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The MSB Journal

Sailors have built models of their ships since time immemorial. Some of the foremost modern practicioners see their models featured in the pages of The MSB Journal, the online publication of ModelShipBuilder.com. The models are of the caliber that you would see at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, or the Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

Since the sailor of today cannot just go down to the dock and explore one of Nelson's Wooden Walls or a China Tea Clipper, these models are the best opportunity he has to see how the old ships were constructed and how they looked. The model makers featured in MSB Journal generally build plank on frame, just as the original ships were built, using scale lumber and following prototypical drawings and photographs.

In addition to pictures and articles about models of ships of all vintages, the issues of MSB Journal contain historical articles about all facets of sailing and shipbuilding. An ongoing feature is a look at a historic shipyard. One recent issue described Blackwall Shipyard on the Thames which started building East Indiamen in 1617 and continued in operation until 1987.

The editors of MSB Journal are fascinated by old sailor slang and jargon, and they end most issues with a page of sailor sayings and terms. For example, "rounding the buoy" is taking a second helping at table. "Poodle faking" is going ashore to meet young ladies. "Money for old rope" is an easy job.

MSB Journal is a pure digital magazine. There is no option for a print edition. Several years worth of pdf files are available free of charge at ModelShipBuilder.

Reviewed by Paul M. Clayton