My previous posting about the book ‘The Waikato River Gunboats’ reminded me of my own collection of little balsawood ironclads that I built way back in my 20s. I posted here about these models in 2010, but thought some of you might be interested to see these pictures again.
Tidying out my study wardrobe the other day, I stumbled across a shoe-box full of small ironclad naval ships that have been buried away for quite a few years. These were balsa wood models I scratchbuilt some 30 years ago to play the ironclad rules in Paul Hague’s Sea Battles in Miniature.
The ships, each around 10cms long, are a little crude, but nevertheless still charming enough. Some of the masts and spars are unfortunately the worse for wear after rattling round in their box for years, but the ships themselves are still sound.
I also used to have laminated cards to go with each ship, on which you could use a ‘chinograph’ pencil to mark off damage and so on – but these have unfortunately long gone.
I’ve always liked the ‘steam-punk’ look of the ironclad steamships of the Victorian era, with their forward thrusting bows, complex upperworks, old-fashioned masts…
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