HMS Sirius model has pride of place at maritime museum

Model donated: Sydney's David Stanton and model shipwright and Port Macquarie resident Kevin Hudson with the model of the HMS Sirius that now sits proudly at the Port Macquarie Maritime Museum.
Model donated: Sydney's David Stanton and model shipwright and Port Macquarie resident Kevin Hudson with the model of the HMS Sirius that now sits proudly at the Port Macquarie Maritime Museum.

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A Sydney-based kit model enthusiast has donated a completed scale model of the HMS Sirius to the Port Macquarie Maritime Museum.

David Stanton started the 1:48 scale model of the flag ship of the First Fleet about three years ago.

Mr Stanton painstakingly assembled the kit to hull stage.

“It took some perseverance and a little bit of interpretation of the plans,” he admitted.

“But when I see it now (the finished product) it is the best model I have every done. And I’ve done a fair few plastic, small scale models before completing about eight bigger models.

“Initially I was attracted to modelling because I would look at what other people would make and I’d think: ‘I could have a go at that’.

“So I did. I started off with some small things and then built up over the years.

“I love the history of the ship and also the challenge of the model itself. It is really quite relaxing to work on a model; everything else seems to just go away.”

Mr Stanton said the HMS Sirius model eventually found its way to the maritime museum after a chance meeting with member and model shipwright Kevin Hudson.

The fitting out of the model including removing all brass parts and individually hand-making all the rigging ropes on a rope walk (a rope making machine).

I love the history of the ship and also the challenge of the model itself. It is really quite relaxing to work on a model; everything else seems to just go away.

David Stanton

Mr Hudson said he spent between six and seven hours a day, seven days a week on the project.

“It was a bit of a passion,” he said.

“Modelling is such a fascinating project. You are machining, working a lathe, carving different parts and making the rigging and painting flags.

“You are using all different techniques on the one project. You certainly don’t get bored because it is such a complex process.

“I can sit there and take hours and hours just to make one part. That is the thrill for me.”

Mr Hudson said he ‘needed to keep my brain going when I retired’.

“I needed something complex to do,” he said.

HMS Sirius was the flag ship of the First Fleet and sailed under the command of Captain John Hunter. HMS Sirius carried Captain Arthur Phillip who was appointed the first governor of the new colony. 

The Sirius, along with 10 vessels that comprised the First Fleet, left Portsmouth on May 13, 1787 and arrived in Botany Bay on January 20, 1788.

With the HMS Sirius enjoying pride of place at the maritime museum, volunteers are also looking for a donor to fund a perspex cover for the model.