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REVELL " CALYPSO"

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  • Member since
    June, 2006
REVELL " CALYPSO"
Posted by ModelShark on Monday, June 19, 2006 9:11 PM

Greetings all!

           Just registered & this is officially my first post here on FSM.  A number of years ago I was at a local flea market & picked up the old REVELL kit of Jacque Cousteau's CALYPSO. I had this kit when I was little & over the course of the years, it seemed to dissapear piece by piece until all I had left were a zodiac boat & one shark!   Thinking I would never again see this kit in my life, you can imagine my gleeful shock when I saw one on a vendor's table!! 

           The box had seen better days but the kit was in PERFECT shape & missing NO pieces!!  I asked the guy selling it "how much?"  Can you believe it.....he said $10!!!   I couldnt get my wallet out fast enough!!

         Ok , heres my conundrum. I have a book about the calypso that was published many years ago but it suprisingly has little picture reference in it on the ship itself. I've  recently found on AMAZON.com that you can get all the Jacque Cousteau series on DVD. I want to build the ship as it was when it had the heli-pad on the STERN not the bow. Does anyone know what series I should get that will depict this classic ship in that outfitting?  I ask only so that I dont have to spend an arm & a leg just to get the ref.  that I need! So, if anyone can help, it would be hugely appreciated!  

          Thanks in advance! 

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 1:12 AM

Hello,

I built this kit as a youngster as well, and I loved it. I won it as part of an essay writing contest. Cousteau was my hero, and in those days, I dreamed of becoming a marine biologist and oceanographer like him.

The Revell Kit is a very good representation of the ship. From what I recall, the model builds up with the helipad just aft of the superstructure, toward the stern.

There does appear to be a dearth of photographs of the Calypso. Billings Boats makes a larger Calypso model kit, a composite model with both wood and plastic parts. Here is a link to a partial build of the kit: http://www.ahrensdesign.net/calypso/ There are some good pictures and information there, but unfortunately the builder did not complete the model.

The story of the ship appears headed for a sad ending. Here is a link to an article regarding the current status of the ship: http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=59&story_id=27047&name=The+sad+end+of+Cousteau

And another link to a photograph of the ship taken recently: http://letitblog2.0.free.fr/Calypso-de-Cousteau.jpg

 

I'd like to get my hands on another Revell kit if I could. I'll be watching the evil bay for opportunities. Congrats on your acquisition, and happy building!

 

Jose Gonzales

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Suburban Philadelphia
Posted by MikeMKIIC on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 11:32 AM

I loved that kit, I had it when I was a kid.

What was the Calyspo originally built as? Was it a sub-hunter, minesweeper or was it built as a research vessel for Cousteau?

I recently saw the film "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and was looking for a Calyspo kit that was in bad shape to create the "Belafonte" from the film.

I would google the Calyspo for the info on the heli-pad. I'm sure there are some pictures out there in all it's configurations. Check your local libary as well. You might be able to borrow the Cousteau videos for free.

  • Member since
    March, 2006
Posted by jwintjes on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 12:25 PM
 MikeMKIIC wrote:

What was the Calyspo originally built as? Was it a sub-hunter, minesweeper or was it built as a research vessel for Cousteau?



Actually a sub-type of a standard YMS minesweeper. Somehow this kit gets regularly overlooked by warship buffs, although it offers a ton of conversion possibilities, from a stock USN YMS in Pacific war fit to a RN late war fit to a USN Korean war ship to various nationalities and finally John Wayne's yacht. It makes a nice companion piece to the German 1/125 subs by Revell (if WW2) or the 1/131 Tacoma by Revell. The most obvious companion is the old Monogram/Revell minesweeper kit, which would make a very interesting pair; unfortunately that kit is very rare, at least where I live.

I agree it's definitely a great kit; it's a pity it comes up only every now and then.

Jorit
  • Member since
    February, 2006
Posted by Grymm on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 12:50 PM

Boy, that kit brings back memories.  I must have built that some 25 years ago.

It is a wonderful kit.  Good find...

  • Member since
    January, 2006
Posted by EPinniger on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 1:04 PM
 jwintjes wrote:


Actually a sub-type of a standard YMS minesweeper. Somehow this kit gets regularly overlooked by warship buffs, although it offers a ton of conversion possibilities...


Not this one - but I'm still trying to find one at an affordable price (never seen one anywhere
but eBay, and they've all gone over my price limit, even one which was part-built with the deck missing) Angry [:(!]

This is one of those kits which appears to owe its high price to demand not from collectors (as is usually the case with rare kits) but from builders. Calypsos in mid-1990s Revell AG boxes go just as high as 1970s ones.
Needless to say I definitely wish Revell would re-issue it! You'd think that the "Life Aquatic" movie might have prompted them to do this as a cash-in, even if they couldn't use the "Belafonte" name due to licencing costs!

The 1/350 SMS Emden/Dresden is another rare Revell ship kit. This one was moulded in the early 1990s, so it's incomprehensible why it hasn't been re-issued, considering that it's a Revell AG kit and the Emden is one of the more famous German warships.
I actually have this kit in my "stash"; I bought it for £3 at a kit sale this January, and didn't realise how rare it was until I saw one on eBay for about £35. As I'm a great fan of pre-dreadnought era ships, I doubt I'm going to re-sell the kit however!

Anyway, good luck on your $10 Calypso find, will look forward to seeing pictures of the completed build.
  • Member since
    March, 2006
Posted by jwintjes on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 1:39 PM
 EPinniger wrote:
 jwintjes wrote:


Actually a sub-type of a standard YMS minesweeper. Somehow this kit gets regularly overlooked by warship buffs, although it offers a ton of conversion possibilities...


Not this one


Actually yes.

The Calypso was commissioned in 1942 as J-826 and then passed on to the RN for use in the Mediterranean. After the war she was converted into a ferry before being bought up by one of the Guiness family (of beer fame) who then put it at Cousteau's disposal.

Jorit
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: Seattle, Colorado
Posted by onyxman on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 2:03 PM

This it?

 

I built this at least 15 years ago. I took it out of it's case for the photo. When it's in the case the two sharks hang from the top by invisible thread and are circling the diver's feet on the stern.

Fred

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by archelon on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 2:43 PM
Beautiful build, onyxman. It was a great kit, but I don't remember mine looking anywhere near as nice as that one.
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: Seattle, Colorado
Posted by onyxman on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 3:11 PM

Thanks archelon,

Other than a couple of stretched sprue antennas, I think it's pretty much out of the box.  Seems odd they don't re-issue it.

  • Member since
    January, 2006
Posted by EPinniger on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 3:40 PM
 jwintjes wrote:

Actually yes.
The Calypso was commissioned in 1942 as J-826 and then passed on to the RN for use in the Mediterranean. After the war she was converted into a ferry before being bought up by one of the Guiness family (of beer fame) who then put it at Cousteau's disposal.


By "not this one" I meant that I'm a warship enthusiast who -hasn't- overlooked the Calypso kit's
conversion potential (but also hasn't managed to find a kit yet!). Apologies for the misunderstanding!
  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: Nashville, TN
Posted by Cudamav on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 4:20 PM
 jgonzales wrote:

There does appear to be a dearth of photographs of the Calypso. Billings Boats makes a larger Calypso model kit, a composite model with both wood and plastic parts. Here is a link to a partial build of the kit: http://www.ahrensdesign.net/calypso/ There are some good pictures and information there, but unfortunately the builder did not complete the model.

The story of the ship appears headed for a sad ending. Here is a link to an article regarding the current status of the ship: http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=59&story_id=27047&name=The+sad+end+of+Cousteau

And another link to a photograph of the ship taken recently: http://letitblog2.0.free.fr/Calypso-de-Cousteau.jpg

It is sad to see this ship rotting away like that although it might be a fitting tribute to have the Calypso made into an artificial reef in the name of Cousteau.  I would much rather see it conserved as a museum, but an artificial reef seems to fit to me.

~Jason "Not all who wander are lost"
  • Member since
    June, 2004
  • From: Camas, WA
Posted by jamnett on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 4:58 PM

I was looking at the ship kit list at Skyway Model and the Revell Calypso was there.  It was listed for about $30 as I recall, but I'm not sure how up to date the info is.  It might be worth a shot.  They're at www.skywaymodel.com.  Most of their business is walk-in but I think they take orders via e-mail. 

Gasoline Alley Antiques has it listed on their inventory.  Their notes say "scarce, high demand kit" and the price reflects that.  $110 - ouch!  They have a web site. 

To think I could have bought this kit for a song from megahobby six months ago.  They no longer show it in their sailing ship catalog on-line. 

Ron Harris 

  • Member since
    March, 2006
Posted by jwintjes on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 5:08 PM
 EPinniger wrote:
 jwintjes wrote:

Actually yes.
The Calypso was commissioned in 1942 as J-826 and then passed on to the RN for use in the Mediterranean. After the war she was converted into a ferry before being bought up by one of the Guiness family (of beer fame) who then put it at Cousteau's disposal.


By "not this one" I meant that I'm a warship enthusiast who -hasn't- overlooked the Calypso kit's
conversion potential (but also hasn't managed to find a kit yet!). Apologies for the misunderstanding!


No problem at all - I guess it's me who has to apologize for the misunderstanding.

Jorit
  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: arizona
Posted by cthulhu77 on Thursday, June 22, 2006 8:10 AM

  I've been looking for a reasonably priced kit for quite a while...ten bucks? Boy, did you luck out !  Good ol Wikpedia has a great little article on her, there is a ton of info on the net on the Calypso:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calypso_(ship)

 

  Yeah, I wish they would re-release this one also....I'd probably buy a dozen.

               greg

http://www.ewaldbros.com
  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Chehalis, WA
Posted by Fish-Head Aric on Thursday, June 22, 2006 6:02 PM
 onyxman wrote:

This it?

 

I built this at least 15 years ago. I took it out of it's case for the photo. When it's in the case the two sharks hang from the top by invisible thread and are circling the diver's feet on the stern.

Fred

Fred, that's a fine looking boat fershure, regardless of historic value and all!  Well done, and yes, if I were to make a boatbuild list, after seeing that I would have to put this one near the top of the line!

~hurrying off to find me a boat~

~Aric Fisher aric_001@hotmail.com

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