Friday, 12 February 2021

Turtle Ships - Fleet Action Style!

Having got my regular Imjin War rules done and dusted I've been thinking about a "fleet action" set, after seeing various comments about the new Tumbling Dice range in 1/2400 and how they would work well on bases with multiple ships.  It should be simple enough to meld "Inferno and Glory" with the ship stats and period detail of "At The Height of Battle" and so I've started testing, although I am likely to use the more "free form" approach to squadron formations in "Lord of the Sea" as it should allow me to better represent the fighting style of the Korean and Japanese fleets.

To get an idea of what they'd look like I've been playing with some 3D models in combinaton on 40mm bases, and I quite like the look of them. I expect the TD models will look similarly nice when mounted that way. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

All At Sea, Victorian Style

 For some strange reason I had a sudden desire to knock up some Victorian ironclads last week (nothing to do with "the Plan", one of those spur of he moment decisions. After a few days playing on Meshmixer I had knocked up three new models. Last year I created fleets for the Russo Turkish war in 1/1200 using some 3d models I bought on Wargame Vault. The models needed a lot of work to turn them into reasonable representation of the actual ships, and in so doing I created a library of funnels, turrets, masts and other fittings as well as hulls from which I could create new ships. At that time I used those pieces to build the auxiliary fleets of both sides (so plenty of steamers and paddle gunboats). This time I was looking for something bigger.

There are four new classes, three turret ships and a monitor. The turret ships are based on HMVS Cerberus, HMS Inflexible and a lengthened Inflexible type (mainly because I got the length wrong the first time). The fourth is a Royal Navy monitor. Whilst reading the new Helion book on HMS Captain I came across a section that briefly discussed RN plans for armoured ships for coastal defence (and a possible war in North America). The passage hinted at the preparation of designs for turret monitors similar to the US Passaic and Canonicus classes, so I thought I'd have a go at knocking one up. The design takes a "traditional" US monitor arrangement but with a Coles turret and with a deckhouse (I wanted something that looked distinct from a US type). The idea being that the deckhouse provided some cabins and other spaces in a lightly built open structure that was sacrificial in action, the engines, magazines, crew accommodation etc. below the armoured deck. I was quite pleased with the result.

None of these are true representations of their subjects (and in the case of the monitor of course, entirely conjectural), But they will see sterling service in the naval "imagi-nations" campaign setting that I am slowly working up, alongside the other hypothetical 1870s ironclads that I created when printing out the Turkish fleet. 

More on that project another day....

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Viper MkIIIs

 I've just finished the latest additions to my Bbattlestar Galactica collection, a brace if Viper MkIIIs from the "Blood and Chrome" miniseries. These are 3d prints from Thingiverse, modelled by nic3pu.

I'm broadly pleased with these but worried that they my be a bit too dark, so I'm printing a 3rd to try in a lighter grey.  But for now these will do.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Project X is - Turtle Ships!

Regular readers will have heard me mention "Project X for a while now. Today all can be revealed.

Project X is the Imjin War in 1/1200, with a lovely range of new models from MT Miniatures (the first lien of wargaming models in this scale), supported by a new set of rules by me. The plan is that MT will sell a boxed set of 14 ships for both sides along with a hard copy of the rules, movement templates and dice. Assuming the starter set is successful the models should then also be available in packs (details tbc).

Matt at MT gave me a set of the models this week and I finished painting them up today. I'm really pleased at how they turned out. Matt must have been as well as he immediately posted a "press release" on his Facebook page and to the Naval Wargaming group.

I have to say, I'm quite excited about this. The Imjin War at sea has fascinated me for decades, I started on my first set of rules for it around 30 years ago. Of course, no models were available then so I had to make do with card counters. The next iteration was a variant I drafted for Strange Tydes but again that went nowhere. I reworked my "Cannon, Cross and Crescent" rules a few years ago in the hope that someone would surely make models if these most interesting, distinctive (dare I say bizarre?) ships. And then in a chance encounter at the NWS refight of Midway  here in Gloucestershire a couple of years back Matt from MT said he wanted to work up a set of models for wargaming, and did I have any ideas? From that Matt worked up the models whilst I finalised the rules. The original plan was to release the set during the Summer of 2020 but of course the pandemic put the brakes on that. But now Matt is just about ready to proceed.

Fingers crossed the models and rules are a success, as  have lots of ideas for new types that his sculptor can try his hand at making!

Friday, 8 January 2021


 Having worked on my Russian, Turkish and "imagi-nation" fleets in 1/1200 from the 1870s and 1880s last year I thought I could do with some "flatiron" gunboats. Looking through Thingiverse I found a file for HMAS Protector which, although oversized for what I wanted, formed an ideal basis. I needed up the gun barrels, replaced the funnel with something better looking and revealed to give a small and medium sized generic boat that looks OK. I could do with some civilian ships as well, but removing the guns from some of the auxiliary steamers I have already should make that an easy job.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Blackbird Finished

 Fresh out of the paint shop, I'm quite pleased at how this has turned out :)

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

BSG - The Blackbird

Alas "Battlestar Galactica - Starship Battles" is coming to an end as Ares has lost the licence to produce it. But the online discussion surrounding this has prompted a bit of 3D model building. Today I was pointed towards an STL for the "Blackbird" home-made stealth Viper that features in a few episodes of the reimagined series. It's just popped out of the printer and looks good. During tonight, paint job tomorrow along with a few more ships from The Expanse.

If anyone wants to try this themselves the model is by nic3pu and can be found on Thingiverse:

Blackbird by nic3pu - Thingiverse