The photo above is of two models of the Tri-ang VARICELLA – a Shell tanker of the late 1950’s. She was one of four in her class – others being the VIANA, VIDENA and VENASSA. Both the models are not that badly chipped, but really not good enough to keep in my collection as is. So they were destined for the strip bath and repainting. I would say here that models in the condition as in the photo should not cost more than £10.
I decided to allocate one of these stripped VARICELLA models to be fully restored and painted up with fully painted decks etc. For this model not only did I seek the help of Slavi once again for the exquisite painting and mast work, but also the services of Shapeways. One might ask why on earth is a 3D print helping with a diecast casting. Well I was strolling through the Internet to find some information and colours for the Shell tankers and chanced upon the Shapeways site. I found a very nice colour photo of the VIANA and also a few colour photos of a 1250 model of the same ship. The important note was the colours of the decks and details of the masts.
I cannot copy the photos on to this site, but the link to the photos and model of VIANA at SHAPEWAYS is here:- https://www.shapeways.com/product/JHF5755SE/1-1250-dutch-shell-tanker-viana It is interesting to note that the 1250 model is priced at £40.90 but alas is NOT FOR SALE.
The next two photos are of the completed model of VIANA as done by Slavi – just brilliant.
The next photo is of the VIANA as transformed along with the same model as finished by Tri-ang – BUT neither of them have any original paint – in fact the only original items, bar the castings, are the plastic masts on one ship.
Incidentally the funnel markings are the same for VARICELLA by Tri-ang and the VIANA as finished by SHAPEWAYS and Slavi – ie Red shell on a yellow funnel – these being Shell Tankers (UK). However all four of the class could be done all over again using the Tri-ang model but in the later Helderline colours – where the funnel colours were reversed - -ie yellow shell on a red funnel.
The other stripped model was totally restored in Tri-ang style finish, ie with white decks etc, but the hull colours and funnel markings were transformed into those for a tanker of the Gulf Oil Company. For this model the inspiration came from a pair of colour photos found on the Internet of the ship named GULF CANADA. Really bright red hull instead of the black and an idea of how to transform the rather high freeboard of the Tri-ang model into a semi-ballasted condition. The lower 2mm of the hull was painted in a modern version of “red anti-fouling” paint. Not easy to match anti-fouling paint – so real anti-fouling paint – thinned down – was used. The funnel decals are from the sheet of oil company decals supplied by John Mitchell.
Once again not possible to post the actual photos on this site so the link to the SHIPFAX site for photos of GULF CANADA is here:- http://shipfax.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/classic-tankers-part-3-coastal-and.html
The photo below is of the completed model – in Tri-ang style finish. It does not show the lower hull off very well, better photo later.
So the GULF Oil version joins up with a few others that I have that are all finished in the Tri-ang style finish, all with different oil company colours on their funnels. If you can imagine what might have happened if Tri-ang had continued back in the day, then maybe, like in the current series, a number of versions of the same model may have been produced. So these are not “never weres” they are “may have beens”. The first photo below depicts the latest GULF OIL version on her box in front of the others – but it also shows the anti-fouling paint as well.
The other two photos show my “set” – where all the models have been fully restored, there is no original paint to be seen. In fact all that is original is one box and two sets of plastic masts. The other masts are either repro plastic or replica metal ones and the boxes are all repro versions (cannot tell them apart). The oil company decals are all from the sheet by John Mitchell – one photo below shows them close up – with GULF in the front with CHEVRON, BP, ESSO and SHELL (UK) all in order to the rear.
I admit I like Tri-ang models amongst many other types I have, including some very rare and expensive ones, but I also like restoration of models as well as photographing models – so I think it is OK to share this enjoyment with others. I fully accept that some folks do not like Tri-ang at all, so perhaps they might be positive and post some stories and photos of models that they like for a change.
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