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 fleet ocean tug served in WWII. It was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese submarine I-39, about 150 miles east of Espiritu Santo. Seventeen members of the crew were killed, but the survivors were picked up by the US minesweeper USS YMS-266.

Exhibit added: May 6, 2014 - Last modified: January 24, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship