Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Future of Pre-Dreadnought Miniatures

The future of Pre-Dreadnought Naval Miniatures has well and truly arrived in the form of the new ship line just released by War Times Journal.

Jim at WTJ has been working for some time on presenting a range of CAD designed, Rapid Prototype Plastic miniatures, and not to overstate it, has in one fell swoop moved the world of naval miniatures one giant leap into the future.

I was lucky enough to be given access to a preview in the form of a 1/1800th scale Sissoi Veliki, as can be seen in the photos here, and boy, was I impressed - these new miniatures have an unparalleled level of clean and clear incised detail, and are designed with beautiful proportions and shape - these have gone from gaming pieces to scale-models overnight.

The miniatures come in a hard plastic that has none of the unsightly lines of Shapeways-style printing processes, nor the odd granular surfaces of the likes of 'White Strong and Flexible' and similar mediums; WTJ has an explanation of what was involved in their creation here:

Now as ever, my basic photography skills do these new ships little justice, although given that they are transparent, I suppose I can plead some mitigation in my defence - you definitely need to see them in the flesh to appreciate their overall quality.

What is even more exciting about this newly innovated line is that it is not limited to a single scale, WTJ will be producing the same miniatures in four different scales! - Yes, that's the classic 1/3000th, alongside 1/2400th, 1/1800th and even 1/1500th ships - enough to cover the needs of most of us Naval enthusiasts out there, and a few others besides.......

The ships are available for order now, although it has to be stressed that their is some lead-in time as they have to be sent away to be processed, so are definitely a 'bespoke' product, although I am very happy to report that the prices of the line are in no way excessive, given their quality, and are in my opinion, definitely cheap at the price, even in the larger scales.

I really can't praise these models highly enough, and as you can probably tell, am pretty excited as to how the range will be developed - I know that things like all four international variants of the Garibaldi Class being available is cool enough, but then knowing WTJ are about to produce an expanding range of South American ships of the era just about blows my mind........  ;-)

What more can I say, but get yourself over to WTJ as fast as possible and feast your eyes - and moreover give Jim all the support he so richly deserves in pushing the boundaries of what is available to the Pre-Dreadnoughter, and spoiling us all with such an excellent product!


  1. I already ordered some 1/2400 a few days ago.

    -- Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff, yes, I'm as keen as you are no doubt are to see how these shape up in the smaller scales - I've got a 1/3000th Span-Am order in the pipeline!

  3. The initial releases from WTJ are quite amazing, although the addition of 1/1800 is more than a little tempting and could derail some of my other thoughts for miniatures!

    Pre-Dred-Nutters, sometimes yes!

  4. Hi El G, yes, we're totally in game-changer territory here...... very exciting!

  5. Wow! I wish Shapeways would make them as well as these appear to be. So far, I've been very unimpressed by stuff I've gotten from Shapeways.

  6. Definitely agree there, Chris, these new ships are done in a crisp, firm ABS plastic, so much superior, I think...

  7. OMG that is gorgeous! Reckon I can get away with the 1/1500 ones with my existing 1/1200 ships.

  8. Absolutely, Paul - the clarity of the detail has to be seen to be believed - this is a massive development in the hobby - really hope WTJ can expand on this new technique - I'll be posting an in depth review when my 1/3000th order arrives from the U.S.!

  9. Have to agree, the WTJ ships look amazing ! It's 1/1800 for me, should have them by next week.

    I like the shot of the WTJ posed next to the BMC cruiser. I have some BMC ships too.


  10. Oh man - yep, a game changer for sure! As El G said, seeing these has derailed another project - got to get may hands on some. Look toward to your future posts on this new line and seeing how they paint up. I'm looking at 1:2400 with this level of detail it may make dipping more of an option than previous ranges.

  11. Thanks for the intelligence, I have been looking for 1/1800 scale Pre-Dreadnoughts.

    Jan Ferris

  12. Thanks for your comments guys, glad you found the post useful - still waiting for my order to sail 'across the Pond', and then hopefully I'll find time to do a further review.

  13. Gah! I just went to see the HIJMS Mikasa this morning, so I was already in a pre-dread mood... And now I see this. Nooo!