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Hornblower's Ships: Their History and Their Models Hardcover – 18 Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Conway Maritime Press Ltd; 1st edition (18 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085177783X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851777832
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,140,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover
This exceedingly well written and well illustrated narrative of what is was like to work on the set of the magnificent Hornblower TV serial is a very good book indeed.
It provides a bit of information on everything, from the special effects to the model making processes, and from the historical precedents of the models to quotations from Forrester's books themselves.
There is a lot of colour splashed at the start of the book, and the only thing stopping this book from getting 5 stars is the fact that it is not colour throughout.
Martin Saville should be congratualted on his writing approach, which is acessable and full of interesting little stories, and his collection of photographs 'behind the scenes' will keep you busy for hours.
Well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lottielou43 on 3 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had a hard time finding a book for my shipaholic husband that he had not already read. He builds model ships and found this book well illustrated and very informative. The book arrived brand new and on time. I am really pleased with the result.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating and Informative 9 Sept. 2001
By Kevin Hing - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Though the number of recreational ship modelers is legion, few have achieved such breadth of knowledge and mastery of craft as author Martin Saville, who served as senior supervisor and consultant for the Emmy award-winning Horatio Hornblower films.
Anyone with even a passing interest in tall masted ships is apt to be enthralled with the Hornblower series, due in large part to the quantity and exceptional quality of the models used to depict the English, French and Spanish ships. The sailing and combat footage, complete with flame-spewing cannon, billowing sails and multiple-vessel horizon perspective shots, is so realistic that even expert model builders may find their disbelief inadvertently and momentarily suspended.
Saville's book admirably answers the dominant question that rings in your ears after seeing each episode: "How did they do all that?"
He provides a fascinating behind-the scenes account of the design, construction, and filming of the eleven model ships that were constructed for filming, complete with revealing photos during the various stages of construction.
One of the delightful things about Saville's approach is that he assumes that the reader has little or no prior knowledge about period ships and sailing. In addition to providing an understandable and novice-friendly explanation of each aspect of ship design and construction (hulls, masts, rigging, armament, etc.), he also includes concise summaries of the actual historical people and events upon which the Hornblower series is based.
For ship modelers, this book answers many of the nagging questions that may have been gnawing at you as you watched the films. To accommodate the requirements of the film cameras, most of the models were 4 meters (13 feet) in length and were designed to remain afloat for weeks at a time, thus requiring an innovative combination of the skills of shipwright and modeler to achieve such convincing success. Saville's book gives an interesting and detailed description of the headaches endured and triumphs enjoyed by the design team in making the project a reality. And yes, he even describes the electrical firing system they rigged for the cannon.
Saville also includes an excellent biblography listing the best reference materials regarding the history of the period and details of ships, masting and rigging.
In short, this book is a satisfying read for those interested in the Hornblower books, in tall masted ships, in shipbuilding, in ship modeling, and in the mystical methods of Hollywood moviemakers in capturing these images on film.
Hornblower secrets revealed! 9 Dec. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I got this book because I just loved the Horatio Hornblower mini series on A & E. This book really shows how they did the special effects in the movie. The detail in the writing as well as the great photographs is amazing. It goes into how they copied to scale perfectly the old ships to make the models for the movie.It also goes into detail about the actual ships they modeled the models after. I must say after I read this book I watched the movies again and found myself looking for the models! The book is a must have though if you love Hornblower. Its well done in every way.
Weak on History 27 Feb. 2014
By E. Pollock - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was really disappointed to find the book is really a "How I Built It" description of the tv models and a self-congratulatory retelling of epic proportion. My bad. I wanted a deck by deck tour of the "HMS Indefatigable"-- this isn't it. Great photos but not a whole lot of information regarding actual working areas aboard an 84 gun battleship. Happy to have anything to gain greater insight into the time and place, but I would rather but this at a later date and what I really want now....
I was expecting ships from the book series. Something ... 2 Mar. 2015
By karen a. perry - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expecting ships from the book series. Something that could be used in model making.This was only the A&E TV series and how they were made. No helpful construction info.
Awesome photos of amazing scale ships 19 Mar. 2014
By Robert R. Putnam - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lifetime Hornblower junky, I was delighted to find this delightful story of the models behind the excellent Hornblower movies series. The photos and drawings are nice, and there really is a remarkable story behind the building, transport and refinement of these models -- in a yarn stretching from Russia to the UK.
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