Sunday, 24 May 2009

55 Days at Sea: latest painted ships

A look now at the latest ships to leave the workbench; part of the second phase of miniatures, which widening research forced me to invest in - more information, more ship names, more to paint! Not that I'm complaining, it's been good fun being able to work with such a varied fleet, with all the various nations, and it gives good scope to game with lots of different protagonists, without having to model as many vessels, as say, the entire fleets at Tsushima or Jutland. Mind you, I know plenty of people do just that, but this is, after all, my first foray into 1/3000th.

Below we see the Japanese flotilla as she currently stands, now with the addition of the Cruiser Yoshino, the Murakumo class Torpedo Boat Destroyers Yugiri and Usugumo, and the cute as a button old gunboat Atago. I love the poetic translations of the names of the two TBDs, 'Evening Mist'  and 'Fragile (or thin) Clouds', of course the title Atago is connected to the Fire Deity or the mountain in his name, Atago Yama, but I have a theory that the name is actually tongue in cheek - if you reverse the syllables A-ta-go, you get O-ga-ta, which can mean 'big one' - seeing as she is the smallest vessel I've yet painted up!

Then we have a slight departure from the historical list that I have come up with so far, namely the Merchant vessel Saiko Maru (Navwar N9038), which I wanted to introduce an element of colour to the proceedings; I hope to add in a few transports/troop ships which will come in handy in various scenarios in the future. According to Navwar, she served as an armed merchant cruiser at the Battle of the Yalu, and later was used as a hospital ship, so if she wasn't present in person off China in 1900, she is at least not atypical of the time.  

The Elswick-built Cruiser Yoshino is guarded fiercely by the diminutive Atago, although as the Navwar sculpt shows so well, the former probably has enough quick firers to her broadsides to deal with all but the largest attackers...

Those poetic TBDs in close up, here in the form of Navwar's N5517 Kagero Class:

The Saiko Maru:

Moving on now to the Pearl Class Cruiser the Walleroo, serving on behalf of the Australian New South Wales contingent, I gave her a blue ensign rather than a white one to distinguish her from the British vessels in the fleet, don't know how historical this is, not sure exactly what she might have flown, but this does at least have a suggestion of the modern Aussie flag:

Heading to an altogether older country, we have some companions for the Dim Don and Vlad Mon, the Ad Nach and Ad Korn - I just can't be doing with those lengthy Russian names - too much like a Chekhov play! 
The Navwar Ad Nach is depicted with rather large guns, certainly larger-looking than they appear in my copy of Janes, but I guess we have to let that pass, certainly, with 8x8 inch, and 10x6 inch guns, she was no lightweight in 1900.

Now the French flotilla, with the addition of the Jean Bart and the Friant. The former is interesting in that she was originally built with two massive armoured fighting tops so beloved of the French, but these were found to be too top heavy for a vessel of her class, so by the time she was off China, these had been removed.

The Navwar sculpt, however, seems to have retained some semblance of the original armoured conning-towers, with them merely being shorter, not sure if this is historical, as I've yet to see a photo of the modified ship - did she have a more normal fighting rig, or these 'dwarf' fighting tops? 

The Friant mini, meanwhile, is a tidy looking beast, with plenty of guns visible:

Now the augmented Italian contingent, considerably re-enforced by the two Carlo Alberto Class ships, these look suitably menacing, and are well provided with visible barbette guns in the Navwar model:

Finally then, we see the 'little and large' of the allied fleet so far: luring the Romanov Empire into a false sense of security, the Atago moves in for the kill!


  1. Hi,

    I've just stumbled on your excellent blog, and thought I'd say hello - and keep up the fantastic work! I've recently dug out an old box of 2mm Napoleonic figures which are currently getting painted and based up, so your imaginative projects have encouraged me on to starting a new blog of my own with them - problem is, you've got so many ideas on show I can't decide what to focus on myself!


  2. Hey Craig, welcome back into the fold! I'm flattered that my humble efforts helped inspire you; I initially wanted to take a somewhat 'scattergun' approach in order to set out all the possible/nascent projects I was working on, unfortunately these kind of took over, and rather than help me to refine ideas, tended to tempt me in to try more and more...oh well!

    That's not to try and put you off though, please do blog about your efforts, there's precious little enough out there at the moment on the smaller scales, particularly 2mm, so anything you might add would be great, I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with, Naps is the last bastion of eras that I have resisted getting in to - maybe you can change that!

    Cheers, SteelonSand.

  3. I do enjoy looking at your nice fleets.

    -- Jeff

  4. Hi Jeff, that's very kind of you, the blog is just a humble one, particularly compared to all your brilliant efforts at Saxe Bearstein etc, (BTW, my mother swears by Horsetail Tea for the dreaded gout) but I've found it very useful in motivating myself to paint and organise the various armies I'm working on.

    As for the fleets, at least another twenty or so vessels to be painted up, and more work on scenarios etc, to come, so feel free to keep dropping by!