Sunday, January 31, 2016

ACW Naval Week Five Status Report

okay, it's been a busy, hectic week for a number of reasons, so this week's update is moe of a photo montage of what's been going on. Progress is being made, some models are nearing completion while a couple of new ones made it out of the box and onto the construction table. So without futher ado...

What's almost done...

The Yazoo Monster is done. Based up and ready for gaming. To be honest, I'm having doubts about the base coloration.

CSS Patrick Henry is almost done! Just need to work on the guns and get the rigging done. (groan...rigging.)

CSS Selma based up and just needing a flag to be finished.

Sassacus salvage project almost done. Just a little rigging and a flag and I'll call it done.

What's getting there...

CSS Florida from Bay Area Yards. This one's been sitting for years. It's stuck at the stage of needing it's rigging completed. So that's the task at hand. The foremast has most of the rigging installed. Then it's work aft to the end.

Close up of the rigging. I think the stacks need to be painted a darker color, but the raiders often went 'low visibility'.

Another model from the Bay Area Yards stable - USS Varuna. Got the masts installed and the formast has it's standing rigging in place.

What's new to the queue...

I pulled out the model for CSS McRae this week. A Confederate gunboat that fought at New Orleans,  it's model that has only been available from Bay Area Yards. It's been in the box for about 18 months since it came home with me from a trip to California.

Sorting out the parts, the masts got a bit bent in transit coming home.

The masts were pretty easy to straighten out.

It's a relatively small model compared to many other ships.
The hull with the bowsprit installed.
Overhead view of the hull.

Another new project to reach the table is USS Lackawanna. It's a near sister to USS Hartford (in the middle). The Bay Area Yards model has more of a fighting rig for the masts.
Here's an overhead view of the Lackawanna hull. These screw sloops saw extensive service on both the coasts and the Mississippi River campaigns.

USS Kearsarge is in the process of being assembled. This is a Thoroughbred Figures model that's been in the box since - ahem - 2007. Assembly has gone well so far. The outstanding items are the chain armor boxes and the bedding rolls along the tops of the gunwales.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Giants have landed! Unboxing the Staaken and Handley Page 0/400 heavy bombers

The long awaiting heavy bombers from Ares Games Kickstarter campaign have arrived! It was a longer than expected wait...but the goods arrived in today's post. How did they look? Pretty darn good!

Found this large box on the porch today. That's a lot of box for two models!

Opening the box up we find...campaign add on's from the Aerodrome - smoke and flame markers for the bombers and a 'standard' base as well as a deck of 'ace' ability cards.

These were offered as special upgrades with the campaign. If you've used them before, the smoke and flame markers are great visual upgrades to the standard markers.   

A close up of the smoke and flame markers and the ace ability decks. (Get to the bombers! )

What's this?  A Handley-Page?

Wow - that's some robust packaging!  Let's see what's inside.

It's a Handley-Page bomber model!

And a Staaken R.VI model

It's a poster showing all the Great War planes Ares makes. Will look great framed.

Opening up the Staaken box and there's a lot going on. The plane is well protected in it's cradle. The posts for the flgiht stand are in the top center and the maneuver and ace decks are in the upper right.

A close up of the ace abilities deck.

Remioving the plastic cover from the plane. The entire cradle for the plane lifts out...

...revealing the assorted paperwork.

There's assorted paperwork in the box. A Kickstarter certificate, Staaken specific rules, playing surface maps  and another poster!

The rule booklet includes the basics of multi-engine aircraft and the scenarios.

Reaching the bottom of the box, we find the plastic base and the data and management cards.

A close up.

Counter sheets, aircraft card and management cards.

The R.VI on it's flight base.

They did a nice job with these models. A little more detail on the crew would have been nice, but hey - it's a very nice model! Look at the detail on the engine nacelle.

I thought the Caproni had some odd gun placements.

The Handley-Page has the same components as the Staaken. It's a nicely rendered model.

The red and white nacelles give this model some color.

What's the deal with that nose gunner. Standing and waving?

And there you have it.
These are one half of the kickstarter models. Exercising restraint, I do not have the other two models to review. There's another H-P 0/400 with nice tactical markings done up in a night bombing paint scheme and a Staaken with a green lozenge pattern and late war iron crosses that looks quick fetching.

It took a bit of time to deliver, but Ares has delivered. If they contemplate doing similar campaigns for other aircraft (Felixstowe...cough cough), I'll definitely be jumping in.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

ACW Naval Week four status report

Progress continues with the ACW naval project. The big news is that CSS Selma is finished. You may remember that work started on the Selma a few weeks back. Assembly went quickly and then moved into the painting phase. Happy to say that painting is done. A varnish top coat would be good, but that will have to wait fo the weather to improve.


Here's the Bay Area Yards CSS Selma next to the Peter Pig Selma. While somewhat similar, there are marked differences between the two models - and not just gun placement, which is my fault.

Overhead view of the two models. Length is similar, but the BAY model captures to deck overhang out the limit of the wheel house and has a longer superstructure.  The Hog chains are not included in the Peter Pig Selma. You could model them yourself if desired.

Another model nearing completion is the Thoroughbred Models Sassacus double-ender. This is a salvage job of a kit sacrificed for parts. Sporting a late war paint scheme of gray, the model is ready for the blockade.  About the only steps remaining are to clean up the masts and install the standing rigging. Oh...and the national colors!

Sassascus class with guns mounted.

Another model that's been languishing in the painting queue - USS Varuna. The model has needed new masts installed. I've had the masts for over a year, but - as with the other models - have not made any progress completing the model. But now the masts are installed. It should be a quick job to add deck guns and the standing rigging. Then Varuna will be ready to take to the table.

With the 'low hanging fruit' off the table, focus can now shift to completion of the CSS Patrick Henry and near sister CSS Thomas Jefferson. These nicely detailed models need a fair amount of painting to get all the details covered. Even so, the painting should wrap up in the next week, allowing for the guns to be mounted and the standing rigging to be added.

Progress on the Thomas Jefferson. Thought I'd try something different with the paddle wheels. It will help differentiate the model from the Patick Henry.

And the Patrick Henry

USS Pawnee is also moving up in the queue. The masts were mounted this week and the deck painting is done. On to mounting the guns and starting on the rigging.

Some ad hoc bracing was required to keep the mast in position while the glue set.

Pawnee in the background. The Thoroughbred Models USS Kearsarge in the foreground. Pawnee was a wide beam shallow draft vessel designed for inshore work.

USS Pawnee. This shot shows off the wide beam of the hull.

Last up - after a bit of experimentation, I've hit on a new color combination that captures the look of inshore coastal and some riverine waters. It's achieved by blending two colors and applying over a base coat of tan/light brown. The Folk Art Forest Moss really nails that watery green I'd see on the sounds of North Carolina.

Post script - This is the 100th post for this blog! Woo Hoo!