Sunday 26 October 2014

H.M.A.S. Australia and Friends

H.M.A.S. Australia in all her 1/2400th glory. She will have a couple of light cruisers and four destroyers for company - just the thing for chasing down German raiders in the Pacific.

After what seems like an age I have finally completed the six early Battle Cruisers for the Royal Navy and that of Australia. Of the two classes - the earlier Invincible and the later Indefatigable - five were present at Jutland (with one from each class being sunk) but I wanted H.M.A.S Australia for my small Antipodean squadron that will be serving in a planned Pacific based 'hunt the raider' type scenario. A potted history of her career can be found here - H.M.A.S. Australia 1911

The other two ships in the class - with apologies for the ever-so-slightly blurred picture. 

The earlier Invincible class. The Indefatigable class was not a great improvement over these ships - it was only when the Lion type came along was any real advance in the battle cruiser concept from the Royal Navy perspective.

H.M.S. Invincible - lead ship of the class and lost at Jutland.

 H.M.S. Indefatigable - lead ship of the class and lost at Jutland. 

The two lead ships from each class for comparison purposes.

The six models are from Panzerschiffe in the US and, if I am honest, are fairly basic even by their standards. I suspect that these are old molds and the presence of some odd pieces of flash and sink holes would tend to confirm this. The rear funnels on the Indefatigable class is a little odd on a couple of the models and is canted over slightly. There is also the curse of the partially cast gun barrel in evidence. Panzerschiffe are happy to exchange models that are not up to standard due to casting problems but if I am honest the hassle of organising transatlantic replacements is not worth it as they are not that bad and have painted up well enough.

I used my usual black undercoat and dry brush in various shades of grey with block painted decks and lifeboats. All were finished in enamels except for the ship's lifeboats which are in white Vallejo acrylic.

As an aside I was really impressed with the Vallejo paint and intend a phased conversion to using them for all my painting going forward - how about that for dragging my painting into the 21st century at long last?!

I now have 14 capital ships remaining for the RN and 13 for the Germans before I tackle the cruisers and destroyers. The next batch of the RN ships (8 in total) are now under way and have had the preliminary grey dry brushing so I am hoping to get them completed over the coming week.

Rather nice and well made - I may even play chess on it....

A very simple looking game by a company I have never heard of....

....but take a look at the map! Instant imagi-nation if ever I saw one! It was also very good value at a mere 75p.

On a separate subject the outdoor boot sale season is winding down but we have a local indoor version that whilst being small has turned up a couple of goodies over the years. Today was no exception as I picked up a rather useful chess board with 6cm squares and a rather handy board game. the chess board will be seeing service for a number of Portable Wargame type ideas and the board game has a very nice hex based mounted map of a fantasy style world. No prizes for guessing what that may be used for!


Paul O'G said...

Lovely job indeed - All those ships look quite the part!
I'm most impressed with your inclusion of the AUSTRALIA - she was our only ever Battlecruiser and was subsequently a victim of the Washington treaty and scuttled off Sydney heads.

And keep that damn Kiwi ship away from her please - the last time they got close our sister ship smashed us up and we missed Jutland! Most disappointing...

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

I had a feeling you would like that one! I read about the collision and can well imagine the righteous indignation at missing out. Mind you, it may have been just as well....

As models go the Panzerschiffe kit are ideal for gaming but GHQ they ain't!

The plan now is to have all the capital ships ready for the end of the year for the Jutland project - then we move on to the cruisers and destroyers.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Stu,

I was thinking the same thing myself! Luckily at table ranges the damage is not so noticeable and as mentioned, it is too much hassle to mess around with shipping backwards and forwards across the Atlantic. Unless it is something really bad I probably would not bother.

It is a shame they are not available in the UK though.

All the best,


Corporal_Trim said...

Fine looking ships, David. Well done.

David Crook said...

Hi Corporal Trim,

Welcome back old chap! many thanks for the kind words re the models. The Panzerschiffe kit paints up well enough but they are rather basic. Good enough for gaming pieces though and the rest of te collection - at least the capital ship part - will be completed by the end of the year.

How are things in your world at the moment?

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Vallejo is the way forward ;)

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

It certainly is! Joking aside I shall be investing in a number of these and shall be retiring the enamels over time.

All the best,