Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Battle of the Atlantic - Navwar style

My much delayed visit to see my grandson took place today and at SWMBO's request I was instructed to to pay a visit to Navwar whilst the ladies discussed, well, ladies stuff. That is by no means a sexist comment - rather it was an observation that as the only male in the house (apart from the aforementioned grandson) I might like to take advantage of the opportunity offered and visit one of my favourite shops. I suppose that a one year old may be seen by many as being too young to start on the wargamers path but I took it as my grandparental duty to encourage him as far as I was able!

A five minute walk got me to the shop, taking in such familiar sights as the pub the Joker and the legendary Jakes burger bar - home of the famous Jakeburger which is a culinary delight if your blood pressure and arteries can stand the strain! I had gone to the shop clutching a list of ships I would need for my North Atlantic/Arctic 1/3000th set up but came away with something entirely different - and I can happily blame SteelonSand for what took place!

If you recall a couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had met with SteelonSand and that we had exchanged much in the way of metal and wood and that included in this transaction were three packs of 1/3000th convoy type ships. There was a pack of N9009 Rafaela x 2 Dutch Tankers, a pack of N9017 M.V. Kinross x 2 General Tramping vessels and a pack of N1722 HMS Black Swan Sloops x3. I had been toying around with the idea of getting some merchantmen together but until now the big stuff had always taken priority. So, all thoughts of Hood, Bismarck and company have been put on hold for a while as I steamed in (no pun intended!) and acquired a further pack of the Kinross Tramps, 2 packs of N9005 A/B Standard ships x 2 and 2 packs of N9006 F Class Standard ships x2 which means I can field a 15 ship convoy of assorted types for use as the focal point of a game or mini campaign. This was all logical so far but then rhyme and reason went out of the window and I acquired not only a selection of various early war escort vessels but also the opposing U-Boats - and U-Boat tankers!

To go with the aforementioned Black Swan sloops I have two packs of N1516C HMS Walker (the V and W long range escort conversion) x 2 each, two packs of N1719 Flower Class corvettes x 3 each and a pack of N1736 Isles Class Trawlers x 4. The Germans meanwhile weigh in with two packs of N3602 Type VIIc Submarines x 3 each, one pack of M3603 Type IXc Long Range U-Boat x 3 and a pack of N3604 Type XIV 'Milch Cow' type supply U-Boat.

The running of convoys across the Atlantic was a grim and demanding business - far away from the 'glamour' of the big ship battles but every bit as important - if not more so. The cat and mouse chasing of the U-Boats is a difficult undertaking to represent on the table top but by using a gridded surface it should be considerably easier. I have not thought about how to tackle this in respect of rules but certainly getting the kit ready for use will be pretty straightforward because the combatant models are very small indeed and so painting should be easy.

So there you have it - another naval project to contend with although I can justify it by saying that it is really only an extension of what I was going to do anyway!

The photo of the shop above is of course Navwar and has been posted for those folk from across the sea that have ordered models from them but have never been to the premises. It is as small on the inside as well but what a goldmine of inspiration!

Finally, the 40 completed models for my ACW project have been 'sealed' using Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement prior to undercoating and so all in all it has been a pretty good day.

.....and for the record, my Grandson slept through the entire time I was in the shop - perhaps naval is not quite his thing - yet!


Michael said...

An excellent company, if I may recommend the late D K Brown's work "Atlantic Escorts - Ships, Weapons and Tactics" as a very useful reference work for your research. There was an old "Tabletop" game, "U-Boat" I think it was called may be interesting too.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Fantastic post :)

I'm not there at the grandparent stage yet but I do have a one year old son

I really regret not getting to the Navwar shop when I was working in London I would have loved to see the insides of the place

Nice to see that with all the good intentions in the world other shiny things distracted you :)

Paul O'G said...

Well I am one of those who used enjpoyed using Navwar products for many year, but has never seen the shop. So thanks for the pic and glad to hear the new plans are afoot!

Beccas said...

Great photo. Thanks for posting. The shop is bigger than I pictured in my head.

David Crook said...

Hi Michael,

Many thanks for the heads up re this title - I have a limited amount of stuff on the Atlantic - as most of my library is mainly geared around the big ship stuff. This looks like it will be very useful!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

It is a great little shop and Tony the owner really knows his stuff. I am as weak willed as the next gamer but can just about justify a new 'period'!

Fortunately painting this lot will be pretty straightforward!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Man Cave,

Willpower? Who needs it I say - especially when confronted with a shop full of goodies and and half an idea!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Beccas,

Sorry for the delay! It is a great shop though but is pretty snug on the inside!

All the best,