Feller crafts ship model for Heartland Museum

Feller with his completed “Wapen of Hamburg” model. The display case was built just for the ship by Terry Evans. Photo by Kacey Ginn

Dale Feller, Belmond, has been making models out of wood for the last 20 years. Over that time, he’s made about 200 pieces, including tractors, cars, steam engines and ships, as well as cradles and rocking chairs for friends and family.

He’s also been generous with his work, giving away models to charities, only occasionally selling them if asked to make a specific piece. This year, however, he’s donated his largest piece yet: a model of the 1669 “Wapen von Hamburg,” a German convoy ship reproduced at about 3.5 feet long. The ship will be on display in the community room at Clarion’s Heartland Museum.

According to Feller, ships are more difficult to make than other models because of their high level of detail. The horizontal planks that run along a ship’s hull, or main body, must be painstakingly glued to each other and to the ship’s ribs, and are steamed for flexibility and to promote the glue sticking.

“It takes an awful lot to make a hull,” Feller said.


For the full story, see the October 5 edition of the Monitor.