Russo-Japanese War Fleets – 1/3000 Navwar

Nineteen years ago I purchased the Navwar Battle of Tsushima pack. Back then if I recall correctly it cost about £19.00 or £25.00. Now, pack 3CBP04 costs £55.00. The pack itself contains all the major vessels from the Battle of Tsushima, Japanese and Russian sides, in 1/3000 scale. I added some extra vessels around the time as well to be able to reproduce most of the vessels involved in that conflict.

At the time I put this set together I did not have much in the way of painting information so painted the Russian fleets in basically the “Victorian Livery” of black hulls, white superstructures and ochre funnels. The Japanese vessels larger than a TBD were painted in a tropical white livery. Over time access to better research and information as well as some nice contemporary prints from Japan suggested that pretty much everything was in the wrong colour. Oh well, my excuse is that at the time I was a wargamer first and whilst an avid reader, my knowledge of nautical matters was limited – but I was learning.

So, I learnt that the Japanese vessels were in grey, and given that later in the 20th century each of the arsenals in Japan used a different shade of grey, I figured at least that the shade of grey was not that important for this project. I started to repaint them.

The Japanese TDBs and torpedo boats were in black. Everything was coal fired at this stage.

On the Russian side, as I mentioned above, everything had been painted in the Victorian Livery. Repaint started there as well. The Black Sea Baltic Fleet, “the Fleet that had to Die,” had very little needing to be done as they were in a Victoria Livery it seems. The Vladivostok and Port Arthur vessels were another matter however. The Vladivostok fleet was reported in some reading I did to be in a dark green colour, presumably to make it harder to discern the vessels against a green landscape. I had the impression that it was a Brunswick green but I may be misremembered the reading of 15 years ago and mixing them up with the pre-World War 1 Austrians. However, I opted for a slightly lighter shade.

The Port Arthur fleet was reported in some reading I did as having been repainted in a cinnamon colour. This is a darker brown and I guess it was to make the vessels harder to discern against the dusty hills behind Port Arthur. The brown shade may also have come from a shortage of paint in the correct shade so that when the paints available in Port Arthur were all mixed together to be able to maintain he vessels tied up there, a brown shade may have resulted. I opted for a lighter shade which I am not happy with and may repaint again when motivation strikes.

Lastly, at this stage of my naval wargaming career, I was taking a quick and easy route to basing. I picked up some Hammered Metal, Coral Blue from the hardware store. The Hammered metal ranges of paint are designed to look like old style metal filing cabinets. When painted on a flat surface they provided a sea effect. On the vessels I have repainted, I added a wake from the vessels to it is easy to see what has been redone and what is still in the original colours I painted in. That Hammered Metal when painted on a flat surface such as a 6’x4′ pieve of particle board. provides a very suitable sea surface.

The only other work I did on these vessels was to add a brass wire mast or masts where appropriate. Photos below.

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My Ship’s Come In

Well, several thousand of them really. My ships, in periods from the Russian Japanese War with a couple of extra pre-dreadnoughts through World War 1 and on to World War 2. They have arrived back from Mongolia. So, what came back? There are a couple of pre-dreadnoughts that need painting from WTJ, namely the following vessels:

  • Saiko Maru
  • Kumano Maru x 2
  • A ship with the code 0033101 (Spanish?)
  • Yakumo
  • Navarin
  • Carlos V
  • Asahi

Some of these vessels were extras after doing my Russian Japanese War collection, others are samples that Jim from WTJ sent me. Of course, these came back in company with my painted Japanese and Russian vessels from that War.

Also back and ready for paint is the Italian and Austrian fleets from World War 1. These were a set I put together when I was in Mongolia. I have plans to expand that set to include the French fleet as well as the Turks and Greeks.

In the collection for a while and ready for me to start painting is the Grand Fleet and the High Seas fleets from Jutland. I’ve had these for a few years now and it is time they were painted. Elsewhere here in the Hole you’ll find the article from Mal Wright about warship colours of World War 1 ships. Also there is a link to the collection in the US of World War 1 (in particular) dazzle schemes for merchant vessels. I may need to get a few merchants for the odd World War 1 convoy.

We then move forward to World War 2 where I think, if I look hard enough, I’ll find some German U-Boats, destroyers and other surface vessels as well as some British – but this is still be be confirmed. Definitely in the collection is the return of my French and Italian vessels of World War 2 – two smallish fleets but certainly enough for playing some games with. These are complemented by the Battle of Matapan set – all the vessels from the Battle of Matapan. These, along with all the others that a manufacturer is not specifically identified for, are from Navwar in the UK.

To round out the vessels needing paint, there is the Allied (mostly American) and Japanese fleets from the Battle of the Philippine Sea. There are a bucket-load of vessels for this to paint.

To complement that as well as doing something a little different, I also built a collection of all the vessels from Task Force 57 – the British and Commonwealth Pacific Fleet. Also included in that collection is a large number of 1/3000th scale aircraft. Originally I was going to mount these on a flying style of base – some thing brass wire about 5 cm tall, a metal washer for the base and a tiny hole drilled into the plane. Perhaps even three models would be glued to a single upright. However, after a closer examination again today, maybe I will glue the aircraft to the flight decks of the aircraft carriers.

There is some latitude being taken with the aircraft. Navwar does not make a 1/3000th scale Seafire or Spitfire so a Corsair is going to have to represent them. In any case, Corsair’s were used by a number of squadrons in that fleet.

This then is the plan – along with working on and finishing the Victorian Science Fiction. I’ll blog later on their progress although I will say here that two Aeronef fleets are just about finished.

Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1860-1905, editor Robert Gardiner

conways_01.jpgConway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1860-1905 is probably my most used and viewed reference work at the moment (along with The China Steam Navy reviewed elsewhere). Conway’s is the most complete reference on ironclad and pre-Dreadnought vessels in service from the American Civil War through to the Russian Japanese War of 1904-1905.

To read more about this, follow this link.

Korean War Memorial Museum

Korea War Memorial MuseumThe Korean War Memorial Museum notes about it’s raison d’être that “since the end of the Korean War many important war records have been disappearing and that generation [that fought in that war] has also been disappearing”. Korea was established through a number of struggles and the War Memorial Museum was proposed and built to pull all this information together.

So, the purpose of the Korean War Memorial Museum was for the collection, preservation and exhibition of historical relics for all the wars that Koreans fought in. At the front of the museum, there is also a plaza area that is there to serve as a reminder of the past sacrifices in war. It should also be noted that the museum was built to “commemorate loyal martyrs and their services to the nation.” There are, as a result, a couple of areas that most westerners would consider a little “heroic” in their appearance and what is displayed.

Follow this link to read more about the museum.

Poltava and Cataluna from WTJ Naval Miniatures

WTJ Naval is the manufacturing and foundry branch of The War Times Journal. Their main goal is the creation of affordable wargaming miniatures that have clean, accurately scaled features. The current line of 1/3000 scale naval miniatures was kicked off with the release of a long sought selection of pre-dreadnought battleships and cruisers, which will eventually include both war time fleets of the Russo-Japanese and Spanish-American Wars, as well as many rarely depicted European capital ships of this important era. The vessels are 1/3000 in scale allowing players to put on games within a medium to small sized area. Large fleet actions on larger battle zones can also be used. For example, using the General Quarters Rules and replacing the inch measuring system in them with centimetres, the Battle of Tsushima can be fought on an area the size of a standard table tennis table.

To read the rest of this review, click on this link. There are some pictures there of these vessels too.

WTJ Naval Miniatures website has painting guides and a full catalogue.