Sunday, 20 January 2013

Creating a Naval Background

The Spanish dreadnought Espana

One of the areas that will be of primary importance for me with the planned Fezian and Rusland armed forces will be the naval dimension. I enjoy naval wargames as any long time readers of this blog will know so naturally it will be important for me to reflect this on the tabletop. However, it is not sufficient for me to merely roll out two fleets of model ships and set to - definitely not! The fleets need to have a history and the models used also need to have a design rationale as to the choices made as to their selection. In fact the naval dimension will actually involve five sub - periods rather than the four of the land side. These will be as follows:

  • The sail era
  • The steam and sail era
  • The pre-dreadnought era
  • The dreadnought era
  • The air and submarine era
The first two periods are fairly obvious - the Napoleonic and Ironclad eras - but of course the three that follow on are largely linked, simply because historically there is a lot of overlap with ships being refitted and modernised from earlier periods and used in second line or supporting roles later on. Fezia and Rusland are no exceptions to this historical precedent which also has the advantage in terms of what models I can use.

I am slightly torn with this as I would like to make the ships myself but making use of the very extensive range of 1/3000th models from Navwar may yet be the choice, if only from a practicality perspective. Ideally though I would prefer to use slightly larger models if possible as I do not envisage needing many of them so may well take a look at 1/2400th. Again, I intend fighting the naval wars of Fezia and Rusland on my Hexon terrain so model size is important - the largest ships need to be able to fit within two hexes. Ironically, the best possible size would be 1/1800th - the size used by Axis and Allies: War at Sea. The one thing above all else I want to be able to do though is to make sure that the ships are unique looking or more specifically, not obvious as to their origin. This means that should I buy the models they will need to be from lesser well known navies and not just Royal Navy repaints.

Remind me then, just why did I get rid of the collection I had of these? 

Coming back to the background I am fairly comfortable with what I want to do and how I want to do it - the execution though will be slightly different from what I outlined in a couple of posts at the end of 2011.

The early sketches of just how the navies came about for the war of 1935 are still about right although as mentioned I will need to tidy this up slightly to bring it in line with my current thinking.

The one decision I have made though concerns the sizes of the fleets being considered - they will not be large by any means and my current hinking is for around a couple of dozen or so models for each side. Capital ships will feature of course, both rebuilt earlier types and more modern vessels, including provision for an aerial capability.

Meanwhile, back to the catalogues and planning, ever planning!


El Grego said...

Sounds very interesting!

And, as far as making a plan for miniatures that one had just sold off - I can sympathise as I have done that once or twice...

David Crook said...

Hi EG,

Happy New Year to you!

Actually it is not quite as bad as it looks as the ships I sold off would probably not have been much use for what I wanted but it would have been nice to have had the choice!

I have a number of plans in mind which will feature on the blog in due course.

All the best,


SteelonSand said...

You're really throwing down the gauntlet to yourself, here aren't you... but should be a really immersive and interesting challenge.... I might just have a few spare Minifigs ships available though, you know....certainly quite a number of TBDs and subs.... just to throw a spanner in the works.... :-)

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but did not both of these navies use seaplane tenders instead of flattops?

Ships that had 8-12 cranes that placed a squadron on the sea surface quickly to allow for a mass launch.

Also, at least one 'wet-deck' (well deck?) tender with clamshell doors in the rear which allowed seaplanes to enter an exit under their own power.

David Crook said...

Hi SoS,

Gauntlet is my middle name - actually it is Roy but you know what I mean!

Many thanks re the Minifigs ships prompt - i have something rather more radical in mind though.

All will be revealed in due course.

All the best,


David Crook said...


You ae quite correct BUT, and it is a significant but, I am planning on expanding the naval air side - not in a US Pacific Fleet kind of way - so upgrading the seaplane tender set up would be a good start.

The largest carrier I envisage would probably be aound the size of an escort carrier but who knows?

i will think about this further.

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Those silly nations .. I want their navies ... they are precious to me

I seem to be in such a "covetness" 1/3000 mode just now:

Spanish WWI and wwII
Swedish WWII
Norwegian WWII
Russian WWII

Are all fuzzy "holes" in my collection