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Other Navies, Other Views

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The project starts
Last year, three "entities" started to cook a new temporary exhibition to be held in the Museu de Marinha (Navy Museum) in Lisboa, Portugal. The entities were the Museu de Marinha (obviously), the GAMMA - Grupo dos Amigos do Museu de Marinha (Group of Friends of the Navy Museum) and a non-entity, that I am going to call Grupo de Modelistas (Modelers Group). This Grupo de Modelistas, was formed after the first contact by the Navy officials with one of the members, which contacted what he considered good ship modelers to make the exhibition richer and also dignifying to the Museu de Marinha, one of the best Naval Museums in the world. Soon, there were seven modelers involved, which in their turn would supply some of their models to this half year long event.
Gathering the "Private Shipyards"
So, with the crew complete for this first trial, we started to see what would be the theme, which models to go and the way that they were grouped. It was a fairly easy task, since most of us only had a couple or little more "duplicates", which was good, for obvious reasons. I would say that the main scale represented is 1/700, with some 1/35 (not a typo, it is 1/35!), 1/400 and 1/72. The total of the displayed models is 96.
The exhibition
The exhibition is divided in several glassed cabinets, with all models identified with a number and on a board next to it, it's clearly stated the "theme" of the cabinet and the relation between number with ship name, type, nation and scale.

- Work in progress cabinet, with 1/700 IJN CVE Unyu, model box and parts (almost all there), some tools and references used.

- World War Two Cabinet, with most of all diorama/sea based models (actually it includes one pre-WWII and one that although made during WWII is portrayed in a post WWII guise).

- The Submarine Force Cabinet

- Cold War Cabinet

- 1/72 Typ VII-C Uboot table

- Small/Other Navies Cabinet

- Battle of Cape Matapan (not the one you're thinking, but depicted is part of the naval battle held in 1717, between the Portuguese and the Turkish)

- Midget Submarines and Manned Torpedoes Cabinet

- Three Cabinets with scratch built models representing the Early Ship Evolution, from the Museum own collection (donated by modeler).

First results...
As I have said, this was kind of a test for future modeling events in the Museu de Marinha.
Right on the opening, most visitors showed their marvel towards the quality of the models displayed and the amount of detail put on such small models.
The grand opening was set for the Dia da Marinha (Navy Day - May 20th, the day Vasco da Gama reached India, after a sea-bound trip across the African continent, in 1498), and these points were mentioned by the speeches made by the Museum Director and also by the GAMMA President. The representative from the Grupo de Modelistas gave a brief explanation about what was there for visitors to enjoy, emphasizing all the research in and for books, plans, photos and the work skills needed to achieve the "end product" that was displayed.
A medal was given by the GAMMA to all modelers that participated in this event.

During the period of the exhibit, a Honor Book for comments is continuously being written with remarks from visitors, from portuguese (the majority), to spanish, english, finish, chinese and even japanese, amongst others.

This was win win situation, for the Museum, the ship modeling community and for future model related events, being exhibitions or contests.

NOTE: Most of the photos were taken while we were arranging the layout. Not all the models are here portrayed. Taking photos with glass cases is always tricky, so my apologies for the quality of some photos...
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About the Author

About Rui Matos (skipper)

Hi all Crew Members!
Rui Matos, 39 years old (in 2006), married, former Portuguese Navy Fire Control Radar Operator , and "owned" by two cats - James, Stripes (Riscas in portuguese, now deceased) and Moon (Lua)!
I've been modeling since I was 6, but only have turned to Submarines in 1991 o...


Nice pictures from a nice place with nice models - I like these kind of reports from interesting places - just in case one should be there sometimes Cheers/Jan
NOV 10, 2008 - 01:56 AM
Hi Rui! Truly outstanding work from the land of the Navigator Prince! That Arizona diorama was a real stand-out, too... --Karl
NOV 10, 2008 - 09:46 AM
I'm a sucker for the subs. I really like the polar vignette. I wonder how they executed the pack ice?
NOV 20, 2008 - 07:23 AM
Hi Steve The ice on the sub and also on the icebreaker was made with the same material, although by different modelers (me and Filipe), and it's the modeling paste I used for my Wet Your Ships! Feature which is Das Pronto (white). Hope you can find it on US Cheers Rui
NOV 20, 2008 - 07:29 AM
That much exposure! among the chosen site and works presented me as one of the most interesting exhibits I've seen congratulations Domi
NOV 21, 2008 - 11:47 PM
Thanks for the report, Rui. Very impressive display of models, I especially enjoyed the ancients compilation. The museum is beautiful! Frank
NOV 22, 2008 - 02:40 AM
Thank you Domi and Frank! You are too kind, though! When we reach the skills of (in no particular order): - Jim Baumann - Mike McCabe - David Griffith - Peter Fulgoney - Rob Kernaghan - Frank Spahr - Christian Bruer - Dirk Mennigke - our own Filipe Ramires - etc etc (see note bellow!) amongst many others (that would turn this list exhaustive and VERY LONG ) than, and only than, I think that we would make a smashing show! We keep on trying and improving our skills (I hope) Rui NOTE: There are many other fine and excellent modelers in the web... the thing is, that I am only mentioning modelers from whom I have seen their works live, and as I have told on the SMW report, although I already knew some models from MSW and MW, they look so much better without being on a photo...
NOV 22, 2008 - 08:47 AM
Greetings everyone, Regarding this exhibition that took place in the Navy Museum in the past 6 months I don't recall ever seeing so many ship models together in one place. We have nearly 100 pieces there of all kinds and with only a handful of modellers. This was a first experience in cooperation with the Museum. Both sides want to give continuity to this event but we have yet to "negotiate" with them future editions. In any case this is aimed to be extended to other modellers but at the same time to maintain "pristine" quality. This is after all one of the finest Navy Museums in Europe and a noticeable place of honour. I am not saying that only "some" modellers are allowed to place their models there. For me the more the better. Though, depending when the next edition will be, it would be nice to have foreign modellers placing their models here. It's a matter of time and of course availability for everyone. In any case, it would be nice and we certainly would be honoured here in Portugal to receive foreign modellers here in the Portuguese Model Shows...we have nearly ten of them per year being some of bigger dimensions then others. Regardless, lately we have managed with our recent formed SIG of Naval Interest Group to place some tables together with some models, tools, books and even demonstrations and workshops. We don't promise at all multimillionaire awards for the winners of the contests but we do this merely for ship modelling sake and to have a good chance of talking and learn a few things here and there with the chaps. Therefore, if anyone is interest in paying a visit to this lovely sunny country do give it a try and we will be here to receive you. Model Shows season starts in March!!! Come and join!!! Best regards, Filipe
NOV 22, 2008 - 11:10 AM
About the Polar Diorama with the Royal Navy Trafalgar submarine... Well, amazingly that's far from what I consider one of my best models...in fact I was never happy with the results but therefore she was if I recall correctly my second submarine I've built. Curiously she still receives today, 8 years after being built, the most amazing compliments and yet I don't look at her happy. One wonder why the maker is never happy with the final work and this one in particular I was never happy with it!!! In any case...more submarine fancy dioramas are coming out of this naval yard. Stay tuned. The material used for making the ice was indeed "Das Pronto" but if you fail to find it in the US or any place else I guess "White Milliput" will do the trick. I'm not very familiar now with the most recent "snow-ice" techniques but perhaps the Armoured 1/35 scale guys can give us a hint of what they use to make their Winter Dioramas. Perhaps then, depending if it is adaptable to our scales, we can use them with better results. At the time I've build the Polar Diorama "Das Pronto" was practically the only material I could lay my hands on to make the ice. Today, perhaps, I could have used different stuff taking into account different approaches and learnings one gets along time. Best regards, Filipe
NOV 22, 2008 - 11:20 AM
Hi all Just a quick note to say that more 34 photos have been uploaded into the Feature. Somehow I missed uploading them and only noticed today, when I was going to show some SLC Maiale models to a friend! Sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused. Rui
DEC 04, 2008 - 06:56 AM