I agree. This is an excellent book and in my opinion it belongs in the library of every collector.
Naval Ship Models of World War II in 1/1250 and 1/1200 scale: Enhancements, Conversions & Scratch Building, by Robert K. Liu.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Robert Liu for well over 20 years, and perhaps as many as 30. He has authored a string of short books on 1/1250 and 1/1200 scale model ships, and this is no doubt his finest and most comprehensive effort to date. A craftsman by desire and profession, Liu has published a long-lived and lavishly illustrated journal on fine art and is well-known for having crafted some exquisite jewelry. However, his passion is small scale ship models, and here he takes his skill in photography, manual dexterity, planning, and execution to the next level, as is clearly evident in Naval Ship Models. Moreover, Liu displays a command of history and technical knowledge that makes his text an ideal combination of skill and knowledge.
The book is 160 pages that are divided into 25 chapters, not including front and back material, together with very useful reference and index sections. The writing is clear and concise, with ample references to the many practical experiences that Liu has garnered in his efforts to modify small scale ship models. Indeed, he addresses the hobby's history, how the models are made, and even details the tools that are needed to produce some intriguing addendums and enhancements to these miniatures. The text is very clear regarding the techniques used and it is buttressed by the best photography I have yet seen in a book of this nature. Moreover, Seaforth Publishing has used very high quality paper and printing services, and thus the colors and details are vibrant throughout.
One could spend weeks examining the photographs alone, and even a quick viewing will attract many to this hobby. Here we see gems that are the equal in detail to models that are many times their size. We delve into the world of rapid prototyping, photoetch enhancements, making masts, and a slew of other topics that will be of great interest to all ship modelers. These techniques and tools are applied to plentiful interesting subjects, such as CAM ships, AA vessels, landing ships, transports, destroyers, aircraft carriers, and even armed schooners. Specific ships, such as the Kongo, Jean Bart, Eijo Maru, Surcouf, and numerous other vessels are addressed, with many examples being provided into how to improve AA mountings, repair damaged guns and masts, and make modifications. The section on aircraft is worthy of special mention, as are the many of the scratch-built models that Liu portrays.
Yet as comprehensive as this book is, it is the photography that captures one’s attention. My goodness, making a high-class fine arts magazine has honed Liu’s photography skills to an extremely high level. This makes understanding the changes and improvements being crafted much more compressible and clear. At a suggested price of £25 (about $34.60), this text is a bargain, a visual soup of the finest quality. The text compliments existing works by Paul Jacobs and many others, and it is a “must-have” for any serious small model ship collector or builder. Naval Ship Models of World War II in 1/1250 and 1/1200 scale is highly recommended.
Please forgive any typos. I am challenged in many ways...