Thursday, 2 August 2012

Tumbling Dice 1/2400 Napoleanic Sailing Ships - Part I

A discussion the other day resulted in my wife stating that sailing ships > space fighters > robots > battleships > jets in her list of "cool things" and offering to rig some mini sailing ships if I got some.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I straightaway sent off an order to Tumbling Dice who again impressed me with their good customer service and very quick delivery times.

Left to right: 36-gun frigate and 28-gun frigates; 100-gun 1st rate; four 74s and a 64-gun two-decker.

Having experimented with 1/4800; I think 1/2400 is the best size for gaming.  They are large enough to retain some detail and their 'rate' or class is easily discernable (as opposed to 1/4800 where frigates were both longer and bulkier than the 74-gun SOLs). There is a great variety of ship types including the merchants and specialist ships (bomb ketches, junks, dhows etc) missing in 1/4800. In addition, the ability to buy models for $3ea makes customising your force easy.  You can also choose whether or not to rig it - in 1/1200 rigging is mandatory and assembling and rigging time would be greater by an order of magnitude. A single ship could take a few evenings.

There was modest flash (on mast tips etc) where you'd expect it and the sails glued on surprisingly easily.   I think I took an hour to glue and prep the 8 ships pictured.

 1/2400 is considerably more detailed than the 1/4800 and specific ship types are easily discernable from table-top distance

I'm not sold on the solid ratlines/shrouds and will paint them black to minimise their visual impact. The sailing ships I've seen in the flesh had rather unobtrusive ratlines, unlike the cheese-grater-cum-cargo-net monstrosities on these models.  Hallmark has 1:2400 models without them; but at $4-50ea they are 50% more expensive than the TD models.

I don't think ratlines are so obvious in real life as to be worth casting solid on the models

I'm looking forward to doing some 1/2400 terrain. I'll probably make it a bit outsize - 1/1200 buildings are available from a range of manufacturers - I may even use Monopoly buildings - you can get 100-bags of them from PicoArmour for $7-60 (8c each).


  1. Just considering getting into naval Napoleonics, so this post was really helpful in making up my mind on scale

    1. I think 1:2400 are a good compromise between 1:4800 (I disliked them as it was hard to differentiate between frigates and ships of the line with my eyesight) and the ship-in-a-bottle modelling complexity of 1:1200 where each ship is a major project in itself.