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"WTJ Pre-Dreadnought Fleet Review" Topic

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6,066 hits since 24 Oct 2017
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 7:57 p.m. PST

My 1/2400 scale predreadnought miniatures collection has reached a point where it would be worthwhile to share some photographs of the ships. The ships posted are mostly, but not solely, made by WTJ Miniatures.

I collected and painted predreadnoughts many years ago, back in the early 90s, mostly made by Panzerschiffes, with a few other manufacturers thrown in. My goal was to have reasonably complete fleets for all the major powers around the time of the Russo-Japanese War, but was thwarted by the limited range of vessels available at that time and the absence of any skill at scratch building. I had only Russian, Japanese, Spanish, and American ships, with a smattering of a few others.

Recently, I was tempted by the 3-D printed ships made by War Times Journal (WTJ) and bought some. And then more. The new WTJ-based collection has replaced the old collection, with a few other new additions from GHQ and Tumbling Dice and a few older veterans by Viking Forge and C in C. It is also much larger, and includes several fleets: Russian, Japanese, American, Spanish, French, British, Italian, Austro-Hungarian, and German. Now I dream up all sorts of scenarios to set them at odds with each other.

My painting skills do not really do justice to the WTJ miniatures, but I was unable to persuade the miniatures to paint themselves. So that left me.

The images below do not include destroyers or torpedo boats because my paint work on those is so basic (a bit of grey or black paint).

Another comment: I painted the various fleets in their peacetime colors. Not especially realistic for gaming, but the peacetime livery tends to give the ships the period flavor that attracted me to predreadnoughts in the first place.

Rather than one big post, I will divide the fleets into different posts.

But first: the Russians.

Above: The Russian fleet passes in review. All the miniatures are by WTJ. The gaming mat is by Deep-Cut Studio.

Above: The Battleship Tsessarevitch, followed by the Peresviet and the Poltava. The Protected Cruiser Pallada is on the lower right. The plastic markers are by Litko. (The penny is by the U.S. Mint).

Above: a trio of armored cruisers present at the battle of Ulsan. From left to right, the Rossia, the Gromoboi, and the Rurik.

Above: a close-up of the Tsessarevitch.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 8:35 p.m. PST

The Japanese:

Above: the Japanese fleet passes in review. The fleet includes also the various vessels the Japanese captured during the Russo-Japanese War and incorporated into their navy. For those, I simply purchased extra Russians and painted them in Japanese colors.

The first two ships in the second row from the top are copies of the Greek Armored Cruiser Averoff, painted as Japanese to serve as stand-ins for the Japanese Armored Cruisers/Battlecruisers Ibuki and Kurama. Similarly, the first two ships in the fourth row from the top are models of Edward VII class battleships, used as stand-ins for the very similar Japanese battleships Kashima and Katori, completed shortly after the war with Russia. (My Japanese fleet was collected with an eye towards campaigns both during and after the Russo-Japanese war).

Above: A portion of the Japanese battlefleet closes with the enemy. The Battleship Mikasa is followed by the Asahi, the Shikishima, the Fuji, and then the Armored Cruisers Asama, Tokiwa, Idzumo, and Iwate. Cruising nearby is the Protected Cruiser Idzumi and the reconstructed ironclad Fuso.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 9:10 p.m. PST

The Americans:

Above: the U.S. Fleet passes in review. I took some liberties with photo editing, but I thought you would rather see the horizon in the distance rather than the wall of my man-cave.

In addition to WTJ miniatures there are a sizable number of GHQ models in this picture, including all of the ships in the fifth and sixth rows from the top, except the rear two ships in the sixth row. Those ships, the battleships Idaho and Mississippi, are by Tumbling Dice, each sporting a spare GHQ cage mainmast I attached.

The photo above also has two versions of each of the six armored cruisers of the Tennessee/Memphis class, one set by GHQ, and another by WTJ. I've retained both in the collection because the WTJ version is set up for pole masts, whereas the GHQ version has the later installed cage foremast.

Above: the battleships Illinois, Kearsarge, and Iowa.

Above: a close-up of the Kearsarge. Please note the flying deck and the elevated fixtures for the ship's-boats linked into the flying deck. It's really impressive what 3-D printing can accomplish.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 9:21 p.m. PST

The Spanish:

Above: The Spanish fleet passes in review.

Above: The three Infanta Maria Teresa class armored cruisers plus the Cristobal Colon (second from right) engage U.S. warships seen at top.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 9:45 p.m. PST

The French:

Above: the French fleet passes in review. I have an extra example of the Carnot posing as the Henri IV -- rather unconvincingly as it does not resemble the Henri IV, but then again nothing really resembles the Henri IV.

Sadly, my French fleet lacks protected cruisers. Fortunately, I have lots of extra flags (all flags in these postings, by the way, are fold-over stickers purchased from Tumbling Dice) and cruisers can be borrowed from other fleets in a pinch.

Above: the Battleship Bouvet (bottom left) leads the Charles Martel and the Jaureguiberry. At top right is the Armored Cruiser Gloire being followed by the Coast Defense Ship Jemmapes.

Above: the same ships as the previous image, now seen from above.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 10:26 p.m. PST

The British:

Above: the absurdly large British Royal Navy passes in review.

This was the first fleet I painted. Although satisfied at first, after painting the other fleets and getting somewhat better through trial and error I was no longer content with the work I had done. So I soaked them in Simple Green and removed the paint with a toothbrush and a tiny pick. Then painted them. Again. Which will forever underscore in my mind the size of the Edwardian era British fleet.

The above miniatures are mostly WTJ, but the rear four ships in the sixth row from the top are by Tumbling Dice: the battleships Swiftsure and Triumph, and the turret rams Conqueror and Hero.

Six Duncan class battleships are being represented by six models of the similar (British built) Japanese battleship Mikasa. (Happily, WTJ's website recently announced that the Duncan class will be available soon).

Above: the Armored Cruiser Cressy, one of my favorites.

Above: at top, the Second Class Cruiser Eclipse; middle row left, the Battleship Queen, followed by the Formidable, the Majestic, and the Canopus. Bottom row, Armored Cruiser Cressy and First Class Protected Cruiser Diadem.

Above: Close-up of the First Class Protected Cruiser Diadem.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 10:47 p.m. PST

The Italians:

Above: the Italian Fleet passes in review.

Along with the proper Italian vessels there are some substitutes in use here. I have extra copies of the Illustrious and the Caesar serving as stand-ins for the battleships Regina Margherita and Benedetto Brin, and extra copies of the Centurion and the Barfleur posing as the Ammiraglio di Saint Bon and Emanuele Filiberto. Also, there are three Tumbling Dice miniatures of the Colossus representing the three Ruggiero di Lauria class battleships -- which they resemble only vaguely as a result of both classes being central battery turret ships. The different style of the three Tumbling Dice ships (second row from top, rear three ships) is evident from the photo.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 10:51 p.m. PST

The Austro-Hungarians:

Above: the Austro-Hungarian fleet passes in review.

Mr Byron24 Oct 2017 11:14 p.m. PST

Finally, the Germans:

Above: the German fleet passes in review.

Above: Top row left, the Battleship Brandenburg followed by the Light Cruiser Bremen. Middle row, the Battleship Pommern followed by the armored cruisers Roon and Prinz Adalbert. Bottom right, Coast Defense Battleship Siegfried.

Above: having fun with a photo editor. Among other issues, I wouldn't recommend such a close formation. Or letting me near a photo editor.

I hope you enjoyed the fleet review.

Ed von HesseFedora25 Oct 2017 3:12 a.m. PST

Wow! Just…WOW!

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 4:07 a.m. PST

An unbelievable quantity of quality painted models! I only wish I could paint ships as well as you do.

I also like the mat that the ships are displayed upon. Where did it come from?

Kevin C25 Oct 2017 6:13 a.m. PST

Very impressive. This is my favorite period for naval warfare.

boy wundyr x25 Oct 2017 6:44 a.m. PST

Thanks for posting, that is an awesome collection. I've been tempted by pre-dreads but haven't jumped in, in part because I've waffled between scales. I agree with the peacetime colouration too, don't let anyone talking you into repainting them :-) (again, in the case of the British).

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 7:19 a.m. PST

Fantastic work!!

The 1:2400 scale ships are, in my opinion, the best scale for this period as you can almost play with a ground scale of 1:2400 as well.

My Russo-Japanese War fleets have seen a number of engagements.


Big Red Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 7:34 a.m. PST

"The gaming mat is by Deep-Cut Studio." as the caption to the first Russian Fleet photo states. Thanks Jim for pointing this out to us reading challenged. :)

DeRuyter Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 12:09 p.m. PST

Amazing! I like the peace time paint jobs too, in particular because I am often driving by USS Olympia in Philadelphia.

The WTJ ships have me sorely tempted to jump into this period.

colkitto25 Oct 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

Yes, that is very impressive. I hesitate to ask how long it took you – or how much it cost!

Tony S25 Oct 2017 2:03 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing your impressive collection with everyone! My little 1:6000 (in two ways) collection pales in comparison. I only dabble in pre-dreadnaughts, so figured tiny was good, for budget, storage and my glacial painting speeds.

Your photos really make me regret not going for 1:2400!

KniazSuvorov25 Oct 2017 4:49 p.m. PST

Your collection is amazing!

We're not worthy…

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 5:20 p.m. PST

I'm not hesitating. How long did it take you to make this?

I've considered pulling the trigger on this project many times. I'm not sure it's helping my resistance to see the whole thing laid out in front of me in full, painted glory.

I'm also curious how you've solved the WTJ warping problem. None of these ships are based, so there's nothing keeping them straight. Have none of them warped?

- Ix

Mr Byron25 Oct 2017 10:40 p.m. PST

@ Yellow Admiral

Regarding time: I've been painting the miniatures for two years, (I started ordering ships a year before that) with most of the real progress in the past five months when I got more space cleared out in my den and put in a proper painting desk. I use assembly-line techniques, normally churning out ships in batches of at least 24 at a time. Once I got rolling I could manage about two such batches in a month. (Note: I'm not done really; I finally have my backlog completed but WTJ keeps releasing more ships).

Estimating the number of hours is more difficult. A lot of hours I'm sure, but I can only focus on detailed painting for short periods and there are distractions (such as a six-year-old) that tend to draw me away (not that I'm complaining). Perhaps averaging about 40 minutes per ship? (A very rough estimate). I also spent a lot of time in tangentially related activities such as shopping for paints, brushes, and so forth, and research.

Regarding embarking on the same project: If I remember correctly from your website ('The Yellow Admiralty' is a long-time resident of my "favorites" tab -- and thanks for the helpful house rules by the way) your pre-dreadnought miniatures are in 1/3000 scale. WTJ's 3-D printed ships come in several scales, including 1/3000. You could simply supplement your existing collection at whatever pace you wish -- they would work with your present ships rather than being an "orphan" scale in the event you don't complete the project. (I stuck with 1/2400 so that I could also use GHQ miniatures).

If the trigger you're thinking of pulling is simply painting your own backlog of ships, then you might as well.:)

Regarding warping: I've read on these forums about some WTJ miniatures not lying flat unless set on a base, but I have not had that problem at all. Perhaps the quality of the printing has improved?

Mr Byron25 Oct 2017 11:03 p.m. PST

@ Big Red,

Given the prominence of the gaming mat in the photos, I should have included a link to the product at Deep Cut Studio. Here it is: link

They come in three different materials. I chose a "mousepad"-like material that lies perfectly flat with no creases. They did a custom order for me with dimensions that nicely fit my gaming table. I'm very happy with the mat.

yarkshire gamer26 Oct 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

Nicely done, always love a good Naval collection.

I used a few WTJ Ships for my Jutland Project, great ships.

Regards Ken

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 5:06 p.m. PST

The red underwater zone under the waterline is a nice touch that adds some flair. I'll try that.

I also totally agree with you about the national livery in this period, though I may try wartime colors for the Japanese and Port Arthur Russians.

Are these viewable directly on imgur? I'd like to bookmark them. Posts to TMP have a way of breaking or disappearing.

- Ix

Mr Byron26 Oct 2017 8:59 p.m. PST

@yarkshire gamer,

Thanks! I'd love to see one of the displays you put on of your Jutland fleets, but that pesky Atlantic Ocean keeps getting in my way. :)

@ Yellow Admiral,

Yes, I've been pleased with the effect of the red waterline marking -- it seems to make the miniatures visually 'pop.' Also, the splash of color adds to the Victorian appearance and often ties in with red in the flags. (Of course it also makes it look like the waterlines are somewhere other than where the waterlines actually should be, but I accept the trade-off).

I should also note that I use a "paint-pen" placed partly in contact with the bottom edge of the ship to make the line perfectly straight. An ordinary ink marker is more apt to smudge and won't show up well against a dark hull.


Wow, thank you for your flattering comments! Not that I mean to close the book on further comments; you can praise me all you want, I'm tough enough to take it :)

justBill27 Oct 2017 8:07 p.m. PST

Holy Underwear! Awesome collection and amazing work!

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 3:36 p.m. PST

Kul Wahad!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2018 8:32 a.m. PST

I just had to come back to your post. I've finally taken the plunge and ordered a few WTJ 1:2400 pre-dreadnoughts. They will augment (or make obsolete, maybe) my Panzerschiffe RJW fleets.

I can only hope that my paint job is even half as good as yours.


Mr Byron08 Mar 2018 9:01 p.m. PST

You're very kind. Please post pictures! (Or link to your blog).

Ferreo Cuore28 Apr 2018 7:08 p.m. PST

American fleet pic, fifth row back, 2nd ship from left…you missed a spot.


Digby Green27 Aug 2019 1:32 a.m. PST

@Mr Byron
Just saw this post
Such dedication.

"The absurdly large British Fleet"

You took a while painting them!!
Imagine the British tax payer paying for them!
Makes one proud to be British

Zen Ghost Fezian31 Aug 2019 8:47 a.m. PST

@Mr Byron,
Absolutely wonderful! Very nice work and beautiful collection.

You should write a Workshop article to teach us your painting process & technique.


Mr Byron02 Sep 2019 6:48 p.m. PST

@ Digby Green

Makes one proud to be British

You SHOULD be proud to be British!

Thank you for your kind words!

Mr Byron02 Sep 2019 6:56 p.m. PST

@ Zen Ghost

You should write a Workshop article to teach us your painting process & technique.

I'm flattered by the suggestion. I'm far from a master, but I have learned how to paint presentable ships en masse with reasonable speed. Perhaps that would be useful.

And thank you too for your kind words!

Part time gamer25 Jan 2020 10:52 p.m. PST

Holy Mac'a Nolie. I have no idea what that means, so lets try KUDO's!
I recently finally placed my first WTJ Predred order. It will be a limited but hope a fair sized collection. Im starting off w/ the US and Russian.

Mr Byron,
I too intend to go with the Peacetime colors. Like you, its a big part of what attracted me to the period. To look better on the table (not due to my skill) I chose 1800 scale. Im hopping the slightly larger scale will help make painting a bit easier.

I have to ask; Have you taken a 'head count' of the number of "warships" you have, just in the photos?

Thanks for taking the time to post these.

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