Book Reviews from the Nautical Research Guild - 

The NRG has many new book reviews on naval and maritime history and ship modelling. They contain valuable information for researchers and modelers. So many more than the Journal’s review pages can accommodate... To improve the Journal’s service to its readers, additional book reviews are presented here for all maritime and ship modeling enthusiasts.  

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The Many Aspects of Ship Modeling: Western Ship Model Exhibition & Conference 2011

By Donald Dressel

Florence, Oregon: SeaWatchBooks, 2013

11” x 8-3/8”, softcover, x + 118 pages

Very extensive illustration, bibliography. $32.00

ISBN: 9780983753230


The Western Ship Model Exhibition in 2011 presented almost two hundred ship models to its visitors, ranging in period from the early sixteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. The core of this publication illustrates them all with sharp color photographs.

The Many Aspects of Ship Modeling is for ship modelers and those who appreciate and enjoy the products of such craftsmen. The useful introductory essay and informative captions add much to the feast of imagery. There is also a brief history of the Western Ship Model Exhibitions and Conferences since their inception in 1994, and a brief bibliography.

The most compelling feature of this work is the way that it demonstrates the sheer variety of materials and approaches that ship modelers use for their creations. In addition to the usual wooden models, there are multiple examples here that use plastics (of various types) and even paper as the basic materials. As one would expect, there are many very fine scratch built creations depicted, but it also portrays excellent models made wholly from kits, either as the manufacturer intended or heavily modified to enhance accuracy.

The author, Donald Dressel, makes it clear that he applauds this variety. His introduction, and the captions, are free from prejudice for or against the modelers’ particular approaches and highlight their accomplishments.

The Many Aspects of Ship Modeling is a niche publication, but its message that there are so many different approaches to ship modeling deserves the widest possible circulation.

David Evans

Aurora, Colorado