Sunday, February 28, 2016

'Nautical' from MilesR - '28mm USS Wasp'

 I humbly present to you what will be the centerpiece of my Historicon game this summer and my Nautical Bonus round entry - the US Navy Frigate Wasp in 28mm scale.  This is an all wood model that is half kit and half scratch built - I heavily modified the Laser Dreamworks kit.  The ship is shown next to the two gunboats that were  finished earlier for this year's challenge to give you a sense of scale of this beast - the gunboats are 12 and 18 inches long.


A close up of the deck - when building models for wargaming there's always a tradeoff between delicate detail and durability (the tabletop can be a rough place).  This model is intended to fight on the tabletop (it might be joined by similar sized British frigate one day) so I've gone with a light tough on the rigging and kept the deck fairly open to allow for figures to be moved about.  It's no fun trying to repel boarders and getting all tangled up in the rigging.


 The commissioning pennant.  All the flags are scratch made by yours truly in powerpoint.  I hate powerpoint, by the way.


A shot looking down the bow of the USS Wasp.
 A very brave British gunboat approaching the USS wasp in an apparent attempt to board her.  Will those dastardly redcoats be successful?  We'll have to wait and see this July at Historicon.


 Naval captains in the age of sail were very crafty and often operated under false flags and names.  Mostly this was to fool unsuspecting merchants but sometimes the renaming was out of respect for a lost ship or honorable challenger.  It seems today is that latter case as the USS Wasp has donned the name "Seis Grandes" in honor of this years challenge.  I've also heard the cook was serving the crew their hardtack with "genuine Canadian" maple syrup and back bacon.  Even more shocking is the fact that Molson's has been substituted for the daily grog ration.  High praise, indeed or should I say Ehhhh?.


 A shot down the starboard side of the Wasp.  She's armed with 16, 32 pound carronades and 2 12 pounder long guns.  The long guns are located near the bow and could be aimed either through a side gunport or a forward facing gunport.
 A close up of the bow.  The ship is flying the "Jack" flag which is flown when  ship is in port at the bow.  The 1814 version of the navy jack was a simple blue field with 15 stars for the 15 states at the time.  The modern USS navy has adapted the "Don't tread on me" snake flag as it's current jack and still flies them at the bow when in port.  The anchors are scratch built by me but are of a spanish design


 The nameplate for the Wasp - I attach these with double sided tape to make them easier to change out depending on the scenario at hand.
 A close up of the foremast and rigging.
 A similar shot of the mainmast - there's plenty of room in the tops to place marines with muskets.
 A finally a shot of the mizzen mast and US national Flag.  So just how big is this model - well lets go to the tape - literally.
 In terms of length, she's 37 inches long and....
 The main mast is 29 inches high - it's a pretty big model.  Both storing it and then moving it to a con game will prove challenging.  The wife's already inquired about the former and then, very helpfully, gave a long list of places where it can't go.  She also helpfully provided one suggestion for a location to place the model but decorum and human physiology make that suggestion untenable.


 The foretops are manned and ready to try and pick off those pesky British commanders - all we need is one good shot at that blackhearted British Admirals Cockburn and Cochrane and maybe the Chesapeake "terror campaign of 1814" can finally be ended....
 Looking down her bow...
A gun boat moves up to help the repel the Brits.


Here's an image of the flags I made in power point.  Despite my hatred of the program it was actually kind of fun and is a nice addition to my modelers tool kit.



The first USS Wasp has a short but interesting career- during her first cruise of the war she headed straight at a British convey  of 14 ships and entered into combat with the escorting brig, the HMS Frolic.  The Frolic also sported 18 guns so if was a "fair fight" (pictured to the left).  The fighting was brutal and both ships were heavily damaged but the Wasp's crew gunnery skills proved superior to the British and they were able to take the ship.  While trying to make repairs a much larger British third rate (74 guns), the HMS Poicteres came upon the scene and captured the helpless Wasp.  The Wasp was renamed the HMS Peacock and was put into British service until lost in a storm in 1814.

Ok in terms of points, I'll leave it up to you and your impeccable sense of artistic style, justice and fair play. She was a lot of fun to build and reconfigure.  I do know there are 18 28mm scaled cannons on the ship so that's a start for pointing.  All of the figures shown in the pictures were completed earlier in the Challenge so there should be no incremental points for figure with this score.  Ummm, you did notice she's named after the challenge - not trying to curry any special favor or anything but the naming of a ship after the challenge is probably a bit better than even naming a child after you.  I also got several splinters during the build process so fully expect sympathy points....

:)


27 comments:

  1. Good grief!!! Fantastic work Miles!! 10/10

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  2. That's very fecking impressive Miles!

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  3. Excuse me, I have to retrieve my jaw. It's down there on the floor somewhere...

    Amazing work, Miles, simply magnificent.

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  4. Bleedin''eck Miles! That is one monster build for this round! :)

    *tips hat*

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  5. That is a real Beaut, Miles! Very fine work all around.....you wouldn't by any chance be showing up at Adepticon? Air travel would probably wreak it...feel free to drop it off at MY Home! ;)

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    1. I'm afraid I can't make it to Adepticon and the Wasp would definitely not fit in the overhead or under the seat in front of me!

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  6. Beautiful model Miles. I like that!

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  7. Holy Mary Mother of God! This is fantastic to see, what an entry. I think we are all in love here.

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  8. Thank you for all the very kind comments - I really enjoy building her and look forward to the Historicon game in July

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  9. "I hate powerpoint, by the way."
    It's a good job you're OK on the tools because you're a rubbish liar mate. She's absolutely gorgeous BTW and sure to cause heads to turn when she's on show...

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    1. No I really despise powerpoint - it's rendered entire populations incapable of writing in complete sentences. It's pure evil wrought from the malevolent works of Microsoft.

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  10. Absolutely Fantastic work Miles. I'm just so impressed.

    The only fly in the ointment is that it's not a Royal Navy ship - oh wait, it was captured and re-flagged as one. Never mind. It's perfect. ;OP

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    1. There's a set of plans for a similarly sized Brig HMS Frolic (18 guns, two masts) but I'm not sure I'll have time.

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  11. Good grief!!! Fantastic work Miles!! 10/10

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  12. That is great! May she bring you happy gaming!

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  13. I like that fact it was so good that Ray repeats himself! As nautical goes this is about as nautical as it gets. If you do not get at least a 3rd place the voting is rigged!

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  14. Oooh wow - a beaut! Congrats on such a fine vessel

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  15. A wonderful and impressive piece, Miles!

    Well done!

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  16. Impressive to say the least Miles!

    Christopher

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  17. Fantastic, a truly impressive centrepiece.

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