The Shipbucket Project aims to create a unified and democratized archive of ship and aircraft drawings in a single uniform scale and style. Our raster pixel art is easy to edit and remix, meaning new authors can easily contribute to the project with tools as simple as MSPaint (or as advanced as Photoshop). Shipbucket aims to be a premier learning tool for naval design (both civilian and military), and our format is suited for amateur hobbyists and serious professionals alike.
Shipbucket began as a Photobucket account run by Martin Conrads (MConrads) in the early 2000s. The collection of work at that time was centered solely around Cold War and modern era naval ships. The sharp and detailed (but also simple) visual style, combined with the convenient scale, meant that the work on the original Photobucket account became a "gold standard" of sorts for computer-based naval art. The creation of standardized libraries of pre-drawn components simplified the process of drawing and allowed new artists to easily add to the collection of published work. A forum for new members to participate was created in 2008, and the community has grown steadily ever since.
Scales & official formats
Shipbucket is centered around two drawing scales. The original Shipbucket Scale is designed for elevation drawings (side views) of ships, and uses a standardized scale of 2 pixels : 1 foot. The newer and larger FD Scale is primarily used for aircraft and vehicle illustrations, with a scale of 22.093 pixels : 1 meter. FD Scale drawings are not currently hosted on this website, but can be found on the forum. There are additional scales for other types of drawings available on the forum as well.
The focus of Shipbucket has always been on creating accurate drawings of "real" and "never built" ships, but the style allows for basically infinite customization possibilities, and this has led to the creation of many extremely well-developed "alternate history" or "alternate universe" scenarios, all of which can be found on the forum. This website, however, only contains organized and categorized entries for "real" and "never built" designs.
How to participate
The best way to get started is to simply download an existing drawing and begin modifying it with a basic photo editing program to get a feel for how the process works! Also, make sure to please register a new account on the Shipbucket forum. This website's FAQ section is another good place to start for new artists. Finally, our Discord server is a great place to ask questions and speak to other artists directly. Good luck!