We're happy to share with you information about our society and its activities. Below you'll find a brief synopsis of who we are and what we do. The links to the left lead to more pages where you will get a much broader picture of the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society. We hope you enjoy our site and that it may be useful to you.

Who we are

The Society, founded in 1967, is an association of individuals who are interested in pursuing the art of ship model building and the exploration of maritime history. The primary purpose of the society is to bring together persons interested in building quality ship models so that they may have the opportunity to exchange views and improve their skills. Members are people representing a wide range of ages who come from many varied occupations and backgrounds. Members come from as far north as the Northern Neck, as far west as western suburbs of Richmond and as far south as the border of North Carolina. Honorary members hail from such dispersed locations as Annapolis, Maryland and Toronto, Canada.

What we do

The interests of our members runs full spectrum, from the historical (photos and records), artistic (painting), decorative (pond yachts/half hulls), radio-controlled (RC) models, to highly detailed and historically accurate scale reproductions of all ship types. The skill level of members runs the full gamut from complete novices to highly skilled experts who have won top awards in highly regarded competitions both in the United States and abroad. Models built by past and present members of the Society can be found in many of our nation's premier museums. Model builders of all skill levels are always welcome. The Society is dedicated to helping ship model builders new to the craft learn new skills while giving experienced builders the opportunity to perfect their abilities. Even the most highly-skilled members are always seeking to improve their techniques with the help and advice of other Society members.


Members participate in a wide range of activities. The Society generally meets at The Mariners' Museum on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00AM. Members and guests are requested to use the business entrance.  Inform the guard that you are there for the Ship Model Society meeting.  If you need directions to the meeting room they will assist you.

Each meeting begins with a short business session. This is followed by a "show and tell" session during which members and guests display progress on their latest projects and discuss other items of interest, such as newly-discovered tools and other devices or products. Members frequently use this opportunity to query the membership about possible solutions to a problem that they have encountered. Helpful advice and useful solutions are always forthcoming. The remainder of the meeting is reserved for presentations on various aspects of ship model building and other maritime or research related topics. These presentations are prepared and delivered by members who have particular skills or interests. Recent presentations have covered such diverse subjects as the art of making lifelike models, lofting, framing and planking of wooden vessels, plating on iron and steel ships, as well as the art of casting in pewter and resin using rubber molds. In addition, the Society publishes a monthly newsletter called the Logbook.


The Society maintains close ties to The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia. A number of the members work at the museum as volunteer ship model builders. These volunteer members demonstrate the fine art of ship model building to the visiting public in a shop provided by the museum. Some members also lend their skills when models in the museum's collection need minor repair or restoration. The Society is also closely linked to the Nautical Research Guild, which is the recognized umbrella organization representing the interests of ship model builders on a world-wide basis.


Newcomers are always welcome.  You can attend a meeting without prior notice, but feel free to contact info@hrsms.org if you have questions about membership or the dates/directions are not clear.  Write to the same address if you wish to receive a copy of the current Logbook.

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