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"Survey of WW1 predreadnoughts in 1:2400" Topic

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warren bruhn06 Feb 2012 5:37 p.m. PST

I'm just going to skim over this topic of pre-dreadnought battleships quickly, as I don't have a lot of time:

Panzerschiffe Old Reliable provider of all things 1:2400 scale, the company still offers by far and away the closest to a complete line of pre-dreadnought battleships. Name the country and Panzerschiffe probably makes one or more of that country's pre-dreadnoughts. These are found in the WW1 lists and in the lists for the Russo-Japanese War. Panzershiffe makes a German Braunschweig class (the 5 ships before the Pommern class of 5), which were different because 4 of the 6.7 inch guns were located in turrets instead of casemates. For anybody interested in that detail, this is the only model available. The British are well represented with several classes of pre-dreadnoughts. But Lord Nelson and Triumph classes are not there, so collectors will need to go to Molniya for those. Also the offerings of French are not extensive, so collectors need to look to Molniya to provide the interesting variety of French pre-dreadnoughts. Panzerschiffe makes several Italian pre-dreadnoughts, including the 8 late fast ones of the Pisa, San Giorgio, Napoli, and Regina Elena classes.

Casting quality of the Panzerschiffe is good, but detail of the sculpt is usually low. There are occassional boats and visible casemate guns, depending on the model. Adding a few of the C-in-C metal boats from the pack of 50 can help add a bit of detail to the Panzerschiffe. Masts with spotting tops seem to help the look of the pre-dreadnoughts. The price point is the lowest, at $4.00 USD for most models, but as low as $3.00 USD for a few of them. This makes Panzerschiffe the best choice for building up large numbers of pre-dreadnoughts on a limited budget. Fortunately there are now photos available at the Panzerschiffe website which weren't there a short few years ago. So now buyers can decide whether or not that style of "recognition model" works for them.

Molniya Great entry into the 1:2400 scene. Anybody who is thinking about running a Dardanelles attack in 2015 on the 100th anniversary should start looking here. That's because Molniya has the British pre-dreadnoughts Lord Nelson, Agamemnon, Triumph, and Swiftsure, along with a large selection of French predreadnoughts. Looking forward to seeing what Molniya comes up with next. These models are not as expensive as GHQ, but are more expensive than those from other 1:2400 scale manufacturers. Prices are typically $8.00 USD or $9.00 USD per model. That is probably justified considering that these models won't sell in huge lots, as many classes Molniya does only came in ones and twos.

C-in-C only offers the German Pommern class. I've got a set of these, and this is a very nice model, inexpensive too, I think $3.50 USD last time I checked. With order size discounts, it would actually be less expensive than that. One needs to buy a pack or two of the C-in-C boats (50 boats per pack) to glue on if more detail is desired. But those packs are useful for adding boats to Panzerschiffe models too. As usual, C-in-C puts out some of the most precise and elegant castings of hulls and turrets for big ships that one could want to have. I think this is partly because of the excellent old sculpts, partly because of the lead content in the metal (which seems to work better than the brittle pewter used by Viking Forge), and partly due the molds being in good shape. Detail is less than the GHQ, but the price is correspondingly less. Would probably want to add masts to this nice metal model.

Viking Forge's WW1 list only offers the German Pommern class, but Viking Forge's pre-dreadnought and Russo-Japanese War offerings include the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg class and several Russian pre-dreadnoughts that were still in use during WW1. The photos of the Russian ones look pretty sharp. The prices are typically $5.95 USD or $6.95 USD per model, apparently depending on the size and the vintage of the sculpt. Don't know what the A-H or German ones look like, but the Russian models pictured might compete well with GHQ and Panzerschiffe, being at an intermediate price point between them.

GHQ used to only offer the German Pommern class and the British King Edward VII class, but in recent years GHQ has been expanding the WW1 lines with Americans, Russians, and now French. There are a couple of American predreadnoughts on offer now, along with 5 different Russians, and the French "semi-dreadnought" Danton class (of 6). These ships are nothing short of stunning, although I still don't like the huge ribs on the funnels of the British King Edward VII and the German Pommern classes.

My heart nearly jumps into my throat when I contemplate paying $9.95 USD per GHQ pre-dreadnought battleship model. I'm not even sure there is anybody in my corner of the USA who would even appreciate models of this level of detail. However, the Russians and the French Danton class look incredibly good, enough to actually tempt me to spend that kind of money. Only things stopping me right now are lack of money and a huge pile of British and German ships that need to be painted first.

I anticipate that GHQ is going to be introducing Italian and Austro-Hungarian lines of WW1 ships, probably including a few pre-dreadnoughts, or at least the "semi-dreadnoughts." I wonder if GHQ might produce other German or British pre-dreadnoughts, given that this niche has been filled by other makers. But it seems like GHQ is really serious about expanding its WW1 line now. Hard to imagine collecting massed fleets of WW1 GHQ, but I do know of one guy who actually did just that. And these pre-dreadnought battleships are actually big enough that the extra detail might be worth the high price.

Schogun06 Feb 2012 6:08 p.m. PST

Thanks for the overview.

I found the same when comparing Panzerschiffe and GHQ. PS has the range and price, but not enough detail. GHQ has beautiful detail, but the cost to field two fleets prices them out of my budget.

So…no ships yet in my collection.

I really would prefer 1:1200 scale for the small scenario I'd like to do, but now we're talking big money!

Cosmic Reset06 Feb 2012 8:12 p.m. PST

Thanks for posting, I didn't even know about Molniya. I haven't jumped into the project yet, probably next year's new project, but starting to do some homework now.

Space Ghost06 Feb 2012 10:09 p.m. PST

I'll second Molniya Miniatures; fantastic ships. They are single castings, but very detailed and excellent castings! I think they are an excellent compromise between the delicate detail of GHQ and pieces that will stand up to the rigors of gaming. I've order from them several times; don't let contacting via email put you off, they're prompt and excellent to do business with.


HobbyGuy07 Feb 2012 9:27 a.m. PST

Warren, these reviews of yours are simply invaluable, I appreciate the effort you've put into them and I've saved everyone offline for future ease of reference. Fantastic job.

TheDreadnought07 Feb 2012 9:48 a.m. PST

Even panzerschiffe models can look nice with a little extra work, as seen in this battle report:


TheDreadnought07 Feb 2012 9:49 a.m. PST

Although I gotta say for this period the 1/1000s are spectacular:


afilter08 Feb 2012 9:32 a.m. PST

Another excellent review!

My pre-dread fleets are almost entirely PS. As The Dreadnought mentions with a little time they can look really nice by adding the mast and IMO as good as 1/1200 Houston which really do not have much more detail.

How I add masts:

I full agree with the OP though that PS lack the detail on the WWI captial ships which is why my larger BC and BBs are GHQ and I use PS for WWI cruisers.

If detail is not an issue then PS is the way to go, but my prefence is to see upperworks on my capital ships.

warren bruhn08 Feb 2012 11:30 a.m. PST

Is anybody using the C-in-C packs of tripod masts and boats to increase the details on Panzerschiffe models? I suppose I could have waited to ask that question in a survey of the dreadnoughts, but now we are getting some real discussion in the pre-dreadnoughts thread, which is where I think the level of detail begins to become an interesting question.

C-in-C is such a good source for destroyers in 1:2400 that any collector in this scale ought to buy some packs of the tripod masts and boats just to have them handy. They should make a considerable difference in adding the desired visual clutter to the clean Panzerschiffe models of any size, as well as to the very clean less detailed C-in-C dreadnoughts.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2014 7:40 p.m. PST

I'm reviving this old thread because it's an excellent start, and others will find it through Google as I did. I just wanted to add a few things:

Since the original posting, WTJ has started to offer 1/2400 scale pre-dreadnoughts using their "rapid prototyping" 3D printing. So far the 3D printed lines are not as complete as the old 1/3000 pewter line, but I believe it's only a matter of time. I haven't seen any in person (partly because I have most of what I want already in 1/3000, dammit), but in the photos the proportions look good, the lines look clean, and the only details missing are the same details missing from every other model except perhaps GHQ. Adding masts, cranes, and if you're crazy perhaps some boats on davits, ought to make these look awesome. I can't speak from experience about the quality of the 3D printed material, but others on line say it is superior to Shapeways, and in the photos it looks smoother (though it's also transluscent, so harder to tell).

Also since the original posting, GHQ has added a lot of pre-dreadnoughts, though not nearly as many as served in the Great War. The French and Austro-Hungarian lines are getting nicely rounded out.

My fleets contain models from many manufacturers. I find that as long as all sisters and near-sisters are from the same company, the changes in sizes and proportions between manufacturers don't matter much. CinC and GHQ actually mix pretty well. Sadly, neither sells very much for the pre-dreadnought era.

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2014 7:43 p.m. PST

I just finished an flurry of painting for 1914 WWI projects, and was using a number of techniques mentioned in this thread:
- Adding CinC boats
- Adding masts
- Adding cranes

In the case of Panzerschiffe models, I did some extra things to dress them up and fill in missing detail:
- Anchor chains. I started saving all the little lead strings I clean from CinC and GHQ sprues, and these turn out to be fine anchor chains across the forward decks of Panzerschiffe ships.
- Anchors. Again, using lead bits sliced from CinC and GHQ sprues, I glued some to the bows of Panzerschiffe models. If you look closely, it's just a square blob on the bow, but it looks surprisingly better than a painted on anchor, and the anchor shape isn't noticable from a few feet away anyway (especially by the old eyes of me and my friends).
- Portholes. I used a gray ultra-fine permanent marker to add rows of portholes along the hull sides. This has to be done *very* carefully; getting the portholes misaligned, badly spaced, or out of round looks awful.

I also considered adding torpedo net booms. GHQ casts these onto their models, but these have to be added to other lines of miniatures. Again, this has to be done very carefully or it looks horrible. I couldn't make it look nice with wire, so I gave up trying, but I may try again later with nylon hairbrush bristles.

My masts have no spars, which is sad, but they're just too fragile.

To make spotting tops, I cut slices off tiny aluminum tube sold in modeling stores (from those racks of brass, aluminum and steel strips for architecture models). The slice becomes a ring that slips over the mast; I push it down to the right level and then glue it on with a drop of superglue.

I haven't yet found a nice way to replicate those big, blocky, squarish spotting tops on British ships, so my GHQ Duke of Edinburgh cruisers still have their cast lead masts. I hate that. Lead masts are always wavy, and break off easily.

- Ix

Zen Ghost Fezian24 May 2014 5:39 p.m. PST

Here's the link to my post with pictures on some WTJ rapid prototype minis.
TMP link

Price point is good too.


warren bruhn01 Jun 2014 4:55 p.m. PST

Thanks for the kudos, yellowadmiral. Have you tried making masts out of plastic brush bristles instead of metal? Flexible masts would be less fragile, and might take spars.

Great news re WTJ 1:2400 scale! (I haven't been here in a long while, time to catch up… )

wargamer604 Oct 2014 8:27 a.m. PST

There's a new supplier of 1/2400 Predreadnoughts in the UK. Paul at Tumbling Dice has just launched a new range of Russo Japanese ships in 1/2400 cast in pewter and I have to tell you they look really good, so much so I just had to buy some , damm, another collection started. He hopes to have the Russo Japanese range completed this year and will be moving on to American Spanish war ships in the new year. This is great news for those who live in the UK as most ship manufacturers seem to be based in the USA.

warren bruhn09 Aug 2015 3:22 p.m. PST

A little over a year ago Yellow Admiral revived this thread to mention WTJ, and others chimed in. Perhaps it's time to add a bit:

1. GHQ continues to add a few pre-dreadnought ship models here and there. Perhaps the most interesting additions have been the French Jaureguiberry & Bouvet, and the Russian Tsessarevitch & Slava, at least with respect to looks:



2. Molniya has a few pre-dreadnought ship models that are listed as "NEW NEW NEW" on the catalog, and I can't remember if they were "NEW NEW NEW" 3.5 years ago or not. Anyway, worth a look:

3. Panzerschiffe has not been sitting still. There's new models of the British Conopus, Majestic, and Nelson classes, and the French Republique, Verite, Jaureguiberry, Henry IV, St. Louis, and Suffren classes. Except for Repulique and Verite at $5 USD USD, these models are $4 USD USD each. As usual, a very affordable option for wargaming. There's no images of these on the website yet. But y'all know what you get with Panzerschiffe, sturdy little wargame pieces:


4. As Yellow Admiral already mentioned, the WTJ rapid prototype 3d printed plastic models are on the scene as a viable alternative in 1:2400 scale (and 3 other scales). Since 1:3000 scale pewter models of pre-dreadnoughts was the original offering by this company, the pre-dreadnoughts are naturally a mainstay of the new 3d printed models. The variety from WTJ is fantastic, and models are regularly added to the line. Here's two images of a 1:1500 scale print of the French Jaureguiberry one primed and one unprimed:

Several new pre-dreadnought models were added in July 2015. Keep 'em coming WTJ!

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2015 11:04 a.m. PST

Can anyone oblige us with pictures of the Tumbling Dice 1/2400 miniatures? There are none on the web site.

Suddenly the RJW is the third most-covered period in naval miniatures, after WWII and Napoleonic naval. How did that happen?

- Ix

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