I issued a blog some time ago about completing the Model of HMS Themis.  It was a bit premature as I have added some details but it is complete.  The Launch Party is later this week.  We have invited the local dignitaries, but I expect only 20 of our friends will show up, including Sean Russel the author of the book that I based the model on. (I am giving the model to him after the party)

It has been almost 3 years in building and the last year I realized that my hand coordination may mean I cannot take on a model of this complexity again.  Not that there are mistakes in the model, it just took longer to make the details that I used to whip off.

For the first time in 30 years, I completed a model without plans for the next project.  I have spent hours looking through my books and plans to find a project that would excite me and fit my newer skill ability.  I thought for awhile that I would make a model of the Kootenay Lake sternwheeler Moyie.  Pat and I even drove to Kaslo to visit it and I took hundreds of pictures.  Ordered the plans.  But when they arrived I realized that this was basically a metal project and did not fit with my 40 years of wood skills.  My bad… but we did have a nice drive holiday.

In my collection was a 1970 book by Vincenzo Lusci.  A model builders’s handbook translated from Italian.  Not sure if I used the handbook a lot, but it was there.

On the cover was a picture of a model he built in the 60s of a French early steam side wheeler Corvette from 1829, Le Sphinx.  Great looking model.  A different twist to the models I have made in the past but a wooden hull and ship rigged with side wheels.  I became infatuated with it and sent off a search through the internet for plans.  They have apparently been out of print for 40 years.  But I fired off emails to various Italian maritime museums in the hope.

I had decided to look for another project.  Meagan visited and I was discussing model plans for her.  Meagan and Jorg have a model of a Chinese Junk I made for them years ago.  Nice model but not as dramatic as the models the rest of the kids have.  With some persuasion I suggested they contract a newer, more elaborate model.

Meagan wanted something older and I suggested The Mathew.  This is the model I made for Ryan and Corrie.  I already have the plans.  I am not necessarily keen on repeating a model, but I remember this as a nice project.

So I have spent the last few days in the workshop looking through the plans to organize how I get started.  Keel laying etc.  Got kind of excited.

But this afternoon I got an email from the Italian Maritime Museum telling me (in broken English) that they have the plans for Le Sphinx and for 30 euros plus shipping I could order them.  So I did.  No idea if this is a scam, no idea if these plans are any good, could be a mistake, but I have to take the chance.

We shall see.  Anyway here is the Themis in the backyard this evening…. and as you notice, it is Paradise outside