Thursday, 19 April 2012

I have been to … the Naval History Museum, Venice: A photo-essay – Part 3: The models of 20th century warships

The Naval History Museum, Venice has a very large collection of ship models on display. Here are selections of the models of 20th century warships that form part of that collection. I have split the models into four sections:
  • Battleships
  • Cruisers
  • Destroyers, Torpedo Boats, Frigates, and Corvettes
  • Aircraft Carriers, Motor Torpedo Boats, Submarines, and Minecraft
Please note that all the models were in glass cases made from reflective glass, and this made photographing them difficult.


Littorio-class Battleships


Condottieri-class (1st Group: Da Barbiano) Light Cruiser

Condottieri-class (2nd Group: Cadorna) Light Cruiser

Condottieri-class (3rd Group: Montecuccoli) Light Cruiser

Condottieri-class (4th Group: Aosta) Light Cruiser

Condottieri-class (5th Group: Garibaldi) Light Cruiser after her post-war conversion

Capitani Romani-class Light Cruiser

Zara-class Heavy Cruiser

Bolzano Heavy Cruiser

Destroyers, Torpedo Boats, Frigates, and Corvettes

Sirtori-class Torpedo Boat

Curatone-class Torpedo Boat

Leone-class Destroyer

Turbine-class Destroyer

Navigatori-class Destroyer

Spica-class Torpedo Boat

Soldati-class Destroyer

Gabbiano-class Corvette

Impetuoso-class Destroyer

Audace-class Destroyer

Maestrale-class Frigate

Lupo-class Frigate

Minerva-class Frigate

Comandanti-class Patrol Boat

Aircraft Carriers, Motor Torpedo Boats, Submarines, and Minecraft

Aircraft Carrier design (Possibly an early design for the unfinished Aquila)

Grillo-class 'climbing boat'

Early MAS (Motor Torpedo) Boats

MAS 526-class Motor Torpedo Boat

Sparviero-class Hydrofoil Patrol Boat

Various Submarines

CB2-class Miniature Submarine

Arogosta-class Minesweeper (ex-Ham-class)

Lerici-class Minehunter


  1. If only I had a bath big enough to fit them in!

    Thanks for sharing this with your readers Bob


  2. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

    If only!

    As you might have gathered, I love the Littorio-class battleships. To me they combine firepower with good looks; a sort of naval Ferrari.

    All the best,


  3. Great set of photographs Bob considering the conditions you encountered.

    Was there a model of a Cavour class battleship? My wifes father was at the receiving end of one of them at the first Battle of Calabria. He was on HMS Defender I think.

    The Cavours were heavily rebuilt between the wars and it would be nice to see what they would have looked like.

    I always liked the styling of the Regia Marina ships.

  4. Jim Duncan,

    Thanks for your very kind comment about the photographs. Between us, my wife and I took well over six hundred, and I have selected the best I could find for the blog.

    Surprisingly there were no models of either the Cavour or Doria-class battleships in their original or reconstructed versions.

    I have always considered that the Italian warships had a certain 'style' about them that made them attractive to look at. For example, if you compare the Gabbiano-class with their UK equivalent (the Flower-class Corvettes), the former looks elegant even if the latter looks more functional ... and was probably more robust!

    All the best,


  5. Hi Bob,

    A truly magnificent set of pictures and thank you so much for sharing them all. Mr Fox has a 'thing' about the Italian Navy so I expect he will be highly delighted to see them - naval Ferraris indeed!

    All the best,


  6. David Crook,

    The photographs do not do the models credit. They are much more impressive in real life.

    Mr Fox has gone even higher up in my estimation. I also share his high regard for the ships of the Italian Navy, and think that their designs are often underrated.

    All the best,


  7. The more I study your collection of photographs of these ships the more I am impressed with the quality of the models themselves. They are exquisite!

    I am also just as impressed by the quality of the photographs. You must have a much better camera than I have, or know how to use it more effectively then I can.

    I offer great credit to you, your wife and your camera for bringing a hint of the visual spendour of this model collection to the internet and our collective eyes. Your photos are much superior to any from the museums own website.

    Well done!!

  8. Jim Duncan,

    Many thanks for your very kind compliments about the photographs my wife and I took.

    They were taken on Nokia Coolpix digital cameras. All we did was to make sure that we did not use flash (it just lights up the glass, not the thing you are photographing) and tried to take them from angles where the reflections from the glass were not too bad. No tricks, no gimmicks, no skill ... just common sense (and a bit of luck!).

    All the best,