W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up

W1 c.1942





W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up

The restoration of the Hubert Scott-Paine designed ex RNZAF, WWII, craft W1 has been well documented on WW, as has been the building of a junior version by master model maker John Bullivant, enter W1 in the WW search box to read > view their stories.

Earlier this year Ken Ricketts played match-maker & intro’ed Francis Uren, the owner  of W1 & John B. The venue was Bayswater Marina where Francis keeps W1. Details & photos ex Ken.

The story started 49 years ago, when John B, had by chance an opportunity to have a look aboard W1. John & a mate, were out & about on the Tamaki River, exploring & they came across W1 & the boys decided to have a good look inside her. John B was fascinated with what he saw & W1 made such a lasting impression that 44 years later, when he started to build a model of W1, he could recall every detail. The build took 5 years, but as can see in the photos, the attention to detail & build quality is amazing.

When Francis Uren, saw W1 Junior for the first time he was blown away,  the intricate detail in build, propulsion & equipment, which is even complete, with the sound of 2 diesel engines being started, when John fired her up, & with water flowing out the exhaust pipes each side, when the engines, (2 special marine tiny electric motors, see photo below), are running.

The meet up resulted in two very happy woodys, who both had huge mutual respect for the each others work.


W1 Junior




If you are a regular follower of the ww stories you will know that there are a several ‘woody nutters’ out there that have a thing for the ex WWII RNZAF coastal cruiser – W1.
John Bullivant is one of them. John has been building a model of W1 & its very close to completion. The photos above show some of the build process.
John reports that he has purchased some cowl vents from the UK, (made them all rotatable)  fitted new water cooled motors, made rudders, masts, windows, rubbing strips and fitted LED lighting (courtesy of cheap solar garden lights). He has also made a decal pattern for the bow insignia to print out (see bow photo above). John has even bought a miniature water pump so he can have water running from the water outlets when the boat is stopped. This will sit where the centre engine usually sits. He is currently looking for an engine sound module. Thanks to Ken Ricketts for fowarding John’s email to ww.
Details on the ‘real deal’ here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/09/11/the-story-of-w1-one-of-fastest-boats-ever-on-the-waitemata/


The Classic Yacht Association is holding one of its launch cruises to the Riverhead Hotel on Sunday – we are expecting approx. 20 classics to make the trip. so it should be a cracker of a day. If the sun shines, there will be lots of photos on Monday 🙂

Update below & photos from John Bullivant on his progress  (emailed in by Ken Ricketts)
“I have also re-done the lighting using LEDs from Xmas string lights which are smaller and can be made to fit better. Getting there slowly but it’s almost like building a full sized boat as you can spend hours making the smallest things. The lighting alone took about 3 days, as it’s hard to hide any sort of bulb in a small model and get it shining in a reasonably scale manner, eg trying to get the nav lights shining in the correct arc takes a lot of fiddling and painting but they look the part when they are on so that’s good enough for me. I’m not being too fanatical about the detail as long as it looks ok on the water.
I have a theory about the location of the real W1 in the photo of her with the survivors on board and where she was headed which I am working on with the help of Google Earth and some info I read on the rescue effort. This was regarding the position the survivors were picked up from. I am trying to find the info again but it was in an obscure site (to do with recovering the gold I think) which gave the co-ordinates of the ship and the lifeboats positions before rescue and the crews communications. Just a bit of a fun challenge to see if I can pinpoint the exact spot.”