Ironclads


Small Scale Splash Markers

In most naval rules you need splash markers to indicate fall of shot or damage from shellfire, with Naval Thunder being a good example, where you use splash markers to track ranging in and targeting. I've made some of these before for Victory at Sea but thought I'd make some more, as I won't have enough for scenarios with more than a handful of ships. I've used the same method again, gluing a woodscrew to a circular lasercut mdf base, then texturing with a mix of filler, PVA, acrylic paste and my new discovery, artist's textured gel, for that frothy plume effect. When this lot are fully dry, I'll spray undercoat them white and paint them using the shades that I've used for my ironclad bases, so that they can be used for all of my small scale naval projects.

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Royal Navy Turret Ships and Rams Underway

I have been very busy today but made a start on the eclectic mix of turret ships and rams for the next phase of the 1/2400th scale ironclads project. The only exception to the rule is HMS Black Prince, which I wanted to paint up as I really like the model. I don't think this lot will take as long as the broadside ironclads due to the absence of all that fiddly rigging, so I'm hoping to get them done by this time next week if I can. I'm also thinking seriously about trying to rig some of the ships I've already painted to make them look more realistic, although it will have to be fairly basic to avoid any unnecessary loss of sanity!

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Royal Navy Ironclads Finished

Just varnished...and very shiny!HMS Minotaur and HMS NorthumberlandHMS Achilles and HMS WarriorHMS Captain, HMS Rapid and HMS AuroraMogadorThe Channel SquadronForm Line of BattleWhere are the Frogs?I finished the sea bases on the ironclads today, varnished them and added the labels, so they're pretty much finished, bar the ensigns and some rigging, if I can summon up the courage to give it a try. The matt artist's varnish was brushed on but came out very shiny, which happened with my French ironclads as well, although they have subsequently dulled down a lot. To make sure they are suitably matt, I've given the hulls, sails and masts an extra coat of Army Painter Anti-Shine, so that they look less shiny. I'm on to the turret ships and rams next, with a possible diversion into some coastal terrain scratch building if I can squeeze it into the schedule?

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HMS Fury?

I'm going to be a bit cheeky and include a 1/2400th scale model of HMS Dreadnought in the next wave of ironclad painting. Although launched in 1875, she wasn't commissioned until 1879 and even then didn't join the fleet until 1884, so I'm pushing the boundaries a bit when it comes to my 1865-1875 time frame. On the other hand, the Tumbling Dice model is very cool and it's a 'what if?' project anyway, so I reckon she could have be rushed into service in my counterfactual campaign by 1875, perhaps under her original name as HMS Fury. It's been a busy day so I'll assemble, base and prime the model tomorrow after work, ready for painting at the weekend.

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Royal Navy Turret Ships and Rams

I haven't quite finished the first lot of Tumbling Dice 1/2400th scale ironclads for the Royal Navy but, nonetheless, I have already decided on the next instalment, which will be an eclectic selection of armoured turret ships and an ironclad ram. This is partly because I really like these weird and wonderful bits of Victorian naval engineering but also because I've had enough of painting sails, masts and spars! There are a couple of ships with masts and sail sets, however, with HMS Monarch and HMS Black Prince having already been partially blocked in. I've included HMS Black Prince even though it's not a turret armed warship because I enjoyed painting the HMS Warrior model, which came out looking quite nifty in the end. The other ships include HMS Devastation, HMS Thunderer, HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Prince Albert, all ironclad monitor type warships equipped with multiple turrets, together with the odd ball ironclad ram HMS Hotspur, just to round off the force. I think painting this lot will be a

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Royal Navy Ironclads Finishing Stages

I've finished painting the kitchen and almost finished painting the RN ironclads, with only the base dry brushing and matt varnishing to go before I can add the ship name labels, ready for an actual game. I'm a bit disappointed with the overall end result but it's perfectly good for gaming, so no worries. You may notice that one of the big Minotaur class ironclads has black and white spars and masts rather then buff coloured ones but this is deliberate, as HMS Northumberland was used as a flag ship and had all of her masts painted black for identification purposes. 

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Royal Navy Ironclads Blocking In

I have finished the blocking in on the 1/2400th scale Royal Navy ironclads, although I decided along the way to cut the numbers down to a more manageable seven, adding a paddle frigate for the French on a whim. I have now got to give them an overall ink wash, then leave them to dry out before adding all of the highlights to the sails, masts, decks and fittings. Is has taken me all weekend to get this far but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel!

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Ironclad Storage Solution

 I spent an enjoyable half an hour or so this morning, cutting out Ferrosheet panels to fit into the compartments of a storage box, so that the magnet based ironclads could be safely attached to the bottom without sliding around all over the place. The sticky backed self-adhesive Ferrosheet is from Tony at Tiny Tin Troops and is an excellent product, which I've used before for lining RUB boxes. It's also very good value at £4.50 for two A4 sheets, which is enough for most jobs, although the sheets I used were smaller as I didn't need as much. I have left half the trays empty for the Royal Navy to fill up, with a couple of the larger trays left unlined, so that I can store game equipment and other paraphernalia.http://www.tinytintroops.co.uk/

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CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsage

I'm now reading this Osprey Duel book as a bit of light entertainment over the weekend. It's actually really good and full of fascinating details not just in relation to the famous encounter between the two warships but for the development of gunnery, ironclad construction technology and naval tactics in the age of steam powered screw vessels. There's also some excellent artwork, both contemporary and modern, with lots of line drawings, photographs and paintings. A good read!

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Ironclad Scratchbuild No 3: Rolf Krake

I was pleased with my previous attempts at 1/2400th scratch building, the USS Onondaga and USS Dunderberg / Rochambeau. so thought it was about time that I tackled something new. I have a 1/2400th Figurehead scale model of the Rolf Krake, the Danish turret ironclad launched in 1863, but I've always thought it looked a bit puny and under scale. It also doesn't match well with the Tumbling Dice ships in my 1864 flotilla. As a result, I decided to calculate the scale dimensions of the Rolf Krake, using an online scale converter tool, to see if the model I have is actually accurate or not. It turns out that it's not far off, being slightly thinner in the beam than it should be but pretty much spot on for length. Using the data available, which doesn't always match depending on which source you refer to, here's what I worked out:Beam: 11.6m = 4.845mm = 5mmLength: 56m = 23.3mm = 23.5mmSo, I could just use the existing model I have but also quite like the idea of scratch building my own version, using a spare T

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Mast Paint Test Run

I decided to have a go at the Flames of War light brown basecoat on the masts, spars and funnels using a steam frigate and screw sloop as a test bed. It looks a bit ***** at the moment but, once I've washed them, added a highlight and tidied up the black bits, I think it will look okay. It takes ages, however, with just these two soaking up a good twenty minutes each, once I'd added a couple of layers to add some depth. At this rate, it'll be quite a while before I can finish the blocking in, so I may well split the workload into two consecutive runs, with four or five models at a time rathe than all ten at a go.

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We Are Sailing

It took flipping ages but I have now base coated all of the sails on the Royal Navy ironclads, using the same Army Painter Skeleton Bone base shade that I used on the French warships. The next job to do will be the decks, which I'll basecoat in Vallejo US Field Drab, although I'm busy tomorrow at work and in the early evening, so I doubt I'll get it done in one go.

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Late Victorian Ironclads

As it's a Bank Holiday and I got paid a bit more than usual on Friday, due to holiday pay, I have splashed out on some more late Victorian British and French ironclads for the 1880-1890 period, sort of pre-pre dreadnought I suppose. I already had both Tumbling Dice starter packs for this period, so have just topped up the British with some Admiral class battleships and the French with some additional ironclads to complement the ones I've already got. I don't know when I will get round to these but they are lovely models and have no sails or rigging to worry about! Excellent.

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Royal Navy Buff Yellow Shades

I've made a start on the Royal Navy ironclads by blocking in the bases with Vallejo Dark Sea Blue, just to act as a basecoat for the sea shades but also to make the models look a bit more ship shape and less like liquorice all sorts. I find that this helps a bit when you're trying to find your way around the models during base coating. As it's Bank Holiday Monday, I have other less enjoyable things to do, but I'm hoping to get at least the sails blocked in by the end of the day.I've also been trying out various combinations of paint shades to try to replicate the Victorian buff yellow shade. You used to see this on naval tugs, lighters and other auxiliary vessels, where I assume they were using up old paint stocks left over from the pre-WW1 period? Anyway, I've narrowed it down to a basecoat of Flames of War Light Brown, with a highlight of Vallejo Medium Flesh, perhaps in a 50:50 mix with the basecoat shade. I think this should be a fairly good match for HMS Warrior, based on the photo above?

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Surplus Ironclad Conversion

KremlPervenetsNe Tron MeniaThe Tumbling Dice Alma modelI have a couple of Tumbling Dice Alma class ironclad models left over from my French fleet and don't fancy painting them up as additional French reinforcements. Instead, I wondered about doing a simple conversions into Pervenetz class broadside ironclads for the Russian Baltic fleet. There were three in the class - Kreml, Pervenets and Ne Tron Menia - all roughly the same size and configuration as the Alma class, albeit without barbettes and with a bit more tumblehome, amongst other differences (the TD models don't actually have barbettes anyway). I think that a change of funnel, some green stuff for a ram bow (?) and a new coat of paint, would probably do the job. I may find some time to do this now but it's a good mini-project for a rainy weekend!

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