William Tompkins built 307 different model ships at a scale of 1/600. Mr. Tompkins started building his massive collection when he was in his early teens, and he continued to make highly detailed models throughout his lifetime. The fleet of model ships includes a wide array of models that span several decades, if not more, so the collection offers an insightful view of naval evolution over time. A portion of William Tompkins’ fleet of 1/600 scale model ships is on display in the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, CA.

This model ship was designed by Bill Tompkins in 1939, but never actually built at full size. Bill believed that this kind of design was the future of naval engineering, with a sleek and smooth profile. His work foreshadowed the beginning of the concept of “stealth” design, with an emphasis on low radar signature. He named this ship, “1960 Cruiser.”

Exhibit added: May 6, 2014 - Last modified: June 8, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship