How do you begin a book review? When it comes to Ship Models from Kits by David Griffith, I think we can begin with another question, which appeared on the message board. David Griffith's ship modeling book – “Hey, I was looking at purchasing this book in the near future and I wondered what you guys thought about this book” What followed were opinions from a number of purchasers of the volume. However, before getting into those comments, which will appear in the following paragraphs, for full disclosure let me mention that Ship Models from Kits by David Griffith is published by Seaforth Publishing of London and imprint of Pen & Sword Publishing of Yorkshire, who also happen to be the publishers of the ShipCraft Series, five, soon to be six, of which have been written by this reviewer. Further, Mr. Griffith’s build the Combrig 1:700 scale HMS Tiger will appear this year in Battle Cruisers of the Grand Fleet ShipCraft special edition. Now, with disclosures disclosed, on to the review.

The hardbound volume is 144 pages in length and was published at the end of 2009 but is still in print and available. The volume is partitioned into eleven chapters and appendix. From the title, one can see that it is aimed at those who construct model ships from plastic and resin kits, which encompasses 95% of the ship modeling community. It's outstanding, worth buyingI was quite impressed with it. I mean this as the strongest possible praise in that it reminded me very much of Shep Paine's books. Comprehensive, very well detailed, yet having that elusive readability where the prose is actually pleasant and inspiring to read. I am greatly impressed with it. There is a preamble and notes about the photography used before getting to the first chapter, which covers the various companies that produce plastic models, resin models and photo-etch producers with comments about each company. The print quality is outstanding with beautifully photographed models on his glossy stock. The text is entertaining as well as being educational, as can be seen from the comment above. The second chapter covers references from the classics by Raven & Roberts, R.A. Burt and Oscar Parkes, to magazines, internet sites and even museums and model shows. David Griffith's ship modeling book I thought I was a fairly decent "hack" of a modeler (not great, mind you) until I read David's book and used his methods on my latest build last summer. His methods will take your skills to a new level if employed properly. The text and pictures are extremely easy to follow. IMHO, it's worth 3X what I paid for it at least! Get it, you won't be sorry. It's an excellent resource! My review is ~ 15 thumbs up!

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Chapter three covers tools, materials, techniques and even includes how to cast your own resin parts. David Griffith's ship modeling book If you build model ships, then this book is for you.  However, it is with Chapter 4 that the meat of the volume begins. This contains all the tips, techniques and suggested construction sequence of building an injected plastic model. There are sections on construction planning, the hull, anchor chains, splinter shields, and masts. The Plastic kit constructed is the Tamiya 1:700 scale USS Indianapolis. Every page has detailed photographs of the material covered. This book is worth every penny! I'm glad to have it in my modeling library. Fully secondedIts a wonderful and inspiring book. And fully thirded! It's full of really practical ideas.” Chapter five covers the unique steps involved in the construction of a resin kit, which separate those kits from construction of plastic kits. The resin kit constructed is the NNT 1:700 scale HMAS Sydney. David Griffith's ship modeling book I bought it. I think it's great!

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Both threads are brought back together with Chapter six. Entitled “Adding Detail to Smaller Parts”, the techniques shown here apply to both plastic and resin kits and continue the builds of both Indianapolis and Sydney . Worth its weight in gold Best plastic ship model how-to book everIt is this chapter that concentrates on brass and stainless steel photo-etch parts. Chapter seven “Bringing it all Together” finishes with the actual construction process but all is not over. David Griffith's ship modeling book I put this book on my Christmas list for Santa to pick up from USNI, and I was not disappointed. The book is tremendous!!

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Once the construction process is finished, its on to the painting. In Chapter eight, Mr. Griffith covers style of painting, choice of paint, airbrushes and airbrush techniques, scale color (colour), base coats and then on to a detailed description of painting techniques and tips, with subsections on wooden decks, gloss varnish, filters, pin wash (as opposed to overall wash), matt varnish, plus the difficulties of painting a ship with a black or white paint scheme. David Griffith's ship modeling book I find the Griffith book to be outstanding. I have built metal 1/1200 models for years, and it has been just over the last year and a half or so I started back into plastic and a couple of resin builds. Therefore with relation to most of the builders on this site I am a novice. This book has helped me rise from a complete fumblefingers to the exaulted level of fumblefingers plus and climbing.  Chapter nine goes into detail with rigging, with a special section on everybody’s favorite, RN cage aerials.

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Chapter ten goes in to detail with the base and dioramas. As any modeler who has tried to build a nice sea base knows, it can be very difficult. Any modeler will find this section to be of extreme value. The book concludes with eye candy in the form of a gallery of beautifully completed models and a list of dealers and suppliers, most of which are British, but also includes some strange outlanders in the form of Pacific Front, L’Arsenal, and NNT.

So, what can I add to all of the above comments of modelers who have purchased the book? Well the word “Ditto” comes to mind.

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