Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, is preparing to dedicate a new Ship Model Gallery on February 5.
The centerpiece will be the original Bassett-Lowke model, a spectacular 1/45th scale version of Queen Mary. Loaned by New York’s South Street Seaport Museum, the model was crafted from a 200-year-old single white mahogany log. It presents hundreds of handcrafted individual deck fittings, from rigging to lifeboat hoists, masts and hull details. The model is over 20 feet long. Of particular note is the tiny figure of Sir Winston Churchill standing guard on the afterdeck.
“It is made exactly to scale from a set of blueprints,” said Everette Hoard, Queen Mary’s historian. “Every arc, every angle, the graceful rake of the bow, the size and pitch of the propellers are all exact.”
“Few human creations remain relevant after eight decades of public life and carry global recognition that is undiminished by time,” said Queen Mary General Manager, John Jenkins in a statement released to the media. “It is our vision to create a world-class museum and learning center aboard the ship and to invite the thousands of visitors who come to the Queen each month to touch history and the future.”
The plan to move the massive scale model has been in the works for more than two years. It is expected to arrive in Long Beach on Sunday.
Models of Normandie, Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary 2, Lusitania and several other liners will also be displayed in the gallery. The collection will also include Tri-ang Minic model souvenir ships that were sold onboard Queen Mary from the 1940s through the 1960s.