03 Mar 2017

Book Review: The Life and Ship Models of Norman Ough

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By Alistair Roach. Hardcover, 168 pages, presenting 150 B&W and colour photos, diagrams and plans.

ISBN: 978-1-4738-7947-8. Seaforth Publishing, (www.seaforthpublishing.com.). Suggested retail price £ 25, though for Canadians I can highly recommend ‘Book Depository UK’ as shipping is free.

Reviewed by MMM member Jonathan Evans, HMCS Models

This inspiring book has a short personal history of one of the twentieth century’s greatest model makers and draughtsmen, the stories behind some of his models, along with articles authored by Mr Ough for the magazines Model Maker and its modern incarnation Model Boats.

At a time when official naval drawings were ‘unavailable,’ Mr Ough’s dedication to accuracy cannot be understated. His models of WWII RN vessels are on display at maritime museums in the UK, and in private collections all around the world. His models are considered works of art: though not builder’s models, they exhibit the same attention to detail, based on actual photographs and the drawings he produced to build them, from which he earned a meagre living. His “frugal” life-style, away from the sea, led many to consider him an eccentric, but his genius and practicality for model making is obvious to all who have seen his models or drawings.

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The last Chapter was a real bonus for me: it lists his plans, but more importantly revealed that they now are held in the Brunel Institute (SS Great Britain Trust) archive. The plans had been acquired by David Mac Gregor Plans, (2,500+ ship plans), whose estate was bequeathed to the Trust in 2003.   To see this phenomenal list, just download the pdf file: “david-macgregor-ship-plans-collection-july 2013 pdf “.

One Response to “Book Review: The Life and Ship Models of Norman Ough”

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