The Phantom Uprising Ship

I guess since being stuck at home like so many during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, I’ve had a little more time to concentrate on my Meccano hobby, and more so on what I want to do about some of my other models that have sat to one side kind of forgotten or neglected for ages.

I had recently built two very large models, The Paddler Screamer and the giant Galacticus, and so had the choice of models to display at any of the following three upcoming meetings. However being locked down at home I found I just had to do something more and I turned my attention to my older models.

I first decided to dismantle one of my ship models that had undergone three separate previous refits and new identities but that had been stored in my garage ever since the last incarnation. That ship started life as The Voyager in 2013, was converted into The Wrath of Tides in 2015, and later upgraded again into The Slayer of the Seas. Now I decided that it had sailed its last voyage and set about its decommissioning. This took me a whole day as there were so many parts and rigging to be removed and put away. I was blown away by just how many parts were in that model.

Not content enough with that and still having copious amounts of time on my hands, I turned my attention to another old model and yet another ship, that being The Phantom which I built back in 2016. I brought it out of the mooring of the garage darkness and back out into the light of my conservatory where I do all of my model making and deconstructing work too.

This time I decided just like had happened with the other, that this model deserved a new identity and lease of life too. I would evolve it into something bigger.

I started by dismantling all the rigging, the masts, and the elevated main decks, then by doing similar to the rear part of the hull but with the intention of being able to grow it into a much larger model.

Once done and I had repositioned the new shaped rudder, I then started filling in the newly empty space by extending the main deck to the new end position of the ship.

A new deck in two levels was positioned at the rear with steps and other details including cranes, cannons and the steering.

Three new masts were fitted using angle girders, with three additional masts on top, the centre one being the highest. As this was higher than the height I had available in my car, I designed it to be a fold-away mast. Similarly the three other masts on top needed to be removable also to alleviate the same problem.

Then when tackling all the rigging, I used small plastic pulleys and also brass ones to connect to all the mast and the sails supports.

The original hull had been mainly in yellow with chrome strips all along, so I decided to add a new line of flexible strips in red so the overall look was changed but also much improved.

The front main deck was also radically changed and to elevate its new status I added some extra cannons.

Finally I needed to reinvent the sails. I still had more of both the red and of the cream coloured plastic material that I had used in my earlier ships, but decided to use cloth instead. One by one I measured the thirteen different sized sails that would be needed and then in my most sweetest of voices asked my wife if she would be willing to take on the endeavour of cutting each one out for me, and if she might also go the extra mike and sew them to shape and finish the edges accordingly. It was to my delight that she accepted the challenge in place of sending me to spend the night in the crow’s nest instead. Excitedly I fitted each one straight away no sooner had she completed the stitching.

The Phantom was slowing disappearing from sight as I once knew it and all that was left was a ghost of what it once was and by the time I added the flags, lights and some other finishing embellishments finally a new ship was up-rising!

The overall finished dimensions of the new ship are 1.80m in length by 1.50m in height, but there is also an additional stand as a display unit for the ship to sit and be seen in.

It took just two weeks to complete, but the once Phantom is no longer a forgotten ghost in a dark garage or just an apparition of the Meccano seas anymore — now there is truly something much bigger on the horizon; make way for the new ‘Phantom Uprising’!

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