A generic pre-dreadnought battleship: Another attempt

Despite having decided to set my most recent project to one side for a day or two, I changed my mind overnight and decided to have another go at building a generic pre-dreadnought battleship for the naval war game I plan to put on at this year’s Conference of Wargamers (COW2016). The result can be seen below.

This is – in my eyes – a much better model, and it is the style I shall now try to replicate.

There was a section of wood left over when I made the hull of this model, and rather than waste it I turned it into a small engines-aft merchant ship.

This could easily be the sort of collier that was used to re-supply coal to a fleet’s ships … or it could be a cargo ship that needs to be protected by a cruiser from an enemy raider.

The ‘massed’ fleet of ships that I have so far built for this project now looks like this:

Though I say it myself, they don’t look too bad, do they?


28 Comments on “A generic pre-dreadnought battleship: Another attempt”

  1. I really like them. Cheers, Karl

  2. Actually, your fleet looks pretty cool!

  3. Chris Platt says:

    Dear Bob,so much cleaner and more menacing looking. Jobs a good `un.

  4. phf says:

    Those are nice! How are you going to distinguish the opposing forces? That is, are you going to paint them or leave them “au naturel”?

  5. Conrad Kinch says:

    They look lovely Bob. What conflict will they be seeing action in?

  6. No, Bob, they do not look too bad at all! I like your elegant (in more senses than one) solution to the battleship problem.

  7. They do look good. I like the new one better than the previous one but both are serviceable. The higher superstructure and extra gun made it possible for even me to pick out the cruisers from the battleships in the photo. Good job!

  8. Mr. Pavone says:

    I really like this idea an love your simple yet clear designs. I've taken it upon myself to give it a shot. I'm going to try making generic components so a ship can be cobbled together from a kit of parts. I've broken them down to average hull sizes, generic funnels and a few kinds of superstructures and a couple different styles of turret. I hope to piece them together with pegs. Let's see how it turns out.

  9. Peter Ball says:

    Lovely work, and a fine force!

  10. Fitz-Badger says:

    That's a cool little fleet of ships you've built there!

  11. Herr Zinnling (Karl),

    Thanks for your kind comment.

    All the best,


  12. Jonathan Freitag,

    Cheers! The fleet will continue to grow as I need at least a dozen for the game I am planning.

    All the best,


  13. Chris Platt,

    Many thanks for your very kind comment. It is pretty well the 'look' that I wanted to achieve.

    All the best,


  14. Phf,

    Cheers! I am not sure whether to paint them in Victorian livery or in grey. If I choose the latter option I will consider adding flags to distinguish which side is which.

    All the best,


  15. Conrad Kinch,

    Many thanks for your kind comment. I intend to use the models to fight imaginary battles set at some point between 1890 and 1905.

    All the best,


  16. Archduke Piccolo,

    Cheers! I think that I managed to 'crack' it with this model, and will use it as a guide for my future models.

    All the best,


  17. Ross Mac,

    I think that they will look even better once they have been painted. I may well reduce the height of the gun turrets on the cruisers to make it even easier to distinguish between the two types of ship.

    All the best,


  18. Mr. Pavone,

    Good for you! I hope that you have as much fun building your models as I have had so far with mine.

    I use short lengths of cocktail stick/bamboo skewers to reinforce the joints between the various parts of my models. It also helps to locate them accurately when I glue the parts together.

    All the best,


  19. Peter Ball,

    Cheers! There will be further additions to the fleet in due course.

    All the best,


  20. Fitz-Badger,

    Thank you so much for your very complimentary comment. It was much appreciated.

    All the best,


  21. You might try the same recipe on the 'old' battleships. That might tend to reduce the 'top heavy' look.

  22. Archduke Piccolo,

    I am certainly going to replace the large turrets on the first two battleship models with smaller ones. It should improve the way that they look and make them look more balanced.

    All the best,


  23. They look great Bob! With new and improved turrets the first battleships should just fine. The extra superstructure could denote them as flagships – admirals can't have too much extra space.

  24. William Stewart,

    I have just removed the old turrets and built some replacements. With luck they should be in place later today. If they look all right, I will write a relevant blog entry in due course.

    All the best,


  25. KEV. says:

    These certainly look the Part BOB. Are you going to paint the ships in Victorian Colours or go for a later Grey colour scheme? How will the Enemy ships appear?…Greys may do the trick – with different Flags for opposing Fleets. Regards. KEV.

  26. Kev,

    Cheers old chap!

    I haven't quite decided whether or not to paint my ships in Victorian livery or grey … but I suspect I will choose the latter and use flags to distinguish which fleet each ship belongs to.

    All the best,


  27. KEV. says:

    If Grey is the choice – two different shades of Grey – one for each side may look good – with small paper Flags astern mounted on steel pins – or cocktail sticks as Flagstaffs may also look good. I'm sure you will come up with a solution Bob – the Fleets will look marvelous. Regards. KEV.

  28. Kev,

    Thanks for the suggestions. I know that many navies used different shades of grey, varying from light to very dark – almost black – grey.

    All the best,


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