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Ship reference books

Wooden Warship Construction

By Brian Lavery

Wooden Warship ConstructionDescription:
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world, many of which are official, contemporary artefacts made by the craftsmen of the navy or the shipbuilders themselves, and ranging from the mid seventeenth century to the present day. As such they represent a three-dimensional archive of unique importance and authority. Treated as historical evidence, they offer more detail than even the best plans, and demonstrate exactly what the ships looked like in a way that even the finest marine painter could not achieve.

This book takes a selection of the best models to both describe and demonstrate the development of warship construction in all its complexity from the beginning of the 18th century to the end of wooden shipbuilding. For this purpose it reproduces a large number of model photos, all in full colour, and including many close-up and detail views. These are captioned in depth, but many are also annotated to focus attention on interesting or unusual features, which can be shown far more clearly than described. Although pictorial in emphasis, the book weaves the pictures into an authoritative text, producing an unusual and attractive form of technical history.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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Period Ship Modelmaking

By Philip Reed

Period Ship ModelmakingDescription:
This new shipmodeller's manual explains in graphic manner how to build a small 1/16th scale model of the American privateer schooner Prince de Neufchatel. She was one of a new class of large, fast and seaworthy schooners that first made their appearance during the war of 1812. She had a short but notoriously successful career that earned her a permanent place in her nation's history. World-renowned ship modeller Phil Reed describes in this new book how to build two versions of this ship: a waterline model and a full-hull display model. Building on the success of his first book, Modelling Sailing Men-of-War, which described the complex building process of the 74-gun ship, he has here taken a simpler vessel, to encourage the less experienced shipwright to embark upon a scratch-built hull. Taking this schooner as a prototype, the author passes on a wealth of experience which will enable modellers of all skill levels to confidently tackle every aspect of building any small fore-and-aft rigged vessel.

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Rigging Period Fore-and-Aft Craft

By Lennarth Petersson

Rigging Period Fore-and-Aft CraftDescription:
Employing superb, clear draughtsmanship this book illustrates each and every detail of the rigging of typical period fore-and-aft vessels.

The rigging of period ship models is arguably the most complex task that any modeller has to accomplish; the intricacies can be daunting and visual references limited. The author's first book, Rigging Period Ship Models, was a triumph of clarity for those needing to decipher the complexities of square rig and has now sold in multiple editions. This book does the same for fore-and-aft craft and deploys three typical eighteenth-century types – an English cutter, a three-masted French lugger and an American schooner. Some 200 diagrams show clearly where each separate item of standing and running rigging is fitted, led and belayed. Whatever the requirements of the modelmaker, all the information is here. This new paperback edition brings a visual clarity to the complexities of period rigging and will delight anyone with an interest in the rigging of traditional fore-and-aft craft.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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The Sailing Frigate

By Robert Gardiner

The Sailing FrigateDescription:
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world, many of which are official, contemporary artefacts made by the craftsmen of the navy or the shipbuilders themselves, and ranging from the mid seventeenth century to the present day. As such they represent a three-dimensional archive of unique importance and authority. Treated as historical evidence, they offer more detail than even the best plans, and demonstrate exactly what the ships looked like in a way that even the finest marine painter could not achieve.

This book was the first of a series which takes selections of the best models to tell the story of specific ship types – in this case, the evolution of the cruising ship under sail. Each volume reproduces a large number of model photos, all in full colour, and including many close-up and detail views. These are captioned in depth, but many are also annotated to focus attention on interesting or unusual features. Although pictorial in emphasis, the book weaves the pictures into an authoritative text, producing an unusual and attractive form of technical history.

While the book is of particular interest to ship modellers, all those with an interest in ship design and development will attracted to the in-depth analysis of this beautifully presented book, now in an affordable paperback format.

Vintage Airfix Review:
No review currently available.

 

Miniature Ship Models

By Paul Jacobs

Miniature Ship ModelsDescription:
This book is the first comprehensive history of how the 1:1200 scale and its 1:1250 continental equivalent became accepted as the modern standard for miniature ship models. The origins can be traced back to the first years of the twentieth century and their use as identification aids by the military during the First World War, but when peace came the manufacturers aimed their increasingly sophisticated products at collectors, and acquiring, modifying or scratch-building miniature ship models has been an avidly pursued hobby ever since. This book charts the commercial rise and fall of the manufacturers, and the advancing technology that produces ever more detailed and accurate replicas. The author - himself a lifetime collector and builder of models - looks at the products of each manufacturer, past and present, rating their quality and suggesting why some are regarded as more collectible than others. But the book deals with more than off-the-shelf models, covering subsidiary issues like painting, modifying and diorama settings, and is illustrated throughout with many of the finest examples of the genre. The combination of fascinating background information with stunning visual presentation will make this book irresistible to any collector or enthusiast.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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Large Scale Warship Models

By Dr Kerry Jang

Large Scale Warship ModelsDescription:
The majority of warship modellers work in smaller scales, most often based on plastic or resin kits. Many of these harbour ambitions to tackle something larger and more demanding, but are daunted by the challenge. The aim of this book is to persuade them that it not as difficult as it may seem, that they already possess the basic skills required, and that they can acquire any necessary new knowledge as they proceed.

The discussion focuses on the journey from conventional plastic kits to questions of deciding on a subject; choosing a kit, semi-kit or build from scratch; what conventional kit building skills transfer – and how these conventional skills such as painting techniques and an eye for detail can be brought to large scale model building so that scale fidelity is not sacrificed but enhanced. Novel requirements like research, obtaining plans and sourcing material or fittings are all covered.

The second part describes building methods, including the latest techniques like casting fittings in resin, and applies to both static and radio-controlled working models. All the colour photos were taken specifically to illustrate the points made in each chapter, so the book demonstrates as well as describes. It concludes with a gallery of superb models intended to inspire the would-be large scale warship modeller to take the plunge.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WW II - Vol I

By Malcolm George Wright

British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WW II – Vol IDescription:
During the Second World War navies developed low visibility camouflage for their ships, on both the vertical and horizontal surfaces, in order reduce visibility by blending in with the sea, or confuse the identity of a ship by applying more obtrusive patters. In this new book by maritime artist Mal Wright both the official and unofficial paint schemes that adorned ships of the Royal Navy and Commonwealth are depicted in detail, along with discussion on changes of armament and electronics that effected the outward appearance of each ship.

Starting with destroyers from WW1 still in service during WW2, the book progressively covers ships below cruisers, class by class, to provide a detailed and easy-to-use guide to paint schemes in use. In some cases individual ships are shown in the several schemes they wore thus providing a source that covers various periods of service. With 740 full colour illustrations, all of named vessels, this book concentrates information into a single volume to provide a one-stop reference source, and, for the first time in a single volume, it covers not just the well-known ships, but also escort vessels, minesweepers, trawlers, coastal craft and auxiliaries in sequential format.

Many schemes would be difficult for the reader to have found other than with the most intensive research so that historians, collectors, modelmakers and wargamers will find this unique reference source absolutely invaluable.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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German Naval Camouflage Volume II: 1942 - 1945

By John Asmussen, Eric Leon

German Naval Camouflage Volume II: 1942 - 1945Description:
This book completes a highly original and superbly illustrated two-volume survey of German naval camouflage and markings in the Nazi era. On first publication in 2012 the 1939-1941 volume was quickly recognised by warship enthusiasts and modelmakers as a major step forward in the understanding of a complex and much debated topic. It is already considered the standard reference, and this second volume is keenly awaited.

Although a few crucial documents have recently come to light, this study is largely based on close scrutiny of all available photos, including many newly discovered, collated with the first-hand testimony of Kriegsmarine survivors. After decades of study, the authors are probably the world's leading experts, and their work challenges many accepted views, while greatly expanding the general understanding of the subject. The fruits of their labours are presented in the form of exquisite colour illustrations of every scheme and variation for which evidence is available. This volume covers all major surviving ships down to destroyers from 1942 to the end of the war, and adds a new section on torpedo boats. While there can never be a last word on such an elusive and poorly documented subject, these two volumes will remain the most authoritative work in the field for many years to come.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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German Naval Guns

By Miroslaw Skwiot

German Naval GunsDescription:
This hugely comprehensive encyclopaedia covers every German artillery piece mounted afloat during the Second World War, from the huge 15-inch (380mm) guns carried by the Bismarck to the smallest machine gun used by coastal forces. All marks and variations of these weapons are described individually, including their mountings and the ammunition fired, with extensive tabular data, but the feature that makes this book unique is the range, precision and detail of the illustrations.Almost every known close-up photo of these weapons is included, usually reproduced large enough to see every detail, plus accurate three-view drawings perfect for modelling purposes. However, the most spectacular element of the illustration is provided by computer-generated full colour representations of the guns and their mountings, seen from every conceivably useful angle. The number of illustrations of all kinds totals well over 1000, making this the most thorough and complete reference available to modelmakers, enthusiasts and naval historians.

Vintage Airfix Review:
No review currently available.

 

The Ship of the Line

By Brian Lavery

The Ship of the LineDescription:
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world, many of which are official, contemporary artefacts made by the craftsmen of the navy or the shipbuilders themselves, and ranging from the mid seventeenth century to the present day. As such they represent a three-dimensional archive of unique importance and authority. Treated as historical evidence, they offer more detail than even the best plans, and demonstrate exactly what the ships looked like in a way that even the finest marine painter could not achieve.

The Ship of the Line is the second of a new series that takes selections of the best models to tell the story of specific ship types – in this case, the evolution of the ship of the line, the capital ship of its day, and the epitome of British seapower during its heyday from 1650–1850. This period too coincided with the golden age of ship modelling. Each volume depicts a wide range of models, all shown in full colour, including many close-up and detail views. These are captioned in depth, but many are also annotated to focus attention on interesting or unusual features, and the book weaves the pictures into an authoritative text, producing a unique form of technical history. The series is of particular interest to ship modellers, but all those with an enthusiasm for the ship design and development in the sailing era will attracted to the in-depth analysis of these beautifully presented books.

Vintage Airfix Review:
No review currently available.

 

Waterline Warships

By Philip Reed

Waterline WarshipsDescription:
Philip Reed, best known for his superb models of ships from the age of sail, here turns his attention to the other highly popular subject for ship modellers - the warships of the Second World War. The book is a step-by-step manual for building a scratch waterline model of the Ca Class destroyer HMS Caesar, the sistership of Cavalier now on display in drydock at Chatham Historical Dockyard. These emergency built ships were launched between 1943 and 1945 and Caesar herself was to see action in 1944 on the Russian convoys and then in defence of the Western Approaches. The model presented in the book is built to the scale of 16ft to the inch and is designed to be displayed as a waterline model in a diorama. Every aspect is covered from the construction of a bread and butter hull through to the the details of camouflage, bridge, funnel, mast, the 4.5in, Hazemeyer and Oerlikon guns, boats, davits, depth charge gear, torpedo tubes, searchlights, vents and lockers,and the sea itself. Ship s plans and a picture gallery at the end of the book devoted to a whole array of the author s WWII model warships complete the book. More than fifty years of modelling experience is passed on through wise and practical advice and thus each page will be of the utmost value to scratch builders and to any kit builders who may be setting out to construct a model of a WWII warship.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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Thunderer

By William Mowll

ThundererDescription:
HMS Thunderer was the third Orion class battleship, one of the Super Dreadnoughts built to counter German naval expansion, and was laid down one hundred years ago in April 1910. At 22,200 tons she was the largest ship ever built on the Thames but she was to be responsible for the bankruptcy of her builders, the Thames Iron Works.

The author’s 1/96 scale museum-quality model of this ship reflects the massive engineering of the prototype and brings to life the power and potency of the Super Dreadnoughts. Every aspect of the building is covered, from the hull to wireless equipment, and all the different techniques required to bring a complex model battleship to completion are clearly explained, including casting in metal and GRP, silver brazing, soft soldering, metal fabrication in steel, brass, copper, aluminium and pewter, and lathe turning and milling operations for the production of guns and propellers.

The author also covers the contemporary American battleship, USS Texas, the only remaining ship of that type and era, and an inspiration for any modeller setting out to tackle this subject.

Not just a superb ‘how to’ manual, the book is also an eloquent testimony to the skills of the designers and the original builders as well as a wonderful evocation of the great ships that fought at the battle of Jutland.

WILLIAM MOWLL has been building large-scale ship models for more than twenty-five years. His interest is focussed on the iron ships of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and he has completed superb models of SS Great Britain and HMS Warrior, both on display at the sites where the prototypes were built.

Vintage Airfix Review:
No review currently available.

 

Ship Dioramas

By David Griffith

Ship DioramasDescription:
This book is about the art of displaying waterline models. By their very nature, ship models that do not show the full hull and are not mounted on an artificial stand cry out for a realistic setting. At its most basic this can be just a representation of the sea itself, but to give the model a context – even to tell some sort of story – is far more challenging. This is the province of the diorama, which at its most effective is a depiction of a scene or an event in which the ship model takes centre stage.

As with a painting, the composition is a vital element and this book devotes much of its space to what works and what does not, and illustrates with photographic examples why the best maritime dioramas have visual power and how to achieve that impact. Individual chapters explore themes like having small craft in attendance on the main subject, multiple-model scenarios, dockyards and naval bases, and the difficulties of replicating naval combat realistically. It also looks at both extremes of modelmaking ambition: the small single-ship exposition and the largest, most ambitions projects of the kind meant for museum display. The book concludes with some of the most advanced concepts – how to create drama and the illusion of movement, and how to manipulate perspective.

Illustrated throughout with colour photos, the more abstract discussion is backed with practical 'how to' sections, so anyone who builds waterline ship model will benefit from reading this book.

As featured in 'Glasgow Now'.

Vintage Airfix Review:
No review currently available.

 

Ship Models from Kits

By David Griffith

Ship Models from KitsDescription:
In the past thirty years the world of model kits has undergone a veritable revolution. New techniques in injection moulding have improved the scale accuracy and surface detail of the humble plastic kit, while many specialist companies now produce top-quality resin models, vastly broadening the range of subjects on the market. However, the really radical change has been the advent of photo-etched brass fret, which allows the finest detail to be reproduced to scale. In ship modelling, this has resulted in a new form of the hobby, mid-way between traditional build-from-the-box simplicity and the time-consuming demands of fabricating everything from scratch.

These new materials have prompted innovative techniques, which are comprehensively demonstrated in this new manual. Designed for those wishing to achieve the best results from their ship kits in the 1:700 to 1:350 range of scales, it uses step by step photographs to take the reader through the building of two models, one in plastic and one in resin, from basic construction, fittings and detailing, to painting, finishing and display.

Written by a highly experienced, award-winning ship modeller, the book is a showcase for the contemporary approach to the hobby.

Vintage Airfix Review:
No review currently available.

 

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