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Ab Hoving

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My name is Ab Hoving and I live in  Holland. Model shipbuilding has been my hobby all of my life and in 1989 I left my job as an art teacher in Groningen, up north, behind to become head of the restoration department Navy models of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The museum holds a beautiful collection of ship models and parts, collected by the Navy and the Admiralties, dating back to 1640. I retired in 2012, much to my regret. It was a wonderful time, working on the most exquisite models man has made in the past.

If in many cases during my professional life I built ship models, my only aim was to investigate building methods, constructions or for instance the usefulness of 17th and 18th century building contracts. The model was never the end product, it was all about the knowledge. Modelbuilding was a method of research for me in those days.

Nowadays I build ship models purely for fun. I am not a very good model builder. I always am impressed to see what other people are capable of, with no other purpose than the fun of building. I am sloppy and sometimes too hasty, but I always aim for a realistic look nowadays. Later on I will show you what I mean. 

To make it easier for myself I use paper as the basic material now. Paper is wonderful versatile and easy to shape material and it takes very little tools to work with. Although I used to make many paper kits of planes and vehicles in my spare time, I never used paper for ship models. It was the papermodelers.com site where I was inspired to build paper ships. The papermodelerssite  is a wonderful medium for model builders, but not entirely dedicated to ship modeling. Planes, vehicles, space ships and figurines all show up there. I recommend it to you all to take a look. But probably this forum, specialized in ships and boats, is a better platform to show my efforts and to learn from you all.

In the nearby future I will try to post some recent work. Hope you will like it.



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Well, welcome aboard, Ab! Glad you could join us. It's great to be able to communicate with you: I wanted to say how impressed I was with the Rijkmuseum when I visited last year. The holographic animation of the half-hull model was superb! Hopefully it will inspire younger visitors to look more closely at the other models on display.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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Hello, Ab! I belong to the Paper Modelers forum as well, and there are indeed some very fine modelers at that site, including a number of other MSW members. If I build a card ship, I prefer to show it here, because I like to see a diversity of media shown at MSW. 

Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Brigantine Phoenix, Salmson 2, Speeljacht

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Welcome to MSW Ab.

Ab is very modest - one of his paper models was on the cover of the NRG's Nautical Research Journal - Fall 2016 (61.3) and featured inside


61-3 cover002.jpg

Kurt Van Dahm






Nautical Research & Model Ship Society of Chicago

Midwest Model Shipwrights

North Shore Deadeyes

The Society of Model Shipwrights

Butch O'Hare - IPMS

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We are honored and fortunate to have access to someone with vast knowledge of and experience with 17th and 18th century Dutch shipbuilding. Your efforts to increase the exposure to this subject and make it much more accessible to ship modellers thru books and journal articles is greatly appreciated .  I hope your tenure here is rewarding.

NRG member 50 years




HMS Ajax 1767 - 74-gun 3rd rate - 1:192 POF exploration - works but too intense -no margin for error

HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - POF Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - POF Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner - POF framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - POF framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  - POF timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  - POF timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner - POF timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835 packet hull USN ship - POF timbers ready for assembly


Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  - POF timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - POF framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - POF framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers


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Well, thank you all for your warm words. I never expected this. I hope I won't disappoint you.


Druxey: Yes I know the Wasa. If you don't visit her you miss the 8th wonder of the world.

Kurtvd19: Lets not overdo it. It's just a model 🙂

Hans Peters: Glad you liked the book. For the time being I have no plans for new publications, but you never can tell...

How to make a paper model?

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Good mroning Ab from Trinidad. Its wonderful that you have joined us. I have both your books and enjoy reading them. This group of  special people are fantastic and will appreciate your contribution As we go forward. I am still collecting data on the Tobago 1677 ships but way short of sufficient information that will result in my building a model of one of these ships. 


kevin Kenny

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You have dwelt where very few have had an opportunity to witness and study the masters of their time. They were an inspiration to all, past and present. I suspect "living" within in this realm you may calibrate your work against theirs. It is hard not to do. Also when it is a work project one cannot always take the time you would otherwise invest if it were your own.


Within this forum there are modern day masters that we all, at times, compare ourselves to. For myself I have been inspired by and learned from them. 


Welcome to MSW.



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Hello Ab,


welcome to the gang, enjoy your stay here at MSW. I liked your nice introduction thread and the way you described your interest for modeling methods.....



Current builds

-Lightship Elbe 1


- Steamship Ergenstrasse ex Laker Corsicana 1918- scale 1:87 scratchbuild

"Zeesboot"  heritage wooden fishing small craft around 1870, POB  clinker scratch build scale 1:24

Pilot Schooner # 5 ELBE  ex Wanderbird, scale 1:50 scratchbuild

Mississippi Sterwheelsteamer built as christmapresent for grandson modified kit build

Chebec "Eagle of Algier" 1753--scale 1:48-POB-(scratchbuild) 

"SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse" four stacker passenger liner of 1897, blue ribbond awarded, 1:144 (scratchbuild)
"HMS Pegasus" , 16 gun sloop, Swan-Class 1776-1777 scale 1:64 from Amati plan 

-"Pamir" 4-mast barque, P-liner, 1:96  (scratchbuild)

-"Gorch Fock 2" German Navy cadet training 3-mast barque, 1:95 (scratchbuild) 

"Heinrich Kayser" heritage Merchant Steamship, 1:96 (scratchbuild)  original was my grandfathers ship

-"Bohuslän" , heritage ,live Swedish museum passenger steamer (Billings kit), 1:50 

"Lorbas", river tug, steam driven for RC, fictive design (scratchbuild), scale appr. 1:32

under restoration / restoration finished 

"Hjejlen" steam paddlewheeler, 1861, Billings Boats rare old kit, scale 1:50

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Hello Ab,


Welcome to MSW.  I see ships run in the family.  Your son's photoshop is magnificent.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans - ON HOLD           Triton Cross-Section   

 NRG Hallf Hull Planking Kit                                                                            HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Beautiful work

Welcome to MSW and greetings form Belgium

Regards, Patrick


Finished :  Soleil Royal Heller 1/100   Wasa Billing Boats   Bounty Revell 1/110 plastic (semi scratch)   Pelican / Golden Hind  1/45 scratch

Current build :  Mary Rose 1/50 scratch

Gallery Revell Bounty  Pelican/Golden hind 1/45 scratch

To do Prins Willem Corel, Le Tonnant Corel, Yacht d'Oro Corel, Thermopylae Sergal 


Shore leave,  non ship models build logs :  

ADGZ M35 funkwagen 1/72    Einhets Pkw. Kfz.2 and 4 1/72   Autoblinda AB40 1/72   122mm A-19 & 152mm ML-20 & 12.8cm Pak.44 {K8 1/2} 1/72   10.5cm Howitzer 16 on Mark. VI(e)  Centurion Mk.1 conversion   M29 Weasel 1/72     SAM6 1/72    T26 Finland  T26 TN 1/72  Autoprotetto S37 1/72     Opel Blitz buses 1/72  Boxer and MAN trucks 1/72   Hetzer38(t) Starr 1/72    


Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Welcome to MSW, Ab!

Phoenix, AZ

Current builds;

Previous builds, in rough order of execution;
Shipjack, Peterbrough Canoe, Flying Fish, Half Moon, Britannia racing sloop, Whale boat, Bluenose, Picket boat, Viking longboat, Atlantic, Fair American, Mary Taylor, half hull Enterprise, Hacchoro, HMS Fly, Khufu Solar Boat.

On the shelf; Royal Barge, Jefferson Davis.

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Hello Ab,

nowedays I am more to find on the Modelbouwer.nl Ithink I have all your books and I enyou then all.

Build the Haring bus and now building the catschip.

I'll find the drawing fine to work with, however its a leak thy are not on CD as the other modells.

Thanks for giving us this peasure to build these models

Greatings Cees

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On 10/19/2018 at 3:41 AM, Ab Hoving said:

Let me show you one of the photoshop paintings my son makes from my paper models. This is the Battle of the Sound (1658), when Dutch ships fought the Swedes over the entrance to the Baltics.

    That is a truly spectacular illustration!  :imNotWorthy:  It looks like someone in a time machine went back in time with some advanced photo equipment and took the picture at just the right moment as a witness to the actual battle.  An illustration like this can really bring history to life.  :cheers:


“You’ve just got to know your limitations”  Dirty Harry

Current Builds:  Modified MS 1/8” scale Phantom, and modified plastic/wood hybrid of Aurora 1:87 scale whaling bark Wanderer.

Past Builds: (Done & sold) 1/8” scale A.J. Fisher 2 mast schooner Challenge, 1/6” scale scratch built whaler Wanderer w/ plans & fittings from A.J. Fisher, and numerous plastic kits including 1/8” scale Revell U.S.S. Constitution (twice), Cutty Sark, and Mayflower.

                  (Done & in dry dock) Modified 1/8” scale Revell U.S.S. Constitution w/ wooden deck and masting [too close encounter w/conc. floor in move]

Hope to get to builds: MS 3/16” scale Pride of Baltimore II,  MS 1/2” scale pinky schooner Glad Tidings,  a scratch build 3/16” scale  Phantom, and a scratch build 3/16" scale Denis Sullivan.

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Again: thanks to all of you for your warm words. Also on behalf of my son, who is a professional graphic designer. We have a lot of fun working together.


I have been thinking what I can do to show this forum some of my work. I worked my way through the reports of the scratch build models section (I am not too happy with kits) and I spotted a few Dutch related items, for instance about the iconic ship type the 'fluit'. None of those threads ended up in a finished product so far. I will show you here some of my paper fluitmodels and the photoshop paintings my son made of them and perhaps we can together decide what to do. As a possibility I could show my techniques of building in paper, making a small historic Dutch ship, like for instance a fish-hooker.


I don't know (yet) how to spread pictures between the various captions with text, so this is a bit improvisation.

The first model is a whaling fluit I built after data from the Amsterdam lord mayor Nicolaes Witsen's book from 1671, together with the 'paintings' my son made from it.


The second is made after 4 hours of footage made by a sub on a depth of 120 meters in the Baltic Sea. It is known as the 'ghost ship' as a result of the fact that the knight heads on deck are carved like men's heads looking up in a sort of sinister way...


Let me know what you like and we can plan a new thread.




1. Pinas_en_fluit kopie.jpg

2a. walvisvaart Verbeterd kopie.jpg



3. Fluit in storm kopie.jpg

10. Fluit_mooi_weer_kopie.jpg

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Amazing work by you both!  Welcome to MSW - I have admired your work for some time, and as I have no artistic ability, enjoy seeing the results of those so endowed.



Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.

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We would welcome anything that you care to present! I've thoroughly enjoyed your and your son's last book. There's a lot of talent in the family.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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Good afternoon Ab,


I recognize the pictures made by you son from the NVM, as a inhabitant of the city Hoorn (NL) these pictures has an extra significance for me.

This because of the link between Hoorn and the development of the shiptype "Fluit".


Thanks or sharing, they are a real piece of art.


Best regards,


Hans Peters



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