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We must confess that we’re not all that well versed in the world of model boat building here at Newsstand hovels, but it does look like an interesting, fun and rewarding hobby. We were particularly taken with some of the wooden models featured in the pages of Model Boats, and think they would make a fine project for anyone – in particular a father and son combination might work well. We do, however, know a couple of interesting things about boats (well, two in total to be precise) and here they are. Back in World War One, as ships began to dominate warfare and shipping of goods came under constant threat, there emerged a fascinating yet practical way of hiding ships – dazzle camouflage. Traditionally, ships have been painted in a grey or blue-ish hue to hide them from the enemy, but this still results in an obvious, ship-shaped lump on the horizon. Dazzle camouflage was based around striking geometric designs that are reminiscent of an Art Deco zebra, lines and block of colours designed to break up recognisable pattern of the ship. We also think they looked damn stylish doing it. The other of our two (count em!) pieces of knowledge is that during World War Two someone came up with the idea of making ships out of pykrete – an incredibly tough concoction of ice and wood pulp that was resistant to bullets and would take decades to melt substantially. Legend has it that the inventor was so pleased he rushed over to Winston Churchill’s house and dropped a lump of it in the bath occupied by the prime minister. Sadly, pykrete ships were never made, and there are no dazzle-camouflaged ships around, and the world is, in our opinion, a poorer place because of it. NB