This book starts with an overview of the design, development and classification of modern warship types and it studies the constructors' original models. The book then turns to scale modelling with detailed chapters on choosing a subject, a scale, methods of construction, materials and techniques and the details of fittings and painting.
The desire to build model ships has for centuries been well established as an aid to design, as an art form, as a presentation piece or just for the sheer pleasure of producing a small scale version of a seagoing ship. The most marvellous models of famous ships have appeared produced from such disparate materials as wood, bone, metal and even matchsticks. The more elaborate are works of art and many are of considerable value. Model warship building may range from an Airfix Kit with numbered plastic parts all ready to be glued together and painted, to industrial models made by professionals which appear in builders' trade exhibitions, shipping offices and museums. Somewhere between the two will be found the keen amateur model maker, at whom this book is aimed. For the would-be model maker, there is no lack of advice which may be obtained from trawling the internet, from dedicated magazines, from model makers' clubs and from a variety of publications. Wooley and Clarke's handsome book is the latest addition to the genre. The primary aim of their book, they claim, is to lead the reader from an 'industrial' view of ship models into an altogether different dimension, but connected by a common thread. This seems to mean studying professional techniques of model making for inspiration to 'follow their passion and build a working or static model war ship'. A further aim is to provide a guide through definitions of various types of warship, thus enabling the reader to 'appreciate through first rate photographs the form and function of the warship, not just as a vessel of war but as a statement, and in a few instances, an embodiment of national pride'. Wooley and Clarke certainly have a way with words. The authors aspire to somewhat lofty aims for their readers, and their book is designed to assist readers to achieve these aspirations. Having suitably inspired the reader in chapters one and two, chapters which follow aim to help 'translate that desire and possible inspiration gained to make that transition from passive enthusiast with an interest in warships to active modeller, and help give guidance down a more practical path'. To this end, a closer study of their book reveals a methodical and practical guide to their chosen subject. Ten chapters, three appendices and a page of references for further reading, cover everything a warship model maker might need to know. Researching a project, planning a workshop, choosing a subject and deciding scale, constructional methods, building up superstructures, warship fittings, painting and camouflage and the operation of working models. All presented with a profusion of stylish photographs which illustrate the text, the better to explain the techniques suggested. A full scope of modelling activity designed to lead ultimately, as the authors romantically claim, to the 'joy of sailing the new creation that is a model warship'. Their enthusiasm is a pleasure to behold - The Nautical Magazine
David Wooley is from the Wirral, with family connections to the local Cammel Laird shipyard at Birkenhead where, as a boy, the sight of regular ship launches kindled a life-long passion for warships and ship modelling. He has contributed to the Rangefinder column of Model Boats magazine for many years, and his models have been exhibited at national competitions such as the Model Engineer Exhibition. William Clarke was born in Washington DC and has spent most of his working career at NAS Langley with a technical background in electrical engineering, finally retiring from NASA in 1995 after 35 years service. His abiding interest in USN warships combined with his skills as a photographer has resulted in a personal archive of many thousands of photographs which have inspired ship modellers and naval historians around the world. Apart from his skill as a photographer, Bill Clarke has been an active researcher at the US National Archive and the National Historical Centre on behalf of individual modellers and historians from aorund the world. He is also actively involved with the Hampton Roads Ship Modelling Society and the National Research Guild. He currently resides at Poquoson, VA.