HMS Nelson- a revolutionary ship

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Nelson- a ship like no other

What appears at first to be an unremarkable and modest member of my radio controlled fleet is in fact the Battleship Nelson- the most unique ship I have built since perhaps the QUEEN MARY 2 of 2004.

What sets the Nelson apart from every other member of the fleet is the very material which makes up her hull.

Traditionally, I use cardboard- my signature material- and cover it with fiberglass to make it waterproof. Fiberglass however, is very messy, and adds time, work, weight and cost to a ship's construction.

One day, it occurred to me to use foamcore to make the hulls and paint it with waterproof paints. Foamcore is sheet styrofoam covered with paper. If the paper is not covered with a waterproof paint, it will peel off and the remaining styrofoam will not have enough strength to maintain its shape.

I decided to build a 'test ship' to test the technique, but of course, I went a little farther, making it an actual model of the 1920s British Battleship HMS NELSON. Appropriately, I chose to model my ship after one of the most unique-looking warships ever built.

The construction time was also revolutionary! Believe it or not, she was built in a mere 3 NIGHTS from September 26 to September 28 2006. A record which will not soon be broken!

The Nelson made her Maiden Voyage on October 1st, 2006. Because of her light weight, she is powered by only one Radio Shack 18,000 RPM motor, while the Raffaello (same size but fiberglassed) has 2 such motors.

Now, the Nelson has gone beyond her experamental status to become a fully integrated member of my fleet. There will be more like her in the future.