Best Project Design Contest 2009: Best in Contest


Best Project Design Contest 2009: Best in Contest

We’re pleased to present the 2009 top winners. More than 1,600 votes were cast online to determine the People’s Choice winners.

WoodChuck Model Tug Boat by Charles Bowman earned a People's Choice for Best in Contest

WoodChuck Model Tug Boat by Charles Bowman earned a People’s Choice for Best in Contest

People’s Choice: WoodChuck Model Tug Boat

by Charles Bowman

This model tug boat was a labor of love for Charles Bowman of Ocala, Fla. Online voters awarded the detailed model top prize in the contest as well as winner in the general scrolling category.

“This was a two-year project,” Charles said. “It’s scratch-built and made from hardwoods. The boat weighs 50 pounds and includes onboard electronics.”

Charles learned to make model boats while stationed at a U.S. Air Force base in Italy. Charles learned the various techniques from Frenchy, a retired American living in Naples, Italy.

“This model tug is my own creation. It represents everything Frenchy taught me about scale model building,” Charles said.

The 44″-long boat has radio-controlled DC motors for propulsion and cannons on the upper deck squirt water when the boat is underway.

Charles cut each sweet gum plank on the hull to the proper curvature. The rub rail alongside the hull and nose blocks are bubinga and the top rail is cut from walnut. Each cabin wall was cut from sweet gum. The portholes, ladders, doors, and cabin trim were cut from walnut.

Editor’s Choice: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by Mike Seale earned Editor's Choice.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by Mike Seale earned Editor’s Choice.

by Mike Seale

Mike Seale created this project as a gift for his son who is graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“My son, Evan, wanted me to make him something from the sixties to celebrate his May 2010 graduation. I designed this piece while listening to the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” Mike explained.

“I sketched out the basic design based on the first verse of the song: ‘Picture yourself on a boat on a river.’ The giant flowers were inspired by the second verse: ‘Cellophane flowers of yellow and green, towering above your head.’ The pattern just appeared in my mind’s eye as I listened to the song and read the lyrics.

The Sugarland, Tex., native used basswood for Lucy’s face and hair, and for the man in the boat, which he carved and painted with acrylic paint. Mike used 1/4″-thick Baltic birch plywood for the background and flowers and rhinestones for the diamonds in the sky. Framed, the piece measures 43″ by 36″.

“Each piece was fashioned with love and pride for Evan’s achievement,” Mike added. “I spent more than 150 hours on the project.”

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