Collecting Miniature Warships
When it comes to warships the best way to divide them up is by time period. We are going to take things a bit out of chronological order so we can touch on the most popular time periods first.
Keep in mind that these are just starting points. Many other ranges, some out of production, offer models in these time periods.
World War Two
The Second World War is far and away the most popular time period for collecting. You can find ships from this period from many producers, but if you are looking for the famous ships of this period the first stop has to be Neptun. This German producer located in a small town south of Munich has been in operation since 1968. Their level of detail is legendary and collectors will often ask if a model is "of Neptun quality".
Neptun model of USS Langley, the first US Navy aircraft carrier
Because Neptun produces an incredible array of models we have divided up their lists by nationality:
- Neptun Reichsmarine (ships of the pre-Hitler Weimar Republic navy)
- Neptun Germany
- Neptun Great Britain
- Neptun Japan
- Neptun United States
- Neptun France
- Neptun Italy
- Neptun Soviet Union
If you want some support for your fleet take a look at Saratoga Model Shipyard's offerings. Paul Jacobs of California builds the masters and has the production work carried out in Germany. His speciality is US Navy auxiliaries.
American hospital ship Bountiful by Saratoga
Two budget lines concentrate on World War Two. Both Atlas in 1/1250 and Eaglemoss in 1/1100 scale are mass produced models but in both cases the models are a bargain coming in at under $25 each. A great, inexpensive way to give collecting a try.
Eaglemoss 1/1100 scale model of the Japanese battleship Hiei as converted to a training ship in 1935
World War One
The other great naval war of the 20th century is the domain of Navis, the sister company of Neptun. The two companies were owned by brothers and since 2000 they have been joined together under the leadership of Rudi Kraus, the brother who founded Navis in 1962.
Much like Neptun, our catalog presents Navis models divided by nationality for ease of searching:
- Navis Germany
- Navis Great Britain
- Navis Japan
- Navis United States
- Navis France
- Navis Italy
- Navis Russia
- Navis Austria-Hungary
- Navis Sweden and Brazil
German battlecruiser Hindenburg with painted decks by Navis
The 19th Century
The primary producer of 19th century models is Hai. Run by Peter Krtina and based in Austria, Hai covers the major and minor navies of the age of steam. With almost 900 different models issued there are lots of interesting ships to chose from.
Hai has also re-issued some of the HL line covering this same time period.
Navis-Neptun produces a few 19th century ships, mostly Russian cruisers, in their Copy line.
Recently Johann Ottmann's Spider Navy has started issuing ships in his time period. They are not cheap, but are spectacular models produced using the latest technologies.
HMS Shah British steam frigate of 1876 by Spider Navy
The Cold War and Modern Eras.
The first stop for warships of the post 1945 period is Argos. Based near Hamburg, Germany they offer many American and Russian warships. Quality is excellent.
Neptun has also issued a small number of US Navy post-1945 ships.
Nuremberg based Albatros offers their ALK series that covers ships of the German, British, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese navies.
From German producer Klabautermann come ships of the French post 1945 fleet.
Also check out one of our two in house model lines, 1250 Models. We have produced Cold War and Modern era ships from the United States, the Netherlands, and Italy.
Now would you like to learn about Civilian Ships?