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"WTJ 1/1500 Predreadnoughts" Topic

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tbeard1999 Inactive Member19 Jul 2014 3:29 p.m. PST

I just added a few shots of a couple of War Times Journal 1/1500 scale predreadnoughts. These are rapid prototyped plastic.

HMS Majestic



HMS Cressy



Comparison with 1/2400 scale ships (L to R) Panzerschiffe King Edward VII, Panzerschiffe Revenge, and partially painted WTJ Majestic.




Space Ghost Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2014 4:41 p.m. PST

Very nice! At 1/2400 and 1/1500, how do the gun barrels hold up? Do they feel fragile, or have you had any break during prep or painting?


tbeard1999 Inactive Member19 Jul 2014 10:31 p.m. PST

Hey Brian and thanks for the kind words. The guns are definitely slender, but they are not overly fragile. I did lose the rear guns on the 1/2400 Majestic, but that was due to a fall from a significant height and the model was hit by a heavy object. The model actually snapped in half (and was easily repaired with CA glue). A metal mini would have been severely damaged in such an incident.

That said, I would advise being careful with the guns. Drybrushing is probably the most serious danger. If you use a stiff brush or a hard technique, you could snap the barrels. I would add that the 1/2400 models (a) have an incredible selection; and (b) are very reasonably priced -- $4.25 USD for the 1/2400 Majestic.

The models are also pre-drilled for masts. The masts can be made from wire and the pre-drilled holes are a nice touch. I'll probably add masts to the 1/1500 models if I decide to pursue this scale. Tomorrow, I'll post a comparison shot of the 1/1500 Majestic with the 1/1000 Majestic from Houston Ships.

Oh and you'll want to wash the models. I soak in warm water and scrub with a soapy toothbrush. Again, be careful scrubbing the guns.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2014 5:23 p.m. PST

I've painted a large number of Russian and Japanese Panzerschiffe castings. The guns are moulded as part of the deck and turret so I never had a problem with damage to them.

Texas Gamer – Your work on all of the shops is very well done, especially the 1:1500 ones.


Queen Catherine20 Jul 2014 5:53 p.m. PST

Hey Texas, thanks a lot for the shots and comparisons. I think your style would work well with a wash to bring more contrast to the fine lines. Just a thought.

I'm definitely interested in the large WTJ pre-dreads, uncertain which is better 1/1500 or 1/1800.

Meanwhile, I'm eagerly awaiting the 1/2400 German Dreads and Battlecruisers for my High Seas Fleet. I decided I had to prioritize the WWI period with the 100th coming up I've never managed to make a significant anniversary yet, so this is the one!

But next up are the pre-dreads. I plan to have a campaign in the pacific during the Spanish-American war where all the nations start going after one another after Dewey wins Manila Bay. First the Germans, then the Japanese, maybe even the Chinese…

tbeard1999 Inactive Member20 Jul 2014 7:47 p.m. PST

Just added to my site --

HMS Majestic in 3 scales; (L-R) 1/1000 Houston Ships; 1/1500 WTJ; 1/2400 Panzerchiffe (actually this is HMS Revenge, but a very similar class).



HMS Majestic and HMS Cressy together:



tbeard1999 Inactive Member21 Jul 2014 12:18 p.m. PST

An addendum for Space Ghost--

There is an option mentioned in the shopping cart for people who want barrel supports integrated into the model.

There is a link and a graphic showing what it would look like.


tbeard1999 Inactive Member22 Jul 2014 6:38 a.m. PST

I've added a page to my site describing the modifications to my painting technique for pre-dreadnoughts:


Part time gamer23 Nov 2016 1:01 p.m. PST

It never fails, I find the most interesting threads (to me) a bit late (in years) ugh.

If ya get back to this; Im very grateful for the time you took in posting the pics, most of all the size comparison and 'ruler' photo. It really helps.

I certainly would prefer the 1500s just for the look on the table, however there is that $ 'jump' to consider moving from the 1800 scale up to the 15's.

Personally, I would 'probably' not add the masts to the ships, but only to make storage & transport easier and risk them breaking off. But they do look great.

One last personal thought;
If your going to do Predred's, painting them in there national colors is part of what makes the period and models so unique, as opposed to the various wartime greys that was pretty much the norm.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2016 7:15 p.m. PST

Personally, I would 'probably' not add the masts to the ships, but only to make storage & transport easier and risk them breaking off.
Wire masts are stronger than the miniatures (and way stronger than WTJ plastic miniatures), so no risk of them breaking off. I add them to all of my steam-age miniatures from 1/3000 scale on up. I add crow's nests to them, too.

I do not put spars on the small scale ships (1/2400 and smaller), no matter how much I'd like to, because those do bend and break quite easily. I also refuse to rig them for the same reason, though I admit this picture makes me reconsider that commitment every time I look at it:

Viking Forge Russian pre-dreadnoughts by War Artisan

It really doesn't take many little touches like masts, rigging, boats, anchors & chains, etc. to make a miniature pop. The deck planking on tbeard's Houston's Majestic above make a world of difference, despite being badly overscale. For miniatures 1/1200 and up I definitely like seeing the deck planking.

One last personal thought;
If your going to do Predred's, painting them in there national colors is part of what makes the period and models so unique, as opposed to the various wartime greys that was pretty much the norm.
I totally agree, except for one small catch: everybody liked the black/white/buff scheme. Argh! grin

I inherited a Great White Fleet painted in the full white-with-buff livery. If I had painted them, I'd probably have used gray, but I like the white a lot more. Many of them are in need of touch-up, so I'll totally go with white and buff again.

- Ix

Part time gamer26 Nov 2016 5:50 a.m. PST

Im guessing that "squadron" photo are 2400's, I dont blame you. I think you'd have to use something as small as 1/32 brass to 'rig' that scale. It would bend in a heart beat.
They do look great thought dont they?

Yellow Admiral
I totally agree, except for one small catch: everybody liked the black/white/buff scheme. Argh!
I know what you mean. To me the Imperial Russian navy most of all, IMHO, seemed as if they just could not make up their mind, what pattern to go with. Some were practically 'All' white, others had the triple color schemes as you mentioned.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2016 11:46 a.m. PST

If you guys care, what you do in the small scales is use (unwound) steel musical instrument strings, such as for a banjo. After cleaning off the oil, you solder yardarms where desired. Tripods can be made using the same method. These are very strong, and would only bend if you hit them with a book.


Charlie 1226 Nov 2016 12:53 p.m. PST

You can also use hard brass (my favorite). Somewhat easier to solder and can be had at any good hobby shop (I have tons of stuff for model railroading…). Steel instrument strings or hard brass; both are equally good. And much better than trying to make do with plastic rod.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2016 4:11 p.m. PST

I've always meant to try soldering the yards onto the masts, but it's a level of effort beyond what I can muster while working for a living. :-\ I may yet get around to trying this for some larger scale projects, but for me personally, there is also the secondary issue of storage. My current storage system is to turn the ship upside down and nestle it into a slot in a foam block. I would have to redo my whole storage system if the masts had yards acting as little hooks on every vessel. This is also a major roadblock to my desire for rigging.

I've tried piano/guitar wire in the past, but decided it was overkill. Like Charlie 12 I've found brass to be a superior material to work with, far easier to file off at the ends than hardened high-tensile steel and plenty strong enough for tiny ships. OTOH, this year I started using the bristles from a steel brush on my 1/2400 DDs, because they're super thin, super strong, and already straight. The brass wire thin enough to look right on a 1/2400 WWI DD is too weak and is easily bent by accident.

- Ix

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2016 4:32 p.m. PST

If you know what you are doing, it is a trivial job to solder a cross-arm to a mast. Basic soldering skills are useful for many hobbies, and there are some good sites on the Internet describing how to be successful at it.

The brass wire thin enough to look right on a 1/2400 WWI DD is too weak and is easily bent by accident.

That's why I use the banjo wire for 1/2400 and larger needing masts. :-) OTOH, I usually don't bother with masts with my 1/6000.


Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2016 9:44 p.m. PST

I know how to solder – not well, but I can do it. It's just too much prep work and effort for what I achieve on miniature ship masts. So far.

I soldered together stacks of thick 2" washers to make heavy steel bases for dogfight gaming (partly because it was a fun project involving a BIG TORCH!!!). If the yards on 1/2400 miniatures ever become important to me, I may just go ahead with soldering them. It's the strongest bond.

- Ix

4th Cuirassier15 Dec 2016 4:55 a.m. PST

Doesn't painting masts black make them look thinner?

Part time gamer23 May 2017 4:04 a.m. PST

Yellow Admiral
.there is also the secondary issue of storage.
My current.. system ..turn the ship upside down and nestle it into a slot in a foam block.
That was/is a major concern of mine as well.
If I 'Ever' get started w/ this period (life's getting in the way again) I had planned on much the same (foam block)
but lay the mini's on its side w/ areas cut to fit the stacks and who knows, perhaps the mast as well.
4th Cuirassier
Doesn't painting masts black make them look thinner?
I would certainly think so.
But you would want to consider; are you going w/ their national peace time paint scheme,
or the general wartime grey. As it may only draw more attention to them.

Queen Catherine30 May 2017 9:43 a.m. PST

I've found that drybrushing black with a little grey gives it more texture and 'pop' than just plain black.

I'm pretty interested in 1/1500 WTJ for Spanish-American War. I'm thinking of having some intervention from the French or Germans.

OTOH, the price drop to 1/1800 is pretty significant, and table space is limited. Hard to decide…

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

Last Sunday at Enfilade I played a pre-dreadnought game with Navis 1/1250 ships, and I was in love with them. I so wish they were easier to get, cheaper, and the range were complete.

I'm finding the small scale WTJ plastic ships to be a frustrating experience. Also at Enfilade, I ran a WWI pre-dreadnought action in the Baltic, and I ended up having to re-purpose my C-in-C 1/2400 Deutschland class battleships as Wittelsbachs because my WTJ Wittelsbachs couldn't be finished in time. The WTJ plastic is fragile. I was unable to drill all the way through the fore/aft mast bases without breaking some off. When I drilled in just a little way and glued the wire mast in, the wire became a huge torque arm on the plastic lower section, which I discovered the hard way is easy to break off at the base with only a slight sideways swipe in a clumsy moment. The wire upper mast really must go all the way through the plastic lower mast and step into the hull to make the miniature durable enough for wargaming.

Hopefully the WTJ ships are stronger in larger scales.

- Ix

Navy Fower Wun Seven Inactive Member02 Jun 2017 1:35 a.m. PST

I just love my WTJ 1:1500 WW1 ships, they are very reasonable priced to- but the postage to Australia is a killer!

I wonder if WTJ will go to WW2 in this scale – you don't need such a huge fleet then!

A C London Inactive Member06 Jun 2017 4:27 a.m. PST

Thanks for posting the comparison pictures. Some lovely models.

One thing, and it's not a criticism of buyers or makers really we each pick the scale that best suits the space we have available and I can see the attraction of each of the new scales, but there does seem to be rather a proliferation.

Naval wargaming is (sadly and oddly) less popular than land wargaming. Wargaming itself isn't exactly a mass hobby. And within that niche of naval wargaming the ironclad/ pre-dreadnought period is (again sadly and oddly) a minority interest.

Yet, taking the broad period from around 1860 to 1905ish we now have:



1:1200/ 1250






1:6000, I think.

The chances of someone (say) moving to a new town finding an opponent with a comparable fleet diminish.

As fleets tend to be cheaper and easier to raise than armies, I guess the norm is for one person to build both sides. It is a bit of a shame, tho, as there is a pleasure in encountering ships new to you.

Doubt there's an answer really to this. 1:1200 becomes impractical after around 1900 unless you have a ballroom or are prepared to wildly fudge scales. Anything much smaller than 1200 becomes awkward for the Civil War and won't make much of a show at a convention. Still, we do seem rather prone to fragment.


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