Tag Archives: Seawatch 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


February 4, 2022

I’m really trying to make some ship modeling progress, but a lot of work work has been coming in lately. Not exactly a bad thing. But, mixed in with everything else, it’s a big of a drag, especially as much of it has been hitting at the end of a week. That generally means that I’m going to be working on this things into the weekend. I’m just griping, but hey, it’s my blog. Good for griping from time to time.

Sea Watch Books

I noticed what was potentially some good news in the ship modeling world the other day. I went to look at some book titles from Seawatch Books. The owner, Bob Friedman, announced his retirement some time back, which would possibly mean an end to their existing excellent titles or any new ones.The site was down, with a message saying it was down pending sale of the company.

That would have been very good news, except that today, I see that message now says that the inventory and business are for sale. So, I guess that potential sale of the company must not have panned out. Here’s hoping somebody buys the business and continues new publications.

Syren Rope Rocket

But on the brighter side, I got my Syren Rope Rocket in the mail today. It’s shipped in a small box, only about 7″ square and less than 3″ thick. Of course, I’m not going to be able to use it until I put it together. That won’t happen today. But, maybe I’ll set aside some time tomorrow to work on that.

Then, I’m going to have to start ordering some thread that will give the best results, try out various combinations, numbers of strands, etc. Of course, others have already done a lot of this work, so I may start hunting through the ModelShipWorld for their info. In the meantime, I have sufficient rigging line for my current projects, so I have a little time to practice before I really need to produce any model rope.


Went back to do some more work on the Woody Joe Atakebune kit yesterday and made some good progress. Mostly dealing with the roof of the castle structure. Having built one of Woody Joe’s castle kits, and a few of their small architectural kits, I’m familiar with the process. The major roof pieces are done now, and I have a few of the smaller pieces left to do. So, I’m maybe 2/3 of the way through, and it’s about time to give some thought to painting. Wood Joe recommends Liquitex Neutral Gray, but I’ve found that the roofs look nicer in a darker shade with some highlighting.

The trickiest part of building the castle structure is to make the roof for the forward structure, as I’ve lengthened that structure. The kit provided roofing will not work, so I have to come up with an alternative.

Fortunately, watching Mr. Kazunori Morikawa’s (owner of Zootoyz.jp) progress, I’ve seen some things he’s tried and have had time to develop my own ideas. More on that in my build log on wasenmodeler.com.

Gunboat “Arrow”

I really want to keep pushing forward on the American gunboat model. As I mentioned the other day, I made the display base. I just need to drill it out, and then I can attach the model. I’ve pre-rigged a number of the blocks and I’m in the process of replacing a couple of the backstays I added recently. For this particular set of backstays, this will be the third set I’ve rigged.

Pretty soon, I’m going to have to make a decision on the sails. Full lateen sails are what I’d figured on from the start. But, lately, I’ve been thinking that it might be interesting to have the model shown with oars deployed. In that case, the sails should probably be furled. But, now I’m also thinking that sails that are brailed up might look even more interesting. In any case, I’m also thinking about whether cloths sails are okay or if I should try to do something in paper, which might be more scale accurate and shapable.

Well, it’s food for thought. 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. Ω


Last of the Kriegstein Collection Books – Get Yours Quick!

If you’ve never seen the Kriegstein Collection or part of it, you’re really missing a rare sight. I was fortunately to be able to visit the home of Dr. Arnold Kriegstein with the members of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights group a few years ago.


Photos courtesy of Seawatch Books


Photos courtesy of Seawatch Books

I had attended the Nautical Research Guild Conference in San Francisco (well, actually, it was in San Mateo) where Dr. Kriegstein gave a presentation. The NRG event included a tour of his home, which I had missed. So one of the other Hyde Street Pier members and I approached Dr. Kriegstein about organizing a separate visit at some time, which he was completely open to. So, we went about organizing a date for our group some months later and visited his home, which is just North of San Francisco.

I won’t go into a lot of detail, but it was an AMAZING experience. Arnold Kriegstein and his twin brother Henry together own the largest private collection of contemporary ship models in the world and it was a treat and an honor to be a guest of Dr. Kriegstein’s home, and I have to say he was a very warm and welcoming host.


But, the point of this post is to point at the Seawatch Books, LLC, has announced that there will not be further printings of their beautiful book on the Kriegstein Collection. When their supply of the “Second and Revised Expanded Edition” have run out, there won’t be more. If you want a copy at normal retail prices, hurry and buy your’s. If you don’t, this limited publication will instantly fall into the category of collectible books and the used book prices will certainly jump.

It’s not an inexpensive book, but it is a beautifully illustrated study of these classic historic models.

The Royal Navy Fireship COMET of 1783 – New Book Release

A Monograph on the Building of the Model by David Antscherl

This book, recently released by Seawatch Books, is another fabulous work by the most excellent and admirable ship modeler and author David Antscherl. I had an opportunity to meet Mr. Antscherl at the 2014 Nautical Research Guild Conference in St. Louis in October and found that he is not only a wonderful author and ship modeler, but he is also a very nice gentleman. I even shared the dinner table with him and with Gilbert McArdle, who wrote the book on building the HMS Sussex, 1693, the book on Building the Yacht Utrecht, and long ago wrote Modeling the USF Constellation.

David Antsherl is also the author of the highly popular Swan series of books. In addition, he and Greg Herbert (author of the 3rd book in the Swan series), run admiraltymodels.com. This is a must visit site for those interested in building the fully framed model.


My copy of this book arrived just a few days ago and I didn’t have a chance to read it all, but I did go through it with great interest. The hardbound book is 8-1/2″ x 11″ and 160 pages and includes a separately packaged set of 6 sheets of plans. The book is full of photos and illustrations showing, among other things, the details of construction specific to fireships. 6 pages of color photos show the incredibly beautiful model that Mr. Antscherl is constructing.

Those wishing to build a fully framed model like the model illustrated in the book will need to consult the Swan series of books for such details. This book really covers the details of the fireship in general, but the bulk of the book is about building the details of the Comet.

Whether or not you’re planning on building the fireship Comet, this is a very interesting, informative and inspiring book to have. Ω