakened the wireless operator after the first rockets were seen they would have been able to save many lives. In 1990, a re-opening of the Titanic inquiry found that Californian was farther away from what the British inquiry had found, and the while distress rockets could have been seen, the Titanic herself would not have been visible from Californian.

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Sinking of the Titanic – Burials and Memorials

May 14th, 2010

RMS Titanic Replica

The White Star Line commissioned the cable ship CS Mackay-Bennett from Halifax, Nova Scotia to fish the dead bodies of Titanic victims still afloat in the water. Three other ships helped the search, including Minia, Montmagny, and Algerine. Each ship contained embalming supplies, undertakers, and clergy members to assist in retrieval and handling of the dead. 333 victims were recovered, of which 328 were retrieved by Canadian ships, and the other five by North Atlantic steamships. Bodies of the deceased were given numbers, aside from the six buried at sea by Carpathia. In may, over 200 miles away from where the Titanic had sunk, the Oceanic discovered three bodies that were determined to be from Collapsible A lifeboat which became overcame with passengers attempting to board as the Titanic sunk. Three people died while on this lifeboat, and were left by Fifth Officer Harold Lowe when the other survivors aboard were rescued.

The mass amount of casualties in the water caused the CS Mackay-Bennett to run out of embalming supplies in very little time. Being that the health regulations only allowed for embalmed bodies to be brought back to port, Captain Larnder of the Mackay-Bennett and the undertakers made the decision to preserve only bodies of First Class passengers. This decision was reached in order to visually identify wealthy men in case financial disputes over large estates occurred. This resulted in the third class passengers and crew being buried at sea.

The recovered bodies were preserved and taken to Halifax, where coroner John Henry Barnstead developed a detailed system to identify bodies and protect any personal possessions found. The relatives from the deceases traveled from all across America to claim identified bodies, and a temporary morgue was established in a curling rink where undertakers were called from Eastern Canada to assist in. Some of the recovered bodies were shipped to be buried in their hometowns, while the unidentified were buried with designated numbers in order of which they were found. The majority of the bodies (150) were buried in three Halifax cemeteries, which were Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Mount Olivet, and Baron de Hirsch. Among the bodies recovered were floating wreckage from Titanic, that have since been preserved in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.

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