Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Minifigs Ship Repository

After too long away from both the activity of modelling and gaming, as well as the all-important wittering on about same in the pages of this Blog, I've blown the dust off the laptop and am making a small return with news of projects, both old and new, beginning with the arrival of some heavy-weight and historic larger scale warships.

I am sure a lot of you will have been following the saga of the Minifigs ships as it played out over at David Crook's Blog, 'A Wargaming Oddyssey', that finally resulted in the re-introduction of the range of early twentieth century pre- and dreadnought vessels to production:

A fascinating tale of detective work, co-operation with fellow enthusiasts, and blood sweat and tears that saw the Minifigs ships rise phoenix-like from relative obscurity and the pages of an occasional Ebay auction to full availability once more.

Like many others, I had followed this progress avidly, and whilst I had concentrated mainly on 1/3000th navies in the past, I couldn't really resist the charismatic lines of the Minifigs warships themselves, so evocative of both the era in which they were originally designed and produced and also of the early days of the Hobby itself; Fletcher Pratt et al crouching on the floor pushing their like around, and launching the popular phenomena of Naval Wargaming.

I had numerous discussions on the subject with David, and after he made the difficult decision that he would be unable to push the project of his collection of ships forward, as he wanted to concentrate on other scales, I was overwhelmed when in an incredible act of generosity, he gifted me the balance of the flotilla.

The story of the Minifigs line and its earlier incarnation, of course has been ably chronicled by the excellent work done by Steve Cady over at the 'Castles of Tin Blog', where, with a similar sense of commitment to these charming sculpts of yesteryear, he has not only shone a light on the original history of the ships, but also produced some amazing completed examples, definitely in the eye-candy class:

I will truly be standing on the shoulders of giants in taking over the baton of David's collection, and moving the painting and basing forward in whatever way I can.

So, I've been lucky enough to be handed the raw materials of a new project very much on a plate, and hopefully will be talking through it all as it progresses here at the Blog; thanks to David Crook, the hard work is done, and all I need to do is to throw some paint in their direction in order to get things moving.
My initial thoughts, given that the sculpts seem to have been based in a generic way around the ship inventory of the Royal Navy in the period of 1906 and thereafter, is to use them as the vessels for a pair of 'Imagi-Nations', namely the Empire of Bostro-Danubia and the Republic of Risorgimentia.

There is more on of all of this to come, and as the repository for David's collection, I hope that in the near future this Blog will see plenty of Minifigs ships in action!


  1. What a wonderful gift. It just goes to show what nice people so many of the folks in this hobby are.

    -- Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff, thanks for the comment - hope you are well - yes, I've been really lucky in receiving these, and as you say, goes to show how having a shared interest brings out the best in people - just hope I can do them justice.

  3. Hi Sos,

    No problem old chap - I am sure you will put them to good use and remember - I have some more in the collection that will be winging their way to SoS towers in due course!

    All the best,


  4. Thanks again, DC, it goes without saying - the more the merrier!

  5. These vessels might mix in well with some Aeronef/Land ironclads actions...

  6. Hi El G! - good to hear from you - yes, you've hit it in a nutshell - they are going to scale reaaaally well alongside the ostensibly 1/1200th Aeronef - some surface to air action is definitely on the cards.