Friday, January 31, 2020

Challenge X Entry # 13: Inspired by theTurtle

AdamC: Roundwood Tower the Turtle Service (31 Points)

So this location is based on alternative views of history I was trying to come up with something and since I've been doing a lot of reading about the Early American Navy the Story of the Turtle came my mind. 
The Turtle invented by David Bushnell was the the great grandparent of all submarines. You probably won't be surprised to hear that it was a failure:

At 11:00pm on September 6, 1776, Sgt. Lee piloted the submersible toward Admiral Richard Howe's flagship, Eagle, then moored off Governors Island.

On that night, Lee maneuvered the small craft out to the anchorage. It took two hours to reach his destination, as it was hard work manipulating the hand-operated controls and foot pedals to propel the submersible into position. Adding to his difficulties was a fairly strong current and the darkness creeping overhead, which made visibility difficult.

The plan failed. Lee began his mission with only twenty minutes of air, not to mention the complications of operating the craft. The darkness, the speed of the currents, and the added complexities all combined to thwart Lee's plan. Once surfaced, Lee lit the fuse on the explosive and tried multiple times to stab the device into the underside of the ship. Unfortunately, after several attempts Lee was not able to pierce Eagle's hull and abandoned the operation as the timer on the explosive was due to go off and he feared getting caught at dawn.
Replica of the Turtle
At least one historian claims the above was an invention of American propaganda to frighten the British fleet. I choose to believe the attack was attempted though it certainly failed... Now imagine if Lee had managed to attach his bomb. The Royal navy would have lost the Eagle (damaged or sunk) a great propaganda victory. Probably not enough to change the course of the war but enough to create a legacy of American grit and ingenuity and give any enemy captain within hail of the American shore ulcers.
Years latter when Thomas Jefferson was looking for a defencive naval force (he considered a deep water navy to be expensive and dangerous) he established the US Navy Turtle Service to supplement the gunboat service as a coastal defence force.
The Men of the Turtle Service using an updated version each with a two men crew a pilot and a coxswain (the original Turtle had a one man crew) of the original ship are ready to carry out attacks on any dare to violate the shores of the United states. They are armed with a torpedo activated by a timer fuse that they endeavour to attach to enemy ships before making good their escape. Death in training accidents are common and the members of the corps are viewed as somewhat unstable by their fellow in the conventional navy.
My Turtle is made form a 25mm scale buckler shield as the part of the ship that floated above the water and its barrel torpedo made from a piece of sprue. 
Points I'll claim 1 point for the Turtle and then 30 for the map point I hope you like this silly little project. 

That is a very smart use of a buckler shield and a great bit of history.


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Challenge X Entry #12: USS Constellation and sloop

From AdamC: Quasi-War Ships Constellation and Sloop (30 Points)
More Black Seas a frigate and an armed sloop. The sloop (not to be confused with a sloop-of-war) was built using guidance from the "Too Many Brigs" by fellow challenger Guy Bowers.
First up the USS Constellation one of the "Original Six" American Frigates One of the three smaller 38 gun ships (originally rated 36) and saw as much or more action as any US Frigate in the Quasi-War taking the L'Insurgente in a single ship action. She later battled La Vengeance to a draw. Her nick name "Yankee Race Horse" was apparently given by the French who were impressed with her speed (given that the French were known for building fast ships this is a compliment).
Detail shot of her stern gallery. I'm pretty happy with with the over all results. I arranged the flag so I can change her allegiance if needed. 
Between the Frigates and Brig set and the Master and Commander sets I have lots of brigs so it made sense see how I could use some of them and as I mention above Guy Bowers' had some suggestions. I decided to make a single masted sloop. It can work as a merchant, privateer or letter of mark.
She might also serve as a revenue cutter. She carries 12 guns and should be prefect for representing smaller ships used by both sides of the Quasi-War. 
Points we've scored frigates previously as 18 points I think the cutter though smaller than a brig should be scored the same as brig because of the extra knife and glue work that is to say 10 points. Both ships have two flags and flags usually result in an extra point or two I'll call these 30 points in all.


More great "Black Seas" content! Well done Adam. I love playing games with sailing ships, but can only play games with sailing ships when others do all of the hard work of preparing the model sailing ships - so great job! Hopefully one of the members of our group here in Winnipeg jumps on this...


Monday, January 27, 2020

Challenge X Entry #11 Naval Fortifications

AdamC: Awdry's Atoll Naval Fortifications (40 Points)
For Awdry's Atoll I decided I would build a Martello tower the first level is the required CD the Second an old coaster I was given by work (What does one do with a single coaster? I mean other than make terrain) then I couple of layers of Reaper's plastic bases I got from a kickstarter. 
The Tower is made from the tube scavenged from an old tinfoil box, cut to an appropriate size.
I made a cannon for the roof with a some bits, a balsa wood door, and gun ports made of card and of course a flag staff.
She looks quite right terms of scale and should be tough nut for any attacking naval force.
Next up is a small fort put together with scraps of balsa wood and some putty. 
I got the scale wrong for a true harbour fort in Black Seas but even in 1/700 scale she'll do for small fortification like Fort Montague.
It will serve very well with 1/2400 scale ships. Taken together these pieces fill just under half of a 6 inch cube so I will call it 9 points, pulse 1 point for the flag equalling 10 points for the models. (I can provide dimensions if needed) 
The Atoll adds another 30 to the total for 40 points all in all. I'll need to call on the good Lady Sarah's balloon.

Great scratch-builds Adam. And very useful terrain for Black Seas, etc. I'll go with your suggested points for these.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Challenge X Entry #10: Gunboats

AdamC- Black Seas Gun Boats (20 Points)
After building my frigates I found I had several boats left over so I decided to convert them into gun boats. 
The two larger boats got home made masts made from some plastic spears I opted for lanteen sails rather than the square sails of the Warlord ones have. Cannons are simply made form bits and pieces of sprue and other plastic bits. 
The smaller boats are under oars only only the largest of them has a gun the others would be loaded with men for boarding (and possibly musket fire). 
Points the official Warlord gunboats have been scored a 12 points per base. I'm going to count mine as half that as I have only five boats here instead of the nine so 18 point seems fair. If the Minion wants to adjust that up or down I'm fine with that.

Nice boats and sea bases Adam. As 5/9ths of 3 x 12 comes out as 20 points, I'm going to round your suggested score up to that!


Friday, January 17, 2020

Challenge X Entry #9

Adamc: Reidy's Reef Quasi-War French Ships (60 Points)
Black Sails is something of a hot new game I love naval games but had been shying away because I didn't think anyone in my circle would jump into it. then I saw JohnM was building a Spanish fleet So I decided to join in as well. I picked up the "Master and Commander Set and then the Frigates a brigs set so expect to see more.
I decided I would focus on the Quasi-War painting up French and American Ships. The Quasi War is great because the engagement are small and only involved ships of the Frigate class or below. I started with the French in part because I wanted practise before doing my American ships. The French colors are brighter but simpler making it a good start.
This is La Vengeance a 40 gun French frigate that fought USS Constellation to adraw on the 1st of February of 1800 The ship was latter captured the British and had an inglorious as HMS Vengeance (Prison ship).
Here we have a French Privateer Brig that I have named Blonde (Fair Lady). I didn't use any navy's painting scheme here I just made one up.
The brown hull highlighted with a yellow stripe running down above the water line and across the gun ports.

Unfortunately the ship looks becalmed as I didn't billow the sails it was my first effort and it a noticeable if not too major error. 
I magnetised the flags so I can swap them out so these ships can serve the Republic/Napoleon or Bourbons. I could also press these ships into Royal Navy or American service if I need them I'm quite proud of this solution. I'm pleased with the result on these the rigging was done by me and that was a pain but worth the effort. The ratlines come with the ships they work perfectly with the brig but need some modification to work on the frigates. 
Points we don't have any particular scoring for 1/700 scale ships fortunately I am not the first to submit a black Seas Brig and the 10 points suggested (and awarded to Noel) seems reasonable. 
The Frigate is significantly more complex and larger so maybe 18 points? I forgot to take a picture of the two ships so I borrowed a picture form JohnM's blog to show the difference in size and complexity. So if the above is accepted it would be 28 points for he ships plus another 30 for the map site so 58 points. 
Traveling around the Island

This is a new project with sails to provide power which are supposed to be grant some sort of bonus at this site. So 58 Point +Sails+New Project ???? I hope I don't look like I'm begging for points. 

This is great Adam, you are certainly on a grand tour of the island. The flag idea is a cool one and you don't need to beg for points, at this rate you will have been to every location and be looking for a new continent to explore. I'm happy with your points calculation and will add another couple for the flags

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Challenge X Entrry #8 The Snow Lords Peak

From AdamC: 'X Marks the Spot' - Two Soldate de Saintonge on Snow Lords Peak (40 Points)
Curt requested I do a project showcasing Regiment Saintonge and I am happy to oblige him as I had two French Fusiliers left over from a long ago project.
"What's this, these fellows can't possibly be from the same regiment!" says the Snow Lord. "Their Uniforms don't match and all know that a regiment should have matching uniforms!" 

Well my good Snow Lord that's a little quirk of history.
In 1776 France set up new uniform regulations under the guidance for the count Saint-Germain. The 1776 ordinance, which is shown above, was almost universally hated. The coat was very tight using a minimum of cloth in the Prussian fashion. Saintonge had an orangish red called 'Aurora' by the uniform regulations, with a blue collar. This same regulation got rid of bear skin grenadier caps (which was ignored by most) and a weird four cornered hat (which were gone by the time of the Expedition to America).
By 1779 a new regulation was under taken resorting more traditional cut to the coat and a new and less varied colors shown above. Now the French replaced items in rotation. Certain items like gaiters, breaches and hats were replaced annually but coats would be replaced every three years and so when Saintonge left for the United States 1780 some of the men were still in the old uniform. We know some effort was made to get everyone up to current regulation but Saitonge fell short by some 200 men who went in the old uniforms.
So the Yorktown campaign saw the odd spectacle of men from a single regiment wearing two very different uniforms.
The bottle gourd is a popular image for a French Canteen but the troops sent to America had tin canteens issued before going. The sharp eyed will not the uniforms are of the same cut. No one makes a true 1776 regulation French miniature since the men of Saintonge were the only ones to use them in any significant action. To learn more about Regiment Saintonge please visit our website:

Points two 25mm figures for 10 points plus 30 points for the Snow Lords Peak for 40 points. 

Hope this has fulfilled my task, oh Snow Lord.

Adam, this is terrific. I really enjoyed reading the history you provide of the Regiment's uniform changes during this period. You definitely get the impression that this Count Saint-Germain considered his new regulations as the pinnacle of military couture ('aurora' indeed), but others must have seen him as bit of a loon, having to redo his regulations in under three years! That must have been a logistical gong show. A great bit of sartorial history.

With your task complete we'll start the arcane arrangements of getting your Challenge X prize to you.
'The Naga' by TomG

Congratulations Adam!


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Challenge X Entry # 7 "Curtgeld"

AdamC: Curtgeld Combative Sailor (30 Points)
I picked up this fellow with my "Master and Commander" set for Black Seas and I thought he would make a worthy Curt Geld. Its a good sculpt as one would expect from Warlord. A dramatic but balance posed and good details that where easy to paint.
I wanted to keep his outfit simple and fairly generic so he would fit in with a number of armies. A Yellow brown color for this pants with red pin strip or "ticking" (as its called in the reenacting world). I went with a medium gray which works for a dingy linen shirt with a frailly heavy wash and then highlight in the same gray.
I went with a red brown for the leather belt and cartridge box (props to Warlord for remembering this detail on a pirate/sailor figure so many forget it!). The dirk strapped to his for arm is the only point I'm not a fan of it seems like an awkward argument. Speaking as a sometime historical fencer I can say I would want to have a hold of the weapon. Still rule of cool and it does look cool if a trifle impractical. 
One last picture to show how the figure looks at "table range" for points 5 points for a 25mm figure and 25 for Curtgeld comes to 30 points for my modest little pile.
So with five map locations I'm ready to discover my way up Snow Lord's Peak. To review I've visited Douglas' Shallows, Cook's Crevase (twice), Docherty's Dock, Hawkin's Hill and O'Grady's Gulch. Next I will probably attempt the task award to me by Curt though I do have some flares ready to summon Sarah's Balloon if I don't have something ready to go that fits that at this time unknown task right away.


Great work Adam, I'm sure Curt will be glad to see this addition to his Geld Collection - and "combative" Curtgeld is great Curtgeld. The "ticking" (always great to learn new things like this!) looks very nice. Certainly pin striping is very tricky, and I hope you are pleased with the results of your efforts.

30 points for you, Adam, keep up the great work.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Challenge X Entry #6

From AdamC: O'Grady's Gulch Warmonger Halbardiers (61 Points)
These are 10mm Landsknechte Halbardiers from Warmonger Miniatures a local company here in Massachusetts that I have shown before here in previous challengers. I kept this set simple Blue tunic with red highlights.
The pants are done in red with yellow Highlights and yellow feathers. I've had these for a while but they now have a cause worthy of them. These boys are heading over to the UK to join the Army of Light as Part of James' project to memorialise his son. There aren't enough here for an army but they'll be a fine addition to some army or other and I hope James will accept this small contribution.
I got as close as I could to James' basing requirements from what I had at home. I had to glue two bases together to get the frontage. I've used white glue so James should have no problem re-basing them. 10mm miniatures are 1 point per man for 30 points and another 30 points for the miniatures painted for a friend so 60 Points in total.
Oooh! Those do look rather spiffing in their primary colours. And all for a great project (note to self - need to paint my contribution at some point).
The only fault I can find with your scoring for these is that you forgot to add a point for the hand-painted flag, so that brings your total for this entry to 61 points!