Pitcairn Island 1930's-era wooden longboat 1/24 scale

Joined
Apr 14, 2020
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Location
Southern Maine
This is a scratch-built, lapstrake plank-on-frame model of a 1930's-era wooden Pitcairn Island longboat, used by the islanders to meet ships that visited the island with supplies. The wooden boats built on the island at the time were based on a British lifeboat given to Pitcairn Island by Queen Victoria but were modified to allow greater stability during launches into the heavy surf constantly pounding the island. The figures on the boat were constructed by the modeler from epoxy clay over copper wire armatures and were meant to depict both the clothing and people of early 20th Pitcairn as shown in photographs of the period, and the drama of a launch into the surf. Sample items of cargo - mail bags, oil drums, crates - are stored under the thwarts, and a mast and sail are stowed on board in case they were needed. The base, keel, oars, rudder, and thwarts were made from Miro wood supplied to the modeler by a descendent of Fletcher Christian who still lives on the island. The model now resides in the Pitcairn Islands Study Center at Pacific Union College in Angwin, CA.

James Norton
Maine, USA

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Joined
Nov 6, 2019
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Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia
Magnificent. I love the authenticity of using wood from the island. Are you the modeler, James, or do you know who is?

The European discovery of Pitcairn Island on 2 July 1767 is attributed to midshipman Robert Pitcairn, in HMS Swallow under the command of Captain Philip Carteret and Lieutenant Erasmus Gower. Pitcairn received a bottle of brandy from the captain for his sharp lookout. Carteret was unable to land due to the high surf and his chart published in Hawksworth's account misplaced the island. Fletcher Christian used the Hawksworth account which was carried on the Bounty and searched widely before re-locating Pitcairn Island. Cook and others had been unable to locate the island due to the error in Carteret's chart and so the mutineers remained undiscovered for 18 years.

My biography of Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower contains two chapters dealing with the Carteret circumnavigation 1766-1769.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
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Southern Maine
I am the modeler, I was simply referring to myself in the third person. A little additional history: the base is a cross-section of a Miro wood beam from the home of Thursday October Christian, Fletcher Christian’s son, salvaged sometime before the dilapidated structure was demolished some years ago. Christian’s descendent sent it to me along with a small plank about 18” long, in exchange for some school supplies for her children - paper, crayons, pencils, coloring books, etc. A true bartering arrangement. The packages took months to make their trips between Pitcairn and Maine.
 

ADC

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Nov 29, 2017
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I am the modeler, I was simply referring to myself in the third person. A little additional history: the base is a cross-section of a Miro wood beam from the home of Thursday October Christian, Fletcher Christian’s son, salvaged sometime before the dilapidated structure was demolished some years ago. Christian’s descendent sent it to me along with a small plank about 18” long, in exchange for some school supplies for her children - paper, crayons, pencils, coloring books, etc. A true bartering arrangement. The packages took months to make their trips between Pitcairn and Maine.
Very interesting. I believe the Pitcairn Islanders now sail to Henderson Island to harvest Miro wood which has become unobtainable on Pitcairn. They sail their longboats nearly 200 km to get there. They must be exceptional mariners of rare skills. I regularly buy a dozen jars of Pitcairn honey from the island shop website. Takes 3-4 months to arrive to Australia. Not cheap but absolutely delicious.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
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Darwin
Hi Norton
I think your model has more attention to detail than the real one
Too good and great work
Cheers snowy
 
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