Ship model AXEL THORSEN, a Norwegian
gunboat of 1810
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
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
Flag of Norway). The sails are set as close to the wind on port
This model has been already sold. The pictures and the data are shown in
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.