Sunday, October 31, 2010

US Navy Ram Crew

The US Navy ram on patrol in the vast Pacific Ocean near the turn of the last century.

Flying the American flag from the highest point on the ship. Showing the world America can project power overseas. Even if the ship is a bit old and tired.

The admiral stands in the center of the ship.

The ship's captain standing at the bow. The rust shows they have been at sea for a long time this trip.

The chief of the boat is amidships. He watches the crew and helps to keep order.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

US Navy Ram

My crew of my US Navy ram; HaT Gardner Gun and Strelets Russian Crimean troops and HaT British Rocket Troops gets painted.

The gun is an Atlantic Russian WWII machine gun mounted on the HaT Gardner Gun carriage.

The tropical waters look green, even brown in some light. The US Navy ram is on patrol near the island of Guam.

The ram is heavily armed to take on enemy small craft. As a ram these ships were failures, too slow to catch the ships they were designed to ram. Add small guns and machine guns they can take on small ships for smugglers and revolutionaries.

Many of the crew are on deck to keep an eye out for enemy small craft.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Painting the Ram

My US Navy ram has been painted. I primed it white, almost light gray. I painted the deck and railings using this stain from a model railroad shop.

I used the Model Master paints for various bits. The brass for the guns, the black metallic for the anchor and the red for some parts of the life rings.

Blue was used for the eagle insignia. The copper was put on the searchlight. The gun metal on some of the guns, naturally. The smoke was painted on the smokestack. The clear was for the railings, to make the wood look varnished.

Gold for the crest, green for the leaf on the crest, brown for the life rings and silver for the arrow points on the rest. The steel is on the davits.

I did a black wash on the vents and other hull bits as well as some of the smoke stack. I also covered most the the "steel" parts with the Rustall rust. I printed a flag I got off the Internet and put it on a couple flagpoles. Painted pics soon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ram Crew

Every ship needs a crew. I am working on a crew for my US Navy ram. These are the HaT miniatures Gardner Gun crew. They are British sailors and I swapped the original heads out with the flat hat heads. The US Navy wore a similar uniform. I also swapped out a head from the British Napoleonic Rocket Troops. It gives the sailor a more commodore look.

The gun carriage is from the Gardner Gun set, you get more than you can use. The machine gun is from the Atlantic WWII Soviet infantry heavy machine gun.

The green guy is from Strelets, he is a Russian naval officer from the Crimean War with a Rocket Troops hat.

The man on the far end has had the pith helmet removed and it replaced with one of the straw sailor hats. I think of him as a junior officer.

Another sailor from the British Rocket Troops seen here in gray.

The crew all lined up ready for primer. The Maxim Gun was used on light artillery carriages by many nations.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aircraft Hit Location and Damage

Aircraft Hit Location and Damage

0 EXPLOSIVE DESTRUCTION Aircraft, crew, passengers, and cargo explode in a ball of flame and tiny bits fall harmlessly to earth. No chance to bail out, no damage to anyone on the ground.

1 CREW One member of the aircrew is hit. Roll a die to determine which crew member is hit. Crewmember is automatically killed unless using wound rules. If the pilot and co-pilot are killed, the plane will crash and the remainder of the crew may bail out.

2 FUEL A Fuel damage result means that the fuel tanks have been hit. The aircraft catches on fire and the crew must bailout. Helicopters may auto-rotate within a 90-degree arc from direction of travel and must land within 1250m. Self-sealing fuel tanks and armored fuel tanks are not damaged unless the gun is larger than .50 caliber. Aircraft will trail black smoke.

3 ENGINE An Engine damage result destroys one engine. On a single engine aircraft the target will crash immediately and the crew will bail out. Single engine helicopters cannot auto-rotate and will crash. On multi-engine aircraft the speed and range will be reduced, based on the total number of engines the aircraft has when it is undamaged. Aircraft will trail black smoke.

An AIRFRAME hit will take the aircraft "out of action" for the remainder of the turn, due to buffeting and control surface damage. There are three types of airframe hits, fuselage, wing and tail. Any attempt to make an attack will cause the aircraft to immediately crash and the crew will all be killed. The aircraft will have to come around and make another pass. The aircraft may resume normal operations at the beginning of the next turn. The aircraft may fire flexible weapons in defense only. The aircraft may not drop bombs or launch any form of ground attack or launch missiles of any type. The aircrew may bailout at any time. The aircraft will trail white smoke from the area hit. A second airframe hit in the same location will cause the plane to crash.

4 FUSELAGE Damage to fuselage, and aborts the attack this turn.

5 WING Damage to wings, and aborts the attack this turn.

6 TAIL Damage to tail, and aborts the attack this turn.

Aircraft have four bursts of ammunition for all cannons and machine guns. All bombs of the same size drop all at once. Rockets all fire at once. Missiles fire one per phase.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Caesar Guns

Caesar Miniatures have released four new 1/72nd scale plastic models. These are highly detailed hard plastic kits. Each kit has one or more figures too.

My friend COL Jim built this example. Note the tiny sight. The model has great details, but for some reason seems to be missing the breech block. A bit of trimmed down sprue could correct this oversight.

This kit is loads of little tiny parts that go together very well and built up to a very sturdy wargame model.

This is the sprue of the figures that make up the crew. The figures are lots of little parts. They are very much like a Preiser set.

The real gold mine in this set is the sprues of weapons and heads, and hats. I plan on buying a few of this set just for this sprue. It is a great thing of tiny bits, bayonets, machine pistols, rifles, and all kinds of bits.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Diving Bells

My deep sea diving bell project project continues. I set them up for primer painting.

I put a little dab of modelling clay on the table and smashed the top side of the bell into it.

That way I could spray on the primer and not have the bell roll away. Each bell is different as real bells seem to have been custom built.

The sphere is wood and the other bits are plastic, with the exception of the viewports which are metal eyelets.

A bit of sprue bent around the bell makes a nice solid framework. Since these are wooden I am priming them several times to cover the wood grain.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Martians Invade New Jersey

A Martian War machine makes an attack on a sleepy town in New Jersey.

The people sleeping in their tidy little homes, unaware of the danger.

An overhead view of the attack.

The huge menacing machine strolling down formerly busy streets.

The view as seen by those fleeing the attacking monster.
Buildings from Dollar Tree. Martian War Machine from Mac Donalds Happy Meal.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Bulk Cobblestone Corners 2010 Christmas Village 61-Piece Collection at

At my local Dollar Tree I found a few Christmas buildings that will work for 15 to 20 mm size figures. They are listed as porcelain, are one piece and pre-painted.

The buildings are generic American but will work from 1750 to this morning. Buildings like many of these are found all over the world.

Laid out on a table they make a convincing little street. Buying several of each could make a good little village.

These buildings would be great for ACW. They are hollow but the roofs don't come off.

I got one of each of them and a few extras of the one with the little porch.

Friday, October 22, 2010

US Navy Ram

The large coal hatch in the center is actually the nose of a steam locomotive!

The ammo ready boxes are upside down trash dumpsters. The 6 pounder guns have been in my spares box for probably 15 years.

A view of the ram after it has been primer painted.

I may keep the over all look in light gray.

Search light from a Roco SWS halftrack, in the naval mount.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

US Navy Ram 1898

My US Navy ram, 1898 project. One of my Revell U-Boat hull bottoms is now serving upside down as a ship hull. This is another project that I am doing that will not cost me any money. All the bits are from the scraps pile. This crest at the front of the ship is an old checker that I found in the yard. My daughter had a checkers set like this when she was a little girl, so it has probably been sitting out there for about fifteen years ago or so.

These two machine guns are from HaT's WWI US Army set. They are Colt / Marlin potato digger machine guns. Marlin and Colt made essentially the same gun at the turn of the century. There are four on this ship to repel boarders and defend against small craft close aboard.

The same two type of machine guns at the stern. The small pulpit is for the search light.

Looking forward you can see the twin smoke stacks.

Looking down the crows nest and you can see the guns at the bow.