Monday, May 24, 2010

North Korean Ships

For the North Koreans, I searched through various sources to figure out what would be the most interesting boats that are available in scale, for the scenario. I wanted this to be more of gun battle than a missile fight, so I decided to go with a bunch of variants of the Soviet/Russian P-6 torpedo boat as the primary force for the North Koreans.

The Soviets sold P-6 torpedo boats all around the world. The North Koreans (along with the Chinese and several other nations) took this hull design, modified the armament, and built a bunch of patrol boats.

I ordered four types of P-6 hulls from The PT Dockyard; the basic Soviet P-6 torpedo boat, the Chinese Shantou gunboat, the North Korean built Chaho (with a 122mm multiple rocket launcher), and the North Korean built Chong Jin gunboat (with a T-34/85 turret).

The Soviet P-6 torpedo boat will represent North Korean Sinpo class, which is really just a steel-hull version of the P-6, and is armed with two twin 23mm gun mounts and two 21" torpedo tubes (I will probably limit these to unguided torpedoes, but I may allow the North Korean to upgrade to guided torpedoes for the scenario). It doesn't have the gun armament to stand up to the South Korean ships, but the torpedoes can certainly take out any South Korean ship.

The Shantou class replaces the normal P-6 armament with two twin 37mm turrets and a twin 76mm recoilless rifle mount. It has a slightly different look than the other boats, since it uses a Chinese radar fit. This boat is closer in armament to the South Korean Sea Dolphin, but the smaller hull won't stand up to as much damage.

The Chaho class is an interesting boat with the 122mm multiple rocket launcher. The rocket launcher is mounted directly above the bridge, which forces the radar mast to be moved to the starboard side of the bridge. The boats also have a twin 23mm mount forward and twin heavy machine gun aft, but the rockets are the primary weapons for this boat. The rockets are a one-shot weapon, but could cause some trouble for the South Koreans and should be fun to play with in the game.

The Chong Jin class is another interesting variant built by the North Koreans. It has a T-34 turret, with an 85mm gun, mounted forward and two twin heavy machine gun mounts aft. The 85mm gun out-guns the South Korean ships and can pack a punch, but it is still mounted on the P-6 hull, which won't take a lot of damage. From the reports I've read Chong Jin class boats have been involved in several encounters at the Northern Limit Line.

All of the models were assembled without any modification to the PT Dockyard kits. These kits took a little more work than the South Korean boats (for whatever reason they needed little more filling and sanding than the other ships). They are also smaller than the South Koreans, so they required a little more dexterity to get everything in place.

I searched around for color pictures of the North Korean ships, but I couldn't find any good ones. So, I decided to just make up my own color scheme. I originally planned to use ocean gray for the hull color and flight deck gray for the deck. But there really wasn't enough contrast between these two colors and my test boat just looked like a gray blob. I changed the deck color to a brown (a lighter color than normal Soviet/Russian deck brown) and it gave me a better effect.

Here are a couple photos of the completed boats, from left to right (port to starboard) the boats are: P-6 torpedo boat, Shantou gunboat, Chaho rocket/gunboat, and Chong Jin gunboat. You can see the different Chinese radar fit and how the Chaho has the radar mast shifted to the side.

Because of the size differences, the North Korean boats would have a tough time in an equal battle with the South Koreans I selected. The photo below shows (from bottom to top) a Chong Jin, P-6, Sea Dolphin, and Pae Ku.

However, in the scenario the North Koreans will outnumber the South and have the option of getting some missile boats (a couple Komars doing double-duty as Chinese Sohung missile boats) that I already had in my collection. I might also allow them a special secret weapon...

(for those of you that can't figure out what these are, they are homemade periscope markers.)


  1. Looking good!

    I wish I could be at Enfilade - missing out yet again this year...

  2. Sorry to hear you won't make it this year.

    It looks like there are a decent number of naval games at Enfilade this year.


  3. The feathering scopes look good. Though the
    OOD should be shot.


  4. Ahhh, but no one would know what they were if I didn't give it a bit of wake.


  5. Except those who earned their "fish". I remember a cartoon looong ago which pictured 2 officers in the wardroom. One asks the other "What does a sub look like?". The other responds "Like a green flare".