Monday, 23 May 2011

Almost - But Not Quite The Same....A Balkan Consideration


Aside from the ongoing ACW ship painting I have been giving a lot of thought to the Balkan Wars project which will follow on from the current enterprise. I have managed to ascertain that in the 15mm Irregular Miniatures WW1 Russian range there is an infantryman wearing boots, a peaked cap a smock and a blanket roll. Now this is very close to what I want for the Bulgarians and so I shall now be bringing the project forward in time to the period of the actual Balkan Wars in 1912/13. There is still plenty of colour about and I shall still be using the 'old toy soldier technique with individually based figures so there is no change there. here there is a difference though is on the naval side.

If you recall I was going to happily scratch build the ships for around 1900 with some retro added ships broadly following what happened in actuality some 12 years later than my setting. I then rediscovered my collection of Minifigs ships which are aching for a use in one form or another but they are short of pre dreadnoughts. I want to get hold of some if I am able but this does not appear to very likely unless I strike lucky on ebay or a bring and buy or some such. These are the two options I was considering but then a third alternative appeared and after careful consideration I think this will be the default choice.

I will scratch build the ships for the Balkan War in 1912. There, I've said it.

This is not such a daft idea (well, not so as you would notice anyway....) as I already have the fleets in 1/3000th and they are very much a known quantity. It also means that I do not need to build quite so many as I reckon 36 models will cover absolutely everything - including the Bulgarians. Building them to my standard 'maximum-model-size-being-3 1/2"-as-this-is-the-size-of-a-Hexon-tile' technique gives me a Georgios Averoff at 3 1/2" with everything else scaled back accordingly - she was the biggest ship in service on either side during the war. It will mean turrets and and shielded guns but that will be something to overcome in due course.

I do not even need to think about this yet - at least until October/November time in my estimation - so should any Minifigs kit turn up in the meantime it may mean another change of plan but somehow I think not.

8 comments:

Peter Douglas said...

DC

Sounds like a plan. If they turn out anything like your ACW fleets, you'll be in fine shape.

PD

Steve Cady said...

David,

Don't worry about scratch building turrets, it's the cage masts on the Kilkis and Lemnos that's going to drive you crazy. ;-)

Good call with the scratch building. If you're going with a toy soldier look on land, the ships can be done in compatible style. The level of detail in your old German battleship attachment is probably quite good enough.

I know it's a ways off, but can't wait to see what you do with this. It's an exciting project, on land and sea.

Regards,
Steve

David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

You hit the nail on the head there - these will be like upscaled 1/3000th models in terms of levels of detail. I am looking forward to tackling the builkding and fully expect that more plastic card will be used than with the ACW models.

If I can get the same general look as the current batch of kit I shall be more than satisfied.

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

Certainly the resulting models will not be uber-detailed and so perfectly keeping within the 'old toy' style. They should be around the Minifigs ship level of detail which is fine for my purposes.

The Balkans is an old friend of mine and I have gamed the naval side extensively in 1/3000th so much of the research has already been tackled in this respect. I am looking forward to getting the armies organised and painted once the current ACW collection has been finished.

Mercifully I will not have to tackle the two ex-American battleships (although my Balkan navies in 1/3000th are extended up to 1915 and so are included) and so cage masts will not feature....yet....;-)

All the best,

DC

Peter Douglas said...

DC

If I can muddy the waters a bit, there is another option - flats. Creative use of blueprints or pictures available online plus a laser printer and stiff card can do wonders.
Cheers
PD

David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

I have absolutely no qualms about using such an approach - if, and it is a big if, the graphics are OK. If I could find a good source of Command and Colours Napoleonic/Ancient type paper troops/tanks/artillery/ships or indeed anything else I would happily use them on wooden blocks with 3d terrain. One to ponder methinks.

All the best,

DC

Steve Cady said...

Thanks for the response, David. I had forgotten the two old US battleships were acquired a couple years after your period.

Regarding the flats, that's an interesting proposition. I'm a huge fan of flats on land and sea (not much available for the latter though unless you make your own, Junior General style). My own take is flats work better for land battles, as it's almost like watching a football match, one side attacks left to right and vice versa. Whereas ships will maneuver through 360 degrees, somewhat spoiling the illusion. But there's no question the approach can be simple and they do have an iconic appeal.

Regards,
Steve

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

I have seen the Junior Genral kit and it has a charm all of its own although I have never used such in a game. As I mentioned I would have no qualms in using printed armies/navies but the problem for me is that of a decent printer. To do this type of thing justice I suppose the best effect would be to use a laser printer rather than an inkjet and a colour laser printer is out of my budget for sure! It may be an idea to see how expensive a printshop would be for such. If I could master Microsoft Paint then I would certainly have a go!

Kilkis and Limnos look great but how on earth you would tackle those cage masts is something that mercifully I will not have to tackle!

All the best,

DC