At the wreck of the Amercia on Fuerteventura, March 2004

Dr. Thomas Richter

Cologne / Germany

Occupation: Economist


My interest for ships started at a very early age. I do not really know what caused the addiction. I used to spend many holidays with my parents on the shores of the Mediterranean and also traveled to Ireland and to Oostende, which probably sparked my interest in ferries. I used to build Lego-ships until I was about 14 by referring to photographs. I do not t recall them all but there were a couple of ferries, a liberty ship and the France (130 cm long - I had to borrow Lego parts from a neighbor). My Titanic won a prize in a Lego building contest - even back in the late 70s everybody knew about this ship. After my "Lego-period" I helped a friend to build a model sailing ship. I saved every cent (well, pfennig it was back then) to get a small RC motoryacht (which I still have today). Then my love of the sea switched to the real thing: With the North Sea being "only" 300 km from Cologne I became addicted to wind surfing. Together with school and later university studies I didnít do any building of ships until I ran accross the 1/350 Titanic at a local hobby store. It must have been somewhere in the early 90s, long before the Titanic hype. I bought the ship and a couple of books and set out to build it as RC. From then on I collected every civilian ship model I could get my hands on (apart from freighters). The Internet, Ďebayí and most of all, the Debris Field helped a lot. I wasnít alone anymore with my interests and found many inspiring ideas, pictures and contributions on the DF. There are a lot of finished and unfinished ships in the cellar now. Modeling is primarily fun for me. On the one hand I donít take it too seriously, yet on the other hand I can spend hours on working on a little detail which nobody except myself ever notices - while other parts of the ship are left with incorrect areas which are clearly visible. There is one catch to this hobby: You simply donít have all the time you need to build all models perfectly. And especially with a family you only want to divert a fraction of the spare time for this hobby. Nevertheless Iím optimistic that I will continue building model ships for quite some time. Currently Iím making the same mistake as always: Iím working on several models at the same time. Apart from never really finishing itís more fun that way. Maybe I like to stay a little chaotic in this hobby because I really enjoy that nobody pushes me. With family and job you have to live up to certain expectations but with a hobby you can do or leave what you want. So itís also a special refuge of freedom. After (almost) finishing a Sunflower ferry my brand new project 2004 is the Avenir. Its going to be RC and it will picture the ship as she may have looked like as the Espresso Corinto. Iím looking forward to the QM2 next winter. But I hope to spend some pleasant summer evenings out on the porch painting and gluing until then. I conclude by saying thanks to all the contributors to the DF. It really makes modeling more fun!



TR ~ 04/04