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 Yorktown-class carrier was launched in 1936. Interestingly, this was actually the seventh ship to carry the USS Enterprise name. Sometimes referred to as “The Big E,” the Japanese announced on three separate occasions that they had sunk the Enterprise in battle, only for the ship to return each time. This earned the Enterprise another nickname—The Grey Ghost. All told, the USS Enterprise (CV-6, 1941) earned 20 battle stars, the most of any US warship during WWII.

Exhibit added: May 6, 2014 - Last modified: January 25, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship