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Arts and Crafts Popsicle Model Ship Collection

Updated on April 9, 2018

My father was a man who was good with his hands, and if nowadays I prefer more my computer, cooking, and reading to working on arts and crafts projects, for a long time I was inseparable from my glue gun and scissors, building always something new. I have tried the difficult task of trawling through my memories to find out when exactly I made an acquaintance with this versatile tool, and failed. Perhaps it was building model airplanes (which did not, it must be confessed, fly), with it that started my introduction to such a method of construction, but by whatever fashion I happened upon the idea of giving form to model sailing ships. For years my garage would play host to a veritable shipyard, for myself and as gifts for others.

Before I continue, I must declare that no, I did not procure the popsicle sticks for my project by eating ice cream. Rather, I (well, my mother, I was a child) bought large boxes of popsicle sticks, 1,000, which alongside paper and hot glue sticks, constituted the principal material for my projects. I would love to say that I could have gotten them from eating popsicles, but I am afraid that I would have soon died of sugar overdose, and worse yet, popsicle sticks from popsicles tend to be discolored. I've scattered some amazon links throughout the article to demonstrate the objects which I used.

Most of the ships I've made have stayed with me, and I have them displayed around my house, on ledges. A lot however, I've given away, as mentioned. I think that some of these have been destroyed, such as some I gave to my elementary school's library, but I'm sure that there are some that still remain out there. I haven't really built any more for the better part of a decade, although I thought I had built one for an art project at my university. However, I cannot find it.

Regardless, I hope that you enjoy the ones displayed below.

Collection photos

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The armada together, arranged upon the grass. My cat studiously ignores them. They are not so fortunate though, and cannot resist my attempts to make them explore my project. Another one finds itself trapped.
The armada together, arranged upon the grass.
The armada together, arranged upon the grass.
My cat studiously ignores them.
My cat studiously ignores them.
They are not so fortunate though, and cannot resist my attempts to make them explore my project.
They are not so fortunate though, and cannot resist my attempts to make them explore my project.
Another one finds itself trapped.
Another one finds itself trapped.

It was awfully fun to arrange these together quickly, before the sun went down. Its impressive how many there were really, often it doesn't seem like there is much of something, until one actually comes to the time to arrange them.

Aeneid II

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Aeneid II. At the time when I had built it, taking advantage of the hollow hull and using a non-white flag for it was a major change.
Aeneid II. At the time when I had built it, taking advantage of the hollow hull and using a non-white flag for it was a major change.
Aeneid II. At the time when I had built it, taking advantage of the hollow hull and using a non-white flag for it was a major change.

Alexander the Great

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Not a very fancy one and not one I particularly like, but it comes first alphabetically.... I suppose it raises the question of how Macedonia has acquired a sailing vessel, but then teenage me was very into classical references.
Not a very fancy one and not one I particularly like, but it comes first alphabetically.... I suppose it raises the question of how Macedonia has acquired a sailing vessel, but then teenage me was very into classical references.
Not a very fancy one and not one I particularly like, but it comes first alphabetically.... I suppose it raises the question of how Macedonia has acquired a sailing vessel, but then teenage me was very into classical references.

Argo

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For a period of time the largest vessel I had built, currently Argo  takes its position in a ledge above the kitchen.
For a period of time the largest vessel I had built, currently Argo  takes its position in a ledge above the kitchen.
For a period of time the largest vessel I had built, currently Argo takes its position in a ledge above the kitchen.

Argo II

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The largest vessel I would ever construct, Argo II lies at the edge of what passes as feasible and practical in our house. A project to build one twice as long never quite materialized.
The largest vessel I would ever construct, Argo II lies at the edge of what passes as feasible and practical in our house. A project to build one twice as long never quite materialized.
The largest vessel I would ever construct, Argo II lies at the edge of what passes as feasible and practical in our house. A project to build one twice as long never quite materialized.

Atlantic Wave

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One of the first projects for a lengthened bow if I recall, and while it isn't the fanciest, it is still an elegant ship.
One of the first projects for a lengthened bow if I recall, and while it isn't the fanciest, it is still an elegant ship.
One of the first projects for a lengthened bow if I recall, and while it isn't the fanciest, it is still an elegant ship.

Brilliant Light

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Brilliant Light is one of the sleekest ships I've built, courtesy of the better capability for structural projects that emerged with balsa wood construction.
Brilliant Light is one of the sleekest ships I've built, courtesy of the better capability for structural projects that emerged with balsa wood construction.
Brilliant Light is one of the sleekest ships I've built, courtesy of the better capability for structural projects that emerged with balsa wood construction.

Chinese Galley

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Despite not having a name, this continues to be one of my favorite vessels.
Despite not having a name, this continues to be one of my favorite vessels.
Despite not having a name, this continues to be one of my favorite vessels.

Chinese Junk

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An attempt to try to paint the ships, with assistance from my mother. Some success was had.
An attempt to try to paint the ships, with assistance from my mother. Some success was had.
An attempt to try to paint the ships, with assistance from my mother. Some success was had.

Corsica

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Ironically, despite being a major enthusiast for France, I've only ever built a ship with an ancien regime flag. Perhaps, given the name, I should find a Napoleon figurine to put on it.
Ironically, despite being a major enthusiast for France, I've only ever built a ship with an ancien regime flag. Perhaps, given the name, I should find a Napoleon figurine to put on it.
Ironically, despite being a major enthusiast for France, I've only ever built a ship with an ancien regime flag. Perhaps, given the name, I should find a Napoleon figurine to put on it.

Danish Longboat

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Another effort to build a round-bottomed vessel, this one was more successful, although still not quite as excellent as hoped.
Another effort to build a round-bottomed vessel, this one was more successful, although still not quite as excellent as hoped.
Another effort to build a round-bottomed vessel, this one was more successful, although still not quite as excellent as hoped.

Divine Wind

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One of my favorite, this one is supposed to represent the Japanese ironclad Kōtetsu
One of my favorite, this one is supposed to represent the Japanese ironclad Kōtetsu
One of my favorite, this one is supposed to represent the Japanese ironclad Kōtetsu

Dragon

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I personally really like the galley ships, when they're well constructed, the oars add a nice grace to them.
I personally really like the galley ships, when they're well constructed, the oars add a nice grace to them.
I personally really like the galley ships, when they're well constructed, the oars add a nice grace to them.

Eco-Ship

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Never actually named, this ship derives from my assistance to a school project of my brother's, supposed to represent an eco-ship.
Never actually named, this ship derives from my assistance to a school project of my brother's, supposed to represent an eco-ship.
Never actually named, this ship derives from my assistance to a school project of my brother's, supposed to represent an eco-ship.

Fury of the East

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The Kazakh flag makes a nice accompaniment to the ship's white and tan.
The Kazakh flag makes a nice accompaniment to the ship's white and tan.
The Kazakh flag makes a nice accompaniment to the ship's white and tan.

Galleas

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Galleass vessels were heavily armed galleys with powerful cannons, that were put to good use at the Battle of Lepanto.
Galleass vessels were heavily armed galleys with powerful cannons, that were put to good use at the Battle of Lepanto.
Galleass vessels were heavily armed galleys with powerful cannons, that were put to good use at the Battle of Lepanto.

Glorious Voyage

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Sturdily built and unremarkable, this ship with its Hong Kong flag is viewed by me as one of my more average ones.
Sturdily built and unremarkable, this ship with its Hong Kong flag is viewed by me as one of my more average ones.
Sturdily built and unremarkable, this ship with its Hong Kong flag is viewed by me as one of my more average ones.

Great Republic

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Equipped with the splendid Republic of Ezo flag, I quite like this well decorated and built ship.
Equipped with the splendid Republic of Ezo flag, I quite like this well decorated and built ship.
Equipped with the splendid Republic of Ezo flag, I quite like this well decorated and built ship.

Greek Galley

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I remember my mother remarked that this one is like a centipede. While true, it still is one of my favorite galleys.
I remember my mother remarked that this one is like a centipede. While true, it still is one of my favorite galleys.
I remember my mother remarked that this one is like a centipede. While true, it still is one of my favorite galleys.

Hercules

The Scotland flag is pretty, but I'd probably add more flags, decorations, and extend the cannon ports forward if I did a reconstruction.
The Scotland flag is pretty, but I'd probably add more flags, decorations, and extend the cannon ports forward if I did a reconstruction.

HMS Defiant

Sort of a similar story to the previous Hercules.
Sort of a similar story to the previous Hercules.

Ice Vengeance of the People's Navy

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I'm not sure if the Soviets ever built a sailing warship, much less a sailing warship ship of the line, but here it is. Maybe I should have it fight battles with the NATO ship.
I'm not sure if the Soviets ever built a sailing warship, much less a sailing warship ship of the line, but here it is. Maybe I should have it fight battles with the NATO ship.
I'm not sure if the Soviets ever built a sailing warship, much less a sailing warship ship of the line, but here it is. Maybe I should have it fight battles with the NATO ship.

Korea Triumphant

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Korean turtle ships were probably not actually ironclads historically, but were still beautifully aesthetically unique.
Korean turtle ships were probably not actually ironclads historically, but were still beautifully aesthetically unique.
Korean turtle ships were probably not actually ironclads historically, but were still beautifully aesthetically unique.

Montenegro Frigate

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Montenegro does have a sailing vessel, even if I am doubtful that they ever had a frigate. While I didn't give this ship a name, it is one of my favorites.
Montenegro does have a sailing vessel, even if I am doubtful that they ever had a frigate. While I didn't give this ship a name, it is one of my favorites.
Montenegro does have a sailing vessel, even if I am doubtful that they ever had a frigate. While I didn't give this ship a name, it is one of my favorites.

Polish-Lithuanian Galley

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Probably, along with the Imperial Chinese and Venetian galleys one of my favorites. Doubtless it will fall from its high shelf when an earthquake hits California.
Probably, along with the Imperial Chinese and Venetian galleys one of my favorites. Doubtless it will fall from its high shelf when an earthquake hits California.
Probably, along with the Imperial Chinese and Venetian galleys one of my favorites. Doubtless it will fall from its high shelf when an earthquake hits California.

New Day

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I am fairly sure that the ROC has never had a galley-sailing ship, but at least the combination in this one looks rather handsome.
I am fairly sure that the ROC has never had a galley-sailing ship, but at least the combination in this one looks rather handsome.
I am fairly sure that the ROC has never had a galley-sailing ship, but at least the combination in this one looks rather handsome.

Plocher's Revenge

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I had intended for this to be for a teacher of mine, named Plocher, but he had moved away suddenly. It has wasted away in my garage for years, which is a tragedy, as it is very elegant. If you see this Mr. Plocher, hope everything is going well.
I had intended for this to be for a teacher of mine, named Plocher, but he had moved away suddenly. It has wasted away in my garage for years, which is a tragedy, as it is very elegant. If you see this Mr. Plocher, hope everything is going well.
I had intended for this to be for a teacher of mine, named Plocher, but he had moved away suddenly. It has wasted away in my garage for years, which is a tragedy, as it is very elegant. If you see this Mr. Plocher, hope everything is going well.

Poseidon

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As long as I never put Poseidon in water it'll be ok, I guess that says something about the Greek gods.
As long as I never put Poseidon in water it'll be ok, I guess that says something about the Greek gods.
As long as I never put Poseidon in water it'll be ok, I guess that says something about the Greek gods.

PRC Galley

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I normally use the long drink-stirrer popsicle sticks one can get at Starbucks for long oars, but I tried to put two popsicle sticks together for this one. I think I prefer the former, but it is still a nice vessel.
I normally use the long drink-stirrer popsicle sticks one can get at Starbucks for long oars, but I tried to put two popsicle sticks together for this one. I think I prefer the former, but it is still a nice vessel.
I normally use the long drink-stirrer popsicle sticks one can get at Starbucks for long oars, but I tried to put two popsicle sticks together for this one. I think I prefer the former, but it is still a nice vessel.

Rosalta

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One of my favorite attempts to build a vessel with a rounded bottom hull, which was probably my first in fact.
One of my favorite attempts to build a vessel with a rounded bottom hull, which was probably my first in fact.
One of my favorite attempts to build a vessel with a rounded bottom hull, which was probably my first in fact.

Sovereign of the Seas

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From my recollection this was probably the first ship I had built which I would consider good. Although the sails are a bit quirky, it still has held up well over most of a decade.
From my recollection this was probably the first ship I had built which I would consider good. Although the sails are a bit quirky, it still has held up well over most of a decade.
From my recollection this was probably the first ship I had built which I would consider good. Although the sails are a bit quirky, it still has held up well over most of a decade.

Sri Lanki Galley

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One of my smaller ships, I still like this one. I believe I intended it to represent a torpedo boat, although it has an odd combination of sails, steam, and oars.
One of my smaller ships, I still like this one. I believe I intended it to represent a torpedo boat, although it has an odd combination of sails, steam, and oars.
One of my smaller ships, I still like this one. I believe I intended it to represent a torpedo boat, although it has an odd combination of sails, steam, and oars.

Sword of the Prophet

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A sort of Muslim sailing ship, maybe from the Indian Ocean in its original conception. I like the toothpicks which run around the edges.
A sort of Muslim sailing ship, maybe from the Indian Ocean in its original conception. I like the toothpicks which run around the edges.
A sort of Muslim sailing ship, maybe from the Indian Ocean in its original conception. I like the toothpicks which run around the edges.

Venice Triumphant

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Along with the Chinese and Polish-Lithuanian galleys, one of the best ships I've built, I like the cannons particularly.
Along with the Chinese and Polish-Lithuanian galleys, one of the best ships I've built, I like the cannons particularly.
Along with the Chinese and Polish-Lithuanian galleys, one of the best ships I've built, I like the cannons particularly.

Turret ship

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Perhaps the turret is a bit tall, but I liked it at the time and continue to do so for the idea.
Perhaps the turret is a bit tall, but I liked it at the time and continue to do so for the idea.
Perhaps the turret is a bit tall, but I liked it at the time and continue to do so for the idea.

Victory

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It is ironic that I have a British ship but no modern French one, since I am much more fond of France than England.
It is ironic that I have a British ship but no modern French one, since I am much more fond of France than England.
It is ironic that I have a British ship but no modern French one, since I am much more fond of France than England.
Last but not least, even if I cheated. Not popsicles, but the same spirit in toothpicks, behind a photo of me as a child and my father. He will always be missed.
Last but not least, even if I cheated. Not popsicles, but the same spirit in toothpicks, behind a photo of me as a child and my father. He will always be missed.

Your favorite design?

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© 2017 Ryan Thomas

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