Liberty ships and more by Spyros Stroboulas
Liberty ships and more by Spyros Stroboulas
Submitted by George A. Georgopoulos aka  G.A.G. on the forum
I met Spyros Stroboulas at a modeling exhibition in the city of Karditsa, Greece. The exhibition itself featured 901 models.

Spyros is well known and respected in the Greek modelling community and was invited to the Karditsa exhibition to showcase his ships on the side of the competition and to give a seminar on underwater weathering, which I was fortunate to attend.
Spyros is a naval architect, has worked in shipyards throughout his career and has come to love merchant ships. He is used to seeing them in drydock or in harbour; no wonder his rendition of underwater corrosion is excellent. He is now retired and has become an artist/historian/micro-shipwright.

Liberty ships of the Greek Merchant Marine are treated with particular love and care and Spyros is a reference point for the Greek Liberty ships, as will become evident by the stories I've cherry picked below. He seems to know historical details on each of them.

By his permission I am including his email here if anyone wishes to reach out to him: 

He was kind enough to lift the glass display cases of his models (which involved unscrewing the screws holding them in place) to let me photograph them, while he narrated on the models. All in all a warm, wonderful experience and a priviledge.

The Liberties depicted below are based on the Trumpeter model in 1:350. But Spyros scratchbuilds a lot as well and also designs casts and produces them with YM Masterpieces among others.

One of the Greek Liberty ships, named 'AKTI', meaning 'Shore'. 
She is depicted out of the water, a familiar viewing angle for Spyros so he is using it on many of the ships he models. akti--01
She has retained the semicircular balconies on top of the bridge that were used for basing guns; a rather unique feature, for a Liberty ship. Typically these were taken down to save topweight. akti--11jpg
Note the wooden planks on the covers of the hold. The covers were made out of a number of individual wooden pieces that would disperse and float in the event of a sinking providing an abundance of makeshift life rafts. akti--10
The metal bars welded to the hull forward of the propeller and on the rudder were meant to alter the electrical properties in the area and divert the corrosion to the bars themselves, which were periodicly switched with new ones. Modern ships do not have them any more, as they use other anti-corrosive methods.

Note how Spyros tweaks the figures of the crew members to give them a more meaningful posture.

And the inevitable view of various water intakes. More of the metal corrosion-diverting bars can be seen on the side-keel. akti--02
A team inspecting the inside of the hull... akti--06
And a more panoramic view of that inspection with the piece of the hull lying about. akti--03
A worker party taking a break under a tent on the stern. akti--13
The elongated Libery, named ANDROS PILGRIM, Andros being a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.
After a shipwreck where a liberty was broken in half and both pieces floated, a Greek ship owner decided to add some length to the cargo hold and Andros Pilgrim was the result. andros_pilgrim--09
The added section is between the forward crane and the dummy crane base. The new section is serviced by the original forward crane booms. The original section from the dummy crane base to the crane base in front of the bridge is serviced by booms added to the later base. andros_pilgrim--07
Spyros enjoys telling stories. Here the tug has released the rope while there are two crew members on the forecastle of Andors Pilgrim, one working the break of the winch while the other is tending to the proper coiling of the rope. andros_pilgrim--01
The first Libery given to Greece after WWII, named 'HELLAS', which means Greece.
The ship is being nudged into the dockside by a tug. Crew members are working the stern ropes, though I neglected to get a close-up of them. hellas--01
And some more shots of her. Note the corrosion-attracting bars forward and aft of the propeller. hellas--04
A bulk freighter loading.
The scene is based on an actual location on the island of Milos in the Aegean, where the abandoned mine and remnants of the loading dock can still be seen. The rails led up the mountain slope to the mine.

The spillage of the cargo (emery) outside of the hold and on the dock is a bit excessive, due to the bumpy ride of the diorama to the exhibition.

A tanker.
A small tanker, Spyros designed and casted with YM Masterpieces.

Note the valves on the piping Spyros added. He showed us how to do these in the seminar.


Updated 7/25/2015