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WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Sources Of Ship Plans

Government Sources

1) Special Media Archives Services Division, NWCS, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001; telephone (301) 837-3200.

Their collection includes the general plans and drawing of most ships stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. Requests should be limited to no more than three ships at any one time. The average cost for microfilm is $23.00 per reel. Charges for paper copies vary with the size of the original drawing. The old name for this Division was the Cartographic Branch.

2) Smithsonian Institution:

The Smithsonian's collection of watercraft plans, maintained by the History of Technology Division of the National Museum of American History, is a valuable resource. To make their collection more accessible to the public, black-line reproductions of many of the plans are offered for sale. The Smithsonian has produced three publications containing descriptions of these plans and instructions for ordering large-scale copies. These catalogs are described and ordering information is included on the Smithsonian's website.

Commercial Sources

Note: Distribution of this list by the Department of the Navy is provided for informational use only and does not constitute endorsement by the Department of the Navy of products, websites, or services of the firms and organizations listed therein.

A. J. Fisher Inc.               Model plans, supplies
1002 Etowah Avenue              Catalog costs $3.00.
Royal Oak MI 48067

Bluejacket Shipcrafters          Kits, supplies, catalogs
PO Box 425C                      Emphasis on early 
Stockton Springs ME 04981        sailing ships.

Dromedary Ship Modeler's Center  Emphasis on 20th century
6324 Belton Drive                ships.
El Paso TX 79912

The Floating Drydock             Catalog costs $4.00.
General Delivery                 Emphasis on 20th century
Kresgeville PA 18333             Good for World War II.

Model Expo, Inc.                 Model kits, tools, 
3850 North 29th Terrace          parts, publications; 
Hollywood FL 33020               emphasis on sailing 
(954) 925-5551                   ships. 

Model Shipways                   Emphasis on sailing 
PO Box 1000                      ships. 
Industrial Park Drive
Mount Pocano PA 18344

Pacific Front Hobbies            Issues catalogs.
11804 NE 138th Street.
Kirkland WA 98034

Rocky Mountain Shipyard          Model plans and books.
590 Ronlin Street
Grand Junction CO 81504

Squadron Shop                    Mail order outlet for 
1115 Crowley Drive               domestic and foreign model
Carrollton TX 75006              kits and publications.
                                 Issues catalogs.


Periodicals contain advertisements for sources of model tools, parts, plans, publications and supplies, as well as articles on scratch-building and kit adaptation. Some libraries may hold back issues. Any library should be able to help locate these through union lists of serials.

Model Ship Builder (bimonthly)
PO Box 128
Cedarburg WI 53012

Model Shipwright: A Quarterly Journal of Ships and Ship Models.
Conway Maritime Press Ltd.
101 Fleet Street
London EC4Y 1DE

Seaways' Ships In Scale (bimonthly)
2271 Constitution Drive
San Jose CA 95124


Numerous books have been published on model building, ships, aircraft, and military vehicles. Libraries can help locate and borrow these publications through subject catalogs and the interlibrary-loan system. Many titles on modeling and military hardware that are not listed in the standard bibliographic sources can be identified and located through dealers and specialized periodicals. The Naval Institute Press, 2062 Generals Highway, Annapolis MD 21401-6780, publishes a wide variety of works on early and modern naval ships and aircraft; their catalog is available on request. Their books can be found in libraries, or can be ordered through any book dealer. A list of Norman Friedman's illustrated design histories, which include numerous ship plans, is contained in the ships section of Customs and Traditions: A Bibliography.

.If your organization wants to be considered for inclusion in the above listing, please supply a written description of your services and products to the Website Committee at the Naval Historical Center.

07 June 2005