MV MOUNTWOOD

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MV MOUNTWOOD

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MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Mike B » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:23 pm

Being an ex-patriate of Liverpool, living in South Africa since 1980, I decided to scratch build a model of the Mersey ferry MV Mountwood, as she was originally fitted out in the early sixties.
The Mountwood was used in the film "Ferry Cross the Mersey", a musical named after the Gerry & the Pacemakers song. It also appeared in the opening titles for the television series, The Liver birds.
Due to the scarcity of aftermarket model items in South Africa, this would be a totally scratch built model.
My previous modelling experience was with static wooden kits, a Mantua kit of HMS Victory, A Billings kit of the sail training ship Danmark and two Hachette weekly partworks, 1:250 RMS Titanic and 1:200 KM Bismarck.
I eventually found the Naval architects who designed the original boat and her sister ship, the Woodchurch. They had paper copies of the original plans which had been drawn on silk. I obtained permission from Mersey Ferries to purchase a copy of these plans and the architects sent the paper copies out to be scanned into (1/4" x 1 foot - Scale 1:48) pdf files. There was a set of three plans relative to my needs:-

1. The LINES & OFFSETS plan,
2. GENERAL ARRANGEMENT, "AS FITTED", MAIN & LOWER DECK plan.
3. GENERAL ARRANGEMENT, "AS FITTED", PROFILE & PROMENADE DECK plan.

These they then e-mailed to me after receiving my electronic bank transfer payment. I tell you, they cost me an arm and a leg but they were worth it after seeing the finished model!
Living in South Africa, I did not have access to any Mersey Ferries archive material or Liverpool Maritime museum so I had to rely solely on the plans and any pictures that I found on the Internet. I was fortunate to find an American website that converted sixties and seventies musicals to DVD from the original cinema 35mm prints and I purchased a copy of "Ferry Cross the Mersey" from them. From the DVD, I extracted the ferry boat segment and from it captured about 80 snapshots of various scenes on the boat including some good shots of the ventilators, benches and general on board layout views.

The hull was constructed in the normal double plank on frame method but due to the design of the main, promenade and bridge deck superstructures, I hade to use styrene sheet for these constructions.

I started in June 2009 and finished it and it's case this week.
Below is a pic of the completed boat but you can see more detailed pics at http://mikesmodelsbuilddiaries.blogspot.com/

Image
Last edited by Mike B on Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby casper » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:02 pm

Have a K for a superb model Mike. :clap: :clap: :D
Thankfully she was not sold to be used for cruises around the Isle of Man.
Great trip over the Mersey :D
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Mike B » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:13 pm

Some more history..........

The Mountwood was the slightly older sister ship of the MV Woodchurch. Both ferries were built for Birkenhead Corporation and were based loosely on the designs of the Wallasey ferries Leasowe and Egremont and were built by the same company, Messrs. Philip and Sons Ltd. of Dartmouth. Mountwood was launched by Mrs Hugh Platt on the 6 July 1959 into the river Dart, and after being fitted out was delivered to the Mersey in 1960. She was named after an overspill post-war housing development of Birkenhead. In her early years Mountwood was an unreliable ship, breaking down several times whilst crossing the river and having to anchor. In May 1961, she suffered a main engine failure, with her passengers having to be rescued by Woodchurch.
The Mountwood remained in operation up until she was withdrawn for refurbishment in 1989. She was rewired, internally refurbished and her bridge wheelhouse and cabs were plated over to form one large navigation bridge, although she retained all the original equipment. The most noticeable change was the colour of the funnel, flame red and black, harking back to the 1920s Birkenhead steamships. The new 'Mersey Ferries' logo was painted on each side of the funnel. The Mountwood returned to service in July 1990 and remained in operation up until 2001, when she was withdrawn from service for a major refit. Her only major work during the period 1990-2001 was the addition of a shelter abaft the bridge, which also had a small bridge deck area. The black band on the funnel was reduced and the logo resized giving the ferry an oddly small looking funnel.
In 2001, the Mountwood was withdrawn and taken to Birkenhead's former Cammell Laird shipyard (which became owned by A&P), and then to Clarence graving docks, where she was stripped of her fittings and parts of her superstructure were removed and rebuilt. Unfortunately the ferry remained dormant for some time due to problems at the shipyard. She was then re-engined and more or less completely rebuilt. Noticeable changes were the addition of a new, angle fronted, large wheelhouse and bridge deck, plus her funnel, which was reinstated after the refit, was moved further back to fit with the position of the new engines. Her central saloons were also extended to the full width of the ship. She looks quite similar to the Woodchurch's refit to Snowdrop. The ferry contained many items that would be classed as nautical antiques and quite valuable, such as engine telegraphs, binnacles and much brassware. The helm and binnacles were reinstated onto the new bridge, however all the other items are in storage at Mersey Ferries' archives.
Mountwood's nameplate now reads "Royal Iris of the Mersey". It cannot be shortened to "Royal Iris", as the previous vessel of that name (the MV Royal Iris) is still listed on Lloyd's Register of Shipping in the same class. The ferry still carries her original pair of Kockums Supertyfon fog horns, as do her two sister ships.
On 29 October 2002, a tremendous storm hit the Mersey, with windspeeds measured at force 10-11. The Clipper round the World race start was delayed and tugs were called to ships in the Mersey to keep them at port, battling against the raging waves. The Royal Iris of the Mersey was in service that Sunday, and was tied up at the Liverpool landing stage. Her mast rigging was blown down and her Mainmast had to be lowered for safety. Ferry services were cancelled and severe damage was caused to many properties along the waterfront. The vessel could not berth at Seacombe during this time because the resulting swell of the storm was that strong. The last storm of such strength to hit the Mersey was the 1989 hurricane.
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby GrantJ » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:14 am

Well done Mike that is a superb piece of workmanship and well worthy of a K+ from me :D :D :D
So many models, so little time!

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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Eric » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:48 am

I agree, what a smashing model. As neat as a pin. :clap:

A well deserved K from me to.
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Mike B » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:01 pm

Thanks guys,
I tell you, scratch building is not as easy as it sounds!
You spend more time on trial and error than finally making the actual parts.
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby morrigan » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:53 am

Have a K from me to
Your Mountford is absolutely fantastic Mike!
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Needs more fusewire
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Eric » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:35 am

I am planning to do my first scratch build model one day.

I have the plans for HMS Queen Mary, WWI battlecruiser in 1/250 scale. If I can, I will upsize the plans to 1/200.
My biggest problem is that I need to aquire a nice little band saw to be able to cut out the frame shapes, I don't fancy doing them with a hand saw!!!
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Mark » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:39 am

I got a Proxxon table saw a while ago. It's a fret saw rather than a band saw, but works very well. You need a bit of practice to get good results though.
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Eric » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:48 am

How about this ?

http://www.axminster.co.uk/proxxon-prox ... rod780213/

A bit pricey, but it would do the job of shaping hull ribs perfectly.

Sorry for the Hijack Mike. :oops:
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Mark » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:17 am

That would certainly do the job nicely.

This is the one that I got, although I'm sure I got it cheaper elsewhere

http://www.axminster.co.uk/proxxon-prox ... rod580202/
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Eric » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:23 am

Oooh, easier on the pocket.....

I'll have a trawl through fleabay, see if anything come up.
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Re: MV MOUNTWOOD

Postby Mike B » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:56 pm

Mark wrote:I got a Proxxon table saw a while ago. It's a fret saw rather than a band saw, but works very well. You need a bit of practice to get good results though.


Just a suggestion but before I bought my scroll saw, I rigged up my jigsaw to a wooden baseplate with a hole for the blade to pass through and then clamped it upside down on my Workmate and used this to cut out frames.
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