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British Warship Recognition: The Perkins Identification Albums Volume VI (Hardback)

Submarines, Gunboats, Gun Vessels and Sloops, 1860–1939

Colour Books Maritime > Naval > Royal Navy Maritime > Seaforth Publishing > Seaforth: Modern Naval

By Richard Perkins, Introduction by Richard Choong
Seaforth Publishing
Series: Perkins Identification Albums
Pages: 264
Illustrations: 400
ISBN: 9781526711168
Published: 26th March 2018



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The Richard Perkins warship identification albums form one of the most detailed studies ever undertaken of the changes to the appearance of Royal Navy ships. However, it is a unique hand-drawn manuscript artefact in the care of the National Maritime Museum, so despite its value it is rarely seen by anyone besides the museum’s curators, for whom it is a precious resource, used on an almost daily basis.

In collaboration with the Museum, Seaforth is undertaking the first publication of this monumental work in a superbly produced multi-volume edition that captures all the qualities of the original. Every page is reproduced at full size, making the extensive hand-written annotation readable, while the fine-line drawings retain all the colours that Perkins used to denote appearance differences and alterations.

The sixth volume of the series covers all submarines up to 1939, torpedo gun vessels, the diverse types of gunboat (from masted gun vessels through coastal ‘flat-irons’ to river patrol craft), and sloops of various descriptions.

This is a publishing event of the utmost importance for every enthusiast and ship modeller, who for the first time will be able to own a copy of a unique and invaluable reference work.

A masterpiece of incalculable value without which today we could not have information on the countless warships that sailed the seas in the service of his gracious majesty.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

Volume six takes us through submarines, gunboats, gun vessels and sloops. I spent some time with this volume wondering how Mr Perkins stayed sane working out what was what with submarines in particular, but the book actually ruins that perception by showing the intricacies of outwardly unremarkable looking vessels from 1860 to 1939. Examples of his efforts to sketch submarine hulls show just how seriously he took his work.

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War History Online

This volume covers reflects the views of the time and is really Part 2 following Vol V. – This is a reproduction of the set of eight volumes held by the British National Maritime Museum where it has provided an unparalleled source of information for the Museum’s staff – Most Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review online here


What you have is very much a 'bible' of help to identify not only individual ships in archive photos, but also to indicate what year it shows the vessel. Individually the series of books are a delight to see as the growing set makes a magnificent reference.

Read the complete review online here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

Although conceived for the purpose of identifying ship images, what Perkins' albums actually provide is the most thorough and comprehensive record of British warship appearance ever achieved. They are, to put it mildly, fascinating.

Model Boats, June 2018 – reviewed by John Deamer

As featured in

Model Boats, January 2018

About Richard Perkins

RICHARD PERKINS originally produced what he called his ‘Historical Identification Book’ to help identify and date photos in his monumental collection, but its wider significance is highlighted in this edition by an Introduction by ANDREW CHOONG, a curator at the National Maritime Museum for whom the albums are an indispensible reference

About Richard Choong

In this edition by an Introduction by ANDREW CHOONG, a curator at the National Maritime Museum for whom the albums are an indispensible reference.

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