Sunday, February 28, 2016

'Nautical' from SylvainR - 'Atlantic Convoy'

Convoys crossing the treacherous waters of North Atlantic were instrumental in turning the tide against Nazi Germany. Ships full of food, equipment and oil (essential but sooo dangerous) would unload their vital cargo in Plymouth, Murmansk and Archangel among many seaports.

Ships were formed into convoys and protected by escort vessels. The Royal Canadian Navy often played the role of shepherd, trying to keep the u-boats at bay.

At the core of my convoy are 10 freighters (worth 3 points each) and 1 huge cruise ship (worth 6 points because of her size), the Queen Mary, seen below in her war colors. She is not only a beauty, she is huge! There are also 2 escort vessels, shown in the next picture (worth 2 points each). This lot will bring in a total of 40 points. All miniatures are from GHQ.

In the picture below, the ships are disposed in a typical convoy formation. Usually, because of her great speed, the Queen Mary would sail on her own as she was too fast for u-boats to catch-up. I also made a submerged sub as well as a stick of torpedoes, seen on the left side, as tests for playing aids.

The convoy includes a hospital ship, the Samaritan, good to create interesting diplomatic incidents, especially before the U.S.A. would officially join the war.

Below is one among hundreds of Liberty Ships launched during the war. American shipyards were producing them much faster than German u-boats could sink them. I guess this is how industrial war works. I chose to depict the Alexander Graham Bell, because of the Canadian connection. In this picture and in others, you will notice that the gel on the base that created the watery effect is not yet fully dry. Oh well.

Here is a close up on the Queen Mary. I wish the miniature could have included the de-gaussing cable that was installed around the hull to counter the efficiency of magnetic mines. The cable is clearly visible in this picture. Even though the lifeboats were grey in reality, I chose to paint them white, just to make them stand out. I added a little sail ship to the base, to give an idea of the size of the cruise ship. I can feel the anguish of the captain having to ride the wake created by this giant mass of metal speeding at over 30 knots.

A close up on one of the Canadian escort ships: a Tribal class destroyer built by the British.

I made these playing aids as a test: a submerged submarine and a stick of two torpedoes. If they prove to be useful in our next naval game, I might make some more.

"--- Kapitän, Sie might vant to check vith die periscope vhat that incoming noise is."
[Sorry, the gel is not fully dry yet. Yuck!]

Well folks, that's it for me for this painting Challenge. I know there are 4 weeks left, but I have already finished all the projects I have prepared and now I need to invest all my energy into my book project. Good luck to all!


  1. Great work! I'll send you some of my figures to paint up if you want??

  2. I love those and don't mind Ray, paint mine!

  3. Fabulous way to sign off, great job Sir.

  4. An entire convoy? Amazing stuff, my hat's off to you for this, Sylvain, great work with those wave effects as well!

  5. Nice ships Sylvain, but surely there should be a rubber duck if it's a convoy? :)

  6. Nice work, Sylvain! The ships are excellent, but I really like your basing. The basing just makes em gorgeous! ;)

  7. Well done mon ami! I look forward to seeing these on table. Didn't you tell me you had these done weeks ago? Then why us the gel still wet?

    1. Shortly after I finished basing the ships, a few weeks ago, I set up a background and immediately took pictures. As I was writing the post, last week, I realized that the gel was not dry when I took the pictures but I did not have the heart to take new ones. Lazy me.

  8. Lovely work mon ami! It's great to see the Queen Mary alongside all those Liberty ships. I have a hankering to try a sub game soon...

  9. I am a BIG fan of these. I want to do some naval wargames and these are just pushing me closer and closer to getting of my fat lazy arse and getting some.
    The bases are spot bollock as far as I am concerned!

  10. Well done Sylvain, and great run through the Challenge!

    Finish your book now, must you? LOL

  11. Gorgeous little convoy here Sylvain

  12. great detail on these little beauties.