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"Speed Painting Tutorial - 1/1000 Houston's Ironclads" Topic

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1,698 hits since 14 Apr 2016
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tbeard1999 Inactive Member15 Apr 2016 7:00 a.m. PST

At my website, I've posted a speed painting tutorial for some 20 years old 1/1000 Houston's ironclads. I cranked out 6 ships in one hour.

Some photos:






home page:
tutorial: link

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2016 7:50 a.m. PST

Great looking ships. However, did you know you left the Cowl vents off of the CSS Albemarle? If you need some drop me a line and I will post them to you.


Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2016 7:52 a.m. PST


Drop me a line I would like to see about using your photos on the web site. I would compensate you of course.


tbeard1999 Inactive Member15 Apr 2016 7:58 a.m. PST

Email sent. I didn't see any vents in the package.

tbeard1999 Inactive Member15 Apr 2016 8:01 a.m. PST

Oh, I forgot to mention that, as always, I paint for tabletop use. These closeup photos can exaggerate flaws, so the squadron photos give a much better sense of how they look on the table. I'm quite happy with how they look.

I'll later add flags and (maybe) some rigging.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2016 9:24 a.m. PST

Nice work.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member15 Apr 2016 11:26 a.m. PST

Thanks for the tutorial, I have some in the queue and I'll use that to get them done faster(-ish).


Yellow Admiral15 Apr 2016 11:51 a.m. PST

At the end of your tutorial you mention ordering some Thoroughbred 1/1200 ironclads. Those are indeed very nice, but as you guessed they won't mix with your Houston's models. The Houston's ironclads are (very roughly) 1/1000 scale as you've correctly surmised, not 1/1200 scale as advertised now on

I have a number of each brand now: Houston's, Navwar, Skytrex/Red Eagle, Thoroughbred, and Langton, and can state unequivocally that the Houston's are physically much larger than the other brands, many of the larger vessels being more than an inch longer. I decided I could either commit to buying everything from the Houston's range, or start over in 1/1200 scale. Since the Houston's range isn't growing anymore and I also want euroclads and steam-powered sailing ships, I started over. If I were just playing ACW, I might stick with the Houston's they look nice enough, the extra size is actually a boon for gaming, and it's hard to beat the prices from

The other manufacturers in 1/1200 scale all mix reasonably well on the tabletop, close enough for wargaming, though I would suggest buying all vessels of the same class from the same manufacturer (except I might mix Langton and Thoroughbred) to avoid emphasizing the minor differences in proportions and detail.

- Ix

David Manley15 Apr 2016 12:18 p.m. PST

I must admit, I've retired most of my Houstons ACW models due to the disparity in size between them and my Skytrex/Navwar/Langtons. Repurposed might be a better description, as some still reside here as part of my Chilean and Peruvian collection :)

Yellow Admiral15 Apr 2016 1:09 p.m. PST

I'll later add flags and (maybe) some rigging.
They turned out nice as is, but flags and pipe-cleaner funnel smoke would make them even better for very little extra effort, which fits right into the speed painting theme. In one sitting you could make about a dozen flagstaffs, a few dozen pipe cleaner smoke clouds, and drill enough holes to fit them all. If you don't glue in the flags and smoke, you can even use them as props to denote capture (just change flags) and speed settings (more smoke, less smoke, straight vertical smoke, no smoke, etc.).

Rigging would probably make the models slightly better, but at quite a bit more extra effort and greater fragility. If I personally decided to go that far, I'd also weather them (rust streaks, water stains, weathered decks, etc.), use cotton or batting for funnel smoke, and maybe replace the boats with better ones. But now I've steamed straight out of Speed Painting Bay and into the Sea of Details. grin

- Ix

tbeard1999 Inactive Member15 Apr 2016 1:33 p.m. PST

Yellow Admiral --

Thanks for the kind words and advice. Given the incompatibility of the other ranges, I'm leaning towards staying with Stone Mountain. (A) the price is ridiculously reasonable; (B) they do seem to have a pretty complete line; and (C) I can find some 1/1000 Euroclads (love the term) from Great Endeavors (see below).

I have some of the Houston's Ships pre-dreadnoughts available from Great Endeavors link


They are roughly 1/1000 and they have some pre-pre-dreadnoughts (Gloire, Warrior, Provence) that should scale with the Civil War models. Their pre-pre-dreads run about $10 USD each. When I get home, I'll post a photo of HMS Majestic with the ironclads.

tbeard1999 Inactive Member15 Apr 2016 1:41 p.m. PST

Oh, can anyone point me to a how-to tutorial on doing rigging? I have little patience, so fast and simple is best :)

tbeard1999 Inactive Member16 Apr 2016 7:44 a.m. PST

Comparison of ironclads 1/1000 with 1/1000 Houston's Ships HMS Majestic:


Yellow Admiral17 Apr 2016 8:58 p.m. PST

There are occasionally rigging tutorials posted in the Age of Sail board. I posted links to a few of them on this page of my naval gaming web site.

- Ix

Alan Lauder11 Jul 2016 4:46 a.m. PST

Yellow Admiral, do you have a picture of an example of the pipe cleaner smoke in action? I'd like to give that a go.

Yellow Admiral22 Jul 2016 3:15 p.m. PST

Sorry I didn't notice your question until today, but in any case I don't have any photos of anything to show. :-(

There are lots of pictures of ACW ironclads with funnel smoke in the Sail & Steam Navies Yahoo Group photos section, but you have to have a Yahoo account to see them. The S&SN author (Dave Brandon) uses "bump chenille" pipe cleaners like these:

- Ix

Part time gamer08 Jun 2017 3:24 p.m. PST

I have some of the Houston's Ships pre-dreadnoughts available from Great Endeavors link
Those look great, Well Done.
The scale is a bit larger than I'd prefer, but you cant deny they look amazing on the table grin

Now Im sure many have already found this out, but I was surfing for info & more images of "Houstons ships" 1/1000 scale and was sad to discover "that particular link is no longer up". (

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