Basics of Ship Modeling
Author Mike Ashey takes you through pages and pages of real tips. Chapters covered include:
blue dot  Building Plastic Kits (24 pages)

blue dot  Building Resin Kits (20 pages)

blue dot  Scratchbuilding and Detailing Superstructure Shapes (15 pages)

blue dot  Working with Brass and Stainless Steel Photoetching (17 pages)

blue dot  Painting, Masking and Decal Application (14 pages)

blue dot  Color Images of Model Ships (16 pages in color showing 18 different ships)

blue dot  Manufacturers and Suppliers (2 pages)

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Resin Kits
This book would be of specific value to someone starting their first resin kit or, someone not sure if resin is the right thing for him. The book offers a step-by-step explanation of building a resin kit, with lots of close-up photos of the author working along with the text. Veteran resin builders will likely also pickup a few tips, especially as Ashey delves into the intricate bends and precise measuring techniques he uses to apply photo etched brass details.

Specifically, the author walks you through, step-by-step, his buildup of the resin kit 1/350 Classic Warships USS Ward. With pictures and text, the author shows you how to remove the pour plugs, how to straighten out a warped hull, drill out portholes, shape props, remove detail parts from resin sprues and when cast onto a sheet, how to correct minor flaws in the casting, how to add photoetch, how to mask off superstructure parts and assemble delicate masts and ships' boats. It is pretty hard to imagine that even very good modelers wouldn't find something new to learn here.

Scratch Building
Another section of interest to experienced modelers is Chapter Three, all about scratch building. For someone with a chunk o' bass wood in one hand and an X-Acto in the other, here are your marching orders. For the rest of us content with kits, the scratch building section is still of value as we contemplate converting an existing kit or (scratch) building a deck house or other detail left off our current project. Again, lots of photos illustrate each lesson.

Specifically, Ashey shows you in step-by-step photos how he builds up a US WWII cruiser's superstructure using styrene sheet, Evergreen strips and photoetch parts. He emphasizes how to "break down" a real-life component into its basic shapes before building.

Working with Photoetch
Using several models, and primarily PE from Gold Medal Models, the author demonstrates his techniques for working with photoetched details (PE). For those who wonder how to get razor-sharp bends in railings, or how to apply 1/700 detail parts without a seeing eye dog trained in modeling, here are the answers.

Specifically, Ashey shows us how to construct common subassemblies, such as WWII radars and direction finding antennas in both 1/350 and 1/700.

Ship List
The books includes color photos of the following completed ships. If you are contemplating building any of these kits, the photos in this book will be a big help.
blue dot  1/350 Classic Warships USS Miami

blue dot  1/350 Tamiya King George with Gold Medal Models photoetch (PE)

blue dot  1/350 Tom's Modelworks USS Yorktown in a diorama with the 1/350 Tamiya Fletcher with Gold Medal Models photoetch (PE)

blue dot  1/96 Classic Warships PT 31

blue dot  1/350 Tom's Modelworks Gato-class sub and Balao class sub

blue dot  1/192 Tom's Modelworks USS Ethan Allen

blue dot  1/350 Dragon USS Peterson with Gold Medal Models photoetch (PE)

blue dot  1/350 Tamiya Missouri (WWII) with Gold Medal Models photoetch (PE). The sharp color separation the author shows off in these close up photos is just this side of amazing. He reveals his techniques in the book but finding the patience to implement these techniques remains.

blue dot  1/144 Revell Type 206A U-Boat

blue dot  1/90 Lindberg Fishing Trawler (Lindberg!)

blue dot  1/350 MB Models S-Boat

blue dot  1/600 Airfix HMS Belfast with White Ensign Models PE

blue dot  1/350 Revell SMS Emden with Gold Medal Models photoetch (PE)

blue dot  1/192 Classic Warships USS The Sims

blue dot  1/192 Scratchbuilt tanker USS Namakagon

blue dot  1/72 Revell PT-109


The book also include B+W images of the following ships either complete or in process:

blue dot  The box-scale Monogram Halsey

blue dot  1/700 Hasegawa Ticondaroga

blue dot  1/350 Tamiya Missouri

blue dot  1/426 Revell Arizona

blue dot  1/400 Heller Jean Bart

blue dot  1/350 Classic Warships resin USS Ward

blue dot  1/350 MB Models USS Houston

blue dot  1/350 Resin USS West Virginia

Areas for Improvement
As for criticisms, the author could have included more URLs and email addresses for the companies he mentions in the text; as it stands, you get mostly street addresses to write paper letters to if you want more information. There is little info about airbrushing, though you could argue I guess that air brushing tips belong in a separate volume devoted just to air brushing. These are very mild criticisms of what is an excellent book.
Which Book is Best?
Mike Ashey also published a book called "Building and Detailing Scale Model Ships", which is no longer widely available. I've got both books and can say that except for the opening chapters in each text describing general modeling techniques and some of the photos, there is little overlap. While chapters in each text address similar issues (i.e., "Applying PE"), the books are different enough to make owning both an insignificant problem. If you enjoyed his first book on ship modeling, you will also like this one.

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