Best general book on ship models?

I have been asked to recommend a general work on ship models and their history, and it stopped me cold. Now, you'd think that there are general books on every subject, but most on ship models are either:


1) technical builder's guides, or

2) photo-rich treatments of museum collections. 


I'm asking you all for recommendations for my friend, by posting the question "Best general book on ship models?" on this forum. I hope to have a vetted short list in several days.


For now, I suggested he spend under $5 (including shipping) for a paperback edition of:

Historic Ship Models (Paperback) by Wolfram ZuMondfeld


This translation of the German original has way too much "how to" for him, but I recall that it includes a good review of the relationships between ships and ship models for as far back as Egypt. 


How about it? Do you have any other recommended general books?

trippwj, Robin Lous and Canute like this

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Also, try Vincenzo Lusci's book "Luscis's Ship Model Builder's Handbook" 1970.  Another is Gene Johnson's "Ship Model Building"  Softcover, ISBN 0870333690.

Both can be purchased for a few dollars in the used book markets.  



Canute likes this

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Now, if he is only interested in the subject of ship models, as opposed to ship modelling, and also not a fan of the coffee table (that is, mainly photos) book, there are not a lot of options out there. 


For just one book, I would recommend R. Morton Nance, 2000. Classic Sailing-Ship Models in Photographs. Dover ed. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications. This modern reproduction by Dover books is from the 1924 original by Nance, R.M. Sailingship Models, a Selection from European and American Collections. Halton and T. Smith.  The 2000 reprint is available for under $1 USD on Amazon (not including shipping), or for the Kindle (and other ereaders) for $9.99 USD via Dover (or Google or Amazon &c.)


Other possibilities include some of the research articles in journals such as Mariner's Mirror.  See, for example, Laughton, L.G.C. 1925. The Study of Ship Models. The Mariner’s Mirror 11, no. 1: 4–28.


Unfortunately, in the same manner as there not being one exemplary "how to" book that meets every beginners needs, there is not a signle all encompassing book concerning the history and development of ship models.  The book by Nance and the collections listed in the Laughton article are, perhaps, the most comprehensive discussions of which I am aware.

edmay, Canute, donrobinson and 2 others like this

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Ship Models, Their Purpose and Development From 1650 to the Present, by Brian Lavery and Simon Stevens and The Model Ship, Her Role in History, by Norman Napier Boyd. Every ship modeler would want these in their collection.


Thanks, Greg - I do need to save up for both of these!

mtaylor and Canute like this

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How about The World of Model Ships and Boats by Guy Williams. It's not technical and, although there are a lot of photos, it's not a coffee table book. It's really a history of models, why they were built and what we can learn from them.






Canute, mtaylor and trippwj like this

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