Leon (1880); Cargo vessel; Brigantine
|Description||Scale: 1:96. Harold Underhill wrote extensively on sailing vessels, and he had a productive business making and selling ship plans for modelmakers. His book ‘Plank-on Frame Models’, published by Brown, Son & Ferguson, in 1960, is a two-volume set detailing the building and rigging of the brigantine ‘Leon’ (1880) and it is still much sought after by aficionados. The volumes detail the approach to building a ship model plank on frame, much the same way full-sized ships were built. Using the ‘Leon’ as a test case, Underhill shows in the first volume how to make the frames from plans, plank the hull, deck and bulwarks and construct fittings. The second volume describes the process of masting and rigging a model. The books include detailed plans of the ‘Leon’, and other vessels by way of examples. The author takes an uncompromising approach to modelmaking, treating it simultaneously as an enjoyable hobby and a strict discipline. There are no kits here, just the reader, wood, thread and metal. Everything is built from scratch, nothing is ready made. Because of Underhill’s publication there are umpteen models of the ‘Leon’ around. This model, however, was made by Underhill himself and bequeathed by him to the Museum. He has depicted the vessel under construction; hatted and cloth-capped shipbuilders are planking the starboard hull, and there is a pile of ladders and planks alongside. The miniaturized scene is one of shipbuilding in progress, but Underhill has also rather wittily made a model about modelmaking.|
|Artist/Maker||Underhill, Harold A.
|Place made||Baltonsborough, Somerset, England|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London|
|Materials||coating: varnish; metal: brass; metal: steel; organic: cotton; wood|
|Measurements||Overall model and case: 497 x 622 x 256 mm|
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