Matchstick Fleet

79-year-old Phil Warren from the UK spent 62 years to build this incredible fleet of 432 ships. All the ships are built entirely of matchsticks and wooden matchboxes. The collection includes 60 American and almost 370 British ships.

He started building his amazing matchstick models when he was just 17, using the things around him, and since matchsticks were much more common back then, finding large supplies was a very easy task.

The master modeller, from Brandford, Dorset, has created every ship built in the Royal Navy since 1945, as well as 60 other ships from the US navy and other impressive floating fortresses from 18 other nations. One of the largest ships in his collection is the famous USS Nimitz, the largest aircraft carrier in the world.

The average ship in his collection is made using around 1,500 matchsticks and takes about a month to complete, but for his larger creations he used over 5,000 matchsticks and 200 wooden boxes. These took him about a year to complete. More than 650,000 matchsticks have been used to create his entire fleet.

But Phil Warren, will soon have to give up doing what has kept him literally glued to his task since he was just 17 years old.

Not because he is too old or losing interest ... but because they no longer make the wooden matchboxes essential to the task, and defence cuts mean we no longer build as many warships.

Sources: [1] [2]