Monday, December 13, 2010

Decisive Russian Victory! *

The Battle of the Yellow Sea was refought Sunday afternoon . . . and resulted in a stunning and decisive Russian victory. (Click on thhe photo below for a glimpse of the action.)

* Note that Murdock has now published his account (with better photos).

While it is true that three of the Czar's battleships slipped beneath the waves, the Japanese lost not only three of their remaining battleships, but two heavy cruisers as well. Indeed, as three Russian battleships sailed to meet up with their Vladivostok cruiser squadron, the sole remaining but heavily damaged Japanese battleship was seen to have fires burning as it disappeared in the distance.

Pete, Murdock and Murdock's son Alex joined me in my game room for our initial trial of the "Naval Thunder: Rise of the Battleship" rules.

I gave Alex his choice of which Division he wished to play and he chose the Japanese 2nd Division (again, click on any photo for a much larger image):

He also wanted to play on the same side as his Dad . . . so Murdock took command of the Japanese 1st Division . . . pictured below:

The Japanese plan was for the First Division (Mikasa, Asahi and Fuji) to take the lead and to cut off the Russian attempt to break out.

Meanwhile the Second Division (Shikishima and the two Heavy Cruisers, Kasuga and Nisshin) was to hang back as a second line.

Pete chose to assume command of the Russian 2nd Division (Peresvyet, Poltava and Sevastapol).

This meant that I was left to command the Russian 1st Division (Tsessarevich, Retvizan and Pobieda).

My "battle plan" must remain a state secret due to its success . . . and due to the fact that my command disappeared beneath the waves with no survivors.

Indeed, Pete's complete 2nd Division survived with little damage . . . so he will get the credit for this stunning Russian victory.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Game Set for Sunday, Dec. 12

Well it looks like Pete, Murdock and Murdock's son, Alex will be coming over this coming Sunday for my first Russo-Japanese game.

We will be playing a cut-down version of the Battle of the Yellow Sea. By that I mean that we will only use the six main ships for each side . . . which should be a fairly even match-up.

I've changed my basing scheme by the way. I am using balsa wood (36" x 1" x 1/4") cut into 3" sections. Onto this I've added identification labels onto both sides of each base. These aren't finished yet . . . hopefully I'll finish the basing tomorrow and be able to take a few photos.

This will be my first chance to try out the "Naval Thunder: Rise of the Battleship" rules. But it also means that I've got a lot of prep work still to do. I need to make some splash markers . . . note that Col. Campbell (Jim Pitt) has just posted a clever way to do this on his blog. Furthermore, I need to make up some fire and flooding markers.

Finally I also need to print out the ship status cards for each ship . . . and I've redesigned them for my own ease of use . . . but now I have to see if I can print them so that they don't clutter up the table too much.

And, of course, I just realized that I need to get some munchies too . . . but not tomorrow because we will be putting up our Christmas tree (and decorating it) tomorrow. Right now the basic tree (a local Douglas Fir) is out in the garage waiting to be decked out in all its glory.

-- Jeff

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Merchantmen Painted

Unfortunately the photos I took did not turn out very well . . . but I have now painted the nine merchant ships that I got from Panzerschiffe's 1/2400 Merchant Ships package MG-5.

I chose that group of merchant ships because it seemed to include the highest number of freighters.

As you can see, I've painted them in rather bright colors so that there will be a good contrast between them and the various naval warships that they might encounter.

(Note: "click" on photo to see a larger image.)

-- Jeff

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Naval Reinforcements Arrive

Yesterday (Friday, October 22) I received a package from Panzerschiffe. In it were the seven armored cruisers from the Battle off Ulsan, five protected cruisers, six flotilla craft and a package of nine merchant ships. I was a bit surprised that it was delivered so quickly . . . most mail here in Canada is on the slow side.

All 27 ships are now temporarally mounted on craft sticks and have been primed. A few thoughts . . .

First, the flotilla craft (D-311 Russian TBs and D-312 Japanese TBDs) are TINY. I mean very very small. Both are about an inch long and very thin . . . which is giving me pause as to my planned basing.

Second, I am in a way disappointed by the merchant ships. But don't get me wrong, they are really very nice . . . and all nine are unique . . . but most appear to be larger than the battleships and armored cruisers. I was expecting them to be a tad smaller.

Incidently, my plan is to paint each of these merchantmen with a different color pattern . . . which should be fun.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Sea Surface & More Ships

I recently purchased a vinyl mat for my naval gaming. It isn't quite large enough to reach the edges of my 5' wide table . . . but at around four and a half feet there will only be a few inches of table on each side. It is a tad over 11' long, so it fits my ten and a half foot table well.

I've also got some paints that mix to virtually the same color as the mat . . . so that will work fine. And I've pretty much decided upon Pre-Dread bases of 30mm x 100mm (roughly 1 1/4" x 4") because I do want some sea room between ships.

I've located some pre-painted (white) flat wood "door stops" at our local Home Depot. They are fairly thick (9.5mm or 3/8"), but that's fine since I want to see the ships handled by the bases and not the vessels themselves. Furthermore my plan is to put the ship identification on the sides of the bases; not on the upper surface.

Finally I just ordered another mess of ships from Panzerschiffe . . . 18 cruisers (a mix of Armoured and Protected Cruisers for each side) and 9 merchant ships (set #5) for convoy and commerce raiding use.

-- Jeff

Sunday, August 15, 2010

1/3000 WTJ Painting Started

Well I just started painting the 1/3000 WTJ Pre-Dreads . . . and I have a few comments:

First, I believe that their silhouettes and details are more correct and "realistic" than the 1/2400 Panzerschiffes that I had painted previously. And, of course, their line of models for the period is considerably more extensive (and around the same price) than the Panzerschiffes.

Second, despite my first points, I have decided to go with the Panzerschiffes. Besides being more visible to my older eyes, I have found the WTJ ships (and they are very good) to be more difficult for me to paint . . . even though I use a magnifying visor to help my vision.

I don't insist that this is the decision which others need make, after all the WTJ ships are very nice and (I believe) more realistic. But for me the Panzerschiffe's were relatively easy to paint; while I am finding that the 1/3000s are a pain to paint.

Note that ships in the later periods are larger than the Pre-Dreads . . . if I were doing WWII, I might well choose the 1/3000 scale . . . but not for my chosen period.

-- Jeff

Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Painting of Panzerschiffe's

Well I have now painted a dozen of the 1/2400 scale Panzerschiffe Russo-Japanese War ships.  I had ordered the six major ships for each side for the Battle of the Yellow Sea.

As I believe I have mentioned at times, I have chosen to use pre-war (or transitioning to war) color schemes rather than  the boring gray gray gray of wartime painting.


Because my eyes are not the best and I wish to be able to easily distinguish the vessels of various nations.

As can be seen by the photo above (click on it for a larger image), I have painted the Japanese ships with their black hulls and funnels, and white superstructure and turrets.  The Russian ships have dark cinnamon brown hulls, khaki superstructure, ochre funnels and dark gray turrets . . . which approximates the reports of the Pacific Squadrons early in the war.

On the left you will see all twelve ships.  The Russians are on the top; with the Japanese vessels below.

By the way, I do know that the Russian Pacific Squadron had white hulls pre-war, but I'm reserving that for the US "Great White Fleet" which I'll eventually have.

For I have gone through all of the Pre-Dreadnought navies that I might eventually want to own and planned the basic paint scheme of each so that all will be unique unto themselves.

-- Jeff

Friday, July 2, 2010

And So It Begins

I have ordered some 1/2400 ships from Panzerschiffe; and some 1/3000 ships from War Times Journal.  Both groups of ships represented the major ships involved in some Russo-Japanese War battles.

I have done this in order to see how they look to my "old eyes".

From Panzerschiffe, I have ordered the six major ships on each side from the Battle of the Yellow Sea.  While from the War Times Journal, I ordered the seven Armoured Cruisers from the Battle off Ulsan.

This way I will have ships to fight either battle and thus will have a chance to evaluate the two scales to see which I like better.

As to what rules to use . . . well that will be another post.

-- Jeff