A selection of unusual Manned Model Ships 



Manned model ships have been in existance since the early 1900's. Bassett-Lowke, the famous Northampton model makers had a series of 'Ships of the Line' designed by their Holbourne, London office Manager Edward Hobbs. He designed and managed the building of nine manned models that were constructed in only eight weeks and were used for about six months at the Imperial Services Exhibition at Earls Court, London in 1913 just prior to the outbreak of WW1.

The ships  were Dreadnought class  Battleships 'Colossus', 'Neptune', 'New Zealand', 'Thunderer', and 'King George' plus two cruiers and two destroyers'.

The battleships were over 20 feet long and the smaller ones about 12 feet.


 Below: Bassett-Lowke Ltd drawing signed by Edward Hobbs A.I.N.A. 




Above: HMS Dreadnought. A series of manned models of this class were 

built in 1913 for use at Earls Court, London.

Below: a typical battleship of the period.

It is said that the cost of building these large models is possibly less expensive than the highly detailed boat and ship kits currently on the market. This has promoted a number of privately built models that may become a popular sight on our rivers and lakes in the future.



Peasholm Park has a fine fleet of ships that enact naval battles on the magnificent lake. Model aircraft also 'fly' overhead and bomb the enemy ships together with a fine pyrotchnic display of mock cannon fire. Ships even burst into flame and take a list as if sinking !

Above: HMS Asturias.

Below:  HMS Jervis Bay and HMS Asturias.


Above: The Robert Eaves receiving a bomb attack.

Below: HMS Exeter with the superstructure opened to reveal the 'Skipper'.



Some beautiful battleships are to be found on this website:







A fine 4 m long battleship

Above and Below: Battleship hull under tests. 



Other fleets:


A very fine collection of 'caracature' boats and ships used by children on a shallow boating lake have been seen at Saint Savinien, France. Other similar models have been found in Europe and at lease one battleship is being built in Canada.


Le Manège Nautique de Saint-Savinien, France





Les Mini Bateaux au Lac de Passy Mont Blanc



La  Port  Miniature

Port Miniature

Ile de la Genuillette

17350 Le Mung

Tél. +33 (0)6 70 95 25 14



De Pays de Fougores

Base de Loisirs "Récré Nature"

Parc des Grands Chênes

Tel :

Port Miniature

Tel : or



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