Ironclads


1/2400th 1864 Prussian Naval Squadron

I'm back at work tomorrow, so I suspect very little will happen at the workbench for a while, especially as most of my weekends are also taken up with various family things. Nonetheless, I've decided to finally finish the 1/2400th Prussian and Danish naval forces for the 1864 Second Schleswig War, which have been hanging about for years and really should have been painted a long time ago. In a slight change of plan, I'm going to paint the entire Prussian fleet first, give or take,  followed by the Danes second. The Prussians have more ships but most of them are first and second class gunboats, which should be relatively quick to do, with only three of four larger ships, none bigger than a small frigate.  This means I should, famous last words, get them done in short order, assuming I get on with it and don't get side tracked. In the longer term, there's obviously the Danes and Austrians to paint, along with some generic merchant shipping, but I'm also thinking of starting fleets for the Pacific

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Naval Projects and Plans

I'm back at work tomorrow, so I suspect very little will happen at the workbench for a while, especially as most of my weekends are also taken up with various family things. Nonetheless, I've decided to finally finish the 1/2400th Prussian and Danish naval forces for the 1864 Second Schleswig War at some point this Autumn, as they been hanging about for years and really should have been painted a long time ago. In a slight change of plan, I'm going to paint the entire Prussian fleet first, give or take,  followed by the Danes second. The Prussians have more ships but most of them are first and second class gunboats, which should be relatively quick to do, with only three of four larger ships, none bigger than a small frigate.  This means I should, famous last words, get them done in short order, assuming I get on with it and don't get side tracked. In the longer term, there's obviously the Danes and Austrians to paint, along with some generic merchant shipping, but I'm also thinking of starting

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Tow, Tow, Tow the Boat INWARD 2019 Game Report

I played the INWARD 2019 game this afternoon and it was great fun, with some real seat of your pants moments. In the end the French managed to tow the Onondaga under the guns of the shore battery, albeit with damage to the monitor and the Mogador. The Royal Navy lost HMS Rapid to a massive close range blast from the Onondaga's twin turrets but not before HMS Pallas had rammed the monitor amidships, albeit to little effect.Turn 1The French won the scouting roll, so the British phased first throughout the game. In Turn 1 both sides advanced to full speed and moved toward each other, the French passing the tow roll and spending 3AP on turret repairs.Turn 2Low AP rolls for both sides limited the action to more full speed movement, a 2AP roll for turret repair but no firing, as both sides were out of range. Turn 3The French aced their AP roll enabling them the fully repair the Onondaga's turrets and accelerate to full towing speed, again passing the tow break roll, while the Royal Navy turned 30 degrees to po

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Tow, Tow, Tow the Boat

Here's the scenario outline for my INWARD 2019 Broadside and Ram naval game, set in an early 1870's counterfactual Anglo-French conflict. The newly commissioned turret ironclad, Onondaga, has been conducting sea trials off the coast of Toulon but has suffered an internal explosion, with steam power to the engines stopped and no movement possible. The engineers have been working hard to restore power, not only to the propulsion system but also to the steam operated turrets, which are trained fore and aft but unable to turn. However, the paddle frigate Mogador has been dispatched to tow the Onondaga into a nearby bay, where it can be under the protection of coastal gun batteries. The Onondaga and Mogador are connected by a towing cable and start the game at the mid point of the southern table edge. The Onondaga has no power so must be towed by the Mogador across the table to the opposite edge at 2'' per turn at no AP cost. An additional 1AP may be spent each turn to double this to 4'' at 'full steam ahead'

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Better Late than Never!

I've been working on a Broadside and Ram scenario for INWARD 2019, which I missed earlier in the month as I was away on holiday. This will involve a patrolling flotilla of the box battery ram HMS Pallas and the steam sloop HMS Rapid intercepting a rescue attempt by the steam paddle frigate Mogador, which has taken the ironclad monitor Onondaga in tow after her engines have broken down somewhere off Toulon.The challenge for the French will be to tow the unpowered monitor to safety, whilst the crew try to get up enough steam to operate the turrets, with the Royal Navy aiming to batter the Mogador into matchwood before she can succeed and before the immobile Onondaga gets her powerful armament back on line. I'll work out the details later but I've sorted the record sheets for the scenario already. I haven't played a game of Broadside and Ram for ages, so this should be fun.

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Royal Navy Ironclads Redux

I got back home early this morning but have only just had time to sit down and think about what I'm going to do in the dying days of the holiday, before I go back to work this time next week. I'm happy with the outcome of my holiday project this year, assembling and basing up a 1/2400th scale French Napoleonic fleet for painting over the next few months, but now want to get some painting done as well. I've had a rummage around and decided to finish off half a dozen of the 1/2400th scale Tumbling Dice Royal Navy Victorian ironclads that I didn't quite finish a couple of months ago:http://jimswargamesworkbench.blogspot.com/2019/06/royal-navy-ironclad-extras.htmlThese are HMS Black Prince, HMS Monarch and four Prince Consort class broadside ironclads, HMS Ocean, HMS Caledonia, HMS Royal Oak and, of course, HMS Prince Consort herself. They've had the sails blocked in so there's a good chance that I can get the rest of the paintwork completed by this time next week, if I get my act together. Once they're done, I'm

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The Sky's The Limit

Today, I was reading Matt H's excellent battle report for INWARD 2019 on his Shell Splash blog, based on the Battle of Pacocha in 1877, which features some lovely Tumbling Dice 1/2400th scale ships, not to mention some very professional ship record cards for Dahlgren and Colombiad. However, the thing that caught my eye was his very effective coastal terrain and, in particular, the clever use of a sky background to add some atmosphere and perspective:http://shellsplash.blogspot.com/2019/08/inward-2019-battle-of-pacocha-1877.htmlI hadn't thought of this before but it reminded me of the model railway sky backscene paper strips that you see being used on layouts for the same purpose. A quick Google and I discovered that you can now get photorealistic sky sheets in 5' long by 15'' tall sections, supplied in packs of two, one of which would provide all the sky you could need in 1/2400th scale. They also come in different themes of overcast, clear sky and with clouds, so you can even represent the weather conditions

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We're all going on a...

It's amazing what you can pack into an A4 box!We're off on holiday to France for a couple of weeks again tomorrow, so I'm taking along some things to do if the weather socks in or if it's too hot to go out in the midday sun, mad dogs not withstanding. I've put together a box of 1/2400th scale naval goodies including the Napoleonics and a handful of late Victorian British and French ironclads, which will extend my project into the 1880's and 1890's. I'm not taking anything to game with, however, as I have some card and paper miniatures already over there if I want to set up something for INWARD 2019, for example, although I could possibly use some of the assembled Tumbling Dice models at a push. Happy days!

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Tumbling Dice ships for Jasmund / Rugen 1864

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

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Jasmund 1864

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!

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Royal Navy Ironclad Rams and Turret Ships Finished

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. 

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HMS Devastation

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.

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Coastal Terrain Finished

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.

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Coastal Terrain WIP

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. 

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