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Trumpeter’s Jeremiah O’Brien in 1:350. A Liberty Ship.

January 18, 2015 in Ships

Liberty ships were mass produced during WW2 to meet the losses caused by the german U-boats. Jeremian O’Brien is one of the two Liberty ships in the world that is still preserved, lying moored in San Francisco as a museum ship. She is kept in working order by volunteers and in 1994 she made the voyage to Normandy, France to take part in the 50th anniversary of the D-Day. Of all the ships that took part in the manifestation, she was the only one that had been present 50 years earlier.

I’ve heard that the engine room scenes in the film “Titanic” were shot aboard her, but this is not mentioned on the ships homepage.

I finished Trumpeters Jeremian O’Brien end of March 2005. Having spent some eight months getting Hellers Gneisenau ( to look decent, the plan was to build her quickly out of the box. Apart from replacing the massive thwarts of the ships boats with 0.25mm strip and adding PE railings, I stuck to the plan.

At this time I had got hold of Veronico & Veronico’s book “Battlestations”, which contains a wealth of colour photos of US ships from WW2. It is conspicuous how bleached they were, and that their paintworks from time to time had been repaired with the original paint, resulting in a patchwork of differently aged painted surfaces, almost like layers of sediments.
I tried to replicate that on she ship, and I’m pretty happy with the result, but in hindsight I think I could have gone much further with the weathering.

I entered her and the Gneisenau in the IPMS-OPEN in Stockholm in 2005. Unexpectedly she won with one point over the Gneisenau. My beloved Gneisenau, that I had worked on so hard, beaten by a model that I had built quickly, basically out of the box!
That extra point was gained in the judging criterion “Overall realism”. I talked to Anders Svennevik, one of the judges, about it but he stood his ground.

It took me about a year to realise that he was right. If you put the two models beside each another, the Jeremiah gives a slightly more realistic impression.
This occurrence made me realise, that we are often poor judges of our own models.
When we look at them, we also “see” all the effort, and dedication, or lack thereof, that we have invested in them.
An outside observer, may see something very different from what we see.

Bear that in mind, when you are disappointed in how your models were judged at a competition.

12 additional images. Click to enlarge

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16 responses to Trumpeter’s Jeremiah O’Brien in 1:350. A Liberty Ship.

  1. An interesting reflection on your experiences with contests and how one perceives their work. You’ve done, in my opinion, another masterful build of this example. You are indeed, one of the best ship modelers I’ve seen.

  2. These ships were a true testament to the industrial might of the US. Built in 13 states by 15 companies in 18 shipyards meant that vast numbers could be constructed. To think that at peak production the US were poducing one every four days!!! Awesome build Ulf. Masterclass work!!!

  3. Fabulous build Ulf, must admit I do love marine subjects (being a marine engeneer by trade). Just working on a 350th Graf Spee premium plus the MK 1set to compliment.

  4. All of your ship models are prizewinners to my eyes, Ulf, and, obviously, this one is no exception.

  5. Another treat for the eyes Ulf. Seems like I remember reading somewhere that the hull of the early design of this ship had a tendency to break in half.

    • These ships were not built to last. Some of them actually did break down after only a few voyages. On the other hand, some of them served private owners into the seventies if I remember correctly.

  6. The other is the John Brown, which is moored here in Baltimore. It is also staffed by volunteers. The veterans are teaching the new guys to operate her, and maintain her. I know a couple of the volunteers, good people.
    The USCG cutter Spencer (veteran of Pearl Harbor) is also here, as is the Torsk, a fleet class sub, and the Constellation, which did anti-slavery patrols before the Civil War.

    • Maybe in a few years I’ll make another trip to the USA, just to visit museum ships. There are really an amazing number of interesting ships being preserved. I don’t know any other country, that has so many museum ships. Even Battleships are being preserved, and quite a few of them too! I’ve been aboard the museum ships in Boston, Battleship Cove Mass, New York and Philadelphia, but there are still quite a few I would like to see.
      Hats off and a deep bow to those volunteers who maintain these ships.

  7. Nice clean build. As for it winning over your other entry, I challenge anyone to fathom the workings of judges’ minds!

  8. Nice build, Ulf. One of the best Liberty ships i have seen, Congratulations.
    Poor judge, Ulf. Your Gneisenau and the effort to get this kit to this end result
    is very impressive.

  9. Great work there Ulf, as normal mate.
    Judges, who would be one?
    I wouldn`t.
    Well done and thanks for posting.

  10. Excellent job on this model. As for model contests, they are as fair and predictable as rolling dice at a Las Vegas game table. Most judges have no clue how much work you put into a ship model, especially if it’s scratchbuilt. Remember to build to your own high standards, forget about what others think. Your fine models speak for themselves!

  11. Wonderful build Ulf. I have this kit on hand and will be building her as the ship my grandfather served on in WW2, the Bernardo O’Higgins. Nice clean build.

  12. Absaloutley stunning as usual Ulf!

  13. Ulf,
    This is masterfully done. You made it look just as it is dockside just up the road from where I am.
    Congratulations on your win and on this outstanding build.

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