It all started when we were putting together the annual programme for our local branch of the World Ship Society and I said I would do a presentation on icebreakers. I already had an interest in the subject and scratch builds of Almirante Irizar and a couple of Russian Project 97 icebreakers under my belt, but it started to gather momentum at the show at Heiden when, first of all I found the Seals Model kit of Shirase II, and then discussions with Lars Scharff revealed that he had drawings for the nuclear icebreaker Lenin which I had seen in Murmansk. He sent me a comprehensive set of plans which resulted in another scratch build. It was now becoming something of an obsession and when I came across pictures of the highly unusual Swedish ship Oden II the seed of another build was planted.
I found a few drawings on the internet, but only of some parts of the ship. Looking at the complicated hull shape with its flat bow and “reamers” on the sides of the hull to help it turn I decided this was maybe too challenging a shape. It was at this point I made the mistake of mentioning this in an e-mail to Lars. He promptly came up with a complete set of builders general arrangement drawings from his seemingly inexhaustible supply of these things. He was also interested in the ship as part of an enthusiasm for research ships generally and if I was making one, could I make moulds and cast a resin copy for him? I was not sure if I was up to making the hull shape, and even if I did, there was no certainty that it would come out of a mould easily with all the undercuts that would result.