Monday 28 January 2013

Of Ships and what to do with them....

SMS Scharnhorst

SMS Scharnhorst - soon to be commissioned in the Rusland navy, together with her sister ship, SMS Gneisenau.

A large gray warship sails through calm seas; a dark cloud of smoke pours out of its two smoke stacks.

SMS Blucher - again, soon to be commissioned into the Rusland navy as the flagship of the Cruiser Fleet.

On Wednesday this week I shall be taking delivery of a substantial quantity of 1:2400th scale WW1 models courtesy of Mr. Fox. The models are the old Micro-Matrix range currently available from Stonewall Figures which Mr Fox has been hoovering up over a period of some time but have lain, like so many 'ooh shiny' projects, (and I am referring to pretty much all wargamers in this respect!) forlorn and unloved in his equivalent of Area 51. The collection is rather large and consists of a larger chunk of both sides present at the Battle of Jutland.

I am planning on using these models as the basis for the Fezian and Rusland navies but as it stands the numbers involved are far in excess of what I envisaged raising. At this point I should perhaps mention that something in the order of 40 or so dreadnoughts are heading my way! I did have a mad moment and thought that this may be my big opportunity to raise the forces to refight Jutland - mercifully common sense prevailed and so this is what the plan now looks like:

  • Fezia and Rusland will have a selection of capital ships - both of dreadnought and battle cruiser types - that will use roughly a third of the collection.
  • The remainder will furnish historical British and German navies - which will also include some new acquisitions in the shape of armoured cruisers and similar.
My first priority will be to sort out the collection and decide who is getting what - my thinking at the moment will be for the Rusland navy to use the German kit by virtue of the fact that I have based their strategic situation as being akin to that of the High Seas Fleet. This means their fleet is largely a short range force with ships that are well protected but relatively lightly armed compared to their contemporaries. Rusland light vessels are extremely effective in the use of the torpedo and mine warfare is extensively employed - both offensively and defensively. During peacetime Rusland regularly sends out cruisers into the Middle Sea for flag showing purposes - which usually leads to Fezia despatching vessels to shadow them.

For the Fezians I am planning on using the Royal Navy models as Fezia has the same strategic considerations as the Royal Navy in WW1 had in that they have a large empire with far-ranging naval commitments. This translates into ships with a long range and usually high speed, well armed but lighter on the protection scale than the Rusland vessels. They tend to keep older vessels in service for longer so fleets can consist of a wide variety of types. What the Fezians lack in quality compared to the Rusland navy they more than make up for in terms of quantity - especially as they are able to reinforce the Feian Sea easily from the other side of the Derdenalles straits.

The historical set up will need some additional models (actually so will the Fezian/Rusland set up) so once I have sorted out how I am tackling the forces I can plan accordingly. At this stage I suspect that I shall be using ships from Viking Forge as some of these do not look too out of place from the style perspective to the Stonewall models

I am really excited about the whole thing to be honest - both from the Fezian/Rusland side and the historical and as Mr Fox rightly observed, for the painting of this little lot I need to ensure I have sufficient shades of grey to be working with....;-)


Anonymous said...

Are you going to do that Catamaran Battlecruiser that Rusland had?

David Crook said...


Probably not - nor will I be tackling any circular gunboats.

At least not yet anyway....;-)

All the best,


Bluebear Jeff said...

If I might make a painting suggestion, sir . . .

Choose different "deck colors" for the two sides. They would use different woods anyway and the differing colors will help keep the sides easily identifiable during battle.

-- Jeff

David Crook said...

Hi Jeff,

I shall be using 4 shades of grey and 4 deck colours for the four fleets so I hope that will help with the identity crisis!

All the best,


Paul O'G said...

Sounds like a hoot!

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

I am really excited about this - and needless to say have a number of interesting plans for the collection!

All the best,