June 6, 2023

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In Depth Tactical Solutions

The Life and Ship Models of Norman Ough

2 min read

By Alistair Roach; Foreword by Philip Reed


Norman Ough is considered by many as simply the greatest ship modeler of the twentieth century and his exquisite drawings and meticulous models have come to be regarded as masterpieces of draftsmanship, workmanship and realism; more than technically accomplished ship models, they are truly works of art.

This new book is both a tribute to his lonely genius and a practical treatise for model shipwrights. Ough lived most of his adult life far from the sea in a flat high above the Charing Cross Road in London, where his frugal existence and total absorption in his work led to hospitalization on at least two occasions; he was an eccentric in the truest sense but he also became one of the most sought-after masters of his craft. Earl Mountbatten had him model the ships he had served on; his model of HMS Queen Elizabeth was presented to Earl Beatty; film production companies commissioned models for effects in several films.

Incorporating many of his original articles from Model Maker Magazine, his detailed line drawings of ships now held by the Brunel Institute, and photographs of his models displayed in museums and at Mountbatten’s home in Hampshire, this book presents an extraordinary level of practical information as well as an inspiring panorama of perhaps the most perfect warship models ever made, while naval enthusiasts and historians will welcome his remarkable insights into the ships of the two World Wars.

Alistair Roach

Alistair Roach has published articles in The Mariner’s MirrorThe International Journal of Nautical ArchaeologyMarine Modelling International and Model Boats Magazine. He is a ship modeler himself and brings a practical slant to his writing.

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