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ShipCraft 30: Bounty (Paperback)

HM Armed Vessel, 1787

Maritime > Seaforth Publishing > Seaforth: Modelling Maritime > Seaforth Publishing > Seaforth: ShipCraft Military > Modelling P&S History > By Century > 18th Century

By Dr Kerry Jang
Seaforth Publishing
Series: Ship Craft
Pages: 64
ISBN: 9781399022897
Published: 6th March 2023


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The ‘ShipCraft’ series provides in-depth information about building and modifying model kits of famous warships. Previously, these have generally covered plastic and resin models of 20th century subjects but, like the previous volume on Nelson’s Victory, this is a radical departure – not only a period sailing ship but one for which kits are available in many different materials and scales. This requires some changes to the standard approach, but the main features of the series remain constant.

Bounty, a merchant vessel purchased to undertake a special mission to the South Pacific, will always be remembered for the drama of the mutiny against Captain Bligh and his epic open-boat voyage that followed. The events inspired many books, and at least three major movies, and make the ship one of the most popular of all ship modelling subjects. Despite the ship’s fame, and the vast range of kits it has inspired, there are question marks over many aspects of the vessel’s fitting and, especially, how it was painted. This volume tackles these questions, reconstructing convincing colour schemes for the ship both as a merchant vessel and in naval service. The modelling section reviews the strengths and weaknesses of available kits, lists commercial accessory sets for super-detailing, and provides hints on modifying and improving the basic kit, including the complexities of rigging. This is followed by an extensive photographic gallery of selected high-quality models in a variety of scales, and coverage concludes with a section on research references – books, monographs, large-scale plans and relevant websites.

Following the pattern of the series, this book provides an unparalleled level of visual information – paint schemes, models, line drawings and photographs – and is simply the best reference for anyone setting out to model this famous ship.

Jang’s recent contribution to this series builds off his previous guide devoted to another famous sailing ship, Nelson’s flagship Victory. With Bounty, Seaforth Publishing’s SeaCraft Series continues its reputation among ship modelmakers and enthusiasts for producing top quality reference guides. These are designed to provide modellers with detailed information regarding a ship’s construction and features, the broader historical background in which the ship was built, its service history, and a survey and critical review of available model kits and accessories. The key to this guide’s value among its chief audience lies in the author’s meticulous description of the model products, the ship’s appearance, and the impressive collection of illustrations. Jang reviews eleven kits, produced in various scales, both in plastic and in wood. He provides useful information about the skill level required, the quality of building instructions for the modelmaker, and the nature and quality of the kit’s accessories. He also offers his very well-informed advice on meeting some of the challenges involved and modifying the kits to improve the ship’s appearance and historical accuracy. A separate section focusing on “Appearance” reconstructs how Bounty most likely appeared in terms of profile, decoration, masts and yards, and the ship’s colours, the latter being one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the ship. As mentioned, a signature feature of these guides is their illustrations. High quality copies of historical prints, portraits and paintings, draughts, diagrams, and numerous well-chosen colour photographs of model products by John McKay, all contribute to this beautifully illustrated publication. It is in the above-described sections on model products and appearance where one really begins to appreciate the craft of ship modelmaking, from laying the keel to the framing, fitting and rigging. There is enormous value in these models in helping maritime historians understand how sailing ships were actually built and outfitted. It is hoped that this series will build on the success of the Jang guides by introducing further such works on period sailing ships.

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord (Vol. 33, Nos 3 and 4).

"I found the book interesting as it shows not only how the ship’s name was decided, but also the information about the purpose of the trip, important notes of the events, outcome of the mutiny as well as describing the ship. The book has a lot of information to improve on your model building, skills. The photos of the built kits are great and very informative. I will recommend the book not only to historians, but also to model builders."

Read the full review here


"If someone in your life is keen to spend the festive period making a model of a famous ship, then this new title would make an excellent gift."

Read the full review here.

The Nautilus Telegraph - Nov/Dec 2023

Gorgeous color photos of the models abound, showing the exceptional work of master ship modelers who have customized several models to produce lifelike renderings of the ill-fated vessel. Once again, Jang’s descriptions are scrupulously objective, pointing out inaccuracies and other shortcomings.

The National Maritime Historical Society

About Dr Kerry Jang

KERRY JANG teaches at a Canadian university and is the author of numerous academic books and papers, but in his spare time he has developed his ship modelling skills to professional standards. For Seaforth he has previously published Large Scale Warship Models (2019) and Ship Models from the Age of Sail (2022).

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