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Wooden Warship Construction (Hardback)

A History in Ship Models

Ship Modelling Seaforth Modelling Seaforth: Modelling

By Brian Lavery
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781473894808
Published: 24th April 2017

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The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world, many of which are official, contemporary artefacts made by the craftsmen of the navy or the shipbuilders themselves, and ranging from the mid seventeenth century to the present day. As such they represent a three-dimensional archive of unique importance and authority. Treated as historical evidence, they offer more detail than even the best plans, and demonstrate exactly what the ships looked like in a way that even the finest marine painter could not achieve.

This book takes a selection of the best models to both describe and demonstrate the development of warship construction in all its complexity from the beginning of the 18th century to the end of wooden shipbuilding. For this purpose it reproduces a large number of model photos, all in full colour, and including many close-up and detail views. These are captioned in depth, but many are also annotated to focus attention on interesting or unusual features, which can be shown far more clearly than described. Although pictorial in emphasis, the book weaves the pictures into an authoritative text, producing an unusual and attractive form of technical history.

★★★★★ In a book so copiously illustrated, the reader expects only a brief overview of the parts and processes that follow. Incredibly, so many details are presented you can’t possibly remember them all after one reading. Anyone considering building an authentic wooden ship model or researching any aspect of ship construction would do well to begin with this excellent book. This is also a reference that writers and readers of fiction can consult time and again whenever their hero’s ship sustains damage.

Read the complete review here.

Pirates and Privateers, Irwin Bryan

A great volume

STORIA militare, September 2017

As a former curator, the author knows his way around the outstanding collections of the National Maritime Museum. – This is a well researched, beautifully produced and impeccably illustrated work that will become a standard in its field – Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.

Firetrench - Julian Stockwin

Students of naval history will find this book invaluable for understanding how Great Britain maintained its maritime pre-eminence through the long eighteenth century, while those looking to understand and to revive ancient crafts have a comprehensive, readily intelligible, and lavishly illustrated guidebook. Secondly, the illustrations and the written text are integrated to create in print a narrative that is equal to and which often surpasses those of multimedia productions. Brian Lavery has demonstrated that the printed book is as flexible and as user-friendly a medium as the tablet and the television, but he also gives the reader an inducement to visit the museum in Greenwich or to explore its website.

Australian Naval Institute, John Johnson

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world, many of which are official, contemporary artefacts made by the craftsmen of the Royal Navy or by the shipbuilders themselves. These models offer more detail than even the most meticulous plans, and as well demonstrate exactly what the ships appeared like. Lavery discusses a selection of the best models from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the end of wooden shipbuilding. As you’d expect, superbly illustrated throughout.

Julian Stockwin action-adventure historical fiction

About Brian Lavery

Brian Lavery has written 26 book on maritime history, though 'Assault Landing Craft is his first title for Seaforth Publishing.

Brian is Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum and is on the advisory committee of HMS Victory. He was historical advisor on the film ‘Master and Commander’ and has sailed in many vessels, from a dinghy to a square rigger.

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