Wooden Warship Construction

A History in Ship Models

  • Subject: Modeling | Fall 2023 Catalog | 2024 Paperback Sale
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Illustrations:
    130 color photos
  • Published:
    August 31, 2023
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    9.69 × 7.32 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    29 oz
Softcover $39.95
Member Price $23.97 Save 40%
Book: Cover Type


The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world, many of which are official, contemporary artifacts 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 color, 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. This new and affordable paperback edition will appeal to naval historians and model makers everywhere.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“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. Brian Lavery has demonstrated that the printed book is as flexible and as user-friendly a medium as the tablet and the television.” ─Australian Naval Institute
"In summary, in this book Brian Lavery has exploited the best of contemporary publishing skill, especially in colour illustration, to provide a synthesis of the insights available in his earlier major works such as The Ship of the Line and The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War, 1600-1815.  Here his years as senior curator at NMM bear further fruit, and this authoritative account in affordable and handy format cannot be commended too highly."—The Naval Review
“If you like ships, especially wooden military ones, this book will teach you a great deal. A high-quality book which is recommended to all ship historians and modellers.”—Military Modelling
“This book includes plentiful visual representations of actual ships in model form and the accompanying graphics make for wonderful reading. Even if you do not read a single word in the book the models alone create enough gog in a person of any age. The models were all built to scale and the attention to detail is mesmerizing…. The pages are crisp, the illustrations and photos are clear, and I cannot express enough how enjoyable this book is to read.”—Spotter Up