London, August 26 (ANI): A British craftsman has made a strike force of more than 400 ships, created entirely from matchsticks.
Master model maker Philip Warren, 79, has spent 62 years to make a model of a ship from every class in the Royal Navy since embarking on his lifelong hobby in 1948.
His armada - totaling 432 ships - also includes dozens of vessels from the US Navy, including a 40in long aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
Warren, who has never smoked, reckons he has used more than 650,000 matches and 6,500 wooden matchboxes collected by friends and relatives.
His ships, on a 1:300 scale, are incredibly detailed and include 1,200 tiny planes for the aircraft carriers.
The average ship is made of around 1,500 matches and takes him up to three months to build.
But he gets through more than 5,000 matches and 200 boxes for his largest creations, which can take him up to a year to make.
Warren 's navy - which also includes 16 submarines - is flat-bottomed so they give the impression of floating on water when placed on a blue tablecloth.
Warren, a retired company director from Blandford, Dorset, is now exhibiting 251 of his ships at the Nothe Fort Museum in Weymouth.
"I started building ships when I was 17," the Sun quoted Warren as saying.
"Matches were much more common then - they were used all day every day and every man would carry a matchbox with him.
"I base my models on plans, drawings and photographs of the real ships and they are accurate scale models.
"When I started it was all big battleships with guns, but ships have changed to use more complex missiles and radar over the years," Warren added. (ANI)