Sunday, 22 May 2011

Minifigs Ships - A Viable Alternative?

A couple of years I acquired a selection of Minifigs ships off Ebay for a a song. This collection was added to when Bob Cordery very kindly donated his collection of these to me last year (thanks once again Bob!). I had a little bit of a sort out at the time, came up with a few ideas and then they promptly got sidelined until a chance mention on the blog: http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.com/2011/05/miniature-figurines-ww1-warships-tange.html reminded me of the quantity I owned languishing in the back of the cupboard. These models are absolutely ideal for naval gaming being robust and with just enough detail to be to identify types - a full list of the models that were produced is available via the link above.

It suddenly occurred to me that here was exactly what I needed to use for the Balkan navies for the forthcoming 1900 project. The only downside is that although Minifigs produced some pre dreadnought types my collection only contains one Lord Nelson and three of the mysterious 'Early Turret Warships'. I have 9 dreadnoughts and 5 battlecruisers but nothing old and imposing looking, like the Majestics, Triumph or even Canopus.

I could use these and chop some of the dreadnought types about for variation BUT it will mean that 1900 will not really be the setting for obvious reasons (no dreadnoughts before 1905!). I could set the wars in 1912/13 with different fleets but that will impact of the uniforms of the armies I shall be using. I am not averse to scratch building the fleets for this by any means but if I can make use of that which I already own then a good deal of time will be saved.

With this in mind I am now officially on the hunt for any of the Minifigs pre dreadnoughts - I don't need that many to be honest - so will be haunting ebay and badgering all and sundry to have a look in the dark recesses of their collections to see if any are lurking around and desirous of a new home.

6 comments:

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

Good luck with your search.

All my pre-dreadnoughts ended up in Eric Knowle's collection, so I have no more that you can have.

If only we could find the moulds ...

All the best,

Bob

David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

I am quite sure that some of the models that went to Eric I actually ended up painting for the Turks for the South East Asia WW1 naval campaign!

I will keep looking and as you rightly say - if only the moulds could be located!

All the best,

DC

Steve Cady said...

David,

I recently came into possession of an 80 ship Minifigs fleet, details on my blog:

http://castlesoftin.blogspot.com/

Amongst this collection I have half a dozen of the pre-dreadnought battleships. The Canopus and Swiftsure work very well as generic pre-dreads of any navy, to my eyes the Lord Nelson and Majestics less so. Although the side by side funnels on the Minifigs Majestic are too far apart anyway, probably could be sawed off and relocated in the usual tandem arrangement.

Best of luck with your search, but it's a roll of the dice. You'll probably have to fall back on the scratchbuilding, and having seen your ACW ships, I have no doubt you can make a proper job of it.

Regards,
Steve C.

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

Wow! If you need and exchange at all then please let me know! I am awash with dreadnoughts and would probably only need a few of the pre dreads. I will keep looking in the meantime as well as taking a look at you blog for the details. If I can source a few of these models it means that the remainder of the ACW collection will get built just that little bit sooner.

All the best,

DC

Steve Cady said...

Hang onto your "Minifigs", David. I've made something of a breakthrough with identifying them.

http://castlesoftin.blogspot.com/2011/05/minifigs-mystery-solved.html

Regards,
Steve

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

Wow! That is a fascinating story and no mistake. I had heard of the early models and what a pity such material is not available today! The style of the Minifigs ships is absolutely ideal for wargames but sadly most gamers want GHQ of Thoroughbred levels of detail which is a shame really.

Great reaed Steve, many thanks for the donkey work and remember, if you want to exchange and of the Minifigs numbers let me know!

All the best,

DC