Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Audio Book: Japanese Destroyer Captain

I can highly recommend this for anyone interested in the naval side of the Pacific War in WW2 (see below):

It has certainly opened my eyes to the capability and skill of the Japanese navy, but ultimately also shows the reasons that propelled them along the path to defeat once the US economic might had been harnessed.

I listened while driving courtesy of Amazon Audible :)

Monday, 16 January 2017

USN WWII Battle-wagons: USS South Dakota and USS Washington

Continuing on a nautical theme, but this time some 2400 years later after the age of the "Salamis trireme", I pulled out some old Navwar 1/3000 ships models from the attic. I had been working on (one of my many stalled projects, ahem) the Guadalcanal Campaign and long ago had made an initial start on the USN order of battle starting with the battleships (see below, USS South Dakota [top], USS Washington [bottom]):

Being impressed with the effects of the "gloss" followed by "mate" varnish, particularly for a certain satin, subtle shiny sea effect, I upgraded my previous paint jobs. The USS South Dakota and the bigger USS Washington fought a particularly interesting battleship v battleship night action at Guadalcanal in 1942 against the IJN Kirishima (and some heavy cruisers). A replay of this action is on the cards using the "Tokyo Express" board game.

Looks like my house will have a permanent "varnish" smell this year as I work around my existing painted ships improving the sea bases and tackling the "naval lead mountain".

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Trireme XI ... Varnish .. and finished (or am I?)

Protection, Protection, Protection! A shiny Humbrol "Gloss Cote" is applied (see below):

Protected but I would clearly say too shiny, time to dull it down with a (Humbrol) matte varnish (see below, aerial fleet versus fleet view [before they start closing]):

A close-up, Greek trireme coming out of the sun (see below, an individual ship view - comes up rather nice I think):

I am foreseeing one small problem, namely that of Greek Admiral's identification of "friend versus foe" without looking at the bottom of the bases (see below as the Red fleet extends around the more condensed Blue fleet, this would have been a historical issue too, as soon as the flanks are turned or the melee gets intermingled):

I shall leave you with image of a "sultry trireme" sailing on "the sea of wine" which was the cradle of civilisation the merry Mediterranean (see below):

Note: Yes, the next batch of triremes has been already ordered from Navwar ()including some Phoneticians and who knows by the time you are reading this, they may well be even in my sweaty, clammy hands! '

You know, I think I have caught the ancient trireme bug! How many do I need for Salamis?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Trireme X ... WIP ... Oar and Bow/Stern white-tips

All ship, boats and even rafts make wave crests or white-tops, a touch of Vallejo Game Colour Off-White serves to so the trick (see below):

Close-up. Nothing wild and exciting, just some dabs of white along the oar banks and bow/stern (see below):

Overall I like the effect, however I need to think pragmatically with respect to "wargaming handling" these pieces will get shuffled around quite a lot, so I need to pay a bit of protection money to keep my hard one paint job together, aka a two coat varnish (gloss followed by a matte/satin).

Next: Varnish

Friday, 13 January 2017

Trireme IX ... WIP ... Sea and Wavetops

The sea base has already been primed in "shade" of Vallejo Game Colour Imperial Blue (72020). To this a wet-brushed "base" of Vallejo Game Colour Magic Blue (72021) for a bit of variation. However the blue colour though nice is IMHO coming through a tad (Yorkshire for a little) too strong (see below):

Next step .. dull down those waves with a Vallejo Green Wash and help retire the "blue" to teh background (see below):

Next step take two .. add a partial (as in I do not have to cover every mm of the base) Vallejo Blue Wash over the sea areas (see below):

The "final" sea touch is to add back the wave tops with a delicate barely wet-brush highlight of Vallejo Game Colour Electric Blue (72023) which serves to suggest something 'wavy' going on (see below):

Next: Add some white-water oar and bow splashes.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Trireme VIII ... WIP ... The "Blue" Fleet of Athens

To combat Sparta's "Red" Fleet the Athenian naval prowess is shown in the "Blue" Fleet of Imperial Athens (see below):

Twenty triremes to do battle with.This should allow the small scale wargaming to start as soon as I "paint the sea bases",

Next: All at sea painting it many shades of blue and gren

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Triremes VII ... WIP ... The "Red" Fleet of Sparta

The plan is to initially compose two fleets of ten triremes apiece to test out the various rule systems I have accumulated, starting out with simple scenarios and building up to small fleet actions. As per the tradition of wargaming I shall nominate them the "blue" and the "red" teams. It also seems natural to just forwards to the Peloponnesian War and nominate these test fleets as Sparta (Red) and Athens (Blue). To assist the tabletop gaming each of my squadrons will get a "colour" decoration (see below, the Spartan "Red" fleet/squadron):

Note: I have two types of Navwar trireme shown in the above photograph, the six to the top left of the photograph have no distinction "bow" and "stern" sections and have a continuous wall along the length, the remaining four are the more traditional trireme. The only difference appears to me being the opportunity to get more "red paint" (Vallejo Game Colour Scarlet Red, highlighted with Vallejo Game Colour Bloody Red) onto the models. To cover up any sloppiness I added a Vallejo Flesh Wash to the sides of the trireme.  

Next: The "Blue" Fleet of Athens