Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Pre-dreadnought Project, p.3: Fleet Arrives

"You may anchor when ready, Gridley."
Related image

Hooray, the WTJ squadrons have arrived!

The box came from Wartimes Journal yesterday - not a bad turnaround time for print-on-demand plastics, which were in the order and delayed things a bit. The  pewter stock was all on hand. Order was placed April 26 and would've arrived quickly but for the plastics which had it arrive Monday the 14th, or 18 days total.

As always, the items were carefully packed in his special blister seals between bubbles system, and there was no breakage I can see, altho the plastic items make me a bit nervous - they're pretty strong but they don't LOOK strong! 31 of the 33 ships were available, and of course all the plastic was available. Below, metal hanging on box, plastics on table.

The pewter castings have the usual bits of flash and some have mold lines but they aren't pronounced. I like them and their heft - I've always preferred the metals to plastics in that regard, they FEEL right! However, the line is being discontinued due to the ease of working with the plastics, plus they offer better detail, little to no flash, and great variety in scale.

*sigh* Don't know what will happen to the excess pewter ships...but I asked.

Plastics below. wrecks at top left and right, fighting tops down the left, destroyers / torpedo boats center, land batteries to right. One error with extra large and no medium fighting tops that Jim at WTJ caught and is going to correct. I get some extra large ones out of it!

Below, entire order laid out for tallying and checking.

The pewter list and ships from top down. You can see nice details like decks and lifeboats. Spanish at top, followed by French, British, one Austrian and the Italian ships, all conveniently numbered by nationality on the bottom of the hull - and quite clear if small. Very useful! Note how large the Drake is - at 14,000+ tons and 500+ feet, she was quite large for the period, bigger than many battleships.

Regret that the lighting didn't come out as bright as it was in the room, but the flash would've made the pics worse.

I'm looking forward to this as a pretty quick prep, paint, and play project, that is also portable, and playable on a small space, so I can travel with it. Am enjoying working with the PW rules, and have a re-fight of Manila already planned for ASAP.

This era also encourages a sort of simplicity in play, also. The battles are mostly about gunnery as torpedoes just aren't that effective yet - altho they are a threat. Thus the primary tension is in maneuvering and firing, and we must rely on the scenarios to prevent us from getting bored with a "line them up and sink everything in sight" sort of game. Yet, there is some opportunity for odd weapons like spar torpedo boats, submarines and perhaps even a balloon attack - or observation - that make it a bit more interesting than a wooden ships and iron men era fight.

Once again, "Full Steam Ahead!"

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