National Museum of Singapore
Client Name: The National Museum of Singapore
In Partnership With: AE Models Team Pte Ltd
Ship Model Name: HMS Falmouth
Number of Models: 1
Size of Model: L: 150 cm x H: 120 cm
The National Museum of Singapore is the nation’s oldest museum, first opened in 1887. The museum offers ongoing exhibitions exploring the diverse history of Singapore. The museum is considered to be a cultural landmark in Singapore and is visited by 1000’s of visitors from across the world each year.
To highlight Singapore’s establishment as an international centre for exporting and importing, the museum launched a brand new exhibition called ‘An Old New World’ in September 2019. The exhibition explored the 200 years leading up to Singapore becoming an entrepôt in 1819.
As part of one of the displays in this exhibition, the client needed a 1.5 metre ship model of a Dutch East Indiaman trading ship. Initially the client wasn’t sure which ship it would be but after having seen another exhibition in a museum featuring the HMS Falmouth, they settled on this ship in particular. The client did not have any plans for the vessel, which meant we would need to source them in order to build the model. The client also stated that the model should have an open hull so that they can show the inner workings of the ship.
We were awarded the project in April 2019 and the museum’s exhibition was set to launch in September 2019, giving us a period of less than 5 months to build the model and have it in Singapore ready for installation.
Process of Work
The project manager initially decided to contact our Maritime Historian Consultant in order to conduct research and produce a report on the Falmouth. Coincidentally, our Consultant was the curator for the original museum that produced the Falmouth (which the client later saw).
This made the research process a little easier as we were able to rapidly obtain plans and produce a research report on the Falmouth, which the client later approved so that we could begin building the model.
Once we had the client’s approval we began production of the model using a traditional skeleton and plank on frame technique. In order to make the cross sections we had to build it in a certain way as some sections were open and others were closed. Therefore we had to plank the entire hull before cutting in to the planking to create the cross sections and add the details inside. This along with the short deadline were the most challenging parts of this project.
The model ship was finished in time to be delivered and installed in the museum before the launch of their exhibition. The pictures on the right demonstrate the size and complexity of the model and the detail achieved in the cross sections.