Tuesday 22 January 2013

Of Ships and Scales and Naval Decisions

Examples of Panzerschiffe resin 1/2400th scale warships

Whilst pondering the naval history of both Fezia and Rusland I have naturally been thinking about the models I shall be using. This has been rather more taxing that I first thought it would be - not so much in respect of the ships I want to represent - simply because I am uncertain of what I want to use for the models. The most obvious choice would be to use 1/3000th models, principally the enormous range available from Navwar. This would be a quick fix for sure but sadly I am not a huge fan of this scale and while I would use them in the short term I really need something a little more permanent.

Bearing in mind that I shall be using my Hexon terrain I really want models that are larger but not excessively so. Using 1/1200th models would not really be an option as most of the larger classes of ship will be larger than the 4 inches across a tile. My current thinking is to use 1/2400th models as a good compromise between tabletop size and practicality. There are a number of manufacturers of metal models in this scale but for my purposes I am looking quite seriously at the huge range of resin offerings from Panzerschiffe in the US - Panzerschiffe.

These models have been available since the early 1970s and may well provide me with a viable alternative to UK based metal models in this scale - most of which are shipped over from the US in any event! As mentioned, the range is huge and contains more than sufficient variety for even the most esoteric of fleets - which means that the navies of Fezia and Rusland should be truly unique looking.

Back in the early days of Navwar many of the warship models were produced in resin - Peter Pig use resin for their 1/600th ACW models - so there is most certainly a precedent for using this medium.

The other alternative would be to scratch build the models I need which would of course give me complete artistic freedom in etrms of the models I could create. The downside is not only the number of models needed (I am only looking at around a couple of dozen models per side but when you consider this is the requirement for, in effect, three sub-periods then the numbers mount up!) but also the time taken to build them - and I have yet to work out a satisfactory method of building turrets! Whilst this would be fun to do reluctantly I will forego this for the time being.

In summary then, I need to make some firm decisions about the type of models I want to use although I am fairly settled on the scale I shall be employing - 1/2400th.


Bluebear Jeff said...

I have a bunch of 1/2400 Pre-Dreadnaughts from Panzerschiffe and I've been very happy with them . . . and much prefer their size to the 1/3000 WTJ ships (which are lovely) . . . and, of course, the Panzerschiffe prices are nice too.

I think that you're making a good choice, sir.

-- Jeff

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Panzerschiffe do look good but do remember the "when viewed from six foot away" wargamer adage

I'm a 1/3000 Navwar/Davco man myself (although I don't seem to have any of the latter [yet])

The Angry Lurker said...

I like the detail for the scale, very nice.

David Crook said...

Hi Jeff,

The biggest stumbling block for me has been the fact that these models are only available from the US and I was always concerned re the savings made by using them being eaten up with customs charges. This is smething I will have to take on the chin but am now thinking that the end result will certainly be worth it.

The scale just has so much more 'presence' on the tabletop than 1/3000th.

It wont be for a while but I reckon this is the way to go for me.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Davco are 'chunkier' than Navwar and stand taller so I think they make better gaming pieces.

Very true about the table/viewing distance thing as well!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Fran,

And as cheap as chips to boot!

All the best,


Peter Douglas said...


I've use Panzerschiiffe merchantmen and they work very nicely. As your pictures show, they are clean castings but lack the finesse of the GHQ models. I would be tempted to drill holes to take wire masts.

It's an interesting twist that naval wise the best sources are North American. Normally it's us westerners complaining about shipping figures over from the old Country.


David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

I have seen those merchantmen and they look very impressive - and the irony of a nation that was once the main naval superpower on the planet not being able to produce a comprehensive selection of ships models in all scales has not been lost!

I shall be giving these models some serious attention and the point about wire masts has been noted.

All the best,