This Man Has Built Every British Warship Since WWII Out of Matchsticks

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Meet Philip Warren. He's built every naval warship deployed by the Royal Navy since World War II, 432 in all, just using matchsticks and the wooden boxes they came in. It's a hobby that's kept him busy since 1948.

Warren, who's now 79, built his first ship when he was 17 years old, using matchsticks, razor blades, sandpaper, and balsa wood glue. After building over 400 model ships—his collection includes every one built by the Royal Navy since 1945, as well as some U.S. ships, like the behemoth aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz—Warren has his technique down pat: an average 1:300 scale ship takes about 1,500 matchsticks and a month to create. All in all, he estimates that he's used some 650,000 matchsticks to create his miniature armada.


But sadly the fleet might not ever reach 500 ships—matches are wrapped in cardboard these days, and Warren says his supply of wooden matchboxes is running low. [Oddity Central via Asylum via Scuttlefish]