I was asked about the Tumbling Dice models that I have used as proxies for the Prussian and Danish flotillas at Jasmund / Rugen in March 1864. While most of these are close enough in terms of size and appearance, there are one or two that I've had to include that are some way off, particularly the paddler Loreley. PrussiansNymphe (Screw Corvette) - ASV 11 Screw SloopArcona (Screw Corvette) - ASV 8 Small Frigate HMS ArrogantLoreley (Paddle Aviso) - ASV 16 Paddle CorvetteComet (1st Class Gunboat) - ASV 15 Screw CorvetteScorpion, Wespe, Pfeil, Hyane and Hay (2nd Class Gunboats) - ASV 13 Screw GunboatDanesSkjold (Screw Ship of the Line) - ASV 3 2nd Rate 90 gun HMS HeroSjaelland (Screw Frigate) - ASV 5 Frigate HMS PhoebeTordenskjold (Screw Frigate) - ASV 8 Small Frigate HMS ArrogantThor (Screw Corvette) - ASV 11 Screw SloopHeimdal (Screw Corvette) - as aboveA few compromises here and there but they do look the part and are more than adequate as stand ins for the real thing. I'm hoping
Prussians (left) Danes (right)I have about three weeks left before we head off for France, so thought I'd aim to get the Prussian and Danish ships painted for the Battle of Jasmund / Rugen in March 1864. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jasmund_(1864)I have already based and base coated the relevant proxy Tumbling Dice models for this, along with a whole load more, but haven't actually painted them, so I thought it would be a great idea to finally get them tucked away. I've been meaning to wargame this little naval skirmish from the Second Schleswig War for many years and have now got some experience painting 1/2400th scale models, so why not give it a go, especially as there are only a handful of ships and many of them are just tiddly gunboats!
I finished off the flotilla of ironclad rams, turret ships and box battery vessels today, giving them a layer of Army Painter matt coat at the end to kill the shine from the brush-on artist's varnish. I'm quite happy with the way they turned out, even if they were a bit troublesome along the way, but I can still improve my painting technique to get the most out of the models. I may try a different method on the Napoleonic ships that I'll be assembling over the holidays, as I've seen some good results using a white rather than a black undercoat, followed by washes of watered down paint to bring out the detail.
Peter Pig USS Passaic / Old Glory HMS Devastation1/2400th Tumbling Dice / Old Glory 1/600thI recently acquired a 1/600th Old Glory resin and metal model of HMS Devastation via eBay, for a fraction of the full asking price and still sealed in it's plastic bag. Although not the most detailed of kits it is perfect as a wargaming model and, with a little detailing, a nice base and a half decent paint job, will look suitably imposing. I plan to use it alongside my other 1/600th scale American Civil War models, even though it wasn't launched until 1871, as a bit of a 'what if?' project. It is pretty impressive and dwarfs the 1/2400th scale equivalent from Tumbling Dice, which is still stuck on the workbench being painted. Nice.
A new book for reading over the holidays, which are a couple of weeks away, give or take. I'm probably going to be assembling some 1/600th scale ACW models over the summer, as it's one of the top things on my 'to do' list for this year, so I thought I'd get stuck in to some appropriate background reading.
To all intents and purposes, I've now wrapped up my brief but productive coastal terrain project, with the gun batteries and slightly dodgy fort now finished. The paintwork on the gun batteries isn't brilliant but they are certainly useable and will be good as scenario elements. The fort is a temporary stand in until I can find something more accurate and less bodged together, but it will also be useful in the meantime. I know Hallmark have some forts and Martello towers, while the Irregular Miniatures 2mm terrain range is also supposedly fine for 1/2400th scale. I'm sure I'll be back to make some more terrain tiles but for the moment I'm done and dusted.
It's been a stupidly hot and busy day but the coastal terrain is nearly there, with the headland painted and awaiting a wash and brush up to be finished. I think I've managed to match it to the other terrain pieces fairly well but I'll have to wait and see. The fort and batteries are also nearly finished and are just waiting for the guns to be installed. I haven't got enough of the guns and mortars to fit every embrasure so will have to compromise, with the smaller batteries reduced to two mortars a piece. I'm now thinking about some terrain templates to drop on to the top of the tiles, so that the shoreline isn't as barren and to cover up the joints between the tiles.
I started painting the shore batteries and the coastal fort yesterday but didn't get very far due to various unwanted distractions. I decided to upgrade the Tumbling Dice batteries to a more substantial brick built construction rather than just improvised earth and timber, which is what they are supposed to represent. They're neat little models and I may well get a couple more. The scratch built fort is also coming along and will get some cement surfacing on the parapets and stonework details on the walls when I get the time. In addition, I've also started to scratchbuild a headland module to slot into the existing coastline, using the same 9'' x 6'' artboard tile rotated ninety degrees. This should break up the profile a bit and add some visual interest.
I made some good progress on the experimental modular coastal terrain today, which is now drying off after a final ink wash. The terrain sections were coated in filler and sealed with PVA yesterday, so today I was able to crack on with the painting using a selection of cheapo acrylic paints from the Works that I had stashed away. These were only 99p but are super gloopy and have excellent opaque coverage (note to self: get some more!)I started with a Fawn base coat with a Fawn and Sand wet brush, followed by a drybrush in a Fawn and White mix. The grass areas were painted in a Pale Olive Green and Sap Green mix, followed by a drybrush in Pale Olive Green and Fawn (useful stuff this Fawn!). I then washed the cliff areas with heavily diluted Seraphim Sepia and the grass areas in diluted Athonian Camoshade ink, which is now drying out.While that was going on and in-between the drying bits, I based up some Tumbling Dice coastal gun batteries on textured plastic bases from Brigade Models, which came with a Land Ir
I decided on the spur of the moment this morning to make a start on some homemade coastal terrain for my 1/2400th scale naval wargaming. I have had a stash of high density polystyrene foam off cuts for years in the garden shed, so I dug them out and sliced them up to glue on to some 9'' x 6'' art board panels, so that they have a protective base and so that I could make a modular set of cliff and headland pieces. The 9'' x 6'' format just happened to be the size of the art board that I had lying around but it's not a bad size, being easy to store but also suitable for 6' long shoreline or a slightly less than 4' one, give or take a 3'' filler section that I can easily make to extend the length. I doubt I'll need a whole 6' length of shoreline anyway, although I may need to make some corner pieces so that I can form projecting headlands.I've only made a few pieces but can add some more, as I have plenty of foam left over and some spare cardboard too. The next stage will be to wrap the edges in masking tap
HMS Polythemus ramming a boom 1885I've been thinking about another game of Broadside and Ram, set in my counterfactual 1870's Anglo-French conflict, and thought I'd try something a bit different. The idea would be to have a small raiding force attacking an isolated British or French anchorage protected by a log and chain boom, which would have to be rammed and broken by the raiders, who would be equipped with a suitable vessel for the job. The exact details are a bit sketchy but I'm sure I can work something out. I'd have to come up with some simple rules for the ramming of the boom but there's a compatible system in Dahlgren and Columbiad that I could adapt. I'd also need to model the boom and some coastline for it to be attached to, along with a shore battery or two for the defending player. I already have some French ironclad rams too. This is all not too difficult to sort out, so I think it's eminently do-able!
I've been tied up with number one son's UCAS form this evening, so painting has been very much an afterthought. I have added a bit more blocking in on the Royal Navy ironclads, however, including the boot topping and white basecoat. It's all a bit slapdash at the moment but you can see what I have done to the Independencia far more in order to convert her into HMS Pallas, with the central box battery now clearly demarcated by a slightly messy white line. This will all be given a good wash and a highlight to make it look ship shape, before I tidy it up with some fine black lining out.
I've moved the Royal Navy ironclads a little closer to the finish line today, with all of the sails base coated in Army Painter Skeleton Bone. The flotilla has now increased to a total of fourteen ships, so I'll be breaking it down into more manageable contingents, the first being the turret ships and the new box battery ironclad ram, HMS Pallas. These have now had the decks blocked in with Vallejo US Field Drab and have had a touch up with Vallejo Matt Black, ready for the white blocking in. It all looks a bit basic at the moment but it will be much better later on, honest?!
I had a 1/2400th scale Tumbling Dice model of the Peruvian ironclad Independencia, so I thought I'd have a crack at converting it into something useful. The dimensions and hull shape were pretty much spot on for HMS Pallas, a 'one off' wooden hulled but armoured box battery ironclad ram, apart from the central battery itself which I added using plastic card strip and filler. I'm quite pleased with the end result, even if it isn't exactly like the real thing. I don't think anyone will notice? I may try doing some more conversions like this one in order to create some more central battery ironclads for the Channel Squadron.In Broadside and Ram, HMS Pallas has the following values:HMS PallasCS = 3 / MS = 4 / AF = 2 / DF = 5 / Ram Bow / Points Value = 10She had a relatively weak armament of 6 7'' MLR's and was not fast enough at 13 knots to be effective in her role as an armoured ram ship. However, she did have a fairly decent armoured belt and battery armour, so wouldn't be entirely hopeless!
Ooh La La...the shallow line of doom!Bugger...out of range!Phutt!Damn and Blast!Turn Five..Tea's Up!Merde!They're behind you!Ha Ha! Rosbifs!!Ouch!I say...fancy an echelon turn?I had a cracking game of Broadside and Ram this afternoon, which had quite a few sticky moments for the French but eventually led to an overall defeat for the Royal Navy. I won't detail all nine turns in depth but it went a bit like this. The French rolled a +1 AP rating for their overall commander but the others both ended up as +0. Using this to his advantage, the French commodore decided to full steam ahead at maximum speed. So, in the first three turns, the two forces approached each other in line astern from opposite ends of the table. The French commodore had decided to split his two squadrons and attempt to force the perfidious British into choosing one or the other, allowing the other one to get away thus achieving the scenario objective. The Royal Navy commodore decided to steam right up the middle, splitting fire between