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Hi Everyone!


So I've been reading through all the threads. I've got a good grip on what the better books about rigging are, but I'm still in the dark on what is the definitive book on the anatomy of "ALL" ships...giving name and function of all it's parts.

I also want a source on armaments from 1600's thru 1800's.


Warm Regards,



Passion is Patience...and I am a carpenter in any scale.



Current build;  Endurance - 1:70 scale, Occre


Current build;    H.M.S. Surprise - 1796, 1:48 A L




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Hmmm...good luck with that, Bill!  I am continually amazed at how many books (both the printed and the digital variety) I am accumulating to understand this hobby!


Rigging - I have about 10 purchased (print) and more than 75 digital downloads.  I have more than 40 print related to hulls and construction with well over 100 digital downloaded documents on construction.  I do not have very much on armaments - only 8 or 10 digital and 3 that I would love to buy if I can save up the funds!


You may want to take a look at The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (Peter Kemp, editor - ISBN 978-0192820846) currently available on Amazon for $29.93 (new, paperback) and starting at under $1 for used.


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

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If it's British naval armament history and extreme detail you want, and have deep pockets, the two volumes by Adrian Caruana are the ultimate in this field.

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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I've found that zu Mondfeld's  Historic Ship Models gives a pretty good overview.  However, for many details, it's not error-free.  Still, it's a rather inexpensive reference work for those getting started.


Also, Lavery's Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War is very definitive.

"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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Bill, Wayne and others have correctly stated that this subject is so vast that no single book can cover the range. 


My library is moderately large at about 85 volunes and stll growing, so I still rely on this forum and others to expand my knowledge and to get answers to technical questions.  You may have to focus on certain areas, to study that area and then to move to another area.  For example, there are several very good books on English constrution practices.  Pay attention to the era as the building practices changed over the decades.  If you need the same info on French or Dutch or Swedish practices, you will need to look at other sources. Same for rigging. 


As your knowledge grows, so will your questions.  This hobby encompasses a huge range of data, so huge that no one person can be an expert in all areas.  But that is the challenge and the fun of it.



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  • 4 weeks later...



As your knowledge grows, so will your questions.  



How much truth in this words ...


Same as this


Over a par decades ago, when ZX Spectrum appears, I collect EVERYTHING I can find about ZX and programing in Basic.


I have been completely lost in space until one month had expired. Question lead to answer who lead directly to next question ... without ending


Naval and ship history lasts over than 2500-3500 years, with permanent evolution of rigging methods. What more to say ?  

Edited by Nenad M

In progress:

CUTTY SARK - Tehnodidakta => scratch => Campbell plans


Content of log :


Past build:

Stella, Heller kit, plastic, Santa Maria, Tehnodidakta kit, wood, Jolly Roger Heller kit, plastic

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree about Montfeld's book.  I use it all the time and Milton Roth's book - Ship Modeling from stem to stern.  Very general but good.  I use Google a lot and find lots of information on the NET.  So for me there is no need to purchase a lot of books.  Just some of the classics.


Current Built: Zeehaen 1639, Dutch Fluit from Dutch explorer Abel J. Tasman


Unofficial motto of the VOC: "God is good, but trade is better"


Many people believe that Captain J. Cook discovered Australia in 1770. They tend to forget that Dutch mariner Willem Janszoon landed on Australia’s northern coast in 1606. Cook never even sighted the coast of Western Australia).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Montfeld's book is nice but I was informed years ago by some very smart modelers that you must take it with a grain of salt.  Lavery is a dream.  After a while you will be able to zero in on what you like the most. 

David B

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Interesting subject and interesting question. However, have you thought, as our friend Nenad has put it previously, that masting and rigging was the "top technology" of the last centuries, perfectly comparable with today's building of the Space Shuttle or computer technology? It's certainly an area so vast that you can't embrace all... you have to focus on certain points and areas of interest. Is it early ages? it it 17th...  18th or 19th century?  


There may be a "best answer" for each century and subject, depending on what's on your mind. Sometimes there is an entire book "definitive" on a ship only. Sometimes there's a definitive book for an entire era as is certainly the case for "1600-1720 The rigging of the ships in the days of the spritsail topmast" by R.C. Anderson. 

Edited by Doreltomin
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Lavery's book is well researched with an extensive bibliography.

David B

Edited by dgbot
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