Premier Ship Models was tasked with constructing one model of the Abeille Normandie, and one of the Abeille Méditerranée for a client. The models themselves were made of plastic resin, and had intricate wooden decking. The Normandie in particular was complete with two cranes, two fenders, eight lifeboats and two hatches. The top of the boat had an antenna mast, navigation lights, a satellite antenna and even realistic call sign markings. Furthermore, the model had equipment onboard, such as winches and towing pins. The high-level of intricacy reflects the quality of work PSM strives towards, and these models are a terrific representation of that.

Abeille Normandie is a salvage and rescue vessel which currently sails under the flag of France. It was built in 2010, and has a carrying capacity of 4250 t DWT (deadweight tonnage). It measures in at 91 metres in length, and 22 metres in width. Abeilles purchased the ship in 2021.

As mentioned above, accompanying the model of the Normandie was her sister ship, the Abeille Méditerranée. This was also built in 2010 and is of the exact same size. Before being acquired by Abeille in 2021, the ship was called Siem Diamond.

Les Abeilles was founded in 1864, in Le Havre, France. Originally, it was a towing company, and the first tug – L’Abeille 1 – was launched in 1865. The name of the company is thought to have been inspired by the French word for bees, ‘abeille,’ and an accompanying analogy between the ballet of bees in front of their hive, much like tug boats in a port.

Today, Les Abeille International is a world-renowned shipping company originating in France. They specialise in the construction of emergency vessels. Their ships operate in sectors such as towing, salvage missions, and even rescue operations.

From the off, it was evident that this contract was an opportunity we couldn’t turn down. It was a challenge, but certainly a welcome one. As with all of our corporate projects, extensive research was made to ensure the accuracy of the model.

Due to restrictions created by COVID-19, adjustments around the working schedule had to be made. Communication was hindered at times, however, the model of Abeille Normandie was completed on time and to a fantastic degree of quality.

The two models of the Abeilles Normandie and the Méditerranée were to be of the utmost realism and intricacy. To achieve such high levels in these areas, we liaised closely with our naval architect, together with the client. Additional research was also devoted to the project, guaranteeing the authenticity of each model was up to scratch.

Talking frequently with the client ensured that both models were made completely to fit their exact requirements. This relates to specifications such as colour schemes, structures and general measurements.

As with all of our custom and corporate projects, the first step of building the models was researching them. Liaising with the client provided some essential information regarding dimensions and the character of both ships.

After the initial research has been conducted, our 3D-modeller creates a digital render of both models, complete with colour, decals, logos and other features such as funnels and antennas. Next, little details such as more detailed colour schemes are discussed to further reinforce the realistic aesthetic of each model. Added detailing really helps a model blossom, and creates a fantastic visual piece.

The digital render is then presented to the client for review. Altercations can be made to fit their requirements, and once they’re pleased with the result, construction can begin. The render is then converted into a file which is compatible with the 3D-printer, using specific software. Before this step, the render is split into ‘chunks.’. These digital pieces are parts of the physical model which will eventually be printed.

Following on from printing, the pieces are dried, painted, and glued together. The model is usually constructed simultaneously, meaning whilst one piece is being printed, another will be getting painted and whatnot. This highly increases the efficiency of the project, and subsequently reduces the overall time.

With the model ships being complete, the final stage can commence. Display cases and stands need to be installed to protect them, and this is done by our 3D-modeller as well.

When all of these stages have been completed, the models are complete. They’re now ready to be transported to the client.

At the end of this project, we were left with two sublime Abeilles models. The intricacy of each ship is something we’re immensely proud of, and the client was left very pleased as well.

Restrictions from COVID, as always, proved to be a slight challenge. Communication wasn’t as efficient as it could have been, but our digital resources allowed us to overcome these obstacles with little issue.

Our 3D-modeller conducted some fantastic work, as well, completing the renders and subsequent construction on time and to a brilliant level of quality.

Furthermore, Abeilles recently hosted an event to celebrate the launch of their newly-acquired ship. Our French agent was in attendance to represent PSM, and the excellent work carried out to create this model rendition.

Everyone at Premier Ship Models is highly pleased with the end result of this project. Creating models dedicated to Abeilles was a privilege, and the models serve as a fantastic testament to the world-renowned shipping company.

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