Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santissima Trinidad: Tumbling Dice 1:2400

Here's a small post about a small subject - Tumbling Dice's 1:2400 model of the Santissima Trinidad, a massive warship rendered in exceedingly tiny form.

1:2400 scale doesn't produce models with the same visual appeal as, say, 1:1200, but what it's great for is gaming the larger fleet actions without purchasing extra dining room tables - a great benefit when you live in the city and don't have anything like a dining room. I've done a relatively quick and simple treatment on the hull, in the interest of time. If I'm going to build up fleets of these things I don't want to take forever on each individual model. I'll indulge my passion for detail on the larger models.

Rigging this model was actually not too tricky. Yes, the spaces involved were very small, but the miniature is made of strong metal and the shrouds/ratlines are cast on, so the masts are very resistant to bending. That helped a lot. I didn't bother to add the majority of the standing rigging, concentrating instead on running rigging just to give a basic impression.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Imperial Roman Legionaries

This unit was a long time in the making as my painting time has been very limited in recent months, but I finally finished them and sent them off to their owner.

Here are 24 Imperial Roman legionaries from Warlord games, based, formed up and ready to go. These are plastic figures. Sorry the pictures are not quite as well focused as they should be, I didn't inspect picture quality closely enough before mailing these out, so this is the best I've got!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

22 Gun Xebec - GHQ 1:1200

Here we have GHQ's model of a 22 gun xebec in 1:1200. Xebecs are, in my opinion, a really neat looking type of vessel, and in the Napoleonic era and earlier they were very common throughout the Mediterranean region. They were especially favored by the Barbary Coast pirates, as they were extremely fast, maneuverable craft. The young American navy, seeing it's first wartime deployment as a truly national navy, would have seen a lot of these vessels during the Barbary Coast War. They were lightly built and sat low in the water, so they were not line of battle ships, and they were not suited to the rougher seas of the open ocean, but they could easily run down slow merchantmen or escape from more heavily built warships.

There were several different types of rigs a xebec might employ, and this model displays a complete lateen rig - all of the sails are triangular and attach to a yard that crosses the mast at an acute angle. Another type of rig was the polacre, which combined lateen and square sails.

This model has been raised up very slightly on plastic sheeting, had it's bowsprit and stern boom replaced with brass rod, and is rigged with monofilament nylon thread. It sits on a Langton Miniatures sea base, below which is a layer of plastic and a magnetic sheet (for ease of transport).

From this view you can see an interesting aspect of the rig, which is that the fore and mizzen mast are raked forward and backward respectively. Only the main mast is perpendicular to the deck.

Here is a size comparison shot showing the xebec next to GHQ's 32 gun frigate HMS Cleopatra.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

8 Gun Schooner - GHQ 1:1200

Another type of vessel seen in abundance on the waters of the Great Lakes during the War of 1812, in the forces of both sides, is the schooner. These small, fore-and-aft rigged craft were fast and maneuverable, and relatively inexpensive, as far as warships go. This model carries an armament of 8 guns - not a terribly formidable broadside, but it'll do in a pinch.

As usual, I've raised the model just very slightly on some thin plastic sheet. I've also replaced not only the bowsprit but also the two masts with brass rods to add strength. That made it much easier to keep the rigging taut - I've used monofilament nylon thread again. The model sits on a metal base from Langton, with plastic and a magnetic layer under that. The shrouds/ratlines are Langton photo-etched brass.

 Here's a size comparison shot showing the schooner next to two other GHQ models. To the left is a 14 gun cutter, and behind them is the 32 gun frigate HMS Cleopatra.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

1-Gun Gunboats: Langton Miniatures 1:1200

One of my gaming ambitions is to be able to fight out the Flying Colors Great Lakes campaign, and for that I am going to need a range of ships. I'll need a few 6th rates, some brigs and schooners, and especially a lot of gunboats. Both sides in the War of 1812 produced large numbers of gunboats - and why not? They were comparatively cheap, they were maneuverable, and doctrinally they were very much in fashion at the time. For better or worse...

Fortunately Langton Miniatures makes a great selection of these diminutive craft, offering a variety of rigs and armaments. Here are two, small one-gun craft, which come in the sailed and rowed variety. I've gone ahead and added a mast and spar to the rowed one as well, because I liked the look and so that it can also serve as a model of a sailed boat as well.

These are great little kits that don't require much assembly and, of course, paint up rather quickly. I've replaced the white metal masts that came in the kit with brass rod to improve strength, I've used nylon paintbrush bristles for the rigging, so that I didn't have to tie off and keep any tension in the line, and I've created a sea base around the rowed model, which has a little bit of a base cast as the same piece with the hull. I wanted it to sit on the same size base as the other, one that is large enough to pick up easily. The water for that one is just built up out of Elmers wood filler, notched and painted. It's a bit rough, but when it's one in a flotilla it won't stand out.

Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a size comparison shot to see how small these craft are.

Here for the sake of size comparison is a shot of the two gunboats next to a GHQ Miniatures 32 gun frigate, HMS Cleopatra.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

28mm Roman Tribune - Relic Miniatures

Here are a few views of a figure I just finished painting, a Roman tribune from Relic Miniatures, whose line of 2nd Punic War era Romans is starting to grow.

The figure wears a bronze breastplate and leather shoulder piece, with layers of linen armor strips below the waist and at the shoulders. He carries a hoplon shield (with a boar device I cut out of a transfer from LBM) and distinctive spear.

Lots of detail, and all of it crisp and well defined.

Friday, July 12, 2013

10mm Painting article for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy

I recently published my first ever magazine article, a look at my pretty straightforward approach to painting 10mm ancient/ dark ages models, in the latest issue (#67) of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy. I've been slowly finishing off bases of late Romans and Goths, which I hope to use with the ruleset 'Impetus', and having received nice feedback and some questions from viewers I wanted to lay out the process I use for these. Check out the magazine if this interests you, and I can attest to the fact that there is much more of interest besides in this issue.

I'll also be writing another 10mm painting article for the next issue, detailing my approach to some more modern painting subjects, specifically camouflage uniforms and armored vehicles.

All of the models below are from Pendraken. The Roman infantry and cavalry are, of course, from their late Roman range, as is the command figure on the Gothic base. He comes from the 'Arthurian Personalities' set. Yes, I may have drafted King Arthur for the barbarians! The rest of the Goths are from their Anglo Saxon and Norse offerings.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

More 28mm Warlord Romans

I'm slowly adding to the order of Warlord Games' 28mm Imperial Roman Legionaries that I'm doing for a collector, and wanted to post an update picture on the unit. This is approximately 2/3 of the unit, and then it will be followed by some praetorians. So, more to follow!

Friday, June 21, 2013

44 Gun East Indiaman - GHQ 1:1200

And here is the last of the old stuff I can post - a 44 gun East Indiaman, a 1:1200 model from GHQ. Throughout this era every European nation worth its salt could boast an East India Company, a private organization chartered to conduct trade with the nations of, well, the East Indies. The most powerful of these companies, such as the British and French EICs, operated enormous merchant fleets, and to protect their fabulously expensive cargoes they maintained their own private military apparatus as well. They also often enjoyed close support from national militaries, as their operations were so important to the economies of their respective nations.

I painted this model to look less like a national navy ship than many of these vessels actually did - in particular British EIC warships were commonly painted just like Royal Navy vessels. I wanted something that could fill a number of roles, as needed.

As I always do with these models now, I replaced the bowsprit with one of my own making (of steel and brass rod) because it adds a great deal to the strength of the model. I also raised the hull up slightly on a thin sheet of plastic, and mounted it on a resin sea base from Langton Miniatures, putting a plastic base with a magnetic layer under that for ease of transport and storage.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

14 Gun Cutter: GHQ 1/1200

Here is another little project that I finished a little while back and am just now managing to post pictures of. This is GHQ's 1/1200 model of a 14 gun cutter.

Though the smaller ships are usually trickier to rig, since the spaces are so much tighter, when there is only one mast things are fairly simple. I did replace the kit's bowsprit with a brass rod so I would have something strong to anchor the rigging on. That makes a big difference.

I've raised the hull up on a thin sheet of plastic, added Langton photo-etched ratlines, and mounted the whole on a metal sea base from Langton. That then went on top of a black plastic base, with magnetic sheeting underneath. When the bases are too thin, people pick them up by the models, so the extra thickness adds to the piece's longevity.