Fleet review … or two!

I have had several requests to publish some photos of my two completed battle-fleets of toy-like model ships … so here they are!

Each battle-fleet comprises:

  • Four pre-dreadnought battleships
  • Two armoured cruisers
  • Three protected cruisers
  • Four torpedo boat destroyers

I hope that this will be enough vessels to enable quite large actions to be fought as well as the numerous smaller sea battles and skirmishes that take place during a war.

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My Torpedo Boat Destroyers … are now painted!

The torpedo boat destroyers I recently built are now painted and have joined my fleet of toy-like model ships.

I can now begin play-testing my naval rules, and hope to do so over the next day or so.


My Torpedo Boat Destroyers

I finally got my act together and built some torpedo boat destroyers for my forthcoming naval wargame session at COW2016 (this year’s Conference of Wargamers, which will be held in July).

The eight ships fall into two almost identical classes, with only the length of the two groups of four ship defining which class they are in. All I have to do now is to paint them … and then the play-testing can begin!


Model Boats magazine: A source of ideas

I regularly look at both model railway and model boat magazines as they can often be an excellent source of ideas and/or techniques that I can use in the modelling I do for my wargaming. This month’s MODEL BOATS magazine is an excellent example as to why it is always worth perusing such magazines as it contains two articles that are useful to the naval wargamer.

Firstly a free set of plans for a generic pre-war French super-destroyer comes with the magazine.

The design of Le Capricieux is based on that of the Le Fantasque-class of destroyers that were built for the French Navy in the 1930s. As a result she is a low, sleek ship, armed with five main guns and three sets of torpedo tubes, and with a certain Art Deco look about her, especially around the bridge area.

Although the plans are 1:144th-scale, they are certainly of use to wargamers who want some idea as to how to model a super-destroyer … and free sounds like quite a good price to pay!

The second item of interest is an article about John Hollis’ model of the USS Alarm, a torpedo ram that was built in 1874.

The ship has such simple lines that I can see it appealing to many wargamers as a possible starting point for a warship that they can use in their wargames. Rather like the Rendel gunboats operated by the Royal Navy and other late Victorian navies, Alarm is armed with one large-calbre gun forward and has minimal upperworks. (She was also designed to carry four Gatling Guns, but these seem never to have been fitted.) However, unlike the Rendel gunboats Alarm had a very prominent ram, which along with the spar torpedo she carried, was her principle weapon.


Model Merchant Marine

I have finally managed to paint the twelve merchant ships I made to go alongside my toy-like pre-dreadnought model warships.

I stuck to a very basic paint scheme of black hulls, white upperworks, brown hatch covers, and coloured funnels. This serves to distinguish them as merchant ships and to give each one a slightly different look.


‘I’ve a whip at the fore …’

I have now painted the second of my two fleets of toy-like model ships. Like the first, this fleet comprises four battleships, two armoured cruisers, and three protected cruisers.


‘I’ve a broom at the mast …’

I have managed to paint the first of my two fleets of toy-like model ships. The fleet comprises four battleships, two armoured cruisers, and three protected cruisers.

The fleet sails into action. The three protected cruisers are in the van, followed by the two armoured cruisers, and finally the four battleships.

I think that they look quite menacing in their mid grey colour scheme, and have turned out to look even better than I had hoped that they would.


The title of this blog entry comes from a long-forgotten song that was sung by the Australian baritone, Peter Dawson. The song was entitled THE ADMIRAL’S BROOM.