Friday, September 7, 2018

Casting call

So, the silicone molds work after a fashion. I'm now able to turn out a number of vessels quite quickly. The castings are rough but I can work with them, cleaning up the rough areas, adding the main armament and building fire control towers and masts. Here's a photo of the results so far.

To the left is a trio of Apollo class protected/light cruisers, to the right a trio of Majestic class battleships. The Cressy class armoured cruiser mold... failed. I won't show the resulting cast - it's too hideous for sensitive souls to look upon, but I can cannibalise the bows part of it to make a sinking ship. I'll repair the master model, take a new mold from it, and see how it goes. I'd like to have at least four of these ships. The prototypes had interesting and all too frequently tragic careers.

My aim is to produce eight to twelve battleships for the Royal Navy, which will make two or three divisions of four ships each. There were nine Majestic class ships, but I think I'll make eight and the rest will be another class. I may stick at four Apollo class cruisers since these were dispersed all over the world and seldom operated together in great numbers.

The German navy built three five-ship classes of battleships - the Braunschweig, Kaiser Frederich III and the Wittelsbach classes, so I have a choice of making ten or fifteen battleships total. Fifteen ships might be a better match up for the two sides in a fleet action, since for some reason the pre-Dreadnought German navy stuck to guns of around 24cm calibre when other navies were increasing the size of their main armament to 12" or greater.

I'm still debating a campaign set up. The German navy wasn't large or powerful enough to challenge the Royal Navy of this era head-on, but a guerre de course campaign is a good prospect. Much like the Bismarck, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau of a later era the German navy faces the challenge of breaking out of the North Sea so it can launch attacks on Britain's huge mercantile fleet. The Royal Navy, of course, aims to stop them doing just that...

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