The model of ARUNTA was commenced in May 1995. I had originally planned on constructing my own plank on frame hull as I had done with ADELAIDE and BRISBANE, but when Allan Pew of APS Models came forward with his new “ANZAC” Class hull, it was decided to give this one a try.
I chose to build ARUNTA as a model of the ANZAC was already being built. The model commenced as usual, with shafts, rudder, motors and other systems being fitted into the empty hull. The deck of ply was fitted and fibre-glassed into place. Because of the structure of the “ANZAC” Class design, the internal access was to be quite different. Most of the superstructure was attached to the hull with only the forward upper part, behind the bridge and a hatch on top of the hanger able to be removed. The superstructure, masts and fittings were made from styrene and the model was ready to run by the following May.
In April 1997, TENIX Defence Systems in Melbourne contacted me in regards to me attending the launch of the real ARUNTA in June. They wondered if I might like to bring the model with me to put it on display at the launch. I readily agreed and drove down with the model. She was a huge hit with the TENIX Staff as well as invited guests and I was asked what it might be worth to build a copy of ARUNTA for them to display.
This is where DEFENCE MODELS AND GRAPHICS was born. TENIX felt it inappropriate to deal with an individual and I had always wanted to start my own business to set myself up for when I decided it was time to leave the RAN. The following year, TENIX received their first DMG built model of HMAS ANZAC, FFH-150.
Unfortunately, along with BRISBANE and ADELAIDE, she was badly damaged in 2001 at a Defence exhibition. She survived, somewhat better than the BRIBANE model, however required a lot of work to repair the damage. This time I didn't have, so she was sold and has been transformed into HMAS PARRAMATTA (FFH-154).