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Naval Ship Models of World War II in 1/1250 and 1/1200 Scales (Hardback)

Enhancements, Conversions & Scratch Building

Maritime > Seaforth Publishing > Seaforth: Modelling Maritime > Ship Modelling Military > Modelling WWII

By Robert K Liu
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 300 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526793911
Published: 30th June 2021


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The origins of 1/1250 and 1/200 scale models can be traced back to the first years of the twentieth century and their use as identification aids by the military during the First World War. When peace came the manufacturers aimed their increasingly sophisticated products at collectors, and ever since then acquiring, enhancing, modifying or scratch-building miniature ship models has been an avidly pursued hobby around the world.

This new book focusses on models of the ships of the Second World War, probably the most popular subject for miniature model collectors, and the author, a well-known modeller himself, addresses all the practical issues that might confront those many collectors who like to enhance, convert, and modify their models, or even scratch-build models of ships not commercially available.

The book covers both Allied and Axis warships, naval airplanes, merchant conversions and even an Italian armed schooner, and provides historic and technical information on the ships represented as well as practical advice on modelling them. The latter is extensive with twenty-five chapters covering everything from initial production techniques such as spin casting, silicon mould casting, resin casting, die-casting, plastic mould injection, and 3D printing through techniques for enhancing and modifying models to eventually researching and scratch-building an uncommon ship or type. The focus is always on particular vessels and the vast array covered by the author builds into a fascinating panorama of the vessels that fought across the world’s oceans in that era.

The combination of intriguing background and historical information, combined with detailed practical information and more than 300 stunning photographs will make this book irresistible to any collector or modeller and, indeed, to anyone with an interest in the navies of the Second World War.

As featured in

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord - Vol. 32, No. 3 (Fall 2022)

"It is recommended to model makers and collectors at 1/1200 and 1/1250 scales."

Warship Annual - 2023

"This book is well-illustrated, and is an excellent introduction to the subject of small scale ship modelling, which covers quite a bit of ground (or rather water) in its 160 pages."

IPMS magazine, Issue 3 2022

Mr Liu is a man of many talents as well as a prolific modeller and has been for many years. ... This is in fact a very specialised branch of model making of which, typical of this gentleman, has written very thoroughly on the subject.

Andrew Thomson, IPMS Keighley

This is a magnificantly produced volume, and clearly the depth of research and long decades of practical model-making are reflected in its pages.

One thing that can't be denied is the quality of the photography in the volume, and in that regard it wins first prize...

Dr Rob Morgan, October 2022

Liu’s passion for his hobby shines through, and he sprinkles his text with autobiographical notes of a full and sometimes astonishing life. The book is also lavishly illustrated with photographs of model ships in all stages of production. Overall, this is an excellent homage to Liu’s craft and the ships he replicates.

Read the full review here

Beating Tsundoku

Video review on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

An ideal book for those that enjoy naval modelling, with ships from the well known to the less well known. The book also has various chapters on the planes that were stationed on the ships or used in connection with the ships.

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UK Historian

A modelling scale I haven't really explored over the years, but in reading this it is one which I for one have found very tempting to want to try. A wide range of different warships, not just the glamourous battleships and aircraft carriers, but also the less well known types, in all shapes and sizes. All accompanied with some excellent modelling tips and techniques along with some colour schemes that make many look more interesting than just a plain single colour grey. Lovely book, and one I'm happy to recommend for modellers and naval wargamers especially.

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Military Model Scene

Featured in

The Nautical Research Journal

This book may be of interest to those readers with large collections, who have an interest in the early ID models and the subsequent history.

Les Brown, Small Warships

About Robert K Liu

ROBERT K LIU, a former biomedical scientist with a doctorate in ethology, began making miniature naval models after the Second World War with his late brother, an engineer, after emigrating from China to the United States. He is also an accomplished jeweller and photographer, and for the last 40 years has edited the magazine Ornament, a publication that covers ancient, ethnographic and contemporary jewellery. He has also written extensively on all aspects of scale modelling, military history and technology, and, returning to his scientific background, on the behaviour of endangered fish.

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