Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Preparing for DANG - Tiny Little Ships

I was really happy to see the Figurehead 1/6000 scale ships when they came out many years ago. Figurehead had a lot of ships from different eras, the ships were very affordable, they were easy to paint, and it would let you do battles in something close to real scale. The line has a good number of American and Soviet Cold War ships (more than any manufacturer except NavWar) and the World War I and II lines were pretty close to complete. I ended up buying a bunch of these ships and they have been my ships of choice when doing larger scale actions.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I needed to get a few more ships and paint them up for this year's DANG. The main ships I was missing were some older Japanese battleships and some of the refitted American battleships and escort carriers (no one was sending the really new stuff to the Aleutians).

Here you can see the painted up Japanese and American battlelines, along with some other ships I've had for a while. I am still amazed at the level of detail on most of the ships (you can click on the images for a little closer look).
The older Japanese battleships and a light carrier
Japanese cruisers and destroyers
American battleships and escort carrier
An American light cruiser and destroyers
The new thing this year is mounting the ships on wooden bases to give players something to grab onto and to give me a place to put ship identification.

The biggest problem (or maybe it is the smallest) with the Figurehead ships is that they are pretty small. Even the big World War II battleships and carriers are less than 2 inches in length in this scale. While the small size does allow for bigger battles and a better representational scale, even the most knowledgeable sea dog would have trouble distinguishing a Japanese Fubuki class destroyer from a Kagero class destroyer, much less keeping track of individual destroyers. That is why I needed to have a way to identify the ships.

One of the first games I played with the 1/6000 scale ships was World War I in the Adriatic. While the game worked well with the battleships and cruisers, the tiny destroyers and torpedo boats were hard to maneuver and see, much less identify. I'm hoping that adding the bases will make it easier for players to move and keep track of their ships, while letting them know what the enemy has available.

I still like the 1/6000 scale for the larger actions, but there are times I wish I had all these ships in a larger scale too. If (when?) I do games where the largest ships are cruisers (and there aren't many of them), I will probably invest in some 1/2400 scale ships. But for now, the tiny little ships will do the job.


  1. Nice work as always, Dave. But, 1/6000th - wow, that is small!

  2. Looking forward to the game Dave. I am adding bases to all my 1/2400 ships too. They need more protection from fingers and names will help also.