Jun 22, 2020

WIP - Colonial Gunboat, Codename "Glama"

My interest, again, drifts me towards late 19th - early 20th century naval development, when warships looked more like jewel boxes and not tools of war. 

This is going to be a full-hull toy ship, reminiscent of the colonial gunboats employed by the great powers, with a few guns and a minimal superstructure. 

I intend to make her sea (or bathtub) -worthy, so right now I'm making the internal compartment water-tight from the inside, with lots of PVA. The large washers serve to keep her point of balance low, something really difficult to do if one plans on using just a block of wood. The outside part will be dealt with using synthetic varnish over a few coats of pink paint.

Jun 15, 2020

The Battle of Tunova Atoll AAR

The Asansmati state has been conducting merchant raiding on the Klagimir shipping lines for a while now. The perpetrators did not know that the Klagimir war fleet has recently obtained two modern units, a dreadnought battleship and a battlecruiser. The Klagech declaration of war followed suit, and soon major operations took place, ending in the decisive battle off Tunova Atoll at the southern tip of the Asansmati archipelago.

Jun 14, 2020

1/600 SMS Derfflinger WIP #4 - Suffering with the Secondaries

Current parts count: 55 (Hull: 3, Secondary casemates: 52)

As I mentioned in the previous post, the secondary casemate batteries are a pain in the bum to complete. After some hesitation, I set myself on the task. This required looking at reference pictures a lot, then drawing some sketches, after which I finally became enlightened and found a procedure to do this correctly. (While looking for different angles on the secondaries, I also found out that a major feature, the ring preventing spent casings to roll under the turret, does not appear on my blueprints, so a point for historical references.)

The method chosen for the Viribus Unitis was way too simplistic, which showed on the model - I'm never going to make that mistake again. 

Jun 13, 2020

1/600 SMS Derfflinger WIP #3 - Let the Woodworking Begin!

Honestly I kind of had a 'block' because I had no idea how to properly shape the main deck. Finally I just sat down and measured the blueprints in 2cm slices to have the exact height from the waterline. Then I sanded the sides of the hull to shape, with the top view plans clamped to where the deck should be.

I've been using 100 grit sandpaper and a wooden sanding block to do the job, this would be increased gradually to 1000 grit or so. Learning from the Bretagne and Viribus Unitis builds, it is very important to sand each piece between layers of filler/primer/paint to have a truly smooth surface.

Jun 10, 2020

Krustacean War Fleet

And now for something completely different...

The Great Empire of Krustacea was founded some 10,000 years ago, on the remote planet Casserole-MDV-835. Its origins go back even further, to the mad genetic scientist Dr. Schnauzer von Blauberg. He moved to said planet to conduct illegal experimentation on shrimps, and as a result, his test subjects gained intelligence, soon overpowering him. Many millenia later, Krustacean war fleets are roaming the galaxy, spreading fear and mayhem.

This is a 50pt fleet for an escalation campaign I have designed to play with my brother, based on One Page Fleets. The models are built using scrap pieces of balsa wood and toothpicks. I did use some more complex techniques like dowels and joinery in the procedure, finishing off with two layers of PVA, then an iridescent turquoise-blue-green paintjob. The beads representing the cockpits or somesuch are a thrift store find. Please come along and inspect the various units of the fleet below!

Jun 4, 2020

1/600 SMS Derfflinger WIP #2 - The Shopping List!

I've made little to no progress on the model, but I'm in the middle of writing a list of things to be purchased. So this post mostly serves as a guide for myself. For the sake of simplicity, I will not be making every tiny bit of detail by hand, and these things help a great deal. I'd really like to gout on this model and make it as accurate as possible.

I'm assisted by a new Dremel tool which I've got for my birthday, this should make some tasks such as cutting and sanding (especially the concave sanding at the bow) more time-effective and comfortable. I'm still going to have to do the sloping deck by hand, probably with a large sanding block.

So far my shopping list includes:
  • 4mm balsa plank for the turrets and superstructure, also the boats (I'm going to try a more complex boat construction instead of single blocks of wood)
  • Various girths of steel wire: 0,8mm for the secondary battery barrels and cranes, 0,5mm for the 88mm AA platforms, 1mm for the main battery barrels and masts. Fortunately these can be had for a small price.
  • Pins or small brass nails used for wooden ship models, for coaling hatches
  • 1/700 scale photoetched railings (upping my game a little bit here), there are some generic pieces out there that I can use, and I really hope the scale difference does not matter
  • 15mm washers for the turret rings (either to be used as templates or glued on)
  • 4/5mm dowels for the secondary casemates; 13-14mm dowels or pinewood rods for the stacks (may also be shaped out of balsa)
  • 0,1 and 0,25mm rigging thread

Jun 3, 2020

6mm Terrain

I thought I could use a few more compact terrain pieces, so I did some tinkering with available stuff.

On the left, you can see a bunch of pine trees re-based, two sets on MDF and one on a CD. Although the trees are more distant than they could be, I think the varied terrain adds a touch of reality. There is also a set of rocks covered in vines and flock on the extreme left. The rocks are corkboard, and there are pebbles, branches and dried tea filter stuffing on the bases. 

In the center, I used the same basing technique with home-made trees. The trunks are twisted wires, and they are dipped in the same spongy flocking material. I do sort of lack non-coniferous trees, but the test worked well, so I might make some more. I think rounding down the edges of the MDF base, in support of irregular shapes, is also a nice touch.

The two hills are made from insulation foam that I grabbed at a construction site, they would have thrown it out anyway.

A small fortress in the middle of a lake and a small town are also in the making, both will be based on CDs (I also have an abundance of those, and they are quite practical).

Jun 2, 2020

España and Friends

I know there were only three of these, but being such a compact and useful (cough cough) design, I thought I could just make a fourth. So here I present the Spanish España-class dreadnoughts in all their might.

Working on them was not really an issue, quite straightforward designs. Their fighting ability is, however, severely limited, so I thought that my Spaniard-esque Imagi-Nation should include the stronger dreadnoughts ordered and/or completed by the South American navies as well. 

Their other purpose is that the Quisobian naval expansion, being rather close to Friegland, can prompt the development of better dreadnought designs. You could see the Nassaus in the previous post, and sooner or later all other dreadnought classes of the Imperial German Navy should join them, beginning with the Helgoland-class, a.k.a. the actually not that useles hexapodal arrangement.

I have included the "realistic" mode in my naval rules when reading up on these ships and early RN dreadnought classes. Players should choose if "realistic" firing arcs include doing damage to the firing ship, like the Españas could have done, had they used their center turrets to shoot across the deck. (This means that a Nassau's or Helgoland's eight-gun broadside is still heavier than the España's six.)

Jun 1, 2020

Nassau-class battleships

We have just passed Jutland's anniversary, which is a good occasion to present four of the participants recently completed, the German Nassau-class dreadnoughts. Being Germany's first attempt at building such ships, they're not much to look at, but I liked building them anyway. The only setback was providing the 24 turrets for the four ships altogether. 

As usual, they are built using balsa wood, toothpicks, 0.5mm steel wire, broom bristles, and sit on an MDF base looted from Ikea before all this madness had begun. 

I'll be posting more ships in the near future, as some of my recent builds had not been shared yet.