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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Need to find something special for the Holidays??

If you are looking for serious Holiday gifts, for others (or even for yourself), I hope you’ll hang around long enough to read this...

As authors of a book that includes much common sense, but also some pretty specialized information, we've been particularly pleased, not just at the number of favorable reviews that we've gotten, but about where some of those reviews have come from.

When I used to play music for a living, the older and wiser musicians would remind me "Don't listen to the hecklers; they're probably drunk." They also followed that statement with "Don't get too high on the compliments; they're probably drunk. These are good words of wisdom for anyone trying to keep their assessment of the opinions of others in check. The same guys would also point someone out in the audience and say "If that guy says you did well, it means something", referring to someone that had been in the business for many years. Of course, "that guy" might put you in your place just as quickly; maybe more often.

We wrote our book for all levels of model makers. That is to say that it provides fundamental information that can teach anyone to learn the art of model making and it also has a significant amount of information that can add to any master model makers skill set. There are a number of areas of focus including; learning the art of "scratch building"; concepts and techniques for improving your ability to "see" your subject in order to better represent it in your model; understanding shapes, spatial concepts, drawings and how to measure boats accurately; different ways to build and display models; tools; materials; construction theories and much more.

It's got 160 pages, 264 photos, and 94 drawings and it took 4 years to write. Those photos were culled from thousands; the drawings from hundreds and the fifty some odd original chapters were focused down to twenty. It was quite a bit of work and, as with the playing of music, when you put your work out in public for others to judge, you want to know what they think... ...what they really think.

At shows and book signings, we’ve received positive compliments from all sorts of people and it's been very gratifying. We don't always know who among them knows what, but we certainly know, from some of the serious conversations that we've had, that among them have been some very knowledgeable model makers. Unfortunately, those conversations are gone to the wind...

With our book, as when I was a musician, we wait for “that guy”, who is known for their expertise, and whose words can be relied upon to “mean something”. Because we believe in the quality of our book and want confirmation that we succeeded at doing what we intended, it means a great deal to us when “that guy” speaks up. It also helps us as we write our next book.

When you know who “that guy” is, you know that what they say can help guide you, especially if the subject is one that you don’t yet know much about or in the case where you are looking for a gift for someone else. We have now heard from a number of “those guys” and it is probable, if you happen to be reading this, that you are well aware of one and likely more of those we’ve chosen to list here:

As you read note not only what is said, but who is saying it. They are people who know what they are talking about:

From the November 2011 issue of The Waterman’s Gazette, a trade publication of the Maryland Watermen’s Association. The Watermen that work on deadrise and other types of workboats in the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay rely on the “Gazette“. Watermen have no problem telling you what they think; good or bad. The review says some very nice things, referring to how model boat builders and enthusiasts“, both “professional” and “hobbyist” will benefit and “can apply the principles learned for design techniques and theories to other models they want to build” and concluding with “it’s well worth the price”. Believe me, Watermen know value.

Tom Holmes, noted expert and restorer of classic Century boats and President of The Century Boat Club, wrote in The Thoroughbred, a magazine published by The Century Boat Club, “their attention to detail is awesome” and “their chapters on Understanding Lines Drawings and How to Measure a Boat are very instructive for club members tackling a restoration job, especially a basket case. Their approach to problem solving is fundamental to a boat restorer especially if you are not simply copying , but need to scratch build boat parts. You will learn many skills and approaches to boat building from reading this book.”

Good Old Boat Magazine, well read by many for years said among many nice things: “My learning curve would have been much less steep if Fundamentals of Model Boat Building had been available.” and “I looked at this book from the perspective of a fellow model boat builder and found the explanations and terminology easy to follow. With that in mind, I asked my husband, who is a sailor, but not a model builder, to look it over and he told me it’s a fascinating read.”

Fine Woodworking Magazine, respected by woodworkers the world over; in addition to awarding our book as a prize, included this in their assessment: “This seems like a pretty intense book, but if you want to build model boats, this book will show you how to do it all.”

As of this time, all of the reviews that we have seen have been very positive and we are very pleased and proud to recommend our book to you, or your loved ones. There are many others and I will be happy to give you the sources so you can read their complete reviews. Just email me at

That said, I want to know all opinions, whether you are a novice or a master, whether your opinion is full of praise or full of criticisms. We have yet to see a negative review, not that we would look forward to it, but we really want to know of all honest opinions. We really want to know what you think. Take a look for yourself!


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