This is the place to check out what I'm currently working on, or to find out more about how I do things. Below, on the left, you'll find pictures of my latest project; on the right are links to tutorials that explain my techniques in more detail.
Two new additions, both famous ships. One is an Enterprise class 28-gun frigate . . . the same class of ship to which the HMS Surprise belongs, which was the ship from the novel and movie "Master and Commander". The other is the largest ship of the line to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, the imposing Santisima Trinidad.
The latest ships to be added to the Napoleonic series: an American 44-gun frigate and a 112 gun ship of the line modelled after the powerful Santa Ana.
I'll be using what little free time I can scrape up over the holidays to work on the initial kits of a new series. Here's a photo of one of the first prototypes:
The new Napoleonic Series of ships are dual scale; each kit includes the parts to build the model in a variety of paint schemes, in either 1:600 or 1:900 scale. Here's an example of what the 64 gun ship of the line looks like in both scales:
See the catalogue on the Napoleonic Ships page.
Yes, I have finally given in and started doing models for the Napoleonic Period, easily the most popular period in Age of Fighting Sail wargaming. These kits will be buildable in either 1:900 or 1:600 scale, without rescaling; parts for both will be included in the kit.
Some prototypes of the fourth kit in the new set of Anglo-Dutch ships . . . a Dutch jacht! This kit is designed to be built in either 1:300 or 1:600 scale, so it will be compatible with the planned series of Mediterranean ships (which will be designed this same way).
I made some modifications to a few of the AWI kits for a mid-eighteenth century scenario I plan to run at this year's Seven Years War convention, which will feature a Royal Navy squadron taking on a bunch of French corsairs. You can read a full account of the action on the Reports page.
The first model in the next set of Anglo-Dutch ships is the Sovereign of the Seas. This kit represents her as she was built; the next kit in the series will be the rebuilt and renamed version, Royal Sovereign, as she appeared after her 1660 refit (and in which incarnation she did most of her fighting). There are a few more pictures of her on my Flickr page.
The next addition to the 1:900 series is a smallish East Indiaman. She is flagged as British here, but would be equally useful to represent Dutch or French vessels of this type.
Before getting too deep into the next part of the Anglo-Dutch series, I wanted to add a couple models to the 1:900 scale 18th century ships of the line. The first to be completed is a 100-gunner, based on HMS Victory (as she was built, 1757).
I'm well into the 1:600 scale Anglo-Dutch series. A suggestion on a discussion board on TMP led me to wonder just how re-scalable these would be, so I printed one out at 200% and doubled the thickness of the laminated parts. Beyond that, I just followed the instructions as-is, and I'm very pleased with the result. This photo is of the 28-gun frigate (Kit #203) in both 1:600 and 1:300 scale:
The Lake Erie 1813 set is finished. Here's a shot of the final version of USS Niagara. See the whole set in the updated catalogue on the 1:300 Ships page.
As I approach the completion of the Lake Erie squadrons, I'm building models of the various small gunboats that accompanied Barclay and Perry during the battle. Below are two examples, the American schooner Scorpion and the British sloop LIttle Belt.
Ariel is done, so I'm working on a British schooner. A few minor adjustments are needed, and then I will have a workable model of HMS Lady Prevost, one of the three main vessels in the British squadron on Lake Erie.
I'm getting down to the last few models needed for the Lake Erie 1813 set. I've finished the first prototype for USS Ariel, a lean and fast schooner built for the Lake Erie squadron that still packed a long range punch with four 12 pounders mounted on pivots; with a few minor tweaks to the graphics, I'll be ready to start on the instructions. So far, she looks like this:
The next model in the Lake Erie set is Caledonia, the former Royal Navy brig captured by Jesse Elliot and put into American service on the lake. Below is a shot of the first full test build of this vessel. You can see more views of this one in 1813 Project set.
The Lake Erie 1813 project is firing up again, with the addition of HM brig Hunter. There are more photos of Hunter in the 1813 Project set on Flickr:
Now that the first of the 1:900 series ships are up, I have a little time to look ahead at the next series: 1:600 scale ships from the mid-seventeenth century. I've always loved the history of the Anglo-Dutch wars, and soon I'll have the ships to go with it.
While my Lake Erie project is waiting for my test builders to catch up, I decided to go ahead and design a set of 1:900 scale ships to use in my games at this year's Seven Years War convention. The chosen scale is a compromise between keeping the ships small enough to use on a typical wargame table and keeping the parts large enough to be easily handled by the builders. Here's a sneak peek at one of the prototypes, a 64 gun ship of the line:
Work is progressing on the first ships of the new series, "Lake Erie 1813". Shown below are USS Niagara on the left, and HMS Detroit on the right. The model in the center is USS Argus, one of the variants which will be included in the Detroit kit.
The Detroit is in the hands of the test builders now, and I'm working on the instructions for the Niagara. More (and larger) photos of these test-builds can be seen at
I took one of the 1:300 test models and rescanned it at 200%. At 1:150, it's about the same scale as 10mm figures, so I painted up a crew of 10mm Revolutionary War figures. In larger scales, wargame ships look kind of strange with no crew. I like the way this looks. You can see more pictures on my Flickr page at
The next ship in the Lake Champlain 1776 collection is a ~50 ton merchant schooner, of a type common on all the inland waters of North America in the late 18th/early 19th century. It will come in two versions, one unarmed and the other pierced for up to 8 guns. This model will be a good choice to represent the schooner confiscated by the Rebels at Skenesborough in 1775 and renamed Liberty. The model is ready, and will be added to the line as soon as the instructions are finished.
(Note: added to Catalogue 7 December 2010)
As I was cleaning up the final version of the galley Washington, I was thinking about how she was rerigged by the British after her capture and I became curious to see what she would look like as a brig . . . so here she is, rerigged and flying her captor's colors.
Now that I've done that, I guess I should make a conversion kit so that anyone who builds the Washington can do the British version, too.
One of the best ways to expand your fleet is to build multiple ships from the same kit, at the same time. Here's how I do it:
Here's a quick and inexpensive method for making a "scrollable" surface for naval wargaming.
The intricate rigging which is characteristic of sailing ships can be the most daunting part of creating a model ship. Here's a tutorial that outlines a quick and easy method for rigging wargame miniatures of all types and scales.
A lot of the buildings in my games are made from cardstock. There are dozens of cardstock models available on the net (check out the links page), but they usually come with only rudimentary instructions, or none at all. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how I turn a simple cardstock building into a model that would grace any wargame table.