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Author Topic: Great Eastern model project  (Read 4838 times)


  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« on: June 13, 2005, 05:05:47 AM »
Welcome to the group, Christian ('ll have to tell us your City and Country since I I'm not
familiar with the .pt domain.

Christian and a friend are gathering information about the 1859
launched British steam vessel "GREAT EASTERN". They're planning on
scratch built models, one in 1/600 scale, the other in 1/350 scale.
They have gathered dozens of pics, theGerman paper model and body
plans that show frames and are looking for any reference to get them

As you may all know the "Great Eastern" was the largest Paddle Steamer
ever launched and is a fascinating model subject. Christian is not
alone in his interest in ISK's Iron Ship, there is quite a wealth of
information on the net...BUT..the BIG thing is to get accurate
topside/superstructure (rigging?) reference...anyone help?

Victoria, BC Canada


  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2005, 05:06:39 AM »
Thank you very much for the invitation. I can assure you that I am very
serious about ship modeling and that my intentions are 100% honest. I am far
away from being a master modeler, but I do some nice progress lately. I am
modeling at the moment the almost "ubiquitous" 1/350 Minicraft Titanic. I do
extensive fixes and superdetailling by using after market products and
scratch building of parts. I have great help at Mike Pell's "Debris Field"
web site. I also love to share any info myself, if I'm able that is, with
others who need it.

Sorry but I am still not 100% familiar with your rules. Can I reply any
email with the word Paddleducks in the subject directly or should I send it
to you for all others to share

.pt stands for Portugal

My name is Christian Schonberger
I live in Lisbon, Portugal

I already received some emails. Some are addressed directly to me, others
are addressed to the Paddleducks group. Did the people who addressed me
personally send the email to: first?

Sorry, but I am not familiar with the web-groups and how they function.
I would appreciate it very much if you could fill me in on this subject.

In any case it seems to be a great thing for me. Of course I can not answer
all emails because I still use the computer at my workplace. In a few weeks
I will have my own computer at home. I will tell you my new email address by

Thanks again for the invitation

best wishes and happy modeling

Christian Schonberger, Lisbon Portugal

David S Miller

  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2005, 05:07:50 AM »
Christian: Here are some Great Eastern Links.

I am still compiling my library of data on the GE and will forward very
small jpg's soon. If you could review these samples then let me know what of
the material you would like better copies of I will send ... this will keep
the bandwidth strain to a minimum. I'll be on this this weekend.
Dave Miller - This one
has several good links at the bottom of the page.


  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2005, 05:08:16 AM »

That's a great idea. It will be most useful. I'm looking forward to
receiving the pics. Thank you.

I am lucky enough to have a great e-copy of the booklet that accompanied the
old and very much sought after Revell GE kit. I do not have the kit itself.
It probably wouldn't be up to today's standards anyway. It's more of a
collectors item. I'll scratch build of course.
There are some objects on deck in this kit that I can not identify
including what seems to be mooring winches or anchor windlasses (the drawing
is not well detailed as is the case of most of such kits). The paper model
doesn't have these winches (?). Some cut-out graphics in books show anchor
windlasses below the main deck. I need to figure these things out.
I know GE has been modified many times through her life and it is close to
impossible to have a complete set of pictures and material about how she
looked within particular time frames. That's not what I'm after anyway. I
want to avoid details that could not have been there at the same time i.e.
nautically incorrect arrangement. I good time frame that might be
reconstructed reasonably should be the "as launched" arrangement. That
wouldn't be too far away from the many existing construction pictures also.
I guess I'll go for that. I still need to find out if GE had any cowl vents
during her early days. Some photographs clearly show cowl vents. Again: the
paper model doesn't have those.

One thing among many that intrigues me is the funnel color. On construction
pics it varies from gray to black. Gray might have been the primer and black
the final coat. Now we know that 19th century photographic plates didn't
represent the gray scale true to nature. Aging does the rest so we can not
use photographs as color guides. The paper model has black funnels, one book
shows them pale green, the Revell model suggests yellow funnels. They have
been probably repainted several times during GE's life span.

Soon Scott Reigel of Arizona and myself will have a comprehensive Great
Eastern section within Michael Pell's Debris Field, a great site Site
dedicated to ocean liner modeling. Debris Field has a double meaning here:
it's the debris field between the bow and stern sections of the most famous
liner of them all: the Titanic; and the look of our modeling table top which
most of the time resembles a debris field.
The Great Eastern falls into both categories: ocean liners and paddle
I will announce our Site within a Site as soon as it's up. We only want to
have really comprehensive material - enough for anyone to start scratch
building a GE model - before we open the section.

Thank you all for your help. I can't wait to see some of the models done by
members of the group.

One question to all of the group: what is your main focus of interest: River
paddle steamers, transition vessels like Bunel's ships, static or R/C?
I really would like to know.

Thanks to all of you and thanks David for your help.

Cheers, Chriatian

David S Miller

  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2005, 05:09:16 AM »
Christian - I have help for you!
Since I have not received any policy instructions on large attachments
or postings I will attach the first of the ZIP'ed packets to an email
to you following this correspondence. (I can also "STUFF" as .sea if you
are Mac or prefer Stuffit) This packet contains the instructions and
some fair but I believe accurate drawings of the decks, the rigging (not
very detailed) and the paddle. These are form an ENTEX injected 1/400th
model from the late 70s which I built and have today. I also have an
unbuilt pristine copy of this kit which I was saving for a "real build"
one day.
At the very least these can show you the ROUND main stacks and the
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Mast
configurations. These drawings will also give you a little guidance on
the designs of the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday auxiliary boiler
stacks/masts. The deck trimming on this kit shows all the rigging
during the transatlantic cable laying so depending on the which period
career ... LIFE you are choosing to depict some of the donkey engines
and winches may go away. I don't believe any of that would have been
there when Jules Verne steamed aboard for instance.

In the next ZIP'ed installment I will include the cover of James Dugan's
book - If you want a copy of this I have 2 and can ship you one. I
know how rare they are today but I dug pretty deep back in the mid 80's
to find the 2 that I have. Also, If you would like my built copy of the
Great Eastern I would be happy to pack it up and send it to your WORTHY
CAUSE! I don't know how difficult that is across continents but I'm
sure customs couldn't care less about a plastic model.

Let me know if you want higher-res versions of any of this material.
I'll send more as I dig out my archives.

I do so appreciate your interest in this great monument to Victorian
Engineering and one small man's huge ego. It's a wonderful, sad, funny,

telling, human story. And one in which you are likely to become
completely engrossed as you lay each hull plate and deck plank during
build. I envy your journey ahead and hope to be included vicariously
through Paddleducks.

Emal with attachment to follow.
Dave Miller

Oh! If anyone else is interested in any of this data please let me
know. I would be happy to copy any of you.


  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2005, 05:10:16 AM »
Not to worry.
If you could just shoot some photos and send them via email or snail mail
that will be already a great help.
I must admit I feel a bit flattered knowing you are willing to give away
your work just like that. Of course I would feel most honored to receive any
material from you.
Please send me a private email to:

and I'll be happy to forward my snail mail (postal) address to you.

Sure. I only wasn't able to view the first attachment yet. In fact Alladin
Systems did the unstuffing but the resulting file didn't show op on the
desktop as usual. It seems lost. No error messages either. I must admit I'm
lost. maybe it's because I'm kind of a dummy regarding computers.

Once again: thank you very much for you wonderful help. I appreciate it very

Cheers, Christian


  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2005, 05:10:49 AM »

Your help over GE is really a godsend to a modeller like
Christian..and any others who may follow...there must be quite a
few who would model this vessel if there was sufficient reference.
I also find it fascinating, and i'm also discovering an interest in
some of the others like "Persia" for instance. It;s amazing when you
think, the breadth of scope of paddle wheelers.

I'm taken by the passion you have for the "great ship" so much so I
think we should devote s section to her on the
Paddleducks website which is under construction....GE HAS to have been
the LARGEST PADDLER EVER BUILT dont you think?? in that case she
deserves a rather special place.

In the meanwhile regarding attachments.

Any attachment is automatically stripped out of a group email..this is
in the interests of security.

However...PLEASE use the files site to upload files and images. I'm
going to set up a folder for GREAT EASTERN IMAGES &
everyone can see the material and especially those who may come along
in the future... I think also that the model progress of Christian and
his friend should be documented through these files and eventually a

If you dont know how to upload files..just let me know and I'll get
you thruogh it.

All for tonight..was at the pond today..and again early tomorrow..

Keep the GE stuff coming..its we have a rundown on
any still available kits for this ship..I remember the Airfix...but it
was pretty small as I recall.

Speak to you all later.....specially since I want to tell you all
about the flotation problems that David P and John Gough (builder of
Bulldog) have encountered and the ways theyve overcome them. I also
have a whole theory prepared of feathering blades...


David S Miller

  • Guest
Great Eastern model project
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2005, 05:11:23 AM »
Thanks for kind words. My interest and passion for all things "rivet"
goes long and deep and spans my entire life.
You're right about forgotten the significance of the paddle wheelers and
the wonderful "bigger-than-life" engineering that went into them. It's
also interesting to note how few designers, like Brunel actually worked
in this area. After all is said and done, for the number of ships build
the number of designers (at least for the propulsion) were few.

I think you're right about the largest paddler being the GE but I have
no authority on that. It was the largest thing afloat until the
Lusitania. So large in fact that docks could not accommodate her!

I fully support your devoting a "boiler room" portion of the site to
GE. I am also a scholar and long time fan of Harper Golff's Nautilus
and for too many years it was impossible to get any information or
drawings on that wonderful design ... then came the web! Today there
are some of the finest modelers in the world completely emerced in
Nautilus projects, as I am sure you are aware. One man has even built a
one-man operating model! We may be the catalyst for that kind boom in
appreciation, conservation and recreation of the era of paddle boats.
Think about that! I have so many really terrific stories:

1870 ish - a large hog-framed side-wheeler "night boat" was awaiting
it's maiden voyage up the Hudson River (I believe?- have to pull this
out of storage) when the newly assigned Captain shang hied a crew and
took the AMERICA ... get this ... OUT TO SEA! They actually took her
around the horn and up the west coast of the Americas to run gold
prospectors from San Francisco to the gold fields out of Sacramento.
It's a wonderful story filled with broken ship, the plague, constant
mutiny - you name it , it all happened on this crazy voyage. Today she
actually sits deep in the mud in SF bay just north west of San Jose.
The riverboat that went around the horn!

There are many of these. I'll dig some out of storage and upload them
for you.

I will try the "files" upload and see if I can't get any of the material
I've sent to Christian up there.

Have fun at the pond today (Sun).
Dave Miller


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