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Hi Fellow ship lovers,

I browsing my ship book collection looking for inspiration and came across this book which ive had for some years (paid $35.00 NZ for it) but well worth the fee.

How to Make Clipper ship Models by Edward W Hobbs first print no date second reprint 1938 and third 1948 . 210 pages full of great infomation, a good addition to any bookshelf 


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  • 3 months later...

This book was first published in 1927, by Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd of Glasgow (my copy was published in 1975). The publisher still exists, but I don't know if this title is still in print.


Whilst I would not part with my copy, it is out-dated. Techniques and skills levels, even amongst many new-comers who started through kits, have developed and improved significantly since this book was first puiblished. However, there are photos of some completed models which demonstrate a high level of competence, but there is no indication if these were made from the techniques described or whether these models are by the author (an award winning naval architect). The model of the Sudbourne, for example, is that which is still, or used to be, on display in the Science Museum, South Kensington, London. Besides not being a clipper ship (!) it is professionally made model!


The focus of the book is on the building of the four-masted barque Loch Torrens. Again, this barque is not a clipper ship, but the use of the term 'clipper' was used without much regard to historical accuracy prior to the Second World War! Secondly, there was no such ship as the Loch Torrens! However, this fictiuous, four-masted barque is a good example of a once common type and would make a good generic model (the photos of the completed model do look good, albeit with what would now be considered a very simplistic approach to items such as deck houses, etc).


What is very dated is the design of the glass case the author describes in detail to house the model! Few today would welcome the heavy, indelicate late 1920s stand!


I would recommend this book for the absolute beginner in scratch-building a late 19th century merchant sailing ship. It would certainly teach basic techniques. And if combined with the techniques advocated by the likes of Philip Reed and the late Donald McNarry, a stunning model could result!  

member of
United States Naval Institute

Royal United Services Institute

Society for Nautical Research
Navy Records Society
author of
The Art of Nautical lllustration - A Visual Tribute to the Classic Marine Painters, 1991, 2001 & 2002
United States Coast Guard barque Eagle, 2013 (Blurb Photobook)
former assistant editor of the quarterly journal and annual 
Model Shipwright and Shipwright 2010

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