The model can be left open, to display the holds and crew cabins. Or it can be built as a magnificent static model. Or it can be waterproofed and motorised for a working model to be an eye-catching leviathan on the boating pond. The model, which is built in three sections (Forward, Midships and After) can be fixed together or left dismantled and the aft superstructure can be removed to give a glimpse of the various deck levels inside the hull.
Naturally, all the cargo hatches open to show the holds. The complete kit, weighing over 17 lbs, is supplied in 6 cartons. Should you decide to have a go, this, the "Non plus ultra" of card (and perhaps any other type of) modelling, should keep you busy for about a year. The modeller can choose to paint the model with an authentic colour scheme or one of his own choice.
The designation "SD14" denotes "Shelter Deck 14,000 tons". Doubtless this choice was influenced by the requirements of potential customers. Of these, the most successful was the SD14, developed by the Sunderland shipbuilders, Austin and Pickersgill.
The first SD14 keel was laid on 8th. Papalios, was launched on 1st. She was also very nearly the first SD14 to be completed. However, Austin and Pickersgill managed to make up the leeway in their own building programme to hand over the first completed SD14, the Nicola, on 14th. February 1968, the Mimis N.Papalios following the next day. Between 1968 and 1988, a total of 211 SD14s were completed and it is interesting to note that, by 1990, only 10 had been scrapped for commercial reasons, a further three going to the breaker's yard after marine accidents. Of the dozen vessels reported as sunk, at least two fell victim to missile attack during the Iran/Iraq conflict. In 1978, while attached to Manchester Docks, George Robinson, a retired Merchant Navy captain, hit on the idea of providing the port fire brigade with an easy-to-build model of the SD14. So originated a 2-foot long, 1:70 scale model kit of the Forward section of the SD14.
This first attempt met with such success that kits of the Midships and After sections followed in 1979, the complete model measuring an imposing 7 feet in length. Professional and international recognition followed in 1982 when the model won the "Shipwrights Model Competition" at the Guildhall in London. Quite apart from sheer size, the kit is remarkable, for it is, in fact, put together in much the same way as the original was in Sunderland.
Space here permits no more than a brief glimpse of what awaits the builder of this miniature leviathan. The instructions, which, for the complete kit, run to about 60 pages, first explain that the model will be built by the dry dock method rather than on the slipway - the difference is clarified. The shell bottom plates of the Forward section are laid to form the double bottom, between the outer surface of the hull and the inner surface of the holds. On the original, the space in between is used for water ballast, necessary to keep the propellor submerged when there is no cargo and to maintain an even keel. This last expression, in such common and, I suspect, often unwitting, usage, is precisely defined.
The building progresses aft as the cargo holds are each constructed with transverse watertight bulkheads, hold pillars and centre line plates. There are even properly runged ladders on which to descend to the bowels of the vessel. In the After section, as well as a cargo hold, there is the engine room together with the propellor shaft tunnel; by lifting up the after deck house, access is provided to the steering gear flat and the rudder stock. In the bridge superstructure, containing the crew's accommodation, every cabin is accounted for. The crew's mess room, galley and smoke room are each separately delineated as are the linen locker, baggage room and officers' smoke room to mention but a few.In the course of construction, the instructions are supplemented by sections which explain the actual fabrication of the original, so that, as you work through the model, you learn about the SD14, how it was assembled and how it works. The operation of such components as MacGregor hatch covers, the keelson and camber in the original are fully expounded and you can then reproduce these to scale. Step-by-step diagrams illustrate the sequence of construction. So it is fascinating to see how this great machine works and to reproduce it in miniature at the same time. If, like me, you have wondered what exactly is a "Tween Deck" and what is its purpose, you need wonder no more. All is revealed, after which you can actually build one. The three sections can be fixed together or left dismantled and the aft superstructure can be removed to give a glimpse of the various deck levels inside the hull.
The model can be made either for display or, with suitable waterproofing, can be sailed, there being space for R/C gear. This item is in the category "Toys & Games\Models & Kits\Boats & Ships". The seller is "craterus" and is located in this country: GB. This item can be shipped worldwide.