Napoleonic Naval


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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French Fleet Review

I unpacked the 1/2400th scale ships this morning and lined them up to review the progress I'd made thus far. As you can see, this is a fairly large squadron or small fleet, with an effective line of battle consisting of 1st and 3rd rates, supported by a flotilla of frigates and a couple of unrated vessels for dispatches and so on. The brig is actually the third version, after I abandoned a bomb ketch conversion and 12 gun brig model, replacing both with an 18 gun privateer (ASN 22), which is much more like a 16 gun Abeille class brig than anything I've come up with. It's also a very neat little model despite having the wrong photo on the Tumbling Dice website! I need to use some filler to blend in the metal bases with the laser cut mdf ones, before I can undercoat the models and start on the painting side of things but that will have to wait a few weeks while I get other things on the workbench sorted. I'm going to set out my plans for the Autumn in another post but it's all pretty much naval rather

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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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Holiday Project Wrap Up

Frigates, Brig and Cutter40 gun frigatesChasse-mareeBrig32 gun frigate / corvette and 40 gun frigateI finished the last model assembly and basing for the 1/2400th scale Napoleonic French fleet today, with two 40 gun frigates (ASN 10), one 32 gun frigate (ASN 11), a 16 gun brig (ASN 13) and a very small but rather splendid 12 gun cutter (ASN 14), which I'll be using as a chase-maree. The brig model will replace the one I converted from a bomb ketch, at least for the moment, until I work out a better alternative. The 40 gun frigates are a bit different, as I decided to use a full sail set for one with topgallants, rather than the all plain sail with furled courses of the standard model as supplied. The fleet is now complete but I need to add some textured filler to the bases to blend them in before I can undercoat and start painting them, although I really should finish painting the last of the 1/2400th scale mid-Victorian Royal Navy ironclads first.

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French 16 gun Brig

I've been otherwise pre-occupied today, so only based up a single rather insignificant 16 gun brig-corvette for the 1/2400th scale Napoleonic naval project. This is actually a bomb brig or ketch from the Tumbling Dice range (ASN 16) as the models in the 12 gun brig pack (ASN 13) were obviously too small. The model itself is a reasonable match for either an Abeille class brig or a Vigilant class brig, both of which were first commissioned c1800, although I really should do something about the height of the mizzen mast. I only had a 30mm x 20mm base to use for this model but may well replace it with a 35mm long base when I get back home, as the 30mm one is a bit on the tight side?

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French '80's

I've now finished assembling and basing the four Tumbling Dice French 80 gun Third Rates, which will sail alongside my 74's as the core of the squadron. They're nice models and very similar to the 74's in size and shape, although there are some subtle differences. I will use different schemes when I paint them to make this a bit more obvious. I now have only the frigates and perhaps a corvette or two to glue together but there's only a weekend left to do it in, so I may have to scale back on the numbers.

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French Frigates

Tumbling Dice ASN 10 and ASN 1132 gun Fifth Rate40 gun Fifth RateI've almost finished assembling the French 80 gun second rates so will be tackling the frigates next, which I'm hoping I'll be able to finish over the coming weekend. I will be assembling and basing up three 40 gun fifth rates (ASN 10) and a couple of 32 gun fifth rates (ASN 11), which shouldn't take too long but will be a bit fiddly compared to the larger ships of the line. There are plenty of frigate classes to choose from but a very large number were captured by the Royal Navy, so it will be a bit more difficult to pick specific ships that can be used for a longer timeframe between the late 1790s and mid 1800's. I'll base both sets of models on 50mm x 30mm laser cut mdf bases, which are 5mm shorter than the ones I've used for the ships of the line but look better with the smaller metal sea bases that are supplied with the models. These will be blended into the 30mm wide mdf bases with filler, when I get back home, both to make them look more

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Nelson and the Nile

It's nearly the end of the holiday trip so I'm squeezing in as much quality reading time as possible. I've just started this book on the Battle of the Nile but it's not just about that and is actually a really good introduction to the strategic situation in 1798, as well as the pivotal role played by the Royal Navy at this stage of the conflict.It's also well written, easy to absorb and full of useful wargaming details, with some fascinating first hand accounts from both the French and British sides. As I have been thinking of pinning my 1/2400th scale Napoleonic naval project to the same year, it is clearly a very relevant source of inspiration, if only to identify some of the ships involved. Excellent!

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French 118 gun First Rate

It was the usual family Sunday lunch yesterday, so there was little time for wargaming, especially as the weather was lovely for a change. I did complete the assembly of a single 120 gun first rate (ASN2), which will be a 118 gun French flagship for my squadron. As you can see, I added a spritsail from one of the spars that you can get from Tumbling Dice, rather than use the smaller one that came with the model, and also applied a little bit of filler around the hull to blend it in. Like most of the French ships of the line, these 118 gun three deck first rates were renamed numerous times, several were captured and one famously blew up, so it's tricky to choose a specific name for this one, but it will probably represent the Océan. To make things easier, I will probably move my time frame either up to 1805 or, more likely, back to 1794, so that I can make it easier to assign specific names for each ship without limiting their use. Who thought it would be this convoluted?

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Form Line of Battle - Vive la France!

We've had relatives staying for the last couple of days, so I've only now been able to catch up with assembly of the Tumbling Dice 1/2400th scale Napoleonic ships. Here is the progress thus far, with six 74 gun third rates (ASN5) and a single 100 gun 1st rate (ASN3), although the latter will represent a single 110 gun three decker, probably the Terrible or the Républicain.I've decided that I'll use this lot as the basis of my French fleet c1798, so the next instalment will be four or five 80 gun 2nd rates (ASN4) and a couple of 120 (118) gun first rates (ASN2), before I move onto the frigates and unrated vessels. It's coming along nicely and I'm hoping to get the whole thing done by the end of next week, although I will have to some filler to the bases and undercoat them when I get back home.

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Tumbling Dice '74' Test Build

HMS Superglue cleared for actionThe various bitsBefore filing and sandingReady for the SuperglueAttaching the sailsLining it all upJib Sails and Sprit Sails addedA Stern View (very old joke that one)I grabbed half an hour or so this afternoon to test build one of the Tumbling Dice 1/2400th scale 74 gun 3rd Rates, prior to starting an assembly line for the eight others that I'm planning to glue together. The various pieces were cleaned up with a craft knife, files and a sanding stick, ready to be glued together from the stern forwards once the hull had been attached to the base. The sails went on without too much trouble, although I changed my usual approach and applied the glue to the masts rather than the sails themselves, bending the sails first so that they had a good contact with the masts. The jib sails also had a bit of a trim so that they glued well to the bowsprit at an appropriate angle. This was easily done by truncating the lower points of all three jib sails.The final bit was adding the fiddl

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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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Tumbling Dice Third Rates

I've been on holiday a week now but have yet to start on the 1/2400th scale Napoleonic naval assembly project, so it's about time I got on with it. I'm going to get cracking over the next few days with the core of the project, the 74's and 80's that will form the backbone of the French and British line of battle. I'm hoping to be able to run a bit of an assembly line to get as many of them built and based as I can, assuming I can work out which bits go where?

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INWARD 2019

This is on again in a couple of days, so I'll be organising a solo game of something while I'm away from home, using card and paper ships in the absence of my ironclad fleets. This year I have two possible options, one being a Napoleonic frigate action using the Fleets in Profile: The Battle of Trafalgar 1805 paper flats and some sort of 'back of a fag packet' rules from somewhere or other. The other option is some ancient naval galley warfare using the top down paper miniatures from Tiny Tin Troops and Long Face Games's fast play Ad Mare Bellum rules, which I left here last time I was over at Easter for just this sort of thing. Time to get cutting out and gluing I think!

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