The technical details of British warships were recorded in a set of plans produced by the builders on completion of every ship. Known as the ‘as fitted’ general arrangements, these drawings documented the exact appearance and fitting of the ship as it entered service. They were very large – more than 12 feet long for capital ships – highly detailed, annotated and labelled, and drawn with exquisite skill in multi-coloured inks and washes. Intended to provide a permanent reference for the Admiralty and the dockyards, they represent the acme of the draughtsman’s art.
Today these plans form part of the incomparable collection of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which is using the latest scanning technology to make digital copies of the highest quality. This book is the first of a series based entirely on these draughts which will depict famous warships in an unprecedented degree of detail – complete sets in full colour, with many close-ups and enlargements that make every aspect clear and comprehensible. Extensive captions point the reader to important features to be found in the plans, and an introduction covers the background to the design.
The celebrated battleship Warspite is an ideal introduction to this new series – an apparently familiar subject, but given this treatment the result is an anatomy that will fascinate every warship enthusiast and ship modeller.
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