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Thursday, June 20, 2013

“World's Best Ship Modeling Magazine”... what it says on the cover. There's a simple reason. It is. The information, covered in exquisite detail, is vast and comprehensive and is provided by some of the best ship modelers in the world. “Seaways Ships in Scale” lives up to the description.

It's a bit daunting to think that our little book was to face the scrutiny of anyone affiliated with this great publication. In fact, the reviewer of our book was none other than Kurt Van Dahm, President of The Nautical Research Guild, which is responsible for what I believe to be the world's greatest collection of information of interest to ship modelers. We've had a link from our website to theirs for many years. They have information about vessels, information about techniques, information about where to obtain plans, information about where to find supplies, information about maritime libraries, information about professional model making services and much more. See the link below to check out The Nautical Research Guild.

In our career of writing about model making, this is really our moment of truth. The moment when the best of your peers say yay or nay. We've had several reviews that have been nothing but positive up until now, for which I am extremely grateful, but these guys...

I approached my first look at the review of “Fundamentals...” with some trepidation. Initially, I was concerned, because the table of contents had modified our book's name to “Fundamentals of Modeling Marine Boats”. Uh-oh!

When I got to page 72, my moment of... well... concern... all of a sudden became one of great satisfaction.

I think that when you see this sample of the superlatives you'll understand what I mean:

This approach enables them to thoroughly explain aspects of modeling that are often skipped over in other books”, “In my opinion they hit the mark with this book”, “The way even basic information is presented opened my eyes and taught me a few things”, “very clear photographs”, “Some of the drawings are done in a full color 'computer generated' manner for showing the various hull sections or lifts that provide a very clean and easily understood drawing”, “The book goes into great detail”, “provides a real learning tool”, “provides some great examples”, “The thinking like a model maker theme is referred to throughout the book which I found to be very appropriate as this is one of the most important skills a model maker can and must learn”, “the authors provide a logical sequence”, “provide very good, basic information”, “How to interpret and understand mechanical drawings is covered very well”, “presented in a very clear and understandable manner”, “providing thorough descriptions and examples”, “Again, they used a very basic presentation to make a very good explanation of a fundamental skill that one must thoroughly understand”, “a point that more writers should make”, “will provide a very clear understanding of the various lines and measurements one sees on a set of drawings”, The authors provide some of the best photographs illustrating the lift building method that I have ever seen and their explanation of the process will leave the novice scratch builder with few if any questions about the process”.

Mr. Van Dahm did provide one criticism: He felt that the order of some of the chapters were not in the sequence that he would have chosen, but stated: “That said, the usefulness of this book is not diminished by the arrangement and should not make it any less attractive or useful to the intended audience.” I wrote to him and explained why I chose the order of the chapters in question and he responded that their order made perfect sense, given our intended goals.

He concludes his review with this:

This is a book that I think belongs in the library of every novice to intermediate scratch modeler and those modelers who are considering scratch building. The authors have made this book very understandable to those who have held off because of unanswered questions or who have found it hard to grasp the information from other books. The reading and study of this book would be good preparation to help in understanding some of the more advanced texts on the subject.”

This is what the World's Best Ship Modeling Magazine said.              I'm happy.
For a signed copy of our book, "Fundamentals of Model Boat Building" please go to
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To explore the vast information available from The Nautical Research Guild go to
To learn more about Seaways Ships in Scale go to