A look at the HMS Victory ship model.



The Man - John R. Costa

John R. Costa

This model was hand made and completed by my father John R. Costa who lived from August 7, 1940 ~ June 7, 2015. I can't imagine how he completed a project like this with a baby through toddler (me) in the house, and a full time job. He worked for the Naval Underwater Warfare Center formerly called the Naval Underwater Systems Center for nearly my entire life (40+yrs).

I have admired my father's models since childhood, as my father finished them during my youth. I can remember him soaking the wooden planks, and using boxes of toothpicks and hand drilling the holes to place them as pegs along each plank. I can remember him drawing the twine through beeswax and tying all the rigging by hand or with tweezers. I can remember him sawing bits of brass from small brass sheets with a jewelry saw, and hand drilling wooden pieces with a pin vise and rotary hand drill. He had a free standing metal cabinet in the kitchen that he would take all his supplies and the model out of, work on the kitchen table, then place everything back in the cabinet before dinner.



The Model - The H.M.S. Victory

Photographs of the model, click to expand:

HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory



The Message

Memorial

Obviously, this page is a memorial to my father and to the incredible work he did on the H.M.S. Victory model. I could say that I love his ship models, but ultimately they are just "things", and as such are temporary. Really, any love I have for the model is just a reflection of the love I have for my dad.

When I look at this ship model, it screams of my father to me. I simply cannot look at this model (or any fine ship model for that matter) without thinking of him.

Though I miss him, I am at peace with his passing. I was fortunate to be able to spend time with him in his final months. During this time I was able to discuss with him our faith, and hope. Just as I cannot look at my father's creation without thinking of him, I cannot look at the whole of creation without thinking of the true Creator. As we are made in His image, we have the desire to create. Sometimes the result is a beautiful model ship which serves as a symbol. Just as any love I have for this model is a reflection of my love for my dad, so is my love for my dad a reflection of His love for us.

I love my dad. I miss him. I will see him again.



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