Sunday, 19 September 2010

Aquanef/Nemo/Pacific War: Militarist Monitors etc....

I've been playing around with tying up the various loose ends of the half-conceived 'started as Aquanef - became Pacific War 1879 - turning back to VSF' project, so thought I'd commit some ideas to paper, as it were.
As you can see both above and below, the Peruvian Monitor Mano Capac has been joined by her sister ship in the shape of the Atahualpa, here in a contrasting scheme of grey and white:

This is for no other reason than to provide a bit of interest, as I've no historical sources for an accurate scheme, so went with what I felt fitted best. This pretty much finishes off the Pacific War 1879 part of the project, in that we now have most of the major surface combatants as provided by Tumbling Dice in 1/2400th.
I suppose I could look at doing some of the transport/civilian vessels of the time, but this is likely to be very much in 'back burner' territory for the time being.

Now the ships as they are can obviously be used historically, and also, as originally conceived, might combine to go up against the various scratch-built vessels of a Nemo-led fleet of Anti-Militarists.
As things stand, the Allies of Nemo have their own submarines depicted whilst surfaced, but I am afraid the daunting task of re-creating the Nautilus in whatever form so far eludes me; I guess it's hard not to be influenced by the iconic depictions we all know so well - to the point of being intimidated enough to give up before getting started!

So, in the meantime, as you might remember from a previous post here, I've been considering using some of the Aeronef vessels from Brigade Models to stand in as a response by the Miltarists to the superior technology of Nemo.
Think of them as contemporary Monitors on steroids.
Now of course, the perverse wisdom of taking maritime-inspired flying-ship designs and converting them back to some rudimentary form of surface ship seems, well....perverse, yet that is what I have been doing, primarily to take advantage of some of the really nice sculpts from Brigade.

I chose three Aeronef, all with an ostensibly South American pedigree, and have got them to a rough approximation of what a 'super' monitor of the time might look like:

They are as yet a work in progress, but as you can see, we have at top, the VAN-803 Gustavo Sampaio from Brazil, the VAN-1401 Sanchez Carillon of Peru, and in the foreground, the VAN-805 Pernambuco, again of Brazilian pedigree according to Brigade.

These have all had the rear stabilising tailplanes removed, and their rounded hulls filed flat to enable their conversion into surface watercraft:

They are looking a little raw at the moment, but sometime soon, I'll hope to complete and base them, with the largest becoming the 'Huascar II' of Peru, the middle one becoming the 'Arturo Prat' of Chile, and the smallest will become the 'Bolivar' from the nascent navy of Bolivia itself. (Which historically, of course, had no vessels of its own to speak of)

To give an idea of the scale, we see below the Huascar II alongside the wooden Corvette, the Chacabuco:

Followed by the Arturo Prat:

Finally the Bolivar alongside the Atahualpa:

Hopefully, then, these upgraded Monitor types will provide some VSF-inspired muscle to take on Nemo, and also serve to move the project as a whole in a roughly forward direction....

The final, alright who am I kidding? - the next stage, is the re-introduction of a more Aquanef angle, and again, in the absence of any off-the-shelf models, I've raided the Aeronef catalogue once more to look for likely submersible craft, and come up with the following:

We have the VAN-4001 Pirate Cutlass Spar Torpedo Vessel, and the VAN-2005 Turkish Yarhisar Torpedo Dig. To my eyes, these have the greatest potential to be deployed in the guise of true submarines, although I dare say more types could be found amongst the ranks of available Aeronefs.

Finally, again, to give an idea of comparative scale, the two proto-subs up against the Atahualpa once more:

Just how these two vessels will figure, whether as further Militarist super-weapons in response to Nemo, or as part of some yet unconceived mystery contender, I've yet to decide - and that's to say nothing on how Robur's Albatross might get involved, or how the Bolivian Balloon Corps might be deployed to counter him!

More to come on all this, I fear.... ;-)


  1. Outstanding!

    I love the idea of retro-engineering Aeronef into submersibles.

    Nice paint work on the monitors too.

    Excellent stuff!

  2. Cheers Jim, I might be playing fast and loose with the various intended uses, but I think it's good fun to mix and match in this way, sometimes throws up some interesting stuff.