Friday, 13 March 2009

55 Days at Sea: Part 3

Having trawled through the long list of the 1/3000th ships available from Navwar, I was pleased to find that the vast majority of vessels that I required were available, although coverage of the smaller torpedo boat destroyer types was a bit patchy; have to have a think about 'lookalike' ones for these - the Italian Esplatore Despatch Vessel N4711 will make a good stand in for the U.S. paddle steamer Monocacy, I think.

On arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a helpful insert is enclosed with the basic statistics of each vessel, a godsend for a newbie like me!

One small note of caution, in the Navwar catalogue, often two types are listed together, for instance from Russia: "N7111/12 Sissoi Veliki & Navarin 1Ea 1894/91 £1.60", this does not mean that the vessels come separately, i.e N7112 Navarin at £1.60, but rather that this was a twin pack (yes, you guessed it, I misread this and have a few doubles!), with both included at £1.60.

The castings to my eye are good, there is a mould line visible along the centre-line of most ships, but this can either be removed along with any flash present, or even at this scale, left and painted in as cables etc, perhaps. The detail on model to model is variable, with some being rather plain, and in the main, they lack masts and fighting tops, (Although I understand that mostly masts were struck before engaging, anyway...) with just bridges and funnels being obvious. 
Below we have HMS Powerful, the longest ship I have come across so far, measuring around 54mm. This will probably govern the base sizes, with I think 60x30mm for larger vessels, and 50x30mm for the smaller.

Here we see the Russian Sissoi Veliki and the Navarin, at around 36mm each, I think the designer/sculptor has done a good job in suggesting the character of the ships, even if sometimes the detail is lacking.

Finally we have HMS Endymion, with quite a bit of flash to the base, and some enormous-looking funnels! 

I've been looking for references to the various navies online, and have come across some really useful sites as below:

Photos, Histories and Statistics:

Colour Schemes for the various navies:

both have some excellent info, and should get me started on the right track. I was also lucky enough to find a re-print copy of Janes All the World's Navies 1897 for sale, so should also have some contemporary input once that gets delivered!

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the offerings from Navwar, although I have also come across another manufacturer of vessels from this period, whose models look very fine, but I'm afraid with the weakness of the Pound versus the Dollar at the moment, I'll have to pass. This company also offer a site with loads of good info, including rules and tips - well worth a look:

So, should be an interesting project: watch this space!


  1. The navwar ships are great. Excellent detail and good variety to boot. All of my WWI Italians and Austrians are navwar along with my WWII Italians and British. Do you see a theme here? :-)

  2. Hi Victor, thanks for your comment, it's good to get support so early on in the life of the blog; couldn't agree more about the Navwar ships, I'd used their Microarmour for years, so I was expecting a lot from the naval stuff: haven't been disappointed, painting them is going well, so look out for more posts on this subject soon...

  3. If you can find it in your local library (or through an inter-library loan), Conway's "All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905" is a great resource . . . but not easy to pick one up inexpensively.

    Also the WTJ website has a nice section on paint schemes for the various navies. Go to their "Game Shop 1" and scroll down the right hand portion to the "WTJ Naval & Wargaming" Heading . . . and under that click on "Painting Guide" and scoll down:

    Lots of good information there.

    -- Jeff

  4. Thanks again Jeff, I've been lucky in getting the 1898 Jane's reprint, but obviously the technical info there is a bit sparse, I guess it was mostly under the cover of 'state secrets' at the time, given that it was current!

    I'm particularly keen to get some idea of where all the various guns were positioned on ships, as this might be a factor in any future ruleset modifications I might make, so I'll have to look out for the Conways.

    Thanks for the tip about the WTJ guide, although I think it is more relevant to the later Russo-Japanese War - You wouldn't be trying to tempt me into expanding in a whole new direction would you? :-).

    Now where did I leave that Navwar catalogue......