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"Battle of the Big Fleets 28mm Pre-Dreadnoughts at Spartacon" Topic

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2,324 hits since 22 Jan 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Anton Ryzbak22 Jan 2017 10:10 p.m. PST

I ran my Prussian and French fleets at each other at Spartacon on 21JAN17. Ten players, eleven ships, two gamemasters and about a thousand square feet of playing area. It was a blast!

Take a look if you wish


Comments, suggestions or ridicule all welcomed!

Glengarry522 Jan 2017 10:34 p.m. PST

28mm naval? Awesome!
Needs crewmen :)!

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member23 Jan 2017 12:25 a.m. PST

Love these.

Ghecko Inactive Member23 Jan 2017 2:30 a.m. PST

Wow. very nice.

MacrossMartin Inactive Member23 Jan 2017 2:45 a.m. PST

Congratulations! Speaking as a fellow convention game builder / painter / writer / wrangler / organiser / umpire, I hope you got a rightly deserved round of applause for your hard work and the splendid results.

The ships look superb. Almost a 'Little Wars at Sea' quality to them which I find delightful.

But oh, for a blue carpet! :D

steamingdave4723 Jan 2017 2:48 a.m. PST

Nice, but 28mm? That is about 1/56 scale. Typical dreadnought around 75 feet beam and 400 feet long, so by my ( very) rough calculation we should be seeing ships around 15 inches wide and 7 feet or so long. Hard to judge, but unless the spectators are giants, the ships in the pics look a tad smaller.

DLIinVSF Inactive Member23 Jan 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

I lift my hat to you Sir,Bravo!

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2017 7:51 a.m. PST

Steaming, and how much floor space does the typical gamer have?

Around fifteen long by three or four across is ideal.

Anton, a few years ago I did a number of such ships for colonial gaming. I love the work but demand close up pictures of the ships! You can never have enough tumble home and ram bow,,,.

Is that a torpedo tube???
Torpedoes, schmorpedoe,,, you high tech guys will be the death of me,,,.

Very nice work.

Jamesonsafari Inactive Member23 Jan 2017 8:02 a.m. PST


TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2017 11:55 a.m. PST

Major General Tremorden Rederring:

"Real ships and boats are much larger than most people think…

Since we cannot make it realistic, we have to settle for making it visually appealing and useful as a game element….

Moral: be ruthless with your ship sizes."

Anton: Thanks! At least the swirls in the carpet sort of look like water. ;->=


dmebust Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2017 1:18 p.m. PST

I love it! A very angry looking sea scape you are fighting on!

Anton Ryzbak23 Jan 2017 2:56 p.m. PST

Steaming, they are caricatures of Pre Dreadnoughts, any larger is simply insane

twotroop, you are right, we can only use these in a venue like Spartacon, or at my wife's dance studio or when I can impose on my friend Tom From Texas (he has a ballroom!!!) There are lots of detail pictures on my blog, I have a page just under the header entitled "Adventure in Blue Board and Foam core" where you can see each one being built. I will be posting a more comprehensive set of photos without the blow-by-blow in the near future.

TheBeast, you quote my Master the great Major General!

Anton Ryzbak23 Jan 2017 2:58 p.m. PST

Glengarry, I actually have the crews, they are the one thing that I forgot to bring! Mostly from TVAG but some Perrys and Revirisco as well :(

Hussar123 Inactive Member23 Jan 2017 3:43 p.m. PST

Who could possibly ridicule such a great looking game? I just wish I could witness the game live.

huron72523 Jan 2017 7:17 p.m. PST

Oh my that is too damn cool! I want to play that next year.

Twoball Cane23 Jan 2017 9:45 p.m. PST

Whoah that looks like a lot of fun. Amazing boats.

Anton Ryzbak23 Jan 2017 10:49 p.m. PST

Tons more photos of the game are posted here by my assistant GM


troopwo Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2017 9:33 a.m. PST

Thanks for the newer uploads!

steamingdave4724 Jan 2017 2:37 p.m. PST

@Anton Ryzak-" caricatures of pre- dreadnoughts"???? So not 28 mm at all and sticking 28mm crew on them would not really be correct, would it?
The ships look fine, very nicely modelled, and I am sure you had a great game. I have no problems with scaling down, just with your description of them. I play with 1/3000 ships on 10 x5 table and have 1/600 models for display, even with the 1/3000 ships, the models are out of scale with the space available

@troopoo, what is the point of your comment about floor space average gamer has to play. Was it a response to my perfectly reasonable querying of the actual scale of those very nice ships?

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2017 5:10 p.m. PST

Not at all.
Everyone should have access to a seventy acre floor, use binoculars to spot their opponents figures and talk to your gaming opponent via two way radio in order to keep perspective on scale.

You do realize that most of us game for fun, right?

Reminds me of the model makers defense against a copyright lawsuit from Boeing on a model of a 747.
",,,most people can't afford a real one and they don't fit on a desk."

steamingdave4725 Jan 2017 4:01 a.m. PST

Troopwo- I only wargame for fun, but I do not describe my 6mm Napoleonics as 54 mm.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 7:45 a.m. PST

And, you'll notice, none of the bridges would work for any smaller figures. They 'work' only with 25-28mm figs.

So, no, not reasonable. But I do give up in your case, as should we all.

Thanks, Anton! Suffice to say, vicarious pleasure attained!


Murvihill25 Jan 2017 10:16 a.m. PST

The length and width of the vessels may not be at 28mm scale, but the height certainly is. Calling these caricatures of ships at 28mm scale seems like the best compromise.

Early morning writer Inactive Member25 Jan 2017 10:51 p.m. PST

And the true test of game master is adjusting on the fly when leaving important elements at home on the day – the show must still go on!

MGT is THE source of inspiration for so much since it debuted. Cheers for the way back machine – and the original galvanized engine! Only true MGT aficionados will know that one.

steamingdave4727 Jan 2017 4:35 a.m. PST

@Murvihill- OK, I'll go with " Caricatures".
For all those who got their knickers in a twist ( "panties in a wad" for transatlantic cousins, who seem to have been most offended) over my query re scale, just check out the last line of the OPs original post.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

Quite right. Anton showed no umbrage. I certainly was in no sense defending him, and he needed no defending.

I was personally offended by the apparent strawman attacks, and offer my apology to Anton for intruding on his thread with such.


Anton Ryzbak30 Jan 2017 4:39 p.m. PST


Thanks for the back-stopping there Beast, but I have never concerned myself over such issues. The "modelers" that use 1/2400 scale models (or smaller) and claim "accuracy" but then don't seem to notice that the gun barrels would scale out to ten times the actual size, or don't notice that the planks on the deck would be nine feet wide or seem to understand that (even in that tiny scale) the model is nearly a half-mile long in relation to the surface scale are of no concern to me. Wargaming is a series of compromises and the weirdness that occurs in the relationship between the nominal surface scale and the figures has always been an issue. You either accept it or you don't. I'm too busy having fun. We ARE grown-up men playing with toy soldiers for Heaven's sake!

Part time gamer08 May 2017 3:27 a.m. PST

I really enjoy Predread gaming, for the look Im debating WTJ 1800 or even 1500 scale ships.

Anton Ryzbak
Wargaming is a series of compromises ..that occurs in the relationship between the nominal surface scale and the figures..
BFG is a perfect example: IIRC it was pointed out;
IF the models were built to scale in relation to space.
'That spot on top of the stand (which holds the miniature), would be the 'actual Ship".

The main purpose of our hobby is (or Should Be) friends getting together to have FUN.

And this game looks like it was a Blast!

Bozkashi Jones08 May 2017 6:30 a.m. PST


Looks tremendous fun – been contemplating similar in the garden with nerf guns and turrets/funnels that be knocked off.

I salute you Sir!


Anton Ryzbak08 May 2017 5:34 p.m. PST

The construction techniques would be easily adapted. You might want to base the models on 1/4 inch plywood to keep them in place if they are to be subjected to actual projectiles.

Snowshoe09 May 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

A wonderfully, lovely spectacle.
Cheers and Kudos!

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 8:05 a.m. PST

Very nice indeed. The carpet was a little bit of a distraction. I would use boards cut into large sections and paint it too look it the open water or blue carpet that you can roll up.

Even just solid blue would be better than that carpet. It looked you had plenty of lighting. So many of the hotel ballrooms have half their bulbs missing and it is to dark to really appreciate the game.

Years ago at a convention in Oklahoma City I saw a 1:35(?) scale game between the Kearsarge and the Alabama. They were those giant $200.00 USD each models. On the first turn of the game the Kearsarge fired the games first broadside into the Alabama. It hit the Alabama's magazine. The resulting explosion blew the ship in half.

Anton Ryzbak09 May 2017 9:10 a.m. PST

At least it was the first turn, they could re-start right away. Those models must have been quite a spectacle, I have never had the guts to do full-rigged ships for wargaming.

Part time gamer14 May 2017 2:49 p.m. PST

Years ago… I saw a 1:35(?) scale game between the Kearsarge and the Alabama. They were those giant $200.00 USD USD each models.
1/35? Man I would have loved to have seen that game!

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