Sunday, 22 February 2009

How I design caricature model ships

In an earlier post I referred to the model ships I made for the Jane’s Naval War Game as ‘cartoonish’. A better way to describe them would have been to say that they are caricatures. In other words, they emphasise the main features of the original ship but are not scale models.

When designing my model ships I usually begin with a side view of the ship I am going to model. The following is an image of a Spanish battleship that I plan to build of at some time in the future.

Having scanned the image into my computer I then begin the process of producing a caricature. I do this be distorting the image so that the ratio of height to length is changed from 1:1 to 2:1.

The design is then simplified, and most of the extraneous detail is removed. This forms the basis of my working drawing for my model.

In this case I also pondered on what might have happened if the original design had been modernised in a similar way to the Light Cruiser Navarra, which the Nationalists rebuilt in the late 1930s. Here a tower bridge has replaced the original bridge structure and forward mast, and anti-aircraft guns have been added onto new deckhouses next to the funnel and rear superstructure. The funnel has also been given a raked cap.


  1. Phenomenal!

    Bob, I hope you would soon consider to post a "primer" to the technique you adopt in building your own-made naval vessels. They look fantastic to me!

  2. Adik,

    Hopefully I should be able to do so at some time in the near future.

    At present my time is being spent preparing for Cruiser 2009, and after that Salute 2009. When they are behind me I hope to be able to spend some time making a model ship or two. When I do I will take photos of each stage of construction to illustate my technique.


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