Tuesday, 20 November 2012

USN Pre-Dreadnoughts

I mentioned yesterday that I'd re-discovered a number of Ironclad/Pre-Dreadnought ships I'd built several years ago. When you consider they'd been jumbled up in a box for most of that time they weren't in bad condition: two broken masts and covered in dust. So, a few drops of glue and a bit of blowing later they were fit for the photographer.

I built them for an, as yet, unfulfilled wargame where the glorious Spanish Navy comes to its senses in time to utterly defeat the Monroe Doctrine wielding (non)colonialists of USA. The fact that the Spaniards were themselves colonialists is neither here nor there.

So, let's start with the USN ships that I got built before, as usual, my grasshopper mind became entranced by yet another period's project. I constructed three battleships. The scale is a nominal 1/1200 and, if I remember correctly, I used Wiki and a site dedicated to the The Spanish American War of 1898. These were really useful for ship plans, capabilities and colour schemes.

I built the ships for both navies from balsa wood, cocktail sticks, dress-maker's pins, coffee stirrers, plastic card, rod & tube, inserts for multi-pin plugs, dowelling and paracetamol tablets. The last wasn't because the builds were causing me headaches. No, the pills resembled the turrets on the USN ships so they were pressed out of their packets and pressed into service. I'd probably use something else if I ever return to the miniature shipyards.

First up is USS Iowa (BB-4). This ship fired the first shot of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. She was the only ship of her class.

USS Iowa 1

USS Iowa 2

Next ship is USS Oregon (BB-3). This vessel was part of the Indiana-class of battleships.

USS Oregon 1

USS Oregon 2

USS Oregon 3

Finally is the namesake of the Indiana-classUSS Indiana (BB-1). USS Indiana was the lead ship of her class and also the USA's first battleship.

USS Indiana 1

USS Indiana 2

USS Indiana 3

I'm after a copy of Andy Callan's Pre-Dreadnought rules. They were published in, I think, Miniature Wargames, about a million years ago. If anyone can help that would be grand.

Next up: The Spanish!


  1. Are these the rules you are referring to?


    1. I've been sent the scans for the 'Poor Spain' rules already but thank you anyway, Nick :-)

  2. These are really great - I need to build some Ironclads to fight surface battles underneath my VSF Aeronefs and Dirigibles!

    1. Thank you, Paul :-) As it says in the text I built them entirely from scratch. It was rewarding to see them come together but also gets ones ideas mill rolling at top speed. I'll be interested to see what you come up with. Good luck!