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October 17, 2013

An armada comes to Peabody

Model ship builders showcase their work at Torigian Center -- and insist anyone can do it


“Some people are really into the history of the thing,” he adds. “One guy just loves Civil War ships. He keeps coming up with the odd boats that no one ever heard of, boats that did something in the Civil War.”

More recent history is reflected, too, in the sharp angles and gray cast applied to replicas of iron U.S. Navy vessels, part of the fleet that swept the sea of our enemies in the 20th century.

You don’t need to be obsessive to create a model ship, Royer insists, but that doesn’t mean some of the builders aren’t. In fact, he concedes, there are some models so carefully crafted they include interior cabins — which can never be seen.

“Some of us are crazy,” he nods. “Even the guys who do that will admit they’re crazy.” He wouldn’t do it himself, he smiles. “I’m too lazy.”

It’s all for fun, Royer stresses as he invites anyone interested to “come down, sit with us and learn.” The Torigian Center has all the tools. “It’s not a club. There are no dues. Some people just come in and kibitz. That’s fine.”

And as if to prove it’s a hobby that can capture the devotion of all sorts of people, he proudly shows a simple yet cunningly accurate reproduction of a typical New England lobster boat.

It was built by Mrs. Royer.

IF YOU GO ... What: Model ship exhibit When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Torigian Community Life Center, 79 Central St., Peabody Admission: Free Information: 978-531-2254 or

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