Search
 Featured Categories:

  Antique Telephones

  Record Players

  Lighting

Browse Categories
Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.

  Popular Products:



  Other Links:

Ancient ship and boat models have been discovered throughout the Mediterranean, especially from ancient Greece, Egypt, and Phoenicia. These models provide archaeologists with valuable information regarding seafaring technology and the sociological and economic importance of seafaring. In spite of how helpful ancient boat and ship models are to archaeologists, they are not always easily or correctly interpreted due to artists’ mistakes, ambiguity in the model design, and wear and tear over the centuries.

In the Ancient world, ships were among the most technologically complex mechanisms of the ancient world. Ships made far-flung travel and trade more comfortable and economical, and they added a whole new facet to warfare. Thus, ships carried a great deal of significance to the people of the ancient world, and this is expressed partly through the creation of boat and ship models. Ancient boat and ship models are made of a variety of materials and are intended for different purposes. The most common purposes for boat and ship models include burial votives, house hold articles, art, and toys. While archaeologists have found ship and boat models from societies all around the Mediterranean, the three of the most prolific ship model building cultures were the Greeks, Phoenicians, and Egyptians.

Archaeologists have determined that Ancient Greek ship models were used as burial or votive offerings and as household articles such as lamps or drinking vessels. The kinds of ships depicted in Ancient Greek models can be classified broadly as small craft, merchant vessels, and warships. Models were cast in different materials, including wood, bronze, lead, and clay.

In the early part of the 20th Century, amateur ship model kits became available from companies such as Bassett-Lowke in Great Britain and Boucher's in the United States. Early 20th century models comprised a combination of wooden hulls and cast lead for anchors, deadeyes, and rigging blocks. These materials gradually gave way to plastic precast sets.

The development of tinplate and improvements in machine tools enabled significant advances in ship modelling from 1900 onwards. Thin, workable sheets of iron could be coated with tin to prevent rusting, then mass-produced as parts of ship model kits. The process was pioneered by French ship model manufacturer Radiguet, which produced a line of zinc boats with pressurised steam engines, wooden decking and brass fittings. The speed of production for tinplate vessels enabled one 1909 manufacturer to produce ship models of speedboats that had competed that year in Monaco.

Ship modelling in the United States experienced a boom in the late 1920s when Popular Science magazine published an extended series of articles and plans for famous ships by modeller and former Navy officer E. Armitage McCann. McCann, who, according to Popular Science was the recognized leader of the ship model building hobby of his time founded the Ship Model Makers′ Club in 1929, with him as secretary and treasurer and marine artist and fellow ship model builder Gordon Grant as president.

In recent years, widespread internet access has played a major role in promoting ship modelling, offering enthusiasts the opportunity to show off their work and share techniques. Internet sites such as Modelwarships.com, Steelnavy.com, or Model Shipwrights are oriented to plastic model ship builders, while others such as Hyperscale focus largely on aircraft or other subjects can regularly feature plastic ship models as well.