SFMYC Year End Float, 2006

SFMYC Year End Float, continued Return to Page 1

While the Montereys have been modeled by many individuals over the years, modelers Ken Valk and Leon Embry have instigated a resurgence of interest with their unique fittings and model engines, available in resin and brass castings. Ken is owner of Wet Goose Marine, a supplier of model deck fittings, and Leon turns out small numbers of exquisitely detailed Hicks single cylinder “hit and miss” engines. His Hicks models are primarily polymer castings, but feature metal shafts and gears which allow for full animation of the valve gear and flywheel. Leon can also provide a sound recording of the little engine working away; see contact information below.

Jeff Nelson’s “Santa Susana” illustrates the fine detail possible on the large Monterey Clipper models. Model constructed by Leon Embry. Gurdies and other fittings from Wet Goose.

Jeff Nelson’s “Santa Susana” illustrates the fine detail possible on the large Monterey Clipper models. Model constructed by Leon Embry. Gurdies and other fittings from Wet Goose.

Inside the cabin of Ken Valk’s “Lupo di Mare”, featuring a Leon Embry Hicks engine.

Inside the cabin of Ken Valk’s “Lupo di Mare”, featuring a Leon Embry Hicks engine.

Leon Embry builds a small number of 1:6 scale Hicks “one-lunger” engines for the Monterey Clipper fleet.

Leon Embry builds a small number of 1:6 scale Hicks “one-lunger” engines for the Monterey Clipper fleet.

Ken’s “Lupo di Mare” offers a great demonstration of how much detail and atmosphere can be loaded into one of these simple fishing boats. Ken starts with a base of heavily-weathered wood. A wire wheel etches the grain and a careful application of stains perfects the illusion of bare wood long exposed to the Bay environment. One of Leon’s Hicks engines is set into the semi-open cockpit, displaying a convincing coat of dirty oil. Fish knives, a rusty lantern, rolled charts, trolling tackle, and a host of other details completes the picture of a no-frills working boat. The Montereys were loosely organized into a parade, and then the appreciative crowd was treated to a wonderful photo-op when the boats clustered together for a group portrait.

Sometimes scale model boaters just need to cut loose. At the SFMYC, one outlet comes in the form of “Springer tug” competitions. I had the chance to meet John Springer, the accidental architect of this madness. Some years ago, John crafted a very simple model of a small tug found in his father’s boatyard. Multiple copies were then built, and these eventually developed into a standardized “class” at Seattle’s Northwest R/C Ship Modelers club. The class idea spread to the San Francisco club, where the competitions are keen and lively. The phenomenon is now drawing attention from clubs across the country, leaving John bemused with the “viral” spread of his namesake.

The Springer Tug competitions provide a lively distraction. There’s a ball in the middle of this scrum.

The Springer Tug competitions provide a lively distraction. There’s a ball in the middle of this scrum.

The simple hull form of the Springer, revealed.

The simple hull form of the Springer, revealed.

The Springers’ simple design and limited specifications allow for quick construction by both neophytes and experienced modelers. Some builders will opt for the simplest construction, while others deck them out in full detail and colorful paint jobs. What’s a Springer used for? Water Polo and Rubber Ducky Round Ups of course. Watching the crowd and operators hoot and holler through a spirited round of water polo, it’s easy to see the attraction of these robust little boats. With springy door-stops mounted on the push knees to trap the miniature soccer ball, the boats maneuvered madly while vying for possession. No free-for-all, teamwork is needed to block opponents and screen the ball carrier. In the rough and tumble play, rubber bumpers soften the collisions, and high deck coamings keep most of the water on the outside.

Another exhibition was put on by San Jose’s Western Warship Combat Club. No battling this day, but when in their home waters these models clash and sink one another, on purpose! Gas-powered guns fire BB’s and ball bearings, punching holes in opponents’ balsa-sheathed hulls. Water-proofing techniques allow the electronics to survive a sinking. After a round of action, the ships are retrieved, patched up, and sent back out for more.

Battling ships of the Western Warship Combat Club.

Battling ships of the Western Warship Combat Club.

Friendly folks, great models and a relaxed atmosphere made for a glorious day in Golden Gate Park. Organizer Ken Valk deserves a round of applause, and I hope to return to see more shows at Spreckels Lake.

Dave Gallagher & wife prepare the steam launches.

Dave Gallagher & wife prepare the steam launches.

Dave Gallagher’s “Don Gulfur” launch features the newly-available French “Anton” steam engine and Wet Goose deck fittings. All wood over an Aeromarine Laminates hull.

Dave Gallagher’s “Don Gulfur” launch features the newly-available French “Anton” steam engine and Wet Goose deck fittings. All wood over an Aeromarine Laminates hull.

Louie G

Louie G

Alan Haskell’s “Nautilus” is an Engel kit.

Alan Haskell’s “Nautilus” is an Engel kit.

A nicely built Sterling Models "American Scout"

A nicely built Sterling Models "American Scout"

It's always informative to display models under construction.

It's always informative to display models under construction.

Another detail from "Chattahoochee"

Another detail from "Chattahoochee"

A great minesweeper in 1:48 scale

A great minesweeper in 1:48 scale

"Orca" from Jaws.

"Orca" from Jaws.

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7 responses to “SFMYC Year End Float, 2006

  1. hi
    i would like any information on this boat ,if i can please thanks for your help rye merye1@aol.com

  2. matthewsmodelmarine

    I’m afraid I’ll be of no direct help… but maybe if you contact Ken at Wet Goose (http://wetgoose.com/), he’ll be able to shed some light (he’s a senior SFMYC member, and will likely know the owner).

    Pat M

  3. Ed Migley

    I was wondering if you would share additional photos of your beautiful American Scout with me? Best I have ever seen, I’m now 63 building it for the third time and would love to make this one the best build of them all. With additional photos from you, that will be possibe. Thanks Ed in Rhode Island

  4. Ed Migley

    Hi Pat.

    Any luck on finding any other shots of the Scout. Thanks, Ed

  5. Forest H. Musick

    I’m trying to finish a Bob Herrera Monterey Clipper-I would like to know where I can find the big pulleys for the fishing lines on the back of the clipper. Thanks

    • Wow, what a find- I wish I could find one of Bob’s kits! I know Bob though, and I know he doesn’t do any kit parts anymore, and all the molds are long gone.
      You might try Ken Valk through his Wet Goose website, http://wetgoose.com/… he doesn’t list the blocks there, but he has made them before for himself… he might have an idea.

      Regards,
      Pat M

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