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"Survey of WW1 dreadnoughts in 1:2400" Topic

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warren bruhn08 Feb 2012 12:13 p.m. PST

Since the 1:2400 scale pre-dreadnought review has provoked some discussion of dreadnought models, might as well start the survey of dreadnoughts now rather than waiting a week as I had intended:

Dreadnoughts are really what draws people to game WW1 naval actions. Although actions involving destroyers, torpedo boats, light cruisers, armored cruisers, and pre-dreadnoughts were more numerous, and were quite interesting, it's Jutland and Dogger Bank that have captured the imagination of wargamers. So the availability of good models of dreadnoughts is pretty much the bottom line when it comes to the success of any scale of miniatures.

There are multiple options for dreadnought models in 1:2400 scale. While the options for light cruisers, armored cruisers, destroyers, and pre-dreadnoughts may be more limited, with dreadnoughts the stream of models spreads out into a delta of four main channels of choices:

#1 As always, Panzerschiffe has the most extensive and complete list of offerings, including almost all the WW1 vintage dreadnoughts in the world (except Japanese Kongo, USA Nevada and Arizona classes). The philosophy and artistic angle is consistent with that of the rest of the Panzerschiffe line provide a clean affordable low-detail "recognition model" that is well cast and sturdy enough to stand up to repetitious handling and use. These are models for wargamers. Collecting almost all of the most modern WW1 ships in the world from Panzerschiffe is actually an economically viable project, given that dreadnought models are priced at $4.00 USD or $5.00 USD per model, while the supporting light cruisers are $3.00 USD per model and the supporting destroyers and torpedo boats are $1.50 USD per model.

Up until recent years it was difficult to get an idea of what a Panzerschiffe model looked like unless a collector saw them at a convention or bought a few as samples. Now there are photos on the Panzerschiffe website. These photos are pretty small though. The models actually look better up close in one's hand than they do in those photos. Also, when painted by a good painter they look extremely good to anybody who appreciates the "recognition model" philosophy. And there are occassional boats, visible casemate guns, and other details on some of the Panzerschiffe models. Arguably the level of detail is the appropriate one for this scale.

Panzerschiffe can be "pimped out" with added details. C-in-C offers packs of boats and tripod masts which could be glued to Panzerschiffe models. Painters, including some here on TMP, add masts of their own construction. Other details such as anchor chains could be glued on or painted on. I've even seen one Panzerschiffe model that had rigging and flags! There is ample room to engage in the modelling craft using the simpler Panzerschiffe models as a base.

Another aspect of the level of detail on these models is that it looks very fine in mass. WW1 Jutland is the essence of mass battle. And even Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank were mass battles considering all the light ships involved. WW1 battles can be quite different from a WW2 Battle of the River Plate or Battle of the Denmark Straits. In those smaller battles one might want to stare closely at the few individual ship models in the scenario. In WW1, one may be happy looking at a large table with multiple squadrons and divisions of ships in play. Panzerschiffe is more than adequate for this, as the ships are easy to recognize from 2 feet to 6 feet away.

HobbyGuy08 Feb 2012 12:31 p.m. PST

Another great job.

elsyrsyn08 Feb 2012 12:39 p.m. PST

Thanks for the overview looking forward to the discussion of the other three choices. The era keeps tempting me …


warren bruhn08 Feb 2012 1:15 p.m. PST

#2 C-in-C is one of the founding makers of 1:2400 scale ship models in the 1970's. It's great that these models can still be obtained from C-in-C today. Arguably they are still the cleanest and most attractive castings of any of those currently available. The sculpting of the C-in-C models is very attractive. They lack the detail (or some would call it visual clutter) of the much more expensive GHQ models. But, as with the Panzershiffe, the level of detail seems very appropriate to the scale. C-in-C seems to keep its molds in good condition. I wonder if the lead content in the models contributes to better casting and better mold life. The lead content in the alloy makes it a bit softer than anything else in this scale, and it is quite easy to straighten out any bent parts or hulls.

C-in-C dreadnought models come as a hull and separate turret pieces, usually with "spare" turrets. The turrets are, I believe, the best looking of any in 1:2400 scale, really getting the shape right on all the big British and German ships. The distinquishing feature is the thin barrels. These look very much to scale, but they worry some gamers. I have a large collection of C-in-C, and while the barrels have been bent many times, I have yet to have any break (knock on wood). Unlike the C-in-C cruisers, which seem to be a little bit undersized compared to those of other makers, the C-in-C dreadnoughts are a good size, matching up well with those from other makers.

Ships boats and tripod masts have to be purchased in separate packs of 50 boats or 35 tripods. Not being much of a modeller, I haven't done much with those yet. But they are intended to be an important addition that is critical to the look of the C-in-C models. I've found the tripod masts already on many of my models to be quite bendy because of the lead content in the alloy. It can be a little annoying to have to bend them straight after dropping or mishandling a model, but at least the tripod masts tend to bend instead of break. Better to be able to bend them back into shape rather than having to glue on another one. These boats and tripod masts are also useful for adding details to Panzerschiffe models. I wish that I had ordered more packs of these with my last C-in-C order.

Unfortunately the C-in-C line is pretty much limited to British and German ships. Even there the British line lacks Neptune, Canada, Dreadnought, St Vincent, and any British pre-dreadnoughts. However, Dreadnought and St Vincent could be created out of the Bellerophon model, and Neptune could be created out of the Colossus model. I already decided to do this with the Neptune, but I need to buy more of the C-in-C Bellerophon in order to replace some old Superior models in my collection. The British line does include Glorious, Courageous, Repulse, and Renown. The only dreadnought offered by C-in-C that is not British or German is the Japanese Kongo class. I wish that I had bought a couple of those with my last order. Given the quality of the C-in-C sculpts and castings, I'm sure the Kongo class model is spectacular.

Unfortunately C-in-C does not seem to be expanding this line of WW1 ships, and I've been keeping an eye on C-in-C for about a decade now. Also, one can't see photos of the WW1 ship models on the C-in-C website. There may be some photos of WW2 models to use as a reference. One option to get a look at these models would be to keep an eye out for them at conventions, as there are a lot of them floating around. Another option might be to order $20.01 USD to $50.00 USD worth just to take a look, because C-in-C is currently offering free shipping on orders in that price range. I would suggest perhaps ordering two of the Kongo class battlecruisers, some British Lightfoot, M, and K class destroyers, and some boats and tripod masts. All of these would be useful even if a person didn't decide to go with C-in-C for the bulk of a WW1 dreadnought fleet.

Building German and British dreadnought fleets using C-in-C would be affordable because of the standard order size discounts available:

$20.01 USD to $100.00 USD 10% Discount

$100.01 USD to $200.00 USD 15% Discount

$200.01 USD to $500.00 USD 20% Discount

$500.01 USD and up 25% Discount

The C-in-C dreadnoughts cost $7.00 USD per model. The tripod mast pack of 35 is $8.00 USD. The pack of 50 boats is $7.00 USD. And packs of 3 destroyer models are $3.50 USD. And the C-in-C destroyers are excellent castings. If anybody wanted to put in a massive order of over $500.00 USD in order to build almost the whole of the British and German dreadnought fleets, then that 25% discount would mean that the dreadnought models would effectively be priced at $5.25 USD per model!!! Also, the many useful destroyer models would effectively be priced at $0.88 USD per model!!! Even when putting in orders in the $200.01 USD to $500.00 USD range the discount would still be 20%, making C-in-C extremely competitive in price when ordering in big lots.

While I got almost all of mine in a big lot from another collector, C-in-C would still be an economically viable option if ordering direct from the manufacturer in big lots. As somebody who owns a lot of C-in-C, I strongly recommend this option for British and German dreadnoughts, and for destroyers of the classes offered, including the Italian destroyers.

warren bruhn08 Feb 2012 3:02 p.m. PST

#3 Viking Forge is a company that I have mixed feelings about. I love the 17 models of armored cruisers that I got from Viking Forge. The VF G-101 class German destroyers, Japanese Momo class, and Italian Nembo class are very useful. I've got several merchant ships and tankers, the Ark Royal seaplane carrier, a couple of the German Nymphe class light cruisers, some Q ships, and some fishing trawlers from VF, and I'm delighted to have them all. I'd also like to get some tugs

But the question now is dreadnoughts. One of Viking Forge's claims to fame is that it was producing the only metal models in this scale of American, Italian, and Austro-Hungarian dreadnoughts (until GHQ recently added its line of Americans). Seeing photos of VF American dreadnoughts a few years ago tempted me into buying 15 VF models, including HMS Canada, HMS Neptune, 6 Italian dreadnoughts, 4 AH dreadnoughts, and 3 AH semi-dreadnoughts. This happened a few years ago before Panzerschiffe posted photos, and at a time when I believed I wanted glue-on metal turrets and barrels that were not physically connected to the deck.

The VF dreadnought and semi-dreadnought models were almost all satisfactory, but not totally exciting to me. Only one had an edge along a few milimeters of hull that was not well cast. I think that was on my model of HMS Canada, but I can't remember exactly and will have to dig out my unpainted models to take a look. I suspect that part of the issue was the low or no lead content in the alloy, and the fact that some VF molds may have been pretty old at that time. VF notes that some of the sculpts are very old, and other sculpts are newer and have a higher level of detail.

My AH ship models are of the older less detailed type. They look OK to me, and when I get around to painting them I don't expect to be disappointed. The Italians that I bought are of the newer more detailed type, but the only detail that I find exciting about them is the long tripod masts which are already molded on. There is a bit of flash, as I've seen in other miniature figures using low lead content white metal, but its less trouble to remove the flash than it is to glue on tall tripod masts. I'm sure that I will like them after they are painted up.

The models of the Canada and Neptune have tripod mast pieces in the kit, and there are holes in the superstucture where the base of the tripod can be glued into place. I'm not sure if I'm going to use the Neptune or not because I decided to get extra C-in-C models of Colossus to modify for this. The VF model of Neptune has no bridges with boats on them between the funnels and superstructure, as can be seen on the PS models. I suppose I can glue one onto the VF Neptune model if I want to.

VF is proud of the level of detail in its newer sculpts. But the level of detail isn't much different from that in the C-in-C models after gluing on tripod masts and boats. The price point is about the same, at $6.95 USD for the newer sculpts of dreadnoughts. The turrets is where I have a little bit of disappointment. They are definately better looking than the turrets on the Panzerschiffe single piece models, having some shape to them, and avoiding the look of the barrels being connected to the deck. But they just aren't as well sculpted and cast as in the C-in-C models at the same price point. The casting doesn't seem to be as consistent and precise either. A step up from PS? Yes. But not as high a step up as the C-in-C. On the other hand, the barrels are thicker, and, though more brittle due to the low or no lead content white metal alloy, are going to be more appealing to modellers who don't like the look of the very thin C-in-C barrels. The VF barrels are definately easier to see.

It's not the level of detail that is appealing about the VF line of dreadnoughts to me. I think the appeal is the same as the appeal of the VF armored cruisers, pleasing shape. It's somewhat hard to explain this. A lot of what we naval wargamers like about ship models is the lines. This is a very subtle thing. Some of the sculptors for VF seem to have been able to make really nice curves to the wide beam hulls, and the height and shape of the funnels, the superstructure, the hulls and forecastles on the VF models just seem to be very right. I think the artistic impression of the models is what makes VF a choice worth considering.

The VF line of British and German dreadnoughts is not complete, but offerings include Americans, Italians, and Austro-Hungarians, as noted above. VF seems to be in a process of replacing old sculpts and molds in order to spiff up the line. Also VF is posting some photos on its website, though there is not a complete set of photos available yet. Perhaps the line will grow after VF is done with replacing some of the older sculpts and molds.

How does VF fit into the dreadnought 1:2400 scene? I think that VF is a viable mid-level price point, with more detail, separate turrets, and sometimes more pleasing shape than in the Panzerschiffe models, depending on the model, but not at the detail level or high price as the GHQ. As between VF and C-in-C it's partly a question of whether one wants thin barrels or thick barrels, and partly a question of which models are available. From what I've seen of painted VF photos on the web, I think a good painter can make the VF look very nice. I hope I am a good enough painter to do that by the time I get around to painting my several VF Italian and Austro-Hungarian battleships.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2012 3:39 p.m. PST

I have a large collection of VF and CinC WW I ships with a few GHG thrown in for flags. They are all satisfactory and meet my needs.

warren bruhn08 Feb 2012 7:05 p.m. PST

#4 GHQ is becoming even more of a giant in the WW1 1:2400 scale than before. While C-in-C has not added to its line in a very long time, and Panzerschiffe and Viking Forge only add to their lines slowly, GHQ has been engaged in a steady increase of its WW1 line over the last half dozen years or so. GHQ has photos posted of its models on the GHQ website, most of them with spectacular professional paint jobs. GHQ ships are also on the rack at one of my local game stores, which makes inspecting the unpainted model possible, and which encourages impulse buying.

GHQ is at the opposite end of the price spectrum from Panzerschiffe, now costing $13.50 USD per dreadnought model. GHQ models are the only ones whose cost makes me feel a little queazy. GHQ is also at the opposite end of the artistic spectrum from the simple "recognition models" from Panzerschiffe. GHQ models are certainly used for wargaming, but the high level of detail seems to be aimed at diorama makers and collectors who might never actually play with their models.

As my comments in this and previous "survey" threads indicates, I'm pretty satisfied with the level of detail in Panzerschiffe, C-in-C, Viking Forge, and Molniya. Personally I'm more interested in building a very large collection on a budget and using the models for wargaming. However, the GHQ models are putting out some kind of siren song that even I can hear. The GHQ models virtually sell themselves, even to me on occassion, even though I'm sometimes uncomfortable with the almost excessive level of detail.

I spent six years in the US Navy, over half of that on board ships, and I'm aware that the deck and superstructure of a 20th Century warship was loaded with boats, fittings, and a variety of equipment. But it's a little odd to see deck planking on models in 1:2400 scale, boats modelled without canvas covers so that you can see some internal detail in the boats, giant oversized ribs on funnels to suggest the thin railing that was present around some of them, and so on. That's the kind of detail that is on the GHQ ships even below dreadnought size. The primary question for the collector is how much of this detail does one want to see in 1:2400 scale? And the secondary question is how much does one want to pay for that detail?

Of course, not all GHQ details look good. The huge ribs on the funnels of all of the German ships, HMS Canada, HMS Erin, and HMS King George VII look very unattractive to me, and strongly influenced me not to buy any of those models. Other people may find this odd detail attractive. But, except for this, the GHQ are mostly quite accurate in the overall look.

The level of detail on the GHQ probably makes painting them into a more forgiving process, as washes and highlights are called for to enhance this remarkable detail. I noticed a mold line on one of my GHQ models about a week ago, but I doubt it will even be visible after painting due to the level of "visual clutter" on the highly detailed model. (I'm going to have a harder time fixing or hiding mold lines on my Viking Forge models.) At dreadnought size in this scale all that extra detail produces a very different looking model. If blackwash is used to accentuate the deck planking the overall look becomes a bit dirtier and less distinct at a distance. But up close these models make a person say WOW!

GHQ is a company that I have not ordered from directly, as I've been able to buy a few from other collectors or from a local hobby shop. (My experiences ordering from C-in-C, Viking Forge, and Panzerschiffe have all been good.) But I did get a response to a product query from GHQ, and that was a pleasant thing. (Got a response or two from Molniya and Panzerschiffe too.) I'm sure GHQ is a fine company to deal with, as are the other companies I've listed above.

GHQ has made a huge impression on me in recent years as it has expanded its WW1 line to include American, Russian, and French ships, along with additions of new British and German ships. Although I had purchased some GHQ light cruisers and destroyers, it was the new Russian ships that finally seduced me into buying some of the big ones. These models are beautiful in the extreme. Too bad I'm not filthy rich and retired, or I might be tempted to buy everything that GHQ offers (except for those ships with the huge ribs on the funnels).

Now I'm seeing the new French ships and I'm even more stunned and attracted than I was with the Russian ones! I feel it's only a matter of time before we see new GHQ Italian, Austro-Hungarian, and Japanese WW1 ships. I wonder if GHQ might even produce WW1 ships for Brazil and Argentina? Other companies have offerings of the ships of these other nations, and I'll be a little bit sad if they lose some sales. However, GHQ has such a different price point and artistic style that it's probably a really good thing if GHQ just keeps expanding its line of ships for the early 20th Century.

In conclusion, it seems like we are almost embarassed by the large and growing number of choices available for WW1 ship models in 1:2400 scale. And that is a good thing!

goragrad08 Feb 2012 7:59 p.m. PST

Nice job.

Frankly as noted it is the overwhelming and out of scale detail that puts me off GHQ as much as their price. This is over all their lines – 1/285 armor as well as WWI and WWII ships.

I have many of the ships and hundreds of the tanks, but particularly with ships I go with CinC where they have the model. Much of my GHQ has been acquired on Ebay, but I have ordered directly and it went well.

On the other hand it has been some few years but my last order from CinC (just short of 400.00, and I ordered the week after their first price increase in a decade as I recall) went very well.

One other point about CinC, at least in the past, is the very reasonable prices for 'bits and pieces.' For AFVs GHQ wanted about a dollar a turret. Whereas I think I got skids for some Hueys, turrets for a WWI Hood, a dozen? gun barrel portions of the Russian 57mm AT kit, and some misc PZIII? turrets for 5 or 6.00 from CinC. Very helpful with ordering them as well.

Of course I must admit I first bought CinC ships when they originally came out. A pair of cruisers or WWI battle ships for 2.50 was such a bargain compared to 6.50 or more for a smaller 1/1200 Superior battleship. And they looked better in smaller playing areas (didn't always have a basketball court to play on).

And as noted I just like the crispness of their lines. I can only hope they find a sculptor to expand their lines.

MahanMan08 Feb 2012 10:13 p.m. PST

Although I don't game in this scale (for now…), I *did* work at GHQ for a summer job waaaay back in my first year in college, and your review is pretty much spot on as to their level of detail/fussiness when it comes to their sculpting.

I sort of wish I *did* game in this scale, as I could have acquired a lot of ships, given the policy of letting employees get freebies every week!

elsyrsyn09 Feb 2012 6:36 a.m. PST

Thanks again for the excellent overview!


afilter09 Feb 2012 7:05 a.m. PST

Another great post.

As you point out this is where PS falls off for me with capital ships. While excellent representations they just lack the level of detail I desire, so I use PS for Cruiser and below and currently GHQ for my capital ships which has prevented me from building huge OoB, but does allow for some what if scenarios and historicals like Falklands campaign and Dogger Bank.

I will have to check into C&C espeically the accessories as this might be a good compromise for some of the battle cruisers.

ElGrego09 Feb 2012 8:24 a.m. PST

Thank you Warren for all of these posts!

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2012 11:21 a.m. PST

Yes, a very good overview for all companies. I shall look at the new GHQ stuff even though the prices are off-putting.

warren bruhn09 Feb 2012 2:18 p.m. PST

Perhaps I should mention that there is a UK source for 1:2400 ship models now, Stonewall Figures in Cornwall, a line called "My Little Ship Company."


I have not seen any of those ships, so I can't really comment. The website lacks photos so far. One person commented on the 1:2400 destroyer thread about an order of his that included some British M class destroyers. 1:2400 scale probably faces an uphill fight in the UK, where 1:3000 scale is available for a low price.

The other makers listed above are all located in the USA, with GHQ and C-in-C both in Minnesota, Viking Forge in Virginia, Molniya in Rhode Island, and Panzerschiffe in Ohio. Since I'm located in Oregon, USA, I haven't tried the international shipping experience from any of the USA based makers of 1:2400 scale. I hope that is going well for the international brotherhood of ship model collectors.

I'm not sure if we should have a thread on 1:2400 scale auxilliary ships or not. I got some merchant ships, a seaplane carrier, tankers, Q ships, and fishing trawlers from Viking Forge. Viking Forge also offers American Eagle boats, harbor tugboats, ocean tugboats, yard patrol craft, and gunboats all in packs of 6 (like the fishing trawlers). Some of these could be pressed into service as minesweepers. As I've mentioned before, the Italian Nembo class torpedo boat is useful as a sort of generic old torpedo boat, which can also be pressed into service as a minesweeper. Viking Forge produces several highly detailed merchant ships in its WW2 line for $5.95 USD and some highly detailed pasenger liners, also in the WW2 lists, for prices of $8.95 USD, $9.95 USD, or $19.95 USD (gulp!). For anybody wanting to collect great looking pasenger liners, Viking Forge seems to be the place to go.

Hunting and pecking through the C-in-C and Panzerschiffe lines, WW1 and WW2, there are merchant ships, colliers, tankers, oilers, converted merchant commerce raiders or auxilliary cruisers, and pasenger liners. Some of the old colliers or merchant ships in Panzershiffe's pre-dreadnought line might be put into a local WW1 convoy action. Panzerschiffe also offers a couple of German submarines in its WW1 line, along with a zeppelin.

Zen Ghost Fezian18 Feb 2012 9:17 a.m. PST

Excellent review. I just asked this forum for their opinion on the type mini to start with. I want to get started in this genre but wanted to do it smartly. Thanks

warren bruhn09 Aug 2015 1:27 p.m. PST

Need to update this thread with developments over the last 3.5 years. Nice to be able to say that there have been developments!

1. GHQ has continued to pour it on in the last few years, notably adding Austro-Hungarian dreadnoughts. The French and Russian and American dreadnoughts were pretty new last time I wrote, and those lines were perhaps less complete then. Prices have gone up. I'm looking at $16.95 USD USD on the GHQ site. Gorgeous models though. I'm expecting GHQ to come out with Italian dreadnoughts next. Would be interesting if GHQ released dreadnoughts for Japan, Argentina, and Brazil.

2. The really phenomenal development of the last 3.5 years is the War Times Journal rapid prototype 3d printed plastic models. These are available in 4 different scales, 1:2400 being one of the options. An example is this image of a 1:2400 scale HMS Iron Duke circa 1916:

There is no complete line yet. One can't even get the earliest British or German BC's yet. But WTJ is cranking out new models all the time. It's certainly great to be able to get unusual "what if" models of SMS Mackensen and SMS Ersatz Yorck:

It's also nice to be able to buy early war variations with torpedo nets and without tripod masts and late war variations without torpedo nets and with tripod masts. The rapid prototype 3d plastic printing makes these variations far easier to produce than the old system of molds for metal or resin ships.

There's also a line of Italian dreadnoughts that fills that hole in the GHQ line noted above. Anyway, check out the WTJ line here:

colkitto09 Aug 2015 10:59 p.m. PST

I ordered some sample models from Stonewall a few yeara ago. They were mainly attractive, clean castings, at the "basic" end of the scale without the GHQ level of clutter. What put me off, unfortunately, was that several of them were quite badly misaligned along the mould line, either fore and aft (so that one side was further forward) or vertically (so that one side was higher) or, in a couple of particularly upsetting examples, both. This was far too significant to be fixed by a bit of scraping and filling. If they had been lined up properly I'd have been happy to buy more. I never got around to raising this with the seller, and perhaps I was just unlucky. Certainly there was a series of pictures on one of the blogs recently which made them look very nice.


(Some of them are Panzerschiffe.)

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2015 12:02 p.m. PST

I'd like to add that so far I have found the models from GHQ, C-in-C and WTJ can be mixed on the table. The GHQ models look significantly "busier" to the eye but not larger or smaller. The WTJ and C-in-C models are very similar in scale, proportions and detail. I am optimistically assuming this means all three manufacturers have achieved similar accuracy of scale. grin

Viking Forge are a bit tough to mix in a fleet. VF models have a distinct "hand made" quality to them, and while they have a delightful amount of busy-ness and apparent detail, they do not have the same "clean" proportions and lines as the other above manufacturers. All of my Bellerophons and St. Vincents are Viking Forge, and while I like them just fine, they look very different than the GHQ HMS Dreadnought and GHQ Neptune, and a bit diminutive.

I do not recommend mixing Panzerschiffe dreadnoughts in the same fleet with ships from any other manufacturers. All the Panzerschiffes I own are significantly larger, especially the turrets. I have a Panzerschiffe HMS Canada that looks like a completely different scale next to the rest of my C-in-C, GHQ, VF and WTJ Grand Fleet. I bought a GHQ Canada to replace it.

- Ix

yarkshire gamer09 Nov 2015 10:39 a.m. PST



Just a bit of visual to add to the texty debate to date, a shot of a GHQ and WTJ 1/2400 ship of the same class for you to compare, both painted by me.

My vote is marginal for GHQ on detail but a big thumbs up to WTJ on price.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

Sailor Steve09 Nov 2015 11:55 a.m. PST

Very nice. I've painted several of their pre-dreadnoughts and love them.

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