Monday, 18 October 2021

War of the Pacific Coastal Terrain Repaint

The terrain modules as they are now....

...and as they will look after a repaint (I hope)

I'm thinking of repainting my existing coast terrain modules for the War of the Pacific naval games I've been playing and for a potential mini-campaign. I originally painted them with a green vegetation effect on the top but have now decided to make some new terrain modules for temperate areas, so can revert the old ones to a desert finish. This will mean a basecoat and successive layers of paint to match the finish on the cliffs and cover up the offending green bits, so nothing too complicated. I am also going to make a few more sections using the left over bits of high density foam that I've saved, including a port or coastal town, for example, so that I can run some blockade scenarios, shore bombardments and amphibious landing games.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Battle of Chipana Photo Report

I played the Battle of Chipana scenario with Dahlgren and Columbiad this evening, having had to squeeze it into a twilight hour due to a having other things in the way during the day. It was a very enjoyable game and ticked along quite smoothly, although I did have to do some head scratching again when it came to ramming. The end result was a decisive victory for the Peruvians, who managed to immobilise the Magallanes early in the game then hammered her to match wood in a well co-ordinated pincer movement. 

I experimented with centimetres for movement, as I was using 1/2400th scale models, but keeping inches for gunfire and I think it worked very well. I'm going to follow this approach for future games as it did 'feel right' in terms of visual effect and produced a realistic outcome judging by the end results. I'll do a proper after action report tomorrow if I can but here are some photos of the skirmish in the meantime. 

(once again, apologies for the poor photos as I am still stuck with a phone rather than a proper camera)

Name that Ship Sorted

This book and the similar one on French warships has been invaluable for identifying the names of the ships of the line that I'm painting up. The entries for each ship include key dates and a potted history of service, which is very useful when deciding on a timeframe for the squadron I'm assembling. It's given me some choices too, either to go for c1795 or for c1800, as there were several name changes at various points along the way as well as losses in action or due to capture, especially for the French ones!

Saturday, 16 October 2021

The Battle of Arica - A scenario for Dahlgren and Columbiad

Today didn't go according to plan at all, for various reasons, but I did get the Battle of Arica scenario typed up for Dahlgren and Columbiad instead. This is a simple duel between the Chilean ironclad Huascar and the defending Peruvian flotilla of the monitor Manco Capac and spar torpedo boat Alianza. The Peruvians also have shore batteries to provide some additional firepower, which in the real events proved to be very effective, scoring an early hit on the Huascar which caused considerable damage. 

This was followed up by a direct hit from the Manco Capac on the conning tower which killed Commander Thompson and caused the foremast to be shot away, jamming the turret as it fell. The Huascar then beat a hasty retreat, handing a decisive victory to the Peruvian defenders. In the scenario, the Huascar must inflict severe damage on the Manco Capac to win, while the Peruvians must inflict severe damage on the Huascar to force her to retreat. 

Friday, 15 October 2021

A Chile Weekend?

Armstrong 115pdr 7'' MLR of the Chilean gunboat Magallanes

The plan for the weekend is to play out the Battle of Chipana scenario I wrote for Dahlgren and Columbiad a couple of weeks ago, with the Chilean and Peruvian warships from my 1/2400th scale collection. This should be a relatively quick scenario to run through, so I'm hoping to get a game and a replay in to the schedule, alongside some more painting for the Napoleonic French fleet. I may even squeeze in game of Corsairs and Cavaliers or MiG Alley, if I can find the time?

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Blocking In

I've started the production line painting process with some base blocking in, using my usual Vallejo Dark Sea Blue. This isn't the eventual shade that the sea will be painted but it is a very good, neutral base colour and has the additional advantage of making the hulls easier to work on. I'm now going to block in the sails and masts, so that they start looking a bit more like ships and less like licorice allsorts. In a change from the usual, I'm also going to be using mostly Foundry colours rather than Army Painter or Vallejo. 

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Scilly Season

I was really excited to read about this soon to be published set of scenarios from Barry Hilton for the Mad for War Naval rules, as it is exactly what I am planning to do as a new project in 2022. This set of scenarios focuses on the Royalist privateers of the late 1640's and early 1650's, with the Isles of Scilly as a setting for at least one of them. Apparently, Barry is making some bespoke terrain for this too, which I expect will be absolutely cracking!

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Name That Ship

I've been researching suitable identities for the 1/2400th scale French Ships of the Line, with a time frame of c1800, and have selected the following.

First Rates - Ocean (118)

Third Rates - Neptune, Indomptable, Formidable, Bucentare (80)

Third Rates - Achille, Scipion, Desaix, Pluton, Intrepide, Aigle (74)

Sixth Rate - Themis (40)

Most of these were present at Calder's Action or Trafalgar, so there's plenty of scope for some fleet actions. It's a good selection and I can build on it later with some additional models if needs be.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Napoleonic French Squadron

I reorganised and undercoated the 1/2400th scale ships of the line for my Napoleonic naval project yesterday, so they are now ready for painting to begin. As you can see, I finalised the squadron with one 118 gun first rate, four 80 gun third rates, six 74 gun third rates, a 40 gun frigate and a little chasse maree for dispatches. I'll start painting this lot during the week.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

War of the Pacific Ironclad Extra Bits


The other thing I wanted to do this weekend was to finish off the last of the Chilean and Peruvian ships for the War of the Pacific project, so I have wrapped them up this afternoon. These include the newly captured and repaired Huascar, in Chilean colours prior to the Battle of Arica, together with two Peruvian Herreshof torpedo boats, the Alianza and Republica. The latter don't look much like the real thing but they are close enough in 1/2400th scale to be acceptable, at least as far as I'm concerned. Once again, profuse apologies for the photos...I really do need to get a new camera!


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