Saturday, 6 December 2014

Naval gazing

Many years ago - several decades ago - I was very much into naval gaming, especially WW1 and WW2. As a teenager I read everything I could find about the German raiders in the Pacific in the first war, the clashes in the North Sea in 1916, and the actions in northern waters in WW2. As with my land gaming, I am always troubled when there is a gross mismatch between the model scale and the ground (sea) scale. When battleships could engage at 20,000 yards it looks ridiculous to see them apparently about a ship's length apart. So I went for the smallest scale models, the 1/6000 line sold at the time by (I think) Hallmark, now Figurehead. I built up a fairly large collection, pretty much the whole of the British and German WW2 fleets, and a fair selection of US and Japanese. I haven't used them for about ten years, but I was piqued by seeing a post on TMP about Toshach Miniatures and their deck templates for some of these ships. Essentially you buy a pdf download which gives you a sheet to print with images of the carrier decks, with or without aircraft. You can print this on decal paper if you wish, but I bought a sample ($3 for two ships) and simply printed them on plain white 80gsm paper, cut them out with a scalpel and stuck them to the decks of a couple of my models - Kaga and Akagi.

The results are very nice - in the pictures below I have the four Japanese carriers from Midway - Kaga and Akagi with their new-look decks, and Soryu and Hiryu as painted many years ago for comparison. These plans are not all that cheap - $3 for a sheet for just two ships means they are costing about a pound per model - but they do hugely improve the appearance of the models on the table. One problem is that they are only applicable to carriers, and at present anyway only available for a selection of US and Japanese ships.

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