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.

USS Ranger (CV-4, 1933) was the first dedicated US Navy carrier designed from the ground up. A relatively small and slow ship, the Ranger served in the Atlantic during WWII. Six smokestacks can be seen coming out of the sides of the ship. Later designs would direct them upward. The USS Ranger was one of the first fourteen ships to be fitted with the new RCA CXAM-1 radar in 1942. The ship was one of only three pre-war US carriers to survive WWII (there were 8 total).

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

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship