Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Sad Tale of the "HMS Couldabeen"

It was a couple of years ago when I first spotted a new model ship at my local Michael's. It was from Revell, or as I prefer to call them, Revell-o-Gram, due to their amalgamated nature. The new model was the "Black Diamond", yet another example of the ongoing pirate trend.
Image Courtesy Revell/Squadron Shop
I must confess that I was initially a bit excited as I always get whenever I find a new model ship. This was soon tempered upon closer examination.
The ship looked good, for the most part, but didn't really look like any real ship at all. 
The possibility to build this model to waterline is a tempting one. Image courtesy Revell.
Yet it is so close in many ways. I was initially thinking that it looked like a fourth rate, such as this one from Landstrom's "The Ship".  - 
The deck, though, is clearly wrong. The same can be said for the stern galleries. In some ways, it reminds me of the old Aurora "Bon Homme Richard", which was re-issued by Revell (under the Monogram label) a few years back. 
Why Revell chose to go this route baffles me. With a little more time and effort, a model of something resembling a real ship could have been made. Is it possible to convert this model into something a bit more accurate? The hull form is there, to be sure. The masts, especially the lateen mizzen, are appropriate for the period. Some details do look like an English ship from the late 17th - early 18th centuries. 
With a little work, perhaps.
There is a real lack of nice commercial plastic models from that period. 
Perhaps this will be a project for the future. I have seen some good builds for this model out there, and maybe it will inspire some young minds to take up the study of old ships. For now, however, this will remain, the HMS Couldabeen (a name inspired by my good friend Wes James. Thanks! And yes, I am aware that it would only be in the late 18th century that the Royal Navy would begin using "HMS".). 

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