Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Ironclad Gap Fillers

Fuso Central Battery Ironclad (1877)

I was browsing the Tumbling Dice pre-dreadnought range this morning, wondering when I'd get round to starting my own Anglo-Japanese war of 1900 project (?), when I spotted some interesting models in the Sino-Japanese war range. These are the earliest warships in the Chinese and Japanese fleets, dating from the late 1870's and early 1880's, so a perfect match for the existing ironclads from this period in the Victorian range.

There are plenty of central battery battleships at one end of the later Victorian range and no shortage of torpedo boats and coastal defence craft at the other, but not a lot in between. So, I was wondering if I could use a few of the Sino-Japanese models to bridge the gap and fill out the missing frigates, sloops and corvettes? There are some very suitable models that would be ideal for just such a thing, perhaps for the French and British to use, or for other smaller naval powers in South America, for example?

Kongo Ironclad Corvette (1877)

The models that caught my eye include the Fuso (ABJ20), the Kongo (ABJ21), the Katsuragi (ABJ30) and the Maya (ABJ31), all of which are masted and fully rigged, so a good match for generic colonial cruising warships or gunboats. I'm sure with a little research I could match the Kongo and Fuso to the equivalent French or British warships. I also would love to find a use for the Rendell Flatiron gunboats that are represented by the Chinese Chen Pei (ABC10). In think these would be perfect for a South American or minor European  'imaginations' type fleet!

Rendell Flatiron Gunboat (1875)

There are no pictures of any of these models on the Tumbling Dice website but, as they are designed by the same sculptor to the same scale, I can't imagine that they wouldn't be compatible with the Victorian ironclad range. I may well order the Japanese starter pack for the Sino-Japanese War, as it is good value for what you get and includes all of the ships I've mentioned already, apart from the gunboats. If they aren't useful for ironclad games, I can always add them to my pre-dreadnought project!

Just a thought?


  1. If it comes to the worst, perhaps you can use bit of them as sinking ships?

  2. I thought I could either use them for the Sino Japanese War or as the basis of an imaginations fleet, perhaps South American? They might even work for the Chile Peruvian war of 1879?



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