Model Building – a Passion that Teaches Patience

From amateur to master

ORP Iskra (II) by Przemysław Komender Naval Museum in Gdynia

Realistic Copies

Model making is a way of spending free time based on three-dimensional representation of existing objects. The most popular type is scale modeling, characterized by the creation of faithful copies at a specific scale. 

The Naval Museum in Gdynia has a large collection of models.

Primitive anchor by Stanisław Katzer Naval Museum in Gdynia

From the simplest forms

Models can be made using a variety of materials and techniques, it all depends on the imagination and capabilities of the creator.

The model of the primitive anchor, made by the well-known modeller Stanisław Katzer, is very simple in form and uses commonly available materials: stone and rope.

ORP Pińsk by Przemysław Komender Naval Museum in Gdynia

To real works of art

The production of an appropriate model is preceded by long preparations. The modeller must collect appropriate documentation, e.g. in the form of plans or photographs, in order to recreate the selected object as accurately as possible.

ORP Pińsk by Tomasz Poręba Naval Museum in Gdynia

The model of ORP Pińsk, made by Tomasz Poręba, faithfully depicts the appearance of the ship from 1939 while maintaining the appropriate camouflage in force at that time.

Taking care of every detail

Techniques from various fields are used to make the model e.g. painting - for recreating the appropriate camouflage, embossing - for marking the rivets connecting the ship's plating, etc. It is the appropriately refined nuances that prove the author's abilities.

Baltic boat by Edward Komuda Naval Museum in Gdynia

Variety of materials

Depending on the type of model being built, different materials are used. Wood is a popular building material for historic sailing ships.

Model of the "Boar" carrack by Edward Komuda Naval Museum in Gdynia

Karaka Dzik, like other models made by Edward Komuda, was made of wood, string and canvas. The modeller precisely recreated the clinker plating on the ship's hull, rigging and sails.

Carved figurehead

A characteristic feature of historical sailing ships was the figurehead – a figural representation placed on the bow of the ship, referring to the name of the ship.

Of course, we couldn't miss one on the Dzik caraque model. The head of the wild boar was carved by a modeller and attached to the bow stew.

ORP Garland by Leon Ruliński Naval Museum in Gdynia

Synthetic materials

It is becoming more and more common to use synthetic materials such as laminate, plastic, acrylic, polyurethane resin, etc. in the construction of models. In ORP Garland (H-37), author Leon Ruliński used laminate to build the model.

During the conservation, epoxy resin was used to strengthen the hull of the model made in the 1970s.

ORP Bałtyk by unknown Naval Museum in Gdynia

Modeling = patience

It is a passion that requires a lot of patience and meticulousness. Creating a model should be preceded by a thorough query in order to determine as much detail as possible. The next stage is (usually by hand) making individual elements and assembling them into a whole.

ORP Bałtyk was the largest ship of pre-war Poland and accurate execution of its model is time-consuming. Unfortunately, we do not know the author of the model, but we are sure that the work on it took at least a few months.  It happens that the production of one model takes up to several years.

Scale model of 45 mm anti-aircraft gun (21-K) Naval Museum in Gdynia

Military model

In the collection of the Naval Museum in Gdynia there is an interesting model of a 21-KM naval gun. 45 mm. It was transferred in 1953 from the Zakłady Uzbrojenia Marynarki Wojennej. It is a perfect copy in a smaller scale and has movable mechanisms that work like in a real cannon.

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