Federal Way's Ethel Winter takes 3 Puyallup Fair ribbons for model ship

Ethel Winter’s project is on display at the Puyallup Fair this weekend. - Photo courtesy of Jim Davis
Ethel Winter’s project is on display at the Puyallup Fair this weekend.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Jim Davis

Ethel Winter, 66, is glad she listened to her husband.

Winter, of Federal Way, created a wooden model ship last year and, after a little pressure from her husband, entered the ship in a contest at the Puyallup Fair this year. She won three ribbons including one for grand champion, one for first place and one for first in class.

“I think they like the details on it. I didn’t skimp on the details at all,” she said.

Among the tools Winter used to build her ship were surgeon’s tools, needle-nose pliers, a dremel, a belt sander, a jigsaw and toenail clippers. The work was precise and required a keen eye, patience and attention to detail. It took six months to complete.

Winter’s workspace was throughout her house. The TV room, the kitchen and downstairs all became project areas.

“It’s like a mold that covers everything. It kind of invades the whole house,” she said.

The resulting ship, a replica of the English H.M.S. Victory, is more than three feet long and three feet tall. Winter said she chose to recreate that ship because it was the prettiest model she found in the store.

If it weren’t for her husband’s encouragement, Winter probably wouldn’t have entered her ship in the fair.

“I’m kind of a shy person but it’s been fun,” she said.

The best part about displaying her work at the fair has been watching people who are interested in the ship, Winter said.

“People have been so nice and complimentary on it. It’s been very rewarding that way,” she said.

Winter’s model ship will be on display in the hobby hall at the Puyallup Fair until the fair closes on Sunday.

Contact Margo Hoffman: or (253) 925-5565.

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