Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Something Different - IRCWCC

Back 20 or so years ago, I was involved in a fantastic hobby. The people were great and it was quite fun. Life intervened and it was set to one side for a season. But now my son is old enough and has asked about the big boats sitting in the garage.

Back in the day, I was involved in Radio Controlled model warships. I battled in a fast gun group. First the IRCWCC and then the MWC. Since I was out of the hobby, the MWC is gone and its members reabsorbed into the IRCWCC. In an effort to get some ships on the water, I purchased some used ships from an old friend and have begun to work on them.

My son will be battling the USS Cleveland. It is a WWII heavy cruiser. The superstructure is in great shape and the internals are largely working. Still need to test the guns. My ship will be the USS Mississippi, a pre-dreadnought class American vessel that predates WWI. Its superstructure is not in good shape. So combining hobbies, I looked to 3d print the superstructure. It is an interesting ship as it was built in time for the Great White Fleet. Served into WWI and then was sold to Greece where it served until sunk during WWII. As first created, it didn't have any cage masts. A few years into its service life, it received a cage main mast. Then before it was sold, it was given a cage fore mast. So there are plenty of options. I am going for its middle look: a cage main mast and original bridge super structure. Also the figurehead that were common on the bow of the ship seemed to remain in place past when they were pulled off others. The Mississippi's figurehead is still around.

The Mississippi that I am attempting to duplicate is this:

To make life more interesting, the plans that I have date to the sale to Greece with two cage masts. I am cobbling together the bridge superstructure from images as well as the pieces that remained between refits. The base of the superstructure that constitutes the forward deck wasn't built entirely correctly which is causing some small issues getting things to line up. So I am going to try and fake it.

I have printed the bottom section of the bridge. I have modeled the whole superstructure but something wonky happened with the models in TinkerCad that has left me scratching my head. I'm not entirely sure it will print. I will try it out tonight to see what happens. Here is what she looks like today. The air intake scoops need repair. Trying to find something to duplicate that. The smaller guns on the sides are pretty beaten up and need barrel replacements. I think that can be done with brass tubing. I need to work on the rudder control to get the rudder to align properly in the default position. The speed control works but I do have newer replacements for both ships.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Random Images of Progress

This is a placeholder for a post that is still to come.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Oared Galley's of the 18th Century

It still seems very odd to me that the Spanish would be using oared galleys when they had much more modern craft at their disposal. It is likely that the Galleys, Galliot(Half-Galleys) and Fusta (Quarter-Galleys) used were locally made and not sailed over from Spain. Havana had a thriving ship yard that was fully capable to produce these as well as more modern vessels.

Either the governor of Havana wanted to hold on to his better craft or they just didn't have anything better to spare. Given the shortage of men (only raised 1900 of the 3000 ordered by the crown for this operation), it is likely that these were all that were left.

Whatever the reason, I need several of each for the scenarios. My first stop was to look to see who made these already. I came up with a couple of options. The first was Old Glory Shipyards. They have a few galleys in their 1/300th ships. However, they only had galleys and those only had one mast. I wanted to differentiate in the sizes of the ships by the number of masts as well as the size. The ships are rather nice but thin looking (which honestly may be more to scale) for my liking. The next stop was Skull and Crown. They produce all three types in MDF. They did have a two masted Galley. Their ships don't look to bad. I am extremely tempted to buy some as they would be quick to paint up. The fusta is the only disappointment. It is for their rules and is to be used as a dice holder and not a combat vessel. So I have held off on these as well for the time being.

Next up was what was availible for 3d printing. I had a hard time finding anything that would work. I attempted to build my own model and i was very unhappy with my results at the end of the day. Then I found a model on Thingiverse. It was uploaded by one Tosostefanots. It is a beautiful hull of a Genoan Galley. It was perfect... almost. The hull he produced was a complete hull and not a waterline model. Also, his model is from the 1600s and unarmed.

Well, the basic shape was perfect. The model was in 1/250th scale which was easy enough to resize to 1/300th. Over the course of a few days, I messed with the files in Thingiverse and produced three different models out of it. First was a simple waterline version of the original. That was easy enough in TinkerCard. The hard part was shrinking the 22 oar pair Galley to become a Galliot of 18 oar pairs. Then converting the Galliot into a Fusta of 12 oar pairs. I think I have done an adequate job of it but not a great one.

These are early prints of a Galliot and a Fusta. The Fusta has not had the supports removed yet. This is also before I did work on the bow of the vessel. You can see where I accidentally broke the bowsprit of the fusta. I had actually broken a bit of the Galliot's off as well while removing the supports.

With the three base models I then created two variants of each. One with a rear canopy and one without. The galleys would have cloth covered canopies on the bow and stern of the vessel. The original model came with the supports present for the forward canopy. The stern canopy was not present. I made the basic shape for it and added it to the hull. For the Fusta, I removed the supports for the bow canopy. The pictures that I saw on line did not show such a large area in the bow of the vessel. To this, I clipped off the corners of the bow area and lowered the overall superstructure there. To give some variation, I will print a couple of each (canopy/no canopy).

Next I added some guns to each of the vessels. The galley has four guns in the bow. The Galliot has two and the Fusta has a single bow gun. There are stylized representations of guns. I am not good enough yet with TinkerCad to do more than that. At 1/300 scale, the fusta comes in at 115mm in length. The guns are mighty small. For the Galley, the guns are just tubes poking through the superstructure at the bow. They will be covered by the canopy there and only the bit of the barrel will be visible.

This is getting me closer to having a complete and usable fleet for the scenarios. I have started to paint up one of the Piraguas for my Spanish fleet. I will be working on organizing what ships are needed for each scenario and posting that up next. I printed a review copy of the supplement and am starting the editing process now. I know one of the scenarios will be rewritten. It is too big to be practical.

I'll post more pictures when I have the newer galleys printed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


I have been working on making sure I have consistent dates through out the WOJE scenario supplement. A tedious job that I have broken up with more work on the Piragua and Scout Boat hulls. I have managed to get a good print from my model of the 1/300 piragua hull. I have been fooling with the settings.

In the picture above, you can see the progression. The hull closest to the camera is the best print thus far. The front post and the rudder are present. The holes for the masts are present and will hold the paperclip masts. There are no major flaws. The foremast hole is very close to the edge, but it isn't really an issue. The post for the tiller bar didn't show up in the print but given its tiny size, it isn't surprising.

While that one was printing, I decided to put masts and sails on one of the earlier prints. That one I had not printed with 80% infill and had some holes in the floor of the vessel. When primed, they won't even show up. The one printed on a raft also was not printed at a high enough infill. To the point where the print looks as if it survived a few terrible rounds of combat. I'll throw that print away. I was seeing if i could do something with it and gave up.

I will add masts to the good print then prime them both. Hopefully to paint this week.

The scout boat, on the other hand, continued to have failed prints. There is a consistent gap appearing in the port side to the aft end of the boat. i went back and zoomed in on the model in TinkerCad and found the issue. I added a small block into the area and saved the model. I will print that later today to see if it helped. I am currently printing a Fusta model. it is based on a fantastic Genoese Galley hull created by Tosostefanots on Thingiverse. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

War of Jenkin's Ear - Continued

I have been working on some models for the supplement. I have managed to make a 3d model of a Piragua and a South Carolina Scout Boat. Using the images of them in Larry Ivers book on the war, British Drums on the Southern Frontier, I think I have made a nice workable model of each boat. The piragua comes in a about 134mm in length in 1/100 scale and 45mm in 1/300 scale. This makes them handy little watercraft in relatively calm waters.

The first drafts of each were a little rough but I learned much in the attempt.

The squared stern vessel is the Piragua. Having a forward and an aft hold, the ships must have been cramped. Large numbers of troops and gear were hauled by the Spanish from Havana to St Simons Island, Georgia. I imagine it would be similar to driving to Orlando from Atlanta with my extended family in a subcompact car. Possible, but very uncomfortable. They could carry a swivel gun or two as defensive weapons but typically were unarmed.

The Scout Boat didn't have a hold area and was more heavily armed. Equipped with three swivel guns, these boats made up the bulk of Oglethorpe's naval contingent. It was made to navigate the rivers of Georgia and travel well inland to search for hostile Indian war parties.

I am currently printing the second iteration of both vessels. I still need to figure out how they will print in 1/300 scale. The side walls of the piragua was so thin in places, that it didn't print the first attempt. At a mere 4 1/2cm in size, the piragua is rather dainty in the small scale.

The next vessel that I will try to model will be a rowed Galley. Several were part of the naval force Spain unleashed against Georgia.With a little luck, I can make a working model.

If you are interested in helping me complete this project, I have opened an account at Ko-Fi.com. I will be giving away all of the models that I am making for the supplement to those that are willing to help me get this thing to completion. Thank you.

Update: Here is the first printing that I did with the new vessels.

I am redoing the models again to give them thicker walls to hopefully get them to print in both 1/100 and 1/300.

Edit, here are some I have been working on. The top two are Se Dog Miniatures hulls that I have shown before here. The two large vessels are Simon Mann models from Wargame 3d. The closest one is a row boat from Sea Dog Miniatures. The remaining two are my 1/300 models. I have one more update that I need to print and try.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

War of Jenkin's Ear - Update

Well, the book is mostly done. I have some editing to do on the text and I am still fiddling with the To Covet Glory addendum. What am I working on then? Well, I got a new to me book called British Drums on the Southern Frontier that is about the history of Georgia during the period. It is just fantastic. The problem is, I really haven't made the time to dig deep enough in it. The author, Larry Ivers, covers the establishment of the colony as a military colony. He details the forts that existed prior to Oglethorpe's arrival and the changes he made to the defense of the Colony. He dives into the political animosity that existed between the leaders of Georgia and South Carolina and the lack of support offered between the two. He covers the dynamics of the relationship between the settlers and the Indians and the role Oglethorpe played in turning some hostile tribes into allies.

It is a fantastic resource on the period and also covers the earlier actions of the War of Jenkin's Ear in Florida. A topic that I may revisit later. But for now, I am keen to create a new map detailing the Fort Locations in South Carolina and Florida. One thing that struck me, is the concern expressed by South Carolina in the 1730s about the possibility of a French incursion from Louisiana into South Carolina. Several of the South Carolina forts were established to create an early warning system to protect not only against Indian attack but for the French as well. That is a war game possibility that I hadn't really considered. While nothing really came out of it, it was a real and present threat as the War of Jenkin's Ear (1739 to 1748) gave way to the War of Austrian Succession (1740–1748). With the British joining in by 1742, they turned their attention towards the French elsewhere. Following the failed Spanish invasion of Georgia, Oglethorpe's troops were really in no condition to take up the offensive again. But what if they did? A raid into French Louisiana was theoretically possible. Had greater cooperation existed with South Carolina, it might even have been possible.

What is really interesting is the detail on the troops availible to Oglethorpe in the whole of the colony and not just in the particular battles of the WOJE. All in all, it is a great read and well worth digging into.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

First Purchases

I found a couple of items from Noble Knight and eBay. I picked up a Winter Soviet Company Box from Battle Front and a German Winter Platoon. This should give me a base Chain of Command force for the 3rd Battle of Kharkov. Looking forward to starting on these.

I also picked up some more British for my War of Jenkin's Ear project. I now should have 3 groups of 8 for my British Regulars. I will mark these for the painting table first. I want to finish this supplement soon. I still have some Spanish to paint up as well that were bought last year. Also managed to pick up more Indians as well to strengthen my Indian allies. This should give me enough for at least the British or Spanish to have Indian Allies. Not sure I have enough for both.

Also looking to try to get into Role Playing again after a long time. Looking at Adventures in Middle Earth. Now I just need to find a group.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy New Year - Plans and Preparations

At the start of the year, I am contemplating the hobby projects that I am planning for this year. I think I have settled on 4 main projects.

#1 - Chain of Command - Third Battle of Kharkov

This one is just starting out. I am just gathering sources for this one. The Third Battle of Kharkov features plenty of armor and much of it mid war stuff that should make it more popular. This one I don't expect to finish out until 4th Quarter of the Year, provided I can find good accounts of the action rather than the large overviews that I have round so far. The action takes place out in the country side as well as plenty of house to house fighting.

#2 - Chain of Command - 3rd Armored Division

This is being spawned by a book I am currently reading - Spearhead by Adam Makos. Among the battles covered by the book is the acquisition of the Pershing tank by the 3rd Armored Division and its employment in battle. It features a good account of the battle for Cologne where a Pershing took out a Panther tank in the town center. The battles are broken down into small enough encounters that make them ideal for Chain of Command.

One battle in particular captured my attention. This was the first combat deployment of the Pershing. I am trying to find a good account outside the Spearhead book. There is an armored assault across a field that is covered by dug in 88's. What struck me as interesting was the solution to the problem of the 88s. Given the size of the engagement, my thought was that this might be a great scenario to try with 6mm miniatures. (of course I have sold off all of my 6mm stuff.) The Americans would have a tough go with this scenario. I have no idea when or what shape this project will take.

#3 - War of Jenkin's Ear

I have the project nearly complete. I am play testing scenarios now. This one should see the light of day within a couple of months. I still have some miniatures to paint up. I am looking to get some Blue Moon Miniatures to fill out my Indians with a storming party. I have plenty of Peter Pig Minis to paint up to round out my Spanish Regulars and Grenadiers. I have some Khurasan British to paint up as the 42nd Regiment of Foot. Need a few more to finish them off. I'm a little disappointed that they only have marching poses.

The play test that I did on the last Games day revealed that I need to paint up more fort wall sections. I thought I already had done them. Turns out, I had not.

#4 - Infamy, Infamy

This project is a whole lot of fun. I need to do more play tests. But I have been shopping for STL files to round out my terrain. Speaking of STL files, for Christmas, I got a new 3d printer. Very excited about it. I have finished setting it up yesterday and will do a test print tonight. Once that is done, I will be printing up a whole bunch of stuff for all of the projects above.

For Infamy, I am getting closer to having all of the troops that I want. I have a full centuria of Auxilia and enough additional auxilia for two more centuries. For the oposing forces, I have enough Celts for a British force. I have the lead for the start of a German force. I had done more research on the German Limes and am anxious to get this on the table.

I just jumped in on the Kickstarter from 3d-Print-Terrain.de. I used it as an opportunity to grab his earlier Rome kickstarter. Two more days for this one to end. In his Rome kickstarter he has some awesome fort pieces that will let me build the forts that I want to build. In addition to the fort pieces, there are limes towers, palisades, legionary fieldcamps, a forum, temples and some city buildings.

Also on Thingiverse I found a temple of Hercules that I want to build. Plenty to use to make a nice Vicus for a fort. I just need to figure out a bath house.

Anyway, we will see how well I do with this plan. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Post Comments

I have ended up getting a bunch of spam comments lately. I had to switch on comment moderation because of this. Sorry about that. I'll leave it on for a while.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Its getting to look like Christmas

The calendar keeps moving faster and faster. It seems only a few days ago it was just January. Now we are approaching Christmas and year's end. All in all, it has been a good year. Health-wise, it started rough but things are looking so much better. New meds and eating healthy has gone a LONG way.

On the hobby front, I didn't accomplish as much as I thought I would. I was aiming for 1000 points in the Vis Lardica painting challenge. I did break the 700 point realm, which was nice.

In terms of publishing, I did release the Second Kharkov Campaign. I was able to create the PayHip store which simplified direct sales. And I am looking into doing print on demand with Wargame Vault. (If I figure it out). I spent a while working on my scenarios for the War of Jenkin's Ear. I would say, that is at the 90% point. I am looking at expanding the North Carolina Campaign that I have the framework of in the back. I really want to run that campaign soon and see how well it works. The scenarios will get played out next year and should be able to publish by Quarter 2.

To celebrate another completed year, I am running a sale on my Payhip site till December 31st. Use coupon code OZG57E324Q for 35% off of everything. The address is: https://payhip.com/ChrisStoesen

Santa Clause

Lastly, it is getting a bit too later to run the Santa Clause event again. I really miss doing that. It was a great event. I would really like to know if anyone was interested in reviving that. As a reminder, Santa Clause was an event where folks would put their name in and be assigned a secret Santa and you would paint about $10 to $15 in miniatures for your target. It could be miniatures or terrain related. Then you would mail the the item to your target in time for Christmas morning. Being that it is December 11th, that is not practical. I miss this as it was my one chance to end up with hobby items as asking for them from family gets mixed results.

I'd like to pick this up again. It was fun and over the years, it resulted in some really cool gifts that were exchanged. I enjoyed following folks progress on what they were painting and seeing people post on the what they received.

I'd like to know if there is still enough interest to make it viable again. So, lets try something. If you are interested in seeing this come back to life and have a "Christmas in March - Santa Clause" event, please reply to this post and send me a mail through the contact form on the side of the blog. If I can get 15 names by Christmas, I'll start it back up with the first one due in March and in September 2020 will relaunch Santa Clause proper. I have some older posts on this. See http://cstoesen.blogspot.com/2017/09/2017-santa-clause.html for an overview of what we did back in 2017.

Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone.