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"A 4 year old and Napoleonic ships don't mix..." Topic

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1,056 hits since 7 Mar 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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14Bore07 Mar 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

Awww, sounded like this could be interesting

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

In my minds eye, this is what happens.


I have had my 3 year old great niece absolutely destroy my ancient Gallic army because her mother thought it was okay for her to play with my "toy" soldiers. She had no permission to do so and even had to pull them out of my closet to do this, grrr. I don't fault the child, the mother was clueless about what she had done and wasn't the least bit sorry. The Roman army never caused the carnage that the 3 year did.

willthepiper07 Mar 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

I've got a three-year-old and a five year-old in the house. Sadly, this means that 'papa's toy soldiers' are permanently confined to barracks, despite all the pleading by the 5-y-o. Looking forward to when they'll be old enough to treat the miniatures with sufficient care! In the meantime, better safe than sorry :)

(5-y-o has a few of his own soldiers to play with. He's a big fan of Peter the Great, so GNW is on the horizon for us)

Nick Bowler07 Mar 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

I had my 3 year old daughter come up to me proudly with a unit of hoplites where she had broken off every spear. "Daddy – look what I've done". She is 22 now and we both joke about it.

I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 11:27 a.m. PST

Hey everyone, sorry for the confusing beginning, there were hiccups with TMP while I was doing the post, and then got distracted by stuff.

Here is the story below!

My 4 year old had an accident with my Napoleonic ships..

Turns out,wasn't as bad as it first seemed.

laugh along at the blog link


Colonel Bogey07 Mar 2018 12:15 p.m. PST

Ouch – but they are (or were…) might fine-looking ships!

That basing is visually very effective too.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 12:20 p.m. PST

Having had four boys and two grandsons never had a problem, but probably because I made sure they had lots of their own soldiers

The only thing was when No 2 son decided he would start painting up whatever soldiers he wanted – turns out he is a better painter than me so this worked out OK!

mollinary07 Mar 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

Looks like a hard fought action!

Micman Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

Funny those look kinda like my AOS ships after many moves.

Yellow Admiral07 Mar 2018 1:26 p.m. PST

Kids aren't the only danger. As a forty-something, I converted an entire box of 2 dozen men o' war into wreckage in a single drop. Putting things up high isn't always putting them out of danger…. Years later, I'm still fixing that mess.

- Ix

PS: I suppose it was really three drops first the box of ships dropped, and then my jaw dropped, then my stomach dropped.

Garde de Paris07 Mar 2018 2:57 p.m. PST

Are you sure those ships weren't "stomped" by those charging "sea horses" at the upper right of the picture – not by the 4-year-old?


whitejamest07 Mar 2018 3:03 p.m. PST

This is all giving me too much anxiety, I'm outta here!

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 3:32 p.m. PST

Thanks for comments and the laughs.

so far, games with daughter #1 are focused on the 'princess candyland' level, but I'm grooming her slowly.

I'm sure one day when she's older I'll catch her actually playing with them versus trying to stand on them. : )


Dynaman878907 Mar 2018 5:17 p.m. PST

4 year olds don't mix with ANYTHING fragile, and quite a bit that is non-fragile too.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member08 Mar 2018 2:33 a.m. PST

We can now reveal the real reason that Napoleon failed to invade Great Britain – a four year-old stood on his fleet (you could have gone with "scuppered sails", btw).

Well done for not losing it. My mother used to give some old (they'd be antique now…had they survived) Britain's lead soldiers to my sister and brother (9 and 11 years my junior) to play with. She actually had to reach up to the highest bookshelf in my room to get them down for them.

And after a shopping trip with my great aunt, a consummate wind-up merchant, my mother came back home in a strop and decided to throw all my Airfix soldiers in the bin. The ones she didn't find straight away followed over the succeeding weeks invariably whilst I was out at school.

And she wonders why I no longer speak to her……

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Mar 2018 4:04 a.m. PST

And then there was the time my then 10 yr old son caused four shelves of fully rigged 1/600 European transitional age ironclads to collapse and pancake. Foolishly I'd put something on the top shelf to keep it from him.

whitejamest08 Mar 2018 6:39 a.m. PST

All these horror stories are making me wonder what the success stories look like. What are some ways you guys have been storing delicate, rigged ship models that have definitely protected them from destruction? Not just luck saving them from disaster, but packaging that has positively saved them from a fall or terrible jostling?

I put magnetic layers on the bottoms of their bases and store them in a container with a flex-steel bottom layer. It keeps them from sliding around, but I am painfully aware that if the box dropped it would be all over for them. I don't have any kids yet, but one day that will be an issue.

I am considering looking into purpose-made miniatures storage boxes with big foam slots. Any of you guys doing this?

SgtPrylo08 Mar 2018 9:05 a.m. PST

I use a similar system to whitejamest, but the boxes I use are the plastic-type shoe boxes with the closing lids. The steel bottom is sheet metal cut to size. I can turn the box sideways (not brave enough to try upside down) and the ships don't move. If that sheet metal ever comes loose from the bottom of the box the system will fail, but for now, I have to basically pry the ships off the bottom. They don't move, and I can get nine ships per box.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 10:25 a.m. PST

@Supercilious: Scuppered sails, good one!

I'm still working ion ideal storage. The ships are glued to the ocean base, which in turn is glued to a magnet from Shogun Miniatures, I notice none of those broke off.

These are placed in a plastic storage tub, the kind you get from Target. The bottom on the tub has a sheet of foamcore cut to fit, and on the foamcore are small pieces of metal.

I want to do one long metal sheet instead of the foam core, but can't find a sheet to save my life.

Like SgtPrylo, the ships are pretty stable and can be turned on it's side without issue. However the system could not survive doing a somersault in the air and landing (hard) on it's top. I'm surprised there wasn't more damage actually.

BTW SgtPrylo, I'll be placing an order soon for those replacement ratlines! : )


Yellow Admiral08 Mar 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

The usual way to protect against side and top impacts is by embedding the models in foam, which is not really feasible with rigged models.

Rather than trying to find (or cut!) a sheet of steel large enough to line your box, you can use magnetically receptive materials like these:
This stuff cuts with scissors, and if you're careful and shop around, you can find it without the vinyl backing and with a self-adhesive side.

Of course, you could just use cheap steel containers like ammo cans or steel toolboxes. Check Harbor Freight for cheap ones (but make sure they have good latches).

You can also abandon magnetism and experiment with locking down the bases inside the box. You can fabricate slots the ships' bases slide into, or use the lid to compress foam strips against the bases from the top, or place the ships upside down into holes that only touch the bases (not the models) and lock them in place with the lid pressing against the base bottoms… etc.

- Ix

Bozkashi Jones10 Mar 2018 3:28 p.m. PST

I must admit I've been lucky; Henry and I started wargaming together when he was about 7 with 1:3000 Navwar now those Bleeped texts you can't break!

He's now nearly 11 and we've played AoS, WW1, WW2 and modern. The risk is worth the reward I now have a wonderful opponent with whom to share many happy hours wargaming. Today it was Denmark Straits he lost the Bismarck to a magazine explosion, oh! The irony!

And don't feel sorry for the 10 year old he usually beats me!


whitejamest11 Mar 2018 7:33 a.m. PST

The more I think about it the more I think I will need to go down the route Yellow Admiral mentions, locking down the models inside a box.

One method I've been thinking about is to use a shoe box and poke properly spaced holes in the bottom for twist ties to go through, going over the base inside the box and tying underneath it. And then the shoe box goes into a larger box filled with spongy packing material. Hopefully that would keep everything anchored in case of a fall, and absorb some of the shock.

I envy your situation there Bozkashi Jones. And it's very big of you to, uh, let him win….

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