Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Scratchbuilt Ironclad Cruiser 28mm (return to Rivet City)

yeah, that's what I was talking about!

     Having decided what I am going to present at Spartacon2019 I realized that I needed to add to my Predreadnought Fleets. The French have been on the losing end of more games than the Prussians so I decided that they would get the first of the reinforcements. There was a spare model from my most recent boat giveaway so I figured I would start with that one.

a reader had asked for an ironclad cruiser so I made some
the ugly one in the back was hanging around the shop when everything else had been shipped out 
I'm a soft-touch for an underdog so I started with it

a little sandpaper work (thanks Mr. 60 Grit!) tidied up the look

building the sponsons was a bit of trouble, 
I tapered the smaller part wrong and nearly wrecked it

from past experience I have learned to build the components as separate pieces
it greatly eases painting and riveting 

the cannon barrels are just paper rolled tightly around BBQ skewers

even with the huge space that Spartacon provides size is a consideration
so I try to keep thing manageable (I have to store these things too!)

late Victorian ships had odd turret arrangements so I tried to mirror that here

four guns in almost any direction

three can fire straight forward and dead-aft

five on the rear quarters 
the blueboard and paper turrets were so light that they kept falling off 
so I added steel washers under them

satisfied with the model I added rivets

and a mast

I'm going to paint it in the two-tone gray with red funnel caps pattern to match the other ships

 but maybe I should add a few more rivets
I love rivets

I decided to pass on adding any more rivets and got on with the painting

looks rather like a Dalek in this picture

four guns can bear on the forward quarter

she still needs ventilators and a life boat

five guns bear on the aft quarter

a formal side-shot

a high-speed hunter she carries no secondary guns
torpedo boats can't catch her, or survive near her

     This model follows the same techniques that I used building the other ships listed in Adventures in Blueboard and Foamcore shown above in the tabs so I won't bore everybody with the build details. Any questions feel free to ask in the comments section.


  1. Hi John -- How did you make the turrets? Are they paper-covered foam? Thanks. Chuck

    1. I made a template and traced it onto the blueboard then cut it out freehand. It took about ten tries to get five satisfactory turrets......I have to practice freehand cutting more! Then paper covered as usual.

  2. You do some pretty amazing stuff with things I often throw away! Oh, and those rivets are amazing

  3. Nice work! But, did you resist drugs and violence?

    1. Well, I managed to resist the drugs.......

      Hilariously I have a ton of those rulers, the Police Department that I worked for was cancelling the DARE program and was going to throw away about 600 of the rulers so I grabbed a few dozen on the way to the dumpster. I use them for stirring housepaint, shimming cabinets etc and I take them to conventions and don't care if they get stolen (oddly, none of them ever has been lifted)

  4. The cruiser is absolutely wonderful. I just want to say that I tremendously enjoy your blog. Your creativity is truly inspiring.

    1. Thank you! That is high praise coming from a guy with a long list of top-quality original sculpt products for sale. R.U.P. is a huge fan of your stuff and I have seen your 15mm models up close; they are wonderful.

  5. A very nice ship Anton. She looks quite menacing. The rivits really go a long way on making the appearance of metal. 😀

  6. Anton, fantastic pre-dreadnaughts cruiser!!! bad to the bones!!What are guys using for 28mm rules?

    1. Homebrewed, they use an adapted version of Battletech's damage allocation system with scaled armor penetration. One of these days I will get around to publishing them on this blog

  7. That would really be cool to get my hands on a set of those 28mm pre-dreadnaught rules. I really like the size of your ships. Thanks for showing us your step by step pictures of your builds. Please keep those ships coming, their beautiful!

    1. I can put some effort into editing them into a presentable set, keep your eyes on the blog they will appear as a post and on the "My Rules" page