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Ship model, Norwegian gunboat AXEL THORSEN, schooner

 

Ship model AXEL THORSEN, a Norwegian gunboat of 1810


Scale 1 : 39, length 75 cm, width 16 cm, height 52 cm
More photos: of entire ship, closer views of details. Click on the photos for high resolution pictures!

 
The gunboat and the historical background

 

The shipbuilding programm that finally led to the AXEL THORSEN was the implication of Danmark in the Napoleonic wars. In the first battle of Copenhagen in 1801 the Danes lost many ships to the English. To prevent the rebuilt Danish Fleet from joining Napoleon, in 1807 a British Fleet with 17000 soldiers sailed to Copenhagen. They issued an ultimatum to hand over the Danish Navy to the Royal Navy for the duration of the war. The ultimatum was rejected. The British encircled Copenhagen and bombarded it, until the Danes surrendered on 7 September 1807. All warships were taken or destroyed.
 
In the aftermath there were only a few large warships left in the Danish Navy. Because of this weak position and the long, defenseless coastlines of Norway, the kingdom's shipyards started to produce a flotilla of small gunboats.
Many of the Norwegian coastal defence vessels were schooner-rigged gunboats. They carried one or two heavier guns. To keep and adjust the position when firing the ships were equipped with a few oars.
 
One of the ships, the AXEL THORSEN, was launched at Trondheim on 28 April 1810. The schooner belonged to the coastal defence flotilla of that area until 1815. After that she was used as a fishery protection vessel in the Finmark. In 1839 she was sold and served as a commercial carrier. In 1864 she was used in the Swedish Spitzbergen expedition of Baron Nils Adolf Nordenskjöld. After serving eight more years she was lost in the Arctic Ocean in 1872.
More details on history and plans of the ship you find in the book of Karl Heinz Marquardt, The Global Schooner (see my literature and links list).
 
The gunboat model, photos, description and dimensions


The ship model was built according to the plans of Marquardt. Please take your time to have a good look at the set of photos. There are several views of the entire ship model taken from all directions, and several closer views of hull, deck, and rigging. If you click on a photo you will get that photo in high resolution. Only these high resolution photographs show how much work and handicraft ability were put in the model. (If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator or Firefox, press F11 to minimize navigation bars and have a larger screen with the photos.)
 
This model of the gunboat AXEL THORSEN is a true masterpiece, beautiful and delicately built. It was built by Mr. Viktor Ovcharov, Sevastopol, Ukraine. He got a silver model at the Russian ship model championship 2005 with it.
The ship model is 1 : 39 scale. Length is 75 cm, width 16 cm, height 52 cm. The flag is the Norwegian flag of 1818 - 1844 (see Flag of Norway). The sails are set as close to the wind on port tack.
 
This model has been already sold. The pictures and the data are shown in the gallery of the ship models sold only to let enthusiasts and model makers enjoy the photos and maybe get ideas or some guidance, if someone builds such a model by himself.