Friday, August 19, 2016

Jutland in 1:2400 More Images

I used the opportunity presented by an upcoming game of AH Jutland to do a photoshoot of my 1/2400 fleet so far. The battle cloth is by Monday Knight Productions. We found the hex pattern useful when moving the cardboard Jutland counters. It made a useful backdrop for my miniatures fleet, though this is not from an actual game.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jutland: continued

I have now completed 17 Capital Ships for my Jutland collection, all GHQ 1/2400. I have included my Nore Command which so far has HMS Dreadnought plus 2 of the King Edward VII pre-Dreadnoughts.

HMS Africa

Friday, August 5, 2016

Jutland 1916: GHQ 1/2400

Continuing the Jutland theme, I have recently been painting some of the excellent GHQ Micronauts Great War range, 1914-18. Although they are very small, at a scale of 1/2400, the detail on these models is amazing. For example, the teak decks are modeled, in great detail,  along with numerous deck fixtures, the superstructure and some masts. Not all of the masts can be cast at this scale. However, Harmon and I have found that very thin gauge music wire can be used to scratch build masts. I have only tried so far to build the very tall main mast for HMS Iron Duke, the flagship of the Grand Fleet in 1916. 

I'll take some photos of the individual ships soon. However, I just wanted to share what I have painted in the last 6 weeks. I highly recommend this range. GHQ has a great website and provides excellent service and support for all of its numerous ranges. Until now, I had not discovered GHQ. My loss! They are a treasure.

I must immediately give full credit to the excellent article written by the author of the "Black Powder Games" Blog on painting GHQ models. It provided the inspiration and all of the techniques, which I tried to incorporate in my own humble efforts, though you will see much better work at his site:

So here we go. The Grand Fleet 1916...part one.

The Grand Fleet so far 

I used Litko flexible metal base bottoms attached to the Litko wooden bases to allow me to store these delicate models in boxes with magnetic sheet inside. Please click to enlarge the pictures.

Work in Process!

After much experimentation, I have learned the following lessons:

1. The models have to be cleaned and filed very, very carefully. What looks to be "detail" is often metal residue. It tends to coil up, looking like a deck fitting!

2. The fit of the deck infrastructure sometimes needs some adjustment. For example, the gun turrets don't always clear deck structures, etc.

3. The gun barrels are very, very soft, easily bent and difficult to straighten. Likewise the tripod gunnery observation masts. Handle with great care.

4. The detail is so fine, you have few opportunities to touch up the paint. You need very thin coats of paint and overpainting is seldom satisfactory. Don't put anything on the hull/deck until it is painted and detailed.

5. The more detail I try to add, the more "gummed-up" the model looks.

6. Don't be tempted to add piano wire masts or rigging unless you are an experienced modeler. It is possible, but drilling out the soft metal is a very tricky. I caused a lot of damage trying to install some simple flag staffs.

These models are beautifully detailed. However, the soft lead alloy is easy to damage.

HMS Iron Duke with mast and rudimentary rigging

The ocean bases are simply thin Litkos with several layers of white glue, paint and lots of varnish. The labels were produced in Photoshop using Black Powder Games labels as the model to follow.

Noble Knight is a very good source for these models and also has excellent service.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

HMS Suberb (1909) in 1/1250 scale

Here is the original HMS Superb, a Bellerophon-class battleship sailing at speed (20 knot maximum), featured in a photograph dated 1917.

HMS Superb displaced 18,600 tons and was armed with 10x 12 inch (300mm) 45 cal Mark X guns.

I have just taken delivery of my first 1/1250 scale WW1 warship by NAVIS. The model was purchased from Alnavco, the US licensed stockist of these German-made models. I am very happy with the model and the excellent service of Alnavco. These models are hard to come by. You see them adverstised "used" on eBay but I wanted a mint condition model. NAVIS also remakes the models from time to time and I wanted to be sure to get the newest version.

As you can see the sculpting quality is very high. The ship is minimally painted but is fully assembled out-of-the-box.

The eBay after market generally does not have these special boxes. The masts can get easily broken if not stored correctly.

Although NAVIS does not currently offer WW1 seaplanes, I wanted to see what their 1/1250 scale model Sopwith Camel looks like. As with the ships, it is a beautiful but tiny model.

The basic order comes as a flight of 3 aircraft in a special shipping/stowage box.

I am looking forward to gradually adding more pieces to this new collection. Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jutland 1916: "100th Anniversary" Game Using Avalon Hill's "JUTLAND"

On May 21st, 2016, I hosted a game of Avalon Hill's "JUTLAND".

This venerable old game was published in 1967. I think it has worn very well indeed as our game demonstrated. The event was planned by Harmon Ward, President of our local HMGS. Harmon commanded the Imperial German Hochseeflotte (High Seas Fleet). I commanded the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet. Mark Deliduka was the Game Master/Umpire for the game. The Strategic segment of the game required each of the commanders to plot the activities of their respective forces. Mark then compared our secret plots and revealed any contact. As it happened, the Hochseeflotte was discovered by the larger part of the RN's Super Dreadnoughts. The remainder, plus the detached Battlecruisers, joined the battle later in the day, having stayed within steaming range of each other. The result was a very exciting fleet engagement. We fought for most of the game day but need to continue the fight on the next game day.

The tactical engagement is fought on any convenient space. I used x3 6 foot tables and a felt ocean game mat. Hexes are not required but we found them helpful. 

Here are a few photos of various parts of the large fleets in action.

A Coat of Steel: Our First Game

On June 9th, 2016, Will and I played our first full Wars of the Roses miniatures wargame using The Perfect Captain's rules: A Coat of Steel. Will fielded his excellent Lancastrian army painted by the very talented Martin Robson for his private collection. Will augmented his force (reluctantly) with a few units provided by myself. My own army of Yorkists was painted by a variety of artists, depending on the "faction".  The majority are painted by Leuthen Studios, Carl Robson and myself, the latter with a lot of help from Jeff Lower. The flags are by CitadelSix. The 28mm miniatures are all by Perry, both plastic and metal.

Will and I have been building our armies for several years. I fabricated all of the character cards and other "props" provided on line by The Perfect Captain. I cannot recommend The Captain (whoever he is/they are) highly enough. The artwork and the rules are outstanding. They produced a very colourful  game which really felt like late medieval English warfare.

We played one practice skirmish to learn the rules. The game was technically a Yorkist victory. However, I consider this another learning game. In particular, we did not get quite right the Company and Ward composition. The Wards should have had more, smaller Companies. We did not really need to have all four Wards for both sides. The forces were not evenly matched and my superior firepower from Retinue archers skewed the final result. However, it was a fun and instructive game.

Here are a few photos taken during various stages of the battle. Jeff decided to spend his time on this Craft Day painting some miniatures but opined that it was a good game!