The guide below will help you find materials on ship models. The museum library has a range of books on the subject of model making, some of which are listed below. To browse for more, use the subject index of the catalogue (under Ship Models) or check the shelves around the 623.8201 area when you next visit the library.


Ship models: technical

Refer to the following books for details on rigging techniques, sail plans and fittings for different vessels.

Masting and rigging the clipper ship and ocean carrier
Harold A Underhill. Glasgow. Brown Son and Ferguson, 1946.
623.862 UND

The model shipbuilder's manual of fittings and guns
Captain A. Pisard. London. Faber and Faber Ltd, 1939.
623.8201 ISA

Plank on frame models and scale masting and rigging Vols. 1 and 2
Harold Underhill. Glasgow. Brown Son and Ferguson, [19-].
623.81-1 UND

The anatomy of Nelson's ships
C. Nepean Longridge. London. Percival Marshall, C.1955.
623.8201 LON

The arming and rigging of British ships of war 1600-1815
Brian Lavery. London. Conway Maritime Press, 1987.
623.8225 LAV

Nelson's navy: the ships, the men, the organisation 1793-1815
Brian Lavery. London. Conway Maritime Press, 1989.
359.00941 LAV

The masting and rigging of British ships of war 1625-1860
James Lees. 2nd rev ed. London. Conway Maritime Press, 1984.
623.862 LEE

Ship models: Their purpose and development from 1650 to the present
Brian Lavery and Simon Stephens. London: Zwemmer, 1995.
623.8201 LAV

Hornblowers ships : their history & their models
Martin Saville. London : Conway Maritime, 2000
623.8201043 SAV

Open boats

The following books are a good source for those wanting to build models of ship boats or whaleboats.

The construction of model open boats
Edward C. Freeston. Greenwich. Conway Maritime Press, 1975.
623.8201 FRE

The whaleboat: A study of design construction and use from 1850 to 1970
Willits D. Ansel. Mystic, Conn. Mystic Seaport Museum, 1978.
623.829 ANS

Ship model collections

The following books are illustrated catalogues of major collections around the world.

Navy Board ship models 1650-1750
John Franklin. - Annapolis, Md. Naval Institute Press, 1989.
623.8201 FRA

Catalogue of the Henry Huddleston Rodgers collection of ship models United states Naval Academy Museum
Annapolis, Md. United States Naval Institute Press, 1954.
623.8201 UNI

Catalogue of ship models National Maritime Museum
Greenwich. The Museum, 198-.
623.820104 NAT

Catalogue of ship models
R.C. Anderson. - London. HMSO, 1952.
623.820104 AND

Beschrijvende catalogus der scheepsmodellen en scheepsbouwkundige teekeningen 1600-1900
2nd ed. - Amsterdam. Nederlandsch Historisch Scheepvaart Museum, 1944.
623.8201074 NED

17th and 18th century ship models from the Kriegstein collection
Arnold and Henry Kriegstein. Florence, Or. : SeaWatch Books, 2010
623.8201 KRI

Books on specific models

To find books on specific models, check the library catalogue under the name of the ship (for example, Essex).

The Anatomy of the Ship series is also very useful for the model maker as it examines individual vessels in detail. To find titles in this series, look in the title index of the library catalogue under Anatomy of the ship. Another similar series is the Shipshape series.

Looking to buy books? Shop online at the museum store.


The library has the following catalogues of model plans.

Working drawings for scale ship models
Harold A. Underhill.Glasgow. Brown Son and Ferguson, 19-.
623.8201 UND

Boat plans at Mystic Seaport
Anne and Maynard Bray. Mystic, Conn. The Museum, 2000.
623.8120223 BRA

87 boat designs : a catalogue of small boat plans from Mystic Seaport
Benjamin A.G. Fuller. Mystic, Conn. The Museum, 2002.
623.8120223 FUL

Catalogue-15 Floating Drydock
Kresgeville, Pa. Floating Drydock, c.1989
623.8120223 CAT
A current list of available plans can be found on the Floating Drydock website.

David McGregor plans authentic scale plans 1989-1990
David McGregor. London. David McGregor, c.1989.
623.8120223 DAV

Purchasing plans

We recommend the following local sources for those looking to purchasing plans.

Modeller's Shipyard

Ship Modelling Society of Victoria

The Nautical Research Guild's Resources for ship modellers includes a wealth of information, plus tips on finding designs, books and images.

Unfortunately the ANMM does not have model makers plans for vessels in its collection at this stage.


The following periodicals have articles of interest to the model maker.

Model shipwright.
Library holds No.1 (1972)-
The library has created an index to articles in Model Shipwright. Ask the library staff for access.

Ships and ship models.
Library holds 1931-1945.

Model ship builder.
Library holds Vol.12, No.70 (1991)-.

Nautical research journal.
Library holds Vol.1, No.1 91949)-.

Mariners mirror
Library holds Vol.18, No.1 (1932)-.

Online Collections

Many organisations and museums display ship model collections online, including the two Australian examples below.

Sydney Heritage Fleet has a model workshop page which features their collection plus gives information about hull kits and plans for sale.

The Collections Australia website allows you to search for the name of the model or builder you are looking for at several museums. See its Collections database.


Some repositories holding plans of Australian vessels are listed below.

Noel Butlin Archives
Some Australian merchant marine vessels.

National Archives
The Archive's shipbuilding collection includes plans from the Australian Shipbuilding Board and Cockatoo Island Dockyard.

Plans for Royal Australian Naval vessels were transferred to National Archives (Canberra) by the Navy.

The Naval Historical Society of Australia has a range of RAN ship drawings for sale on CD.

State Records of NSW
Extensive holdings of plans for vessels built at the NSW Government Dockyard. Also have ferry plans transferred from State Rail Archives.