Labels on 1/3000 scale ship models

Japanese vessels – ready for Modern Naval Wargames

With a large collection of 1/3000 sale ships (more unpainted than painted I will admit), remembering the name of all the vessels can be a memory trial. As the vessels are primarily painted to wargame with, it is good if both sides can see the vessels name during battle.

One option is to put the name under the base, but this suffers from the vessels being lifted off the game surface constantly to check. A second is to add the name to a tab at the rear of the base, in the wake as it were, in the same way that Figurehead provide a label area for their 1/6000 scale vessels.

Chilean Navy Ensign

I prefer to base my vessels on 3mm thick bases and add the vessels name to the side. The 3mm thick base is good as it allows those of us with corpulent fingers to grip the base and not hold the vessel in our fingers. More importantly, I like how it looks 🙂

The method used to produce the base labels is quite straightforward.  Using word processing software such a Microsoft Word or similar, I create a table of six columns. In the second, fourth and sixth columns I type the vessel’s name.  Let’s use three modern Chilean Naval units for an example: Almirante Cochrane – a British Type 23 class; Capitán Prat and Almirante Latorre – Jacob van Heemskerck class.

Ensign placed

I then decide on whether I will add the national flag or the naval ensign. I usually lean towards the ensign although in some navies the national flag and the ensign are the same. In this case, a hunt on Wikipedia for “Chilean Navy” will return the basic details, including national flag and ensign.

Table set to Autofit to contents

Next step is to resize the text. The font I use is Calabri (not sure what the Apple font equivalent is) and it is set to “bold” and resized to 6pts. I also set the table contents to “Autosize to contents”.

The ensign is then copied and pasted to the first column, first row of the spreadsheet. It is usually quite large at this point. Once the ensign has been copied in, then we resize that image, using the size of the text as a guideline.

Ensign resized

The image of the ensign is then copied to the empty cells we have ready for the. We set the wrap text option for the image to “square”

It can then be moved to the next column where the name of the vessel is.

Set the distance between image and text … make 0.1cm in this case

When formatting the layout of the image, under text wrapping set the “Distance from Text”, Right to 0.1cm (or 1mm).

After this it is pretty much straight sailing.

Drag the ensigns to the left of the name of the vessel (see Almirante Cochrane below). Once the columns the flags were originally in are empty, they can be deleted.

The table can then have a design adjustment in “Borders and Shading” by turning off the cell lines in the table.

Select the table one last time, set font colour to “white” and the “fill colour” to a dark blue, close to the shade you will use on the base. You end up with something like below.

The final name labels

Of course, when I got to the end of this it occurred to me that the blue on the ensign may make it disappear after printing. In this case I would add a white border around the image.

I then use a sharp knife to slice the names from the sheet and some PVA glue to affix to the base. Slap on a bit of varnish and job done!

YouTube – Navwar Parcel #02 Arrives

I received my Christmas gift to myself from Navwar. Seven fleet packs were included (World War 2 Argentinian and Brazilian and Dutch, Italian, French, UK and US modern). Here we have a brief look at the contents of each pack.

I will show more as I prepare each pack for painting … but first I need to finish Anthony’s 20mm World War 2 Brits.

Watch it here:

The Decision is In!

OK, after much deep consideration I have settled on the next wargaming project. It is:

All of this is in addition to finishing the American Civil War figures and pondering 20mm World War 2 ((I’m pretty sure that will be 20mm)).

The perfect wargamer’s solution.

Decisions Still Pending

Yep – wargamer’s paralysis!

With several kilograms of unpainted lead waiting in the man cave, I am still unable to decide what to do next. I looked further at the modern naval and even prepared an order for a Chinese and an Indian modern fleet along with the addition of a carrier or two for each and some aircraft models. I then duly faxed the order to Navwar only to have the fax machine fail to deliver (Navwar has the  most archaic ordering process and to be honest, the best way to order is to send them a letter ((actually, I am about to post that failed fax – I’ll report on the turnaround time in the future here in the Hole)).

Last night I received another batch of 2mm buildings from Brigade Models to use with the aeronefs and land ironclads. I am still trying to think about how to use them effectively. Mind you, I am fairly sure that I want to do something with them, so sure that I ordered some more 2mm terrain from Irregular Miniatures on Tuesday. Ian Kay of Irregular let me know that they were put in the post yesterday so I expect to see them here in Singapore by the middle of next week.

Whilst considering possible projects, I have been thinking about another 15mm DBMM army or two, especially as I really liked the look of the Khurasan Miniatures I have seen. I even considered some of the earlier American types from his ranges. It then occurred to me that as I was sitting in Asia, why not do an Asian army – say Cham; or Thai; or Vietnamese; or Indonesian; or Malay. Interestingly, I noted that Irregular Miniatures made Cham and as I had never tried painting any of his 15mm figures before, I thought I would give that a go. I therefore calculated a DBA Army for the Cham and ordered the figures off Irregular. They sell their figures individually which was nice – nothing left over from that for the spares box.

I even called up Paradigm Inifitum here the other day to see whether they had sold all the Plastic Soldier Company 15mm boxes that were not moving at the warehouse sale – let’s just say we are negotiating. Anthony has 20mm though so I am still really undecided about scale for World War 2.

Now, I reckon I have about a month or two of basing to finish the Union ACW army, so I guess the ideas are going to change about another dozen times before I finish the bases and can move on to the next project. Someone get me some sunglasses so I can no longer see the new bright shiny wargame figures

What’s Next 2?

Off the coast of Hawaii - the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group along with ships from Australia, Chile, Japan, Canada, and Korea steam alongside one another on 18 June 2000 for a Battle Group Photo during RIMPAC 2000. Official U.S. Navy photo by: PH2 Gabriel Wilson
Off the coast of Hawaii – the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group along with ships from Australia, Chile, Japan, Canada, and Korea steam alongside one another on 18 June 2000 for a Battle Group Photo during RIMPAC 2000.
Official U.S. Navy photo by: PH2 Gabriel Wilson

Thinking about What’s Next again today whilst nursing a hangover and it occurred to me that it has been a very long time since I have done anything Naval.

The naval thoughts were further developed when I ran across a blog entry, Chinese Navy Sails Forth, with a fleet built from a Navwar fleet pack for the PLAN and using the Shipwreck rules ((note that the publisher’s website does not seem to be loading at the moment)).

I have often looked at aerial photographs of a US  carrier battle groups (like the USS Abraham Lincoln battle group to the right) and thought, hmmm. Modern warships are kind of neat, especially in their uniformity within navies. In World War 2 and earlier there were big differences between vessels in the same navy. In modern times the colour if the vessels is consistent across a navy.

Apart from modern naval, which is something I have never played and is therefore interesting from that point of view alone, I also have the 1/1000th Battle of Lissa Italian and Austrian fleets here to paint as well.

So now the decision is between the Victorian Science Fiction (aeronefs) and modern naval. As I have a business trip coming up this week, I will have plenty of evening time to ponder the next period.

The Peruvian/Chilean Navy — The Models

DSC01478I started to put the models together, sort them by navy and prepare them for painting. It was a good opportunity to take care of some before photos. I was rushing to prepare for painting as well due in part to my wanting to undercoat some buildings I had just finished assembling. They were a test as one of them was my first experience with etched brass which now no longer holds the same degree of fear for me. Back to the ships.

The picture to the right is the Chilean fleet in 1/2400th scale from Tumbling Dice UK laid out in preparation for assembly. Most of the parts go together quiet well and only two or three episodes of finger sticking occurred, although with the residual super glue on my finger, the finger print lock is not going to recognise me in the morning Smile

I did make some simplifications when preparing the models, in particular to the Almirante Cochrane and Blanco Encalda, by dropping the sails altogether and having them steam up in battle trim. ((OK, so there were some issues adding the last batch of sails)) The two fleets are now outlined below.

The Peruvians

Type of Vessel

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Huascar
Monitor, capable under steam of achieving a speed of 10 to 11 knots. Weight was 1,130 long tons. Armour plating was 4.5 inches thick and armament was 2×300-pound guns. The ship was built in 1865.

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Independencia
Ironclad Frigate, capable under steam of achieving a speed of 12 to 13 knots. Weight was 2,004 long tons. Armour plating was 4.5 inches thick and armament was 2×150-pound guns. The ship was built in 1865.

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Manco Capac
Monitor – ex USS Oneota a coastal monitor built at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Alexander Swift & Co., and by the Niles Works, was launched 21 May 1864.Alexander Swift and Co., illegally resold the Oneta to Peru along with her sister-ship Catawba violated a treaty the United States had signed with Spain. Though the sale was allowed to proceed Swift and Co. had to pay fines that equalled nearly ⅓ of the total sale amount.She was capable of a speed of 6 knots. Weight was 1,034 long tons. Armour plating was 10 inches thick and armament was 2×500-pound guns. The ship was built in 1864.Because she was built as a coastal vessel she was not very sea-worthy so remained protecting ports etc.

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Atahulpa
Monitor – ex USS Catawba. She was capable of a speed of 6 knots. Weight was 1,034 long tons. Armour plating was 10 inches thick and armament was 2×500-pound guns. The ship was built in 1864.Because she was built as a coastal vessel she was not very sea-worthy so remained protecting ports etc.

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Union
Screw corvette of 1,150 long tons capable of 13 knots and armed with 12×68-pound guns and 1×9-pound gun.

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Pilcomayo
Screw gunboat of 600 long tons and capable of 10.5 knots. Armed with 2×70-pound guns and 4×40-pound guns.

At the moment, I am in Singapore and my Conway’s is in Australia so I am separated from my normal reference material. I shall look up more details of the vessels when I get back to Australia.

The Chileans

Details

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Almirante Cochrane
Ironclad Frigate of 3,500 long tons capable of 9 t0 12.8 knots under steam. Armour was up to 9-inch and armament was 6×9-inch guns.

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Blanco Encalda
Ironclad Frigate of 3,500 long tons capable of 9 t0 12.8 knots under steam. Armour was up to 9-inch and armament was 6×9-inch guns.

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O’Higgins
Screw Corvette of 1,101 long tons capable of 12 knots. Armed with 3×115-pound guns, 2×70-pound guns and 2×12-pound guns.

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Chacabuco
Screw Corvette of 1,101 long tons capable of 11 knots. Armed with 1×115-pound guns, 2×70-pound guns and 2×12-pound guns.

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Abtao
Screw Corvette of 1,051 long tons capable of 8 knots. Armed with 3×115-pound guns, and 3×30-pound guns.

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Esmerelda
Screw Corvette of 854 long tons capable of 8 knots. Armed with 16×32-pound guns and 2×12-pound guns.

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Magallanes
Gunboat of 772 long tons capable of 11.5 knots. Armed with 1×115-pound gun, 1×64-pound gun and 2×20-pound guns.

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Cavadonga
Schooner of 412 long tons capable of 7 knots. Armed with 2×70-pound guns and 2×40-pound guns.

I have had to cheat with some of the vessels as there are no specific models but at 1/2400th scale, this is not so noticeable. For example, for the Peruvian Manco Capac and Atahulpa I have had to use the USS monitor as that was the only single turret ACW monitor made by Tumbling Dice. The other monitor made was a twin turreted vessel. Similarly with the Chilean fleet, in particular Cavadonga which is a shade large and not with a brigantine sail set.

Undercoating of these will occur later this week (waiting for the glue to dry at the moment). More details about these vessels to follow too.

A Matter of Scale

DSC01470I recently received my Tumbling Dice UK 1.2400th ships for the Pacific War between Chile and Peru/Bolivia. It was only a couple of months ago that I received the Battle of Lissa fleets in 1/1000th (approximately) from Great Endeavours.

I decided a quick photo comparison. A screw corvette seemed about the only thing I had consistent between the Austrian fleet from Lisa and the Peruvian/Chilean vessels. A screw corvette it was.

The difference in size because of scale is seen quite clearly here in this photo. More from when I get some paint on these.

The Peruvian/Chilean Navy

DSC01469So, as I mentioned, the postman called today at the office ((actually, he called today at the condo as well – more steel paper from Magnetic Displays for my storage boxes)). I mentioned on July 23rd in the post the War of the Pacific 1879 to 1883 Naval Matters that I was ordering some 1/2400th scale vessels from Tumbling Dice UK. That was 10 days ago from London to Singapore. Damned good service from them.

I ordered the following vessels:

Code Description
ASV61 Hauscar & Independencia
ASV62 Aimirante Cochrane
ASV15 Corvette Screw
ASV11 Sloop Screw
ASV13 Gun Boat Screw
ASV51 USS Monitor
  Los Andes
  Javery

The USS Monitor is to provide a couple of single turret monitors for the Peruvians and the Los Andes and Javery were just to see what’s in them.

I like the way these guys look. Even included on some of the models are ratlines. I am so looking forward to assembling and painting these little guys. My big worry is that I may end up shelving my 1/1000th (ish) scale vessels and replacing them with 1/2400th as well.

More on scale in the next post.

The War of the Pacific – 1879 to 1883 – Naval Matters

So I was researching some ships last night to make up the fleets of what now is becoming my South American Project. I looked at some of the 1/1200th and 1/1000th available, Houston’s Ships again amongst others. However, I thought I’d go small as there is not so much space available here. I settled on getting some 1/2400th scale ships off Tumbling Dice UK. Twenty minutes on-line research at that wonderful mine of misinformation, Wikipedia, and I had enough information on the two fleets to spend another 20 minutes at the Tumbling Dice website. An order for the following has gone off:

Quantity Code Description No of Vessels Price
1 ASV61 Hauscar & Independencia 2 £2.00
1 ASV62 Aimirante Cochrane 2 £2.00
3 ASV15 Corvette Screw 6 £6.00
1 ASV11 Sloop Screw 2 £2.00
1 ASV13 Gun Boat Screw 3 £2.00
1 ASV51 USS Monitor 3 £2.00

The USS Monitor is to provide a couple of single turret monitors for the Peruvians. In fact, Peru had purchased two Canonicus-class monitors from the United States just after the American Civil War and these were used as coastal monitors. The Monitor is just going to have to serve the role as it was the only single turret monitor in the range.

Mind you, whilst I was in an ordering mood, I also ordered a pack of the Los Andes and a pack of the Javery, just to see what’s in them.