Friday, 1 March 2013

Aeronef - WIP (Merchants, Austrian and British fleets)

I've launched into painting the smaller ships for my Aeronef fleets. Though I initially decided to proxy the Austrians as German navy, I opted to go with the dark green pre-WW1 Austrian paint scheme simply as I like the variety, and it is a historically plausible excuse to avoid using grey. I already have enough boring shades of grey with my WW1 1/2400 ships.

 The ships currently on my workbench.  I'm practicing on the escorts and light cruisers before tackling the bigger ships...

These are WIP shots - the warships are all base-coated, but of course need to be washed, drybrushed and detailed.   The merchant ships have only just been started and are only half-covered in paint.

I'm posting this as I have struck a problem with my merchant vessels. I am going with a white upperworks/black hull scheme for all of them, but I have two problems

(a) the best way to paint white ships without them looking super starched whitey-white  (I don't think I've had so much uninterrupted white on a model before); and

(b) what colour should the cargo containers be? Modern ones tend towards reds, blues and greens, but I don't want my ships looking like Christmas decorations.  Maybe a subdued dark grey or dark metal for the "boxes"?  Or a bronzey colour?   Or should they simply be a white/light grey like the upperworks?

I haven't got far on the merchant ships as I'm not sure what is the best way to go about painting them. In particular, the colour of the cargo "boxes" is problematic

With the cargo ships, I have washed the white with a black wash to pick out the details so I can see "what I have to deal with."

The Austrian escorts are huge - they seem capable of taking on British cruisers!
Weirdly they are the same price as the smaller British escorts - I'd swear they'd use double the metal to make...

Another thing that bothers me - the Austrian escorts are much, much bigger than the British escorts which is jarring when they are alongside each other on the table.  They are even bigger than British destroyers - almost cruiser-sized.

I'm keen to get these painted as I am eyeing off the French fleets. Hopefully I can sneak in another order before the baby arrives, and sucks up all my time and money....

I might as well get painting as there is no way to get into work... or even into town.  I know it sounds cool to be "stuck home" but after 5 days I know what house arrest feels like...


  1. I would take a look at steam era model railway goods vans as inspiration for cargo containers. Lots of grey and brown with some blue and green. Mostly muted but there is at least one bright yellow. Check out continental and American rolling stock as well.

  2. For all that white, use a muted light brown wash, it gives depth (maybe a tinge of rust effect) without the grubby look a think black ink would give.

    Re cargo containers - why not try a different route. Weight would be the major issue with aerial cargo so why waste weight on metal boxes - why not lighter wooden ones?

    1. Thanks for the tips guys. I like the brown=rust idea. I'm leaning towards brown/grey containers ....only there is already heaps of brown for the nefs' wooden deck....

      Paul, check out my DropBox there is quite a bit of stuff for you to look through....

  3. I was going to give you the same advice Paul did, but he obviously beat me to the punch. I would go with wooden crates for the boxes, myself. I know the wooden deck has a lot of woody tones already, but it would look more historically plausible (not historically [i]accurate[/i] - we are talking cargo boxes on flying ships, after all).