Somebody else's models... from 250 years ago!

On Christmas Eve, we took our daughters to the new museum in Plymouth, UK - 'The Box' - and I'm pleased to note that we all had a fantastic time: there's a surprisingly wide variety of interesting and engaging exhibits on offer with a far less surprising maritime theme pervading throughout. What really caught my attention the most, though, was this amazing model, from two-and-a-half centuries ago:

We're informed that it was commissioned by First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, and constructed by shipwrights George Coryton and William Parr; it's scaled at 40 feet to the inch (1:480), and amazingly it's even what we might now call 'modular', with replaceable sections!

It seems to have been made alongside the plan displayed above it, and the details really are absolutely stunning. I mean, really stunning. And not just in a 21st-Century-condescending-to-the-old-days-before-extruded-polystyrene-and-hot-wire-cutters kind of a way either. This is a stand-alone masterclass. 

Details I enjoyed include the ships under construction, the textured cobbles, the fine housing, the trees (they're so cool)... and the absolutely vast amount of space given over to the officers' gardens (behind the accommodation).

The compass rose is also lovingly done. The only features of which I'm a little unsure are the piles of what I assume is warped timber. I imagine this was used deliberately in the construction of the more curvaceous parts of the ships, but I think time may have over-warped it, and it looks weirdly untidy in the midst of a vignette that's otherwise so deliciously regimented.

There were some pretty ship models elsewhere in the exhibit too - I suspect they might just pop up in a future post...

Oh, and if you are heading toward the South-West once travel restrictions lift, I'd heartily recommend The Box for a most fulfilling wet-day activity for a good few hours - my two daughters both thoroughly enjoyed it too!

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