Monday 6 May 2013

Why we do what we do

The scratch built ACW Confederate Ironclads before being based, now departed but soon to be relaunched (or more accurately, replaced).

A couple of years ago I went all out on scratchbuilding some fifty ACW river warships for a planned series of actions based on the war along the 'great father of the waters' - the Mississippi river. I even fought some actions using the models - both as pure naval affairs and also in conjunction with a land battle. I have always liked the idea of combined arms actions and really enjoyed the experience. This particular interest really kicked off for me after having acquired a copy of Jack Coombe's excellent book: Thunder Along the Mississippi. this book is, for me, one of my all time favourites and sits with his follow up volume: Gunfire Around the Gulf, in the ACW section of my library.

Pook's Turtles - all of them....(and yes, I also built USS Benton and USS Essex!).

The ship models went via eBay for no other reason than that I was not convinced my approach was the right one in terms of the 'look' of them. They were too detailed for game markers and not detailed enough to be classed as models and I could never really take to them for some reason. Making them though was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from the process. Certainly should I repeat the experiment I will know what not to do!

USS Benton and USS Essex

For reasons that will become known in due course I plan to revisit this period and theatre of operations and am currently thinking about how best to tackle the naval side. I do not want to use 1/600th models so am looking long and hard at 1/1200th from our friends at Navwar. These will fit very readily on my Hexon terrain and would also suit the block armies should I be using them for the land battles.

The section that is in bold and italics in the last sentence is of huge significance....;-)

I had planned to make use of ACW river warships for some Fezian and Rusland action along the Danube anyway but for reasons that will be clear very soon (probably by Thursday of this week) this will now not be the case and so instead the swampy bayous of the Mississippi will be taking centre stage once again.

The ship painting was already scheduled for this year in any event and so the only difference from what I had planned originally will be the use of different flags and names! It is just that the rest of the project will now be very interesting indeed.....;-)


Rob Young said...

Have you seen these 1/250th scale paper ones?


David Crook said...

Hi Rob,

I most certainly had not but will be doing so! Many thanks for the heads up.

All the best,


Ray Rousell said...

In answer to your posts title, the short answers is. We're all a little looney!

Lead Legion said...

Very nice David. Must have been heartbreaking to part with them after all that work.

David Crook said...

Hi Ray,

I would correct you in one respect - we're all a lot looney!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Lead Legion,

Oddly enough it didn't feel that bad - I tend not to have any regrets once I have made the decision. The problem I had was that whilst I was happy with the ironclads it was the other 32 ships that I struggled with - try as I might I just couldn't seem to take to them when it came to getting them painted!

All the best,


Corporal_Trim said...

I remember those Ironclads well, David. I'll bet the buyer was delighted with them.