Category Archives: Books

The Return of Seawatch Books

Good news for scratch modelers! Seawatch Books, which brought us amazing titles by David Antscherl, Rob Napier, Gilbert McArdle, and others is back up and running under new ownership.

The previous owner, Bob Friedman, has been talking about his retirement for some time now, and earlier this year, the store went off-line pending sale to a new owner. Apparently, the early attempts at selling the company didn’t work out. But, then ship modeler Mike Ellison came along and saved the day, and the site just officially went live.

Perhaps one of the best known titles from Seawatch Books is the 4-volume series, The Fully Framed Model, HMN Swan Class Sloops 1767-1780.

To celebrate and to offer my support, I’ll probably pick up a title. Right now, I’m leaning toward either the book on building HMS Sussex, by Gilbert McArdle, or the two-volume series The Ketch Rigged Sloop Speedwell of 1752. Of course, I’ll post a write up about whatever I eventually get..

 

 

Will I ever get around to scratch building something based on one of these books? Who knows? But, it’s great “dream” material!

Check out the full range of their offerings at seawatchbooks.com. Ω

My Newest Ancre Books Acquisition – Le Coureur Monograph

I’m exited that my newest purchase from French publisher Ancre Books (Ancre.fr) arrived at the end of last week. I have other Ancre monographs, but this particular subject is simple enough that an actual model constructed from these plans might actually see the light of day here.

I was finally in a position to make the purchase, so in the middle of last month, I placed my order. Also, I’ve had to wait for a long time for this english language version to be released. It’s been out for a while now, but when it was released, buying it just wasn’t in the stars for me. Now, it is.

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Sailing into the Past – A Book of Replica Ships

For those of you who might be interested, I just noticed that US Naval Institute has a nice sale price on the book Sailing into the Past. This book includes an article on bezaisen by Douglas Brooks, and features a photo of the replica bezaisen (also known as a sengokubune, or more specifically a kitamaebune) Michinoku-Maru.

The book is a compilation of articles about various replica ships around the world today, and it probably a very good general read. Of course, given my work with Douglas Brooks, I would love for everyone who might be interested to buy a copy.

I don’t know what the regular price is for this 200+ page hardcover book, but it’s only $11.49 at USNI.org. To me, Douglas Brooks’ article is worth the price of the book. Check it out here: https://www.usni.org/press/books/sailing-past

I think it was originally $45.95. So this is a very good deal. Ω

 

New Ancre Titles in 2019

It’s been a while now since both Jean Budriot and Hubert Berti have passed away, but Ancre books has continued to publish new titles and add new language versions to existing ones, and for some reason, I’m having a hard time keeping tabs on them. Their work keeps slipping under my radar, so I’m not quite sure what exactly I’ve missed.

But, I did get an announcement of two new titles this year, as well as the release of their 2020 calendar.

The first one, which I believe was released some months ago, is a monograph on the Louise, an Argenteuil racing yacht of 1878. The photos showing the author’s model look truly beautiful. I can’t imagine that I could make a model that looks this good. But, the subject looks intrinsically beautiful, so it would be hard to go wrong with it.

This book is available in English as well as in French, Spanish, or Italian, and at 68€, it’s one of the less expensive monographs published by Ancre. The book is 52 pages and includes 10 sheets of plans at 1/15 scale.

 

The second monograph announced is the Aries lighter, a French riverboat of 1833. This boat is a flat-bottomed tartan or tartanee, a small mediterranean sailing ship that was apparently quite popular in the 17th through the 19th centuries.

This 144-page monograph includes 16 sheets of drawings in 1/48 and 1/96 scales. It’s available in English, French, or Italian and will be available at the end of this month (November). It looks like it will have an introductory price of 89€ through the end of 2019. After that, the price will go up to 97€.

For more info on these, visit https://ancre.fr/en/

These both look like they will make great scratch build projects, or just more books to add to that growing collection of nifty stuff to have on the shelf! Ω

My Newest Book Acquisition – The Greenwich Hospital Barge of 1832

I’m something of a collector of ship modeling books – Well, of kits and tools and supplies too, for that matter. But, the books provide the most inspiration and learning, so they’re particularly important. Plus, they’re a nice distraction from time to time. And, you never know, maybe I’ll actually build the subject matter of the book at some point.

Today, my copy of David Antscherl’s book, The Greenwich Hospital barge of 1832, and methods of building open boats, arrived in the mail.

Many of us are familiar with David Antscherl’s other works on the excellent Swan-class sloop series and his book on the Fireship Comet and others, all published by Seawatch Books. He’s so prolific that I can’t keep up with his publications. But, this book was, frankly, the least expensive, and of a very different kind of subject, so I thought I’d go ahead and get it.

The subject is a Thames River ceremonial barge that, if I understand correctly, belonged to the Greenwich Hospital and would primarily have been used by the Mayor of the Hospital as a kind of river limousine.

The book is also about building small open boats. The Hospital Barge is one that is clinker-built in 1/48 scale, but the book also goes into the construction of a “plug” and a method for using it to build ship’s boats. A carvel-built hull is used for the example there.

It’s a small book, but a very nice one – 86 pages printed in full color, plus it includes a pair of 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheets of plans for the Hospital Barge.

You can find more photos and description, or order your copy from Seawatch Books. Ω

 

The Hayling Hoy of 1759 – New Book by David Antscherl

David Antscherl has done it again in this newest publication from Seawatch Books.

 

This newest title details the construction of an English Hoy, a harbor craft used to transport cargo and passengers. The book details the plank-on-frame construction of one of these vessels, using framing techniques from the first volume of The Fully Framed Model, a.k.a. The Swan series.

The Seawatch Books description doesn’t give many specifics about the vessel or the plans. Presumably, the plans are the same 1/4″ scale (1:48), as those in the Swan series were. Anchor hoy’s being cutter-rigged will certainly make this a smaller model in comparison with a full-rigged ship. I’m looking for more details now and will revise this post with any updates I find.

The book is a large format 8-1/2″ x 11″, 200 pages, hardcover, with 8 color pages and 3 sheets of plans, and sells for $70 plus shipping.

 

New Titles from Ancre Books

Just heard from Ancre.fr announcing their latest releases. It’s nice to see new titles, even after Mr. Hubert Berti’s passing. Of course, most of the books are non-english titles. These include a 478-page French directory of French Merchant Ships from 1848 to 1871; a couple books in Italian/French on nautical nomenclature; a book on building and maneuvering lateen rigged ships and boats – that will be nice to see in English, but is currently only in French and Italian; and a Spanish version of the monograph on the Hermione (already available in English).

The one that stands out most, is a new English language version of the monograph of the French light frigate Aurore of 1697 by Jean-Claude LEMINEUR.

This work includes 31 plates, which I assume means 31 sheets of plans, in 1/48 scale, with a price of 115 €. A 20-sheet set of plans are available separately in 1/36 scale for 90 €.

This is a beautiful looking ship, and it’s nice to see a detailed monograph on small ship of this period. Ω

 

 

New Ancre Books Title – N.S. del Rosario Feluca 1759

I just got a notice from Ancre Books of France of a new Monograph on the Nostra Signora del Rosario, a typical sardine-fishing felucca of Sanremo, built in 1759.

The monograph, written by Franco Fissoro and translated by Francois Fougerat, is 200 pages of detailed information, with 130 of those pages are on the construction of the model. The book appears to be loaded with photos, includes 8 full-color pages, and includes 20 plates in 1/36 scale detailing the frames. The cost is 110 Euros plus shipping.

You can see more details about this new volume on Ancre’s site here: https://ancre.fr/en/monographies-en/87-ns-del-rosario-feluca-1759.html

 

Ancre Books – Fall 2017 Update

Ancre is a French publisher of ship modeling and marine related historical books that, for decades, has featured the works by Bernard Frölich, the late Jean Boudriot, the late Hubert Berti, and others. These are very detailed works that, aside from used copies, are available only direct from the publisher.

The last time I posted news about Ancre, they had just released their two volumes on the French frigate l’Hermione, back in 2015. That was about the same time that I managed to grab a copy of Bernard Frölich’s The Art of Shipmodeling from a used book dealer, so I no longer have to covet my friends copy.

Since then, I haven’t really paid too much attention to what they’ve been up to, but I received an email from them about a week ago announcing a new english language version of their book on French Naval Artillery 1650-1850. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t visited their site in a while, but looking at their site today, it seems like they’ve expanded their offerings.

Check out their website at https://ancre.fr or you can see a quick overview of their offering on their order form here. Or, if you’d like to see an overview of their english language offerings, you can download this 20-page pdf here. Ω

 

Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie

Today, I just received my copy of Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie from Themodelshipwright.com. This book is a paperback reproduction of the the third volume of the series of books from Françoise Edmond Pâris, originally published in the late 1800s. The book is in 8-1/2″ by 11″ format paperback, 126 pages long.

I just browsed through the book, which is described as being a republication of the book in its original form. So, there’s a lot of French text. In fact, this book is much more text heavy than the first book published by Themodelshipwright.com, and then, because it is written in script, it’s kind of hard to read, and forget OCR and computer translation.

For most ship modelers, this is probably too hard to use, though there is clearly some good technical details. But, it’s an interesting find that, for the price of only $6.99, would be nice to have in your library, regardless.

If you don’t have either this or the first book, Selected Plates from Souvenirs de Marine, I recommend getting the first book. It’s a little more money at $9.99, but you’re more likely to find something useful in that book. I know I certainly did with the Japanese watercraft.

But, Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie, is a nice follow-up. And, though I don’t know if I’ll ever really have a use for it, I’m glad to know what I am not missing from the series. You can’t beat the price, and I’m happy to have it on my shelf.

Learn more at themodelshipwright.com.