Willem Barentsz Expedition Ship – Wooden Model Kit from Kolderstok
Late August 1597: two small boats holding 12 exhausted men reach the Russian settlement of Kildin, which harbours 3 Dutch ships. On the 13th of June these men had left Nova Zembla, where they had had to spend the winter because their ship had been completely destroyed by pack ice.
In 1596 an expedition had been set up under the command of Willem Barentsz to find a passage through to the East via the north. Two earlier expeditions had been promising, and people were convinced that a Northern Passage had to exist. It would be more pleasant than the route past the Cape of Good Hope, and it would lack enemy ships. The expedition had set off in good spirits with three ships.
But now there were problems: biting cold, dangerous pack ice and ‘monstrous’ polar bears. Barentsz had discovered two new pieces of land – Veere Eiland (now Bear Island) and The New Land (now Spitsbergen) – but he was unable to go past Nova Zembla. The ship got completely stuck in pack ice, and out of its wreckage the crew built a settlement in which to spend the winter. Ship’s carpenter Gerrit de Veer wrote down the story of their journey and the winter spent in ‘Het Behouden Huys’ (The Saved House) on Nova Zembla.
Willem Barentsz never came home. Severely weakened, he died during the return journey, and he never found the Northern Passage. But his name lives on: the Barents Sea north of Russia was named after him, and he is considered to be one of the best known 16th-century sailors. The name of his ship, however, remains unknown to this day.
The model is in scale 1:50 and consists of laser-cut frames, walnut planks and various other laser-cut parts. The building instructions (in Dutch, English and German) are based on photos, and the rigging is based on photos and drawings. The model includes two small boats and a sail kit (self-build, stitching required). Canons (carriage plus barrel) sold seperately.
Length: 22.5″ (570mm)
Width: 9.9″ (250mm)
Height: 20.1″ (510mm)