When Matthew Burchette first saw Thoroughbred Figures ships, he saw them as ideal subjects from which to build superdetailed models. His modifications from the original castings vary depending on the degree of detail he wants and the nature of the model as-is.

Most of his modifications involve drilling out the gunports and adding his own guns and port covers. He will also add details such as boats davits and boats, masts, rigging, stanchions, and awnings, In the case of the New Ironsides (TS35), Matthew reconstructed the full service rig based on one of the few known photographs of the ship. His model of the USS Manhattan (Canonicus class TS07) features a lower hull constructed from balsa.

The water for the bases was made using Super Sculpy modelling clay that was formed to the desired dimensions and surface texture with the ship model pressed into it. The ship was removed and the clay baked to hardness. The base was then painted the desired colors and then given a final coat of supergloss enamel to provide a degree of translucence to the surface. Finally, the model was glued into place in the custom fit impression.

The thumbnails below link to larger images of the models. These represent a sampling of the models Matthew has made to date. The photographs hardly do them justice. Seen in person, the models are stunning.


USS Cairo TS01

CSS Manassas TS05

CSS Stonewall TS43

USS New Ironsides TS35

USS Manhattan TS07
Last update April 16, 2008