Saturday, February 27, 2010

Notes on Figurehead ironclads

Just a couple of observations on the fine ironclads from Figurehead...

The first point is minor: all of the Figurehead ironclads, all of them steam-powered, have sails set. I could probably live with that point; it does not seem to detract from the models at all. But, if one wanted a bit more realism, the sails would need to go. On Regina Maria Pia and her sisters, it would be easier than others as the sails of the fore and main masts are actually separate from the mast itself. Others in the Figurehead line have the sails cast as part of the masts, making replacement of the entire piece necessary. For me, more thinking is required before getting my clippers ready.

The second point is more important, at least to me: the base is too small. I would like to put some labeling on the base itself and the included base, although sculpted with a nice wave effect, has no room for labels.

Here is Regina Maria Pia resting upon a 1" x 2" metal base. I think that a centimeter or some would be enough at the stern for the labels .

Is 1" too wide? Or maybe I should apply the label along the broadside edge of the base???

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Old projects, part 1 - Figurehead ships

I have been slowly sifting through boxes of hobby stuff, and some surprises have been uncovered. There are some pics of some items over at my other blog, but the discoveries have not been of a naval variety, until now:

I was quite shocked to find these! These are a nice set of Figurehead Ships ironclads in 1/2400 scale. I purchased these 9 or 10 years ago, I think, at a convention in British Columbia. The dealer had them at 50% off and I bought what he had left. Figurehead's selection is based on the Battle of Lissa, 1866, at the end of the Seven Weeks War. Now, I'm not sure but it seems that I have a good selection of Italian ships, but only 4 Austrians; not nearly enough for the actual battle. There are also some 'generic' steam ships, which I think I bought with the intention of using them as Turkish ships. Figurehead minis were originally cast in England, but they are now available from Noble Miniatures in the USA.

I assembled one of these fine minis, long ago:

Regina maria Pia, one assembled and one still in the bag. The mini is in four parts: hull w/masts, 2 sails, and a base. On the assembled ship, the base is augmented by a piece of magnetic strip trimmed to the size of the original base.

Not quite 1½ inches long including the base. The mini is very nicely detailed, with individual gunports and some deckwork.

The sails are well detailed also. In all, a fine looking mini!

This looks to be a significant addition to my list of naval projects. Although I am rather short on Austrian ships, there are enough to start working on learning some rules and then building up to the full Lissa fleet rosters.