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.
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.
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.
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?.
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.
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
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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