Flanders Harmony 
by Roel Van de Velde 

1/700 Flanders Harmony (scratchbuild)

This is a fully scratch built model of the Flanders Harmony. She is quite a special ship since she was the last to leave the Belgian Boelwerf (last Belgian wharf remaining until beginning of the '90s). She was even kept hostage for a while by the yard workers when the yard went bancrupt. Shortly after leaving the yard, the ship underwent several changes, her bulbous bow shape was changed, the vent masts to relieve pressure from the tanks in emergency were moved to a different position etc. One of the last additions to the ship were the big brackets on top of and next to the deckhouse, these brackets were placed to receive her fenders, when not in use.
Another special thing about this ship is that she is the largest (volume) LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) carrier in the world, this feat is only accomplished with a small margin caused by her 2 rather large deck tanks compared to other ships of this type and size.
The true designation for this type of ship is a VLGC (Very Large Gas Carrier).
In full size she measures about 228m in length and has a beam of 36m.
The model was built from styrene sheet, tubing and some brass and steel wire of different diameters. Basic construction was made using a frameplan of the real ship. I then decided at which draft and trim I wanted to build her. I cut out all frames at their correct height and built up a skelleton along the centreline frame. After applying the parallel body sides and main deck, I filled up the space between the frames with Milliput and sanded until the styrene frames came through.
The original plan of doing some weathering as well as making my own 1/700 railing from curtain cloth went wrong and so it was decided to consider her finished without those features.
This model is the first where I spend so much attention to the base. It's placed on a wooden base with some semi-circular wooden lining. I also made a plexi-glass case.
Harmony was the next step in the evolution of my Exmar gas carrier fleet. I started with the LNG Excel as my first scratchbuilt model ever. Gradually I went on to build the Donau, much more complicated and with slight list during a turn. On Harmony I went step further and depicted her in very light ballast condition, at anchor, just before receiving cargo from another ship. You can see the fenders (big rubber balloons) on her starboard side in order to moor the other ship.
The color scheme is the typical Exmar color scheme with light red/orange upper hull, white superstructure and very light grey decks. The big windows painted on the side are the places that are reinforced for tug pushing. These windows appear to be typical for ships from the same yard since they can also be found on the Methania LNG carrier as well as Ortelius container ship. Other special features like the black transverse lines and the green walkways around the ship differ from time to time depending on availability of paint and creativity onboard.
The model was built as a surprise for an engineer who actually helped design this very ship. He has been a great help and support in various projects as well as general shipbuilding knowledge and I couldn't think of a better person to give it to.

Roel Van de Velde

Gallery updated 2013

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