Monday 29 May 2023

More WWII Kriegsmarine Ships

I'm feeling a little conflicted at the moment as I really want to get back to my 18mm ECW project, but at the same time I am on a roll and enjoying clearing some GHQ ships from my backlog. The other factor is that a gaming friend and I are now playing WWII every second Tuesday using the new Nimitz ruleset from Sam Mustafa and we are thoroughly enjoying it, and there is nothing quite like knowing that recent painting efforts will get some regular game time to further increase motivation.

Here therefore is the latest batch of WWII German ships to augment those first completed at the end of 2020, with the Tirpitz joining the already completed Bismarck:


And the Gneisenau joining its sister ship the Scharnhorst:

The Graf Zeppelin will come in useful when we introduce air cover into the games:

The Admiral Hipper, Prinz Eugen and Blucher sister ships:

And finally the Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer sister ships:

I have recently got stuck into some Japanese ships and will take pictures of those in slightly larger groups as I realise WWII naval, and naval gaming in general, is not everyone's cup of tea. Most rulesets can be very dry, but we seem to have found an enjoyable niche with Nimitz and it is always nice when a couple of boxes disappear from the lead pile.

Wednesday 10 May 2023

More WWII Royal Navy Ships

I had read about Sam Mustafa's new set of WWII naval wargame rules and was thinking about purchasing them when I got a call from a gaming friend I hadn't caught up with for a couple of years asking if I had heard of them and whether I'd be interested in a few games. Just the motivation to get stuck into a few more of the GHQ WWII ships languishing in my lead pile. First off, a batch of a couple of dozen Royal Navy ships. The four battleships below are the King George V, Renown, Revenge and the Repulse:

All the models are GHQ's 1/2400th scale. Some of them take a bit of putting together with, in most cases, gun turrets, superstructure and secondary armament all having to be glued into place. Each capital ship therefore takes me around 30 minutes to assemble, and another two to three hours to paint and base. Thankfully the GHQ ships are nicely cast and the parts generally fit together beautifully, and each kit comes with spares so if I press on the tweezers too hard and a gun turret goes flying there is usually a spare part on hand to replace it. 

Here are three Royal Navy aircraft carriers in HMS Illustrious:

The Ark Royal:

and HMS Furious (perhaps to be followed by HMS Angry and HMS Slightly Annoyed):

The flight decks are from Flight Deck Decals and I think give the models a real lift. The aircraft are tiny with around a 4mm wingspan and were fiddly to glue in place on the finished model, after which I completed painting the upper surface having done the underside when they were still on the sprue.

I also completed three more County class cruisers in the London, Norfolk and Dorsetshire:

Plus the two York class heavy cruisers in the York and Exeter:

Where possible I went for camouflage schemes which, although sometimes painful to do, makes for a point of difference from the standard Admiralty Light Grey. The paints I used are from AK Interactive who have specific Royal Navy, Kriegsmarine and US Navy sets which takes the guesswork out of trying to mix the correct shade. The only issue is that I discovered they are really airbrush paints designed for larger models, which means I generally have to go over the same areas three times.

Next up two town class light cruisers in the Southampton and Birmingham:

And two Leander class light cruisers in the New Zealand ship HMNZS Achilles and HMS Ajax, both of which joined the Exeter in hunting the Graf Spee in the Battle of the River Plate:

My great uncle was on the Ajax throughout WWII and I have his medals sitting on a bookshelf in a leather horseshoe box he made while on ship. Interestingly the town of Ajax in Canada was named after the ship and each road there named after a crew member. I'm not sure whether he ever knew there was a (Robert) Mayor Crescent named in his honour. 

Finally, a Dido class light cruiser in the Black Prince:

Three E-class destroyers in the Echo, Eclipse and Escapade:

and three N-Class Destroyers which I have done as the Napier, Nestor and Nizam, primarily because these were transferred to Australia during WWII and I would like to add a few Australian cruisers so we can play a few Pacific encounters:

That's it for the Royal Navy now. All this means I have been distracted from my ECW project again, and I have a batch of Kriegsmarine ships I am currently completing, but in between I have at least made a start on some Parliamentarian foot. 

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Last three regiments of 15mm ECW Royalist Foot

With only three regiments of foot out of the total of eight Royalist foot left to go, I decided to tackle them in one hit so I can clear the decks and make a start on the Parliamentarian foot. The last three regiments are Stradling's, the Duke of York's and Hopton's regiments of foot, dressed in red, white and blue coats respectively:

Painting three different coat colours kept things interesting and provided the motivation to keep going:

Here is an individual picture of Stradling's regiment of foot:

The blue-coated Hopton regiment:

And finally, the Duke of York's regiment:

I also completed two more elements of red-coated pike which will live with the King's Lifeguard of Foot, in case I want to increase the ratio of pike in any of the red-coated regiments:

That's the Royalist foot completed, with 392 figures in total:

I have some dismounted dragoons still ahead and if I have a few spare pikemen left over after doing the Parliamentary foot I'll probably add a couple of elements for the Royalist regiments.

Next up however will be a few more WWII ships, which represents another slight diversion from the ECW project. This is mainly because another gaming friend of mine is interested in playing a few games of 'Nimitz', the new WWII ruleset from Sam Mustafa. The perfect excuse to delve into the lead pile and dust off a few more boxes from GHQ.