Thursday, May 31, 2012

USS Wasp - Langton 1:300

This is the USS Wasp, an American 20 gun (including the stern chasers) sloop of war, and a lovely 1/300 scale model from Langton. She still needs a fair amount of work - most importantly the weathering of the sails, which adds a lot of dramatic effect, but also the crew needs to be added, the anchors painted, anchor chains added, and flag and pennant, and some more blocks - but I wanted to post the model as a work in progress.

The water that the ships sits on is the resin offering from Langton, and then I've mounted the whole thing on an mdf base, which has a clear acrylic display cover that fits over it.


  1. I hate you..

    But at the same time, strangely, I love you…

    but I still hate you for showing what could be done…

    Magnificent.. now add some crew in the rigging and I shall hate (and love) you some more…

    1. Ha, thank you Doug, I'm very flattered, and apologetic too!

  2. HI James,

    I’ve been drooling over your beautiful models...thanks for posting and showing what is possible with these minis.

    I’m interested in a War of 1812 project and am not too sure which scale of ships is best for that period – 1/1200 or 1/300.

    Is there any chance you could provide a measuring ruler next to a couple of ships, or a couple of shots of the same or similar ships next to each other so I could get an appreciation of the relative sizes please.

    What do you recommend for great lakes battles between 4-6 schooners, brigs and the odd frigate? Do the 1/1200 Langton and/or GHQ ships give enough on table ‘presence’ as the 1/300 scale models...are the 1/300 to big in your opinion

    I would think that if the schooners, brigs and the odd frigate are in the 3-5” size then they effectively are the similar to 1/1200 Napoleonic ships of the line in on-table size and weight.

    Any thoughts you have on Great Lakes gaming, ships scales that would be practical etc would be appreciated. I can play on a 9’x5’ table so that helps a bit.


    Happy Wanderer

  3. Hello Wanderer,

    I'll try to get some size comparison photos together when my work schedule permits, but until then I can offer a few thoughts on the subject.

    Comparing 1:300 to 1:1200, even the smallest ships in 1:300 are far larger than the largest ships in 1:1200. Consider the dimensions from Langton's site, which give the length of the Wasp hull itself at 120mm and the dimensions of the base at 215mm by 90mm. Compare that to the dimensions for the bases I have the GHQ 1:1200 first rate ships on (I use Langton bases for them) - those bases are 85mm by 40mm. GHQ's HMS Victory in 1:1200 next to Langton's 1:300 USS Wasp looks like a ship's launch.

    So that can give you some idea for the question of presence on the table. It sounds like you have a pretty large playing area, and you are talking about relatively small engagements with smaller ships - so just in terms of space I think you could manage to do it with 1:300 scale models. But then again, they are going to cost a lot more and take a lot more effort to assemble and paint and rig. So it's really a question of how much time, money and effort you can afford to put in to it.

    Personally, I would go with 1:1200. You can be up and running faster, and the models themselves, while small, are still very appealing, at least in my opinion. And you'll have plenty of sailing room for long desperate chases or whatever scenario you would care to imagine.

    Hope that helps! - James

    1. HI James,

      That all sounds like a lot of good sense there. I think you may have made the decision for me. ....damn shame there is no happy medium 1/600 scale! I won’t be making the paper WarArtisan models I think as after my first effort the results were not that pleasing.

      I’ll look into the whole 1/1200 scene then and see what I can come up with. I have hear of people using Langton sails with ‘crisp detail’ GHQ hulls. Given the specific nature of the Langton Great Lakes range for do you think this is over kill?

      I also read the Langton ships tend to be on the slightly larger side so that is a good thing for me also.

      Thanks again.


      Happy Wanderer

  4. Wanderer,

    It's true that GHQ ships tend to have crisper, more accurate detail in the hulls, while Langton ships tend to be a bit oversized for the scale, but have better sails, and more options for sail settings. Personally I like GHQ's models better, but it comes down to personal preference. I like adding Langton's brass ratlines and sea bases to GHQ kits. But honestly, both companies make very nice kits. I don't bother to change out the sails, as I feel that satisfactory results can be had with both.

    Langton offeres a wider range of vessels, especially of the smaller types, and they are the only one as far as I know that make gunboats in the scale, which were prominent on the Great Lakes.

    I hope you'll keep us all updated as your project progresses!