Help support TMP

"Thoroughbred vs. Brown Water Navy?" Topic

23 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Ironclads (1862-1889) Message Board

Areas of Interest

American Civil War
19th Century

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Workbench Article

Painting the USS Meade

Having scratchbuilt a flying monitor, dampfpanzerwagon Fezian now paints and bases the model.

953 hits since 30 Apr 2019
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2019 6:13 p.m. PST

So I would like to replace my barely passable 1/600th scratch built ACW ships with better models. I did a price comparison between Thoroughbred and Brown Water Navy (3D prints). The Brown Water Navy models are significantly less expensive, but it is hard to tell the level of detail from the photos. Has anyone had any experience with the BWN models that can comment?

ChrisBrantley30 Apr 2019 6:24 p.m. PST

In addition to several Thoroughbred ironclads, I have a half dozen Brown War Navy gunboats, rams and cottonclads primed but not painted, and think they have reasonably good basic detail. If Thoroughbred is your standard for detail…they're not as good. But for me, they're good enough. YMMV.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2019 6:25 p.m. PST

Thoroughbred are exquisitely detailed. I cannot attest to the other manufacturer you mention.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2019 6:32 p.m. PST

Thanks, I think that is what I needed to hear. There a few things BWN does not make, so I'll go to Thoroughbred for them.

Yellow Admiral30 Apr 2019 8:14 p.m. PST

If Thoroughbred is your standard for detail…they're not as good.
Sorry to be a PITA, but that sentence is somewhat ambiguous. From context, I think you mean that the Thoroughbred models are more detailed than those of BWN, but are you actually saying the opposite?

I've never seen a BWN vessel in the flesh (er… plastic?), so I can't judge for myself.

- Ix

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP01 May 2019 1:37 a.m. PST

YA – Many things read out of context will mislead, ask any journalist. In context this is perfectly clear.

Yellow Admiral01 May 2019 2:21 a.m. PST

Ambiguous pronouns can mislead, ask any English teacher. Even in context, they're was not perfectly clear. And I did say I read the sentence in context. Here's how you can tell: the words "From context.." appear in my post.

I'm pretty sure Chris Brantley meant BWM ships aren't as detailed as Thoroughbreds, I just wanted to make sure. When I look at pictures of BWN ships, they don't look as detailed as Thoroughbreds, but Shapeways pictures can be really deceiving.

- Ix

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2019 4:15 a.m. PST

That is exactly the problem. I guess the nature of 3D prints is that it is difficult to photograph them.

Onomarchos01 May 2019 5:56 a.m. PST

I have filled in my collection of CSA River Squadron ships from BWN. Thoroughbred are much more detailed. I'm not sure what you mean when you say BWN are much less expensive. The TB Lexington is $18 USD and the BWN model is $15 USD … and that is the BWN model done in the least detailed WSF plastic. The fine detail plastic is $30 USD!!!.


nnascati Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2019 7:40 a.m. PST

I ordered 13 models. The cost was about $30.00 USD less than ordering from Thoroughbred. I'm not doing public demonstration games, just playing mostly solo. In the end as Chris said they're good enough. I know my scratch builds are definitely not proportioned correctly, I know these will be.

MG Lawson01 May 2019 8:44 a.m. PST

Thanks again for the purchase nnascati! And to everyone else who has gotten some from my store!

The bane of 3D printing through Shapeways is the balance between detail/material/cost. If I add too much detail to the model chances are it won't be able to print in the basic material, so I've tried to strike a good balance, but for sure Thoroughbred have more detail! I'm a big proprietor of making sure it looks good 3 feet away on the gaming table!

I used to not offer the WSF material at all, but Shapeways keeps changing their pricing for the higher quality stuff and it no longer matters if I cut back on material (making models hollow, etc.) to save cost, it's all based on physical dimension the model takes up on their build plates; which is also why I've added the 1/1000 and 1/1200 line.

I hate that most of the 1/600 line are $20 USD-30 dollars…too expensive for gaming, but I'm working on a solution for that.

Thanks again!

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2019 8:51 a.m. PST

I guess I shopped wisely. All of the ones I bought were $15.00 USD or less.

Yellow Admiral01 May 2019 3:13 p.m. PST

MG Lawson: I'd like to get models of the USS Puritan and the Kalamazoo class in 1/1200 scale. Can I convince you to add those to the Brown Water Navy list?

- Ix

Yellow Admiral01 May 2019 3:35 p.m. PST

I said:

When I look at pictures of BWN ships, they don't look as detailed as Thoroughbreds, but Shapeways pictures can be really deceiving.
nnascati said:
That is exactly the problem. I guess the nature of 3D prints is that it is difficult to photograph them.
I don't think so, I think it's just extra work, but some designers do show photos of the models printed and painted. In several cases these have convinced me to buy them; they look far superior to the Shapeways "digital preview". (I really like it when there's something in the photo for scale reference a ruler, a hand, etc.)

- Ix

MG Lawson01 May 2019 4:00 p.m. PST

-Ix: I can definitely do those up, shouldn't take more than a week or so.

And in regards to the other post, I do need to order and paint up some of the miniatures; but with 60 of them in my store that's a lot to order and paint!

Yellow Admiral01 May 2019 5:09 p.m. PST

You could also ask customers for pictures. Most people are happy to show off their work, so that might ease your burden. Even a print wearing only primer is better than the digital previews.

I can definitely do those up, shouldn't take more than a week or so.
That's awesome! I'll order them as soon as they're available. You can email me at Thanks!

- Ix

Sturmdivision03 May 2019 8:44 a.m. PST

I've only bought one Brown Water Navy Miniatures vessel so far: CSS Mississippi. Here are a few pics of her, as received. I chose the highest grade material it was offered in and was pleased with the overall look of the vessel: squat, low-slung and angular, like a menacing river crocodile looking to munch on a couple of Union side-wheelers.

The stack needs to be drilled out a bit or possibly replaced with one made from aluminum tubing. I would also like to see some cannons sticking out of the gun ports and am thinking of snipping off the ends of a few Thoroughbred Figures fortress guns and gluing those on to give her a more battle-ready appearance.

Note: the last photo contrasts Mississippi with a Thoroughbred model of CSS Nashville in the background.

Yellow Admiral09 May 2019 11:50 p.m. PST

If anyone is still watching this thread:

The USS Kalamazoo and USS Puritan both went up on the Brown Water Navy store in Shapeways today. There are 5 new 1/1200 ironclads on the way to my house. grin

- Ix

ChrisBrantley10 May 2019 9:13 a.m. PST

Here is a link to a pic of my latest mixed batch of Brown Water Navy (BWN), Infernal Machines (IM) and Thoroughbred 1/600 ACW naval miniatures.


Left to right, its the CSS Van Dorn (BWM), USS Eastport IM), USS Vindicator (BWN), CSS Barataria (IM), and the balance Thoroughbred's Confederate Gunboat, CSS Arkansas and USS Benton.

Not the best picture, but it illustrates that at a distance, the different makers ships mix reasonably well.

My impression is the quality/detail of BWN has improved from the earliest offerings and am impressed by the new BWN CSS Mississippi. Some of the earlier BWM models are a little more "abstract." Infernal Machines is a step below BWN in detail, but has some interesting offerings. IMO, both BWN and IM are more detailed and cleaner looking than Peter Pig's 1/600s. Thoroughbred still sets the overall high standard for detail although the gap is narrowing.

Rev Zoom17 May 2019 7:21 a.m. PST

Bay Area Yards ships are just a slight step below Thoroughbred in detail, are made out of resin or metal and are very accurate per what drawings and pics are extant. Bay Area Yards is available thru Facebook. That said, my fav – and most of my collection -is Thoroughbred. Now if only Toby would re-issue Ironclads!!

Master Caster Sponsoring Member of TMP19 May 2019 7:37 a.m. PST

Correction to the photo last posted: the background model on the far right is a Cairo class gunboat and not USS Benton.

Yellow Admiral21 May 2019 10:33 p.m. PST

My 1/1200 USS Puritan and four 1/1200 Kalamazoos just arrived today. They are still transluscent, so I can't see the detail, but they have all the right dimensions! Thank you, MG Lawson. I've been wanting this set for a few years now. Woot!

- Ix

MG Lawson23 May 2019 7:20 a.m. PST

Great to hear!

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.