Adie Roberts takes a look at the Seaforth Publishing of the book on Large Scale Warship Models to see just how easy it is to pick up and master new techniques.
This offering from Seaforth Publishing Large Scale Warship Models is a hardback book on modelling warships from model kit form to scratch building large scale model warships and turning them into full remote control vessels. It covers a total of 110 pages of which the paper quality is of a very high glossy standard. There are many high quality, high-resolution pictures, written by author Kerry Jang.
The book is made up of 11 chapters in total.
1. The Whys of Large-scale Model Warships.
2. What's Out There?
3. Tools of the Trade.
4. The Hull and Running Gear.
5. Under decks and Decks.
6. Radio Control Installation and Completing the Deck.
7. Superstructures and Deck Houses
8. Fittings and Detail.
10. Final Assembly and Finishing Touches.
Plus author's note, Resources and References
Being a modeller who has a fascination for rough seas and making seascape dioramas, I have over the years built a fair few model ships, so I was looking forward to reading this book, while reading some of the authors notes, I can say, he has got it spot on, by saying it can be daunting if not totally overwhelming the thought of building a large scale warship after the smaller waterline type kits. I have myself felt overwhelmed by the thought of building large scale model warships especially with the thought of a nice seascape diorama and the amount of work it would involve!
Kerry Jang starts off by explaining about the kits that are out there in simple and easy to understand writing, showing you various pictures of some of the earlier model kits from Airfix's 1/700 scale warships, those with some of the dramatic artwork from some of the fantastic artists like Roy Cross.
Talking about what's out there the author gives information on the various companies that make or provide warships in large scales like Matchbox/ Revell Flower Class Corvette, a kit that holds so many good memories for me as a youngish! modeller.
The book goes on to list the 1/35th scale motor torpedo boats produced by Italeri, lots of these have been turned in to full remote control boats after all of the different companies are listed including various pictures. He then goes on to talk about the tools of the trade where he goes into detail about each tool and its use with high-quality pictures included it makes it more interesting and as such an easy to read and follow.
The chapters on the decks I found very interesting from the start with his effective, yet simple instructions, like making a copy of the deck, using card laid across the top edge of the hull. It is this type of writing that you really believe you can achieve a scratch building project yourself. It also helps you with the fantastic high-resolution pictures that adorn each page with each subject, deck material, deck sills, deck beam installation. The book is aimed at the conversion from kit form, wooden ship or complete scratch built ship to a remote controlled large scale Warship. Despite this, it is possible to follow most of the author's instructions and techniques to improve your own shipbuilding including plastic model kits without motorising them.
Rubber mould making seems daunting at first, but Jerry goes on to explain the various pitfalls in the making of the moulds, he approaches the copyright in a fairly stern way especially when it comes to copying a commercial product even for personal use. I am astonished at the amount that the author goes on to explain from the moulds to the casting itself and the number one enemy 'bubbles' test fitting it is all there in black and white as well as the glorious high-resolution pictures.
Painting topic is another fascinating one with loads of tips from the preparation for painting, the priming, what you are trying to achieve? He then goes on to explain it at length talking about the differences between airbrushing and a normal paint brush. Final assembly and finishing touch another good chapter for someone who likes to make it look as natural as is possible.
Rigging is one of the hang-ups that stop work for a while why you try your best to find a plan with the right locations let alone the eyebolt fittings etc.
Radio control and installation is like all of the book extremely well written and reading through it, it is clear and easy to follow, I always assumed that converting my old Matchbox Flower Class Corvette (a model kit that was way before its time, as in the sheer size and detail at 32 years old still has a lot to offer) I always thought it would be so difficult to convert! This if you follow the chapter is not as difficult as I thought.
The gallery section is amazing the build of several different types of ships is mind-blowing and really gives you food for thought as the high-quality pictures made me just get on with so many different builds
For someone who wants to build a ship and convert them to remote control, this has got to be the book for you without a shadow of a doubt. It is easy to read and follow and full of fantastic pictures showing the way to do it, finished part, scratch building it is all here. If you want to make a model diorama using a ship in which you would like to scratch build several parts to the model it is a good book to have in your library.
I found the book very useful even if I don't get round to building a ship to convert to remote control some of the sections really give you a unique look at how to do it. It certainly made me want to get on with my ship dioramas, which is something I truly love doing. However if you just like building model ships I still think it is useful.
Highs: So easy to pick up read and enjoy, with many tips techniques and some of the mystery involved in converting to remote control warship. Lows: It is aimed for people who are wanting to be building and converting a warship to a remote-controlled version. Verdict: It is one of those books that are so easy to follow, a real pleasure to read and even though aimed towards the remote controlled version there is still a lot in the book for just the modeller.
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