The Little World – The Ships Of ’83

rocky-bay010You must forgive me for the quality of the photos in this column – they were taken in pre-digital days and scanned in.

Rocky Bay Village is a sheltered home here in Perth for people living with disabilities. One year it held a model show to help raise funds. The Naval Wargames Society – of which I was the chief proponent – contributed a table of cased models to the other displays. Fortunately I took some records of it.

sealed-086These form some of the few records I have of that year – it was a difficult one with family bereavement – and this was a singular happy point in the year. It also lets me see possessions that have long since been sold away*.

The models themselves are, for the most part, whitemetal castings in 1:1200 and 1:1250 scale. They were sourced from Alnavco in the USA and Degen and other dealers in Europe. A few were found as old stock here in Perth. As luck would have it there have been more plastic kits and diecast releases in the ensuing decades in our local shops, but I am long away from this hobby.

sealed-099At the time, the ships seemed to be like jewels. We used them as counters for board-type naval wargames using the entire area of our patio. The patio is brick paved and the pattern of the bricks allowed for easy measurement of movement. But that was the only easy thing about it – the rules of miniature games were so complex and the time scale so long that you rarely ever finished any game – even if it was stretched over several weeks’ meetings. I think correspondence chess would have been faster.

sealed-100Never mind – I had the boxes you see constructed by a local cabinet firm, lined them with blue paper, and then made miniature harbours in them. The perspex top on the cabinet was perfect as it kept the dust away.

*  Eventually, after 6 years or so, I tired of the collecting and was ready to move on to another hobby. Fortunately here in Perth there was a chap who made a hobby of being a broker for other people and we negotiated a fair price. I often hope that whoever got some of the detailed models that I painted was able to appreciate them for what they were. At least they were unlikely to be damaged like flying model airplanes.

But that’s another Little World story.


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