Itsy Bitsy Witchy! Syd Marsden Gets A Mini Me!

Black Witch

Famed Model Maker Greg Rice just finished the model of fellow Woody Boater Syd Marsden’s Black Witch. Holey COW! Wow. Greg does amazing work, and we have seen his detailed work on Thunderbird and Lockpat II, but to see it on a more humble Hacker is amazing. And in some odd way, in my mind far harder to pull off. When you have a simple design, there is less you can do to compensate.


This model like all of Greg’s are no compromise. Even the grain in the seats.



Life jackets are a wonderful nod to Syd’s history in the Coast Guard. Love it!

Safety First. Most drownings are in the bathtub.

Even the grain feels proportionate. This is always a bugaboo for me. This grain is perfect’

Zoom Zoom


The sterring wheel is amazing. Hello, folks cant get these right in actual size


Photo Kent O Smith Jr

Photo Kent O Smith Jr

Photo Kent O Smith Jr

Photo Kent O Smith Jr

Here is some of Greg Rices other work.

THUNDERBIRD model by Greg

Yup, a model




Each copper nail! Okay, this is insane hard and perfect!


Yup a model



18 replies
  1. Martin Field
    Martin Field says:

    Beautiful though they are, I still feel the use of real mahogany on a model of a mahogany boat doesn’t really work. Steamed (Swiss ) pear is more like mahogany in scale. Here’s a Riva, scratchbuilt, using steamed pear throughout.

    • Greg Rice
      Greg Rice says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Matt.
      Martin’s comment has merit. When people ask what wood the model is made of, it is nice to be able to say “mahogany, just like the original”. Black Witch was planked with leftover wood from the original boat. I do love the look of mahogany and try to find straight grained wood with minimal grain. That said, the grain is not truly scale for models of this size. Pear, or some similar fine grained wood, would more accurately depict the grain structure in scale. I may give that a try on a future project. But I still love mahogany. It’s one reason I started building these models.

  2. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    What does Greg Rice use for his head gaskets? Has his tiny torque wrench been calibrated recently?

  3. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    Now that both girls are in college maybe I’ll finally finish the Cobra I’ve been working on (off and on) since 1996.

  4. Bill DeGlopper
    Bill DeGlopper says:

    Newly built model of my 1936 16′ Chris Craft barrelback. Created by Canadian modeler John Marck. Took delivery at the September ACBS antique boat show held at the Buffalo Launch Club, Grand Island, NY.

  5. tom
    tom says:

    5200 or west system? seriously,are all the hardware and other details handmade too? i’d love to see detailed photos of the building and fabrication of one of these,like the catalog of photos on the continental.they are absolutely gorgeous.

    • Dane
      Dane says:

      You’re in luck Tom, Matt put a link to RC Groups in the story. Greg’s build thread has high resolution photos of every step of the construction. After you’re done looking at Black Witch check out his build threads for Evangeline, Thunderbird and Lockpat II. Search GPR to find his other builds.

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