Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Missing Bit

       One of the biggest compromises that one encounters in making models for wargaming is the significant difference between the scale (or size) of the model and the ground scale. This is rarely more evident than in naval gaming. You can wave you hand over a group of a dozen or so figures and declare them a battalion of six hundred men without raising too many eyebrows, but you can hardly wave you hand over a model ship and declare it a squadron. You pretty much end up having to represent the individual vessels for historic encounters.
        Even in games that have no historical precedent players would be reluctant to accept a single model as their cruiser squadron. The history of naval conflict is laden with stories of heroic individual ships, players want that level of granularity.
        Confronted with this issue and desiring to build ships in 28mm (yes, I know I am more than slightly mad) I had to make concessions in the dimensions of the model itself. Using the idea out forth by the great Col. Tremorden Rederring's website I compressed the size of the vesssel, essentially making them caricatures  of the real vessel.
      My latest effort, the Dupuy de Lome, was actually a far more graceful ship than my model, I had to leave out a a vast part of the hull to make a model that I could store and transport with a reasonable amount of effort.  Below you find a drawing of the actual vessel. You will instantly see that I have left between one half to three fifths of the center part of the vessel out of my model, including the oddly mounted center battery of heavy guns. My model would be more rightly called "inspired by the Dupuy de Lome".

the missing bit 

     I tried to include the characteristic features, the triple turrets at each end, the flying bridges, the heavy military masts and the huge ventilators that made the Dupuy de Lome stand out but I had to remove a vast section of hull,. A model over six feet long simply wouldn't work! Below you find a side picture of my model. Scale modelers would be tearing their hair out at the sight of it, but I am building for the rough and tumble world of wargaming and am more than willing to accept the compromises.

my toy boat

a well done 1/700 scale model, 
beautifully detailed but far too fragile to game with,
and the figures are WAY too small to paint well!

     Next, some light cruisers! I also intend to re-write my rules and publish them here (I know that I have threatened to do that before).

Happy Gaming!


  1. I have just built a number of pre-dreadnoughts of scratch myself and the next step is to look for rules. As they are still at the larger end of scale (not a strict scale, mind) I'd prefer individual ship vs. ship action.

    1. Yours look similar to the ones I scratchbuilt years ago, mine were very roughly 1/1000 scale. Yours look rather better than mine. Excellent!