Friday, 5 June 2009

55 days at Sea: yet more painted ships!

Some more ships have today been launched from the workbench, and will form more or less the last tranche of vessels to cast off from Navwar for this project. 
Although the rather exhaustive lists I put together for the navies present during the Boxer Rebellion tempt one into doing each and every boat, I've decided to rein things in a little and stick to the major types. Some classes of ship, of course, I can't find examples of in 1/3000th, particularly the many smaller 'sloops', such as Alacrity, Algerine or Surprise, and others were only on the scene pretty much as the conflict was just about at an end, such as the German Brandenburg, or British Goliath battleships. 
So hopefully, these ships will help round out the various squadrons, without making them too unwieldy on the tabletop.

Above you can see the British Astrae class cruisers Hermione and Bonaventure, (N1357) in the company of the Apollo class Pique (N1355). Both of these types are good sculpts from Navwar, with plenty of guns visible, and fair proportions; the Astrae in particular, have a great 'boxy' look.

Below we have two more cruisers to add to the Russians, the N7311 Rurik, and N7320 Pamiat Azova, which handily come together in the same pack. Both armoured cruisers, they were certainly more capable ships in 1900 than they were during the later Russo-Japanese war, yet were still rather outdated and poorly designed. The minis themselves are a little plain, and the Pamiat, in spite of showing some prominent barbettes, has no guns visible in the sculpt itself, so is somewhat disappointing. 

Next up we have a Russian merchant vessel / volunteer steamer, the Moskva, for which I used the Navwar German Supply ship the Titania, N3706, of 1897. Again, as with the previous Japanese example, not entirely sure that she was present, but I felt it would add another level to any game play to have some floating targets! 
This is a nice sculpt from Navwar, and works as a good look-alike for the original, seen here: (Scroll down to bottom of the page)

Now an addition to the United States flotilla, namely the 'Gunboat' Helena; she was in reality a light cruiser type, but was designated a gunboat to avoid budget oversight in the rather isolationist Congress of the time. A decent sculpt here, the Helena class N6706, which captures the high, slight proportions of the funnel well.

Finally, some more fast Elswick type cruisers for the Japanese, the N5332 Naniwa and Takachiho, and the N5325 Takasago. These are all typical of the recently built Japanese ships of the time, namely fast and agile with plenty of quick firing guns preferred over a heavier armament. In fact, the Naniwa was delivered with 10.3 in. guns as principal armament fore and aft, but these were replaced with 5.9 in. upon deployment, in order to bring them in line with the standard for all the other cruisers. This is reflected well in the Navwar model, as what appears to be an underwhelming depiction of guns at bow and stern represent well the reduction in armament. 

With these vessels now on station, there are over seventy ships ready to support the Allied effort of 1900, and give me opportunities to set them all one against the other. I am still dealing with a slight case of disappointment over some of the types that were either not available from Navwar, or did not have suitable stand-ins, and I must warn you that I have been eyeing the War Times Journal Ship catalogue with envious eyes for some time. The £ is improving some against the $, so I've been getting itchy feet; keep watching this space for further updates!


  1. You know that you have to order a few if only to see how they compare to the Navwar ships.

    -- Jeff

  2. Hey Jeff, you must have read my mind; look out for a forthcoming post on some new ships ordered from that very manufacturer!

  3. Marvellous blog, doing a naval campaign 1911 based on Med crisis based on Agadir situation and Italian-Turkey war/confrontation over Lybia that year using Navwar 3000/1. Taking great inspiration from your 'what-if' Boxer scenaro. Love the pics, but getting like an impatient kid waiting for the action to happen..... keep up the good work ... and get fighting soon!

  4. Hi Thistle, thanks for the comment, bit of a slow week Blog-wise, I'm afraid, but getting back into the saddle from now on...a review of the WTJ miniatures ships to come, and then we'll get down to business, I promise!