Model Ship Books

The model ship books on this page will help you learn how to complete model boats from scratch - from start to finish. These are the best books on the subject currently in print.

A lot of model ship books have been published over the years. I've gone through, and own, quite a few of them. These here are some of the best that focus on building and finishing model ships from scratch.

There are many ways to build a model ship, and there are many types, sizes and complexity levels to consider before embarking on such a project.

It is difficult to write a book talking about scratch building in a very broad and general term. Very few authors that have tried, have been able to pull it off. Usually, the better books are somewhat focused on either a building technique, a type of ship or era etc.

Many times the books overlap in terms of techniques covered. That's just something to get used to. Often you don't need more than one on each special subject. When choosing, I always try and go for the on with the most illustrations, but your mileage may vary.

A word about older books - many older books are quite good still. If they lack, it is because new materials have entered the market. Most important amongst glue and paint, such as epoxy, CA glue and some water-based finishes. Note how I did not mention styrene...

The purists would only use those materials that are considered archival. Styrene tends to deteriorate over time, and is often rejected bu the purists. Balsa wood goes the same way. These are things that are often covered in books related to plank-on-frame and historic ship models.

If you'd rather build model boats from kits, you're looking for reference material or information on working models, I have other helpful books listed with the model boat builder in mind:

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