I signed with Chris Daley Publishing in early 2012, or late 2011. Unlike the case of my being under the banner of Nimble Books, LLC, working with Mr. Daley was a true joy. He was so understanding and helpful. I’d sign with him again in a heartbeat. The first book I wrote for the new publisher was a change of pace for me, inasmuch I wanted to start getting away from writing historical books and being known as a naval historian:
Building, Detailing, and Converting the 1:35 scale Italeri PT-596 provides ideas, suggestions, inspiration, and pointers for building this famous kit of a World War II PT Boat. Written by a noted naval historian with input from four scale ship modelers and noted researcher it features color photos of five models based on the kit, accompanied by descriptions of what was done to achieve such high quality models. It is illustrated with historical photos from the author’s archives as well as drawings from sources including PT BOATS, INC., the official national veterans association of the men who served on PT boats in World War II.
What I did was to gather a group of my scale modeling friends and asked to write up descriptions of how they built, detailed and converted a certain kit from an Italian model kit manufacturer (now out of production ~ or so I’m told). I figured this could assist other modelers “out there” if they were/are building the kit. I included detailed photos of real PT boats as well to let modelers see what they could include on their models if they chose to. Apparently, the concept was well received.
Some readers have said, “This book gives you the info you need to modify and build an “accurate” PT boat. Personally, I’m not a stickler for finite accuracy. But I have one of the Italeri 1:35 scale PT boats and I wanted to get some good ideas and tips. This book fits the bill. I don’t normally build boats, so it was very helpful to me. The book has full color images save for a few that are historical in black and white for reference. One reader mentioned blurry images, but that is only because of the field of depth on the images. What needs to be photographed is sharp, only the background may be blurry. Common with any macro photography. And even those photos are very few. In my opinion, if you plan on building a PT boat model, this would be a good book to have on hand.” And, “I like this book very much. Very informative and has great ideas on the converting the PT boat.”
Copies of this book can be found on http://www.amazon.com at:
So, on the coat-tails of that book, I went ahead (with the same group of modelers) and wrote this:
Revell PT Boat Kits in Plastic, A Review documents the history of the PT Boat kits issued by Revell. It provides ideas, suggestions, pointers, and inspiration for building these landmark kits. Written by a noted naval historian with input from six scale ship models and noted researchers it features color photos of models based on the kits, accompanied by descriptions of what was done to achieve such high quality models. It is illustrated with historical photos from the author’s archives as well as drawings from sources including PT Boats, Inc. the official national veterans association of the men who served on PT boats in World War II.
Whereas this book began life as sort of a “history” or overview of the various kits of PT Boats which the famous model manufacturer Revell has put out since the 1950s. It ended up being a collection of kit build reviews which described how to build and detail these kits. Information on what, if anything is out there in the way of after-market details which could help modelers improve these kits was included. And, like the first book, I included detailed photos of real PT boats as a aide to modelers. Again, this book was very well received. As evidenced by the following statements, “The book is full of color images, except for the historical ones, which are black and white of course. While the book focus’ on building the Revell PT boat kits, the steps shown and accuracy details mentioned could apply to any PT kit you use, for both a Higgins version or the Elco style boat. This book isn’t just about building the model. It goes beyond that. It shows the differences between different boats used during the war, and how you can modify your own model to be accurate. Get ready to scratch build, because making modifications to the existing kit, and how to do it, is the strong suit of this publication. Each image has a description explaining what’s going on. I especially like the close up images of specific parts, such as arms / guns, and deck mods. If you want to build a PT boat out of the box as is, you don’t need this book. But if you wonder if the kit is accurate, and want to make the changes needed for a specific WWII boat, this book is very helpful.” And, “A very useful guide to the Revell products, and helpful for those wishing to super detail their models.”
Sadly, the day before it was due to be released, Alex Johnson, an excellent model builder, a fountain of knowledge of PT boats and a dear and trusted friend and confidant passed away from injuries received in an accident. I asked the publisher if I could send him a short note to insert into the text about Alex. He let me do it. Alex has been missed both in the modeling and PT boat communities. Since its publication, Revell has released two “new tooled” kits of PT boats. At some point, I will re-edit the book to include reviews of those kits. Stay tuned.
Unfortunately, after that book, the publisher went out of business, but before he did, he reverted the rights to those two books back to me, allowing me to self-publish them. Copies of this book can be found on ww.amazon.com at: