Thursday 22 September 2016

Project Jutland - Grand Fleet Review

You will be glad to know that this will probably be the last Project Jutland post for a while :-) my updates gave been blocking up most of the Naval Wargaming forums for the best part of a year now, apologies.

The whole of the Grand Fleet, 151 ships.
It's been a journey and a half to say the least, I started the collection back in May 2015, with my first post on a new gaming adventure. The plan at that stage was to build up a couple of Battlecruiser and smaller fleets for smallish games on my home 12 x 6 table.

The Main Fleet
So with 50 or so ships in the collection by January this year I was fairly content to steadily build up the Fleets over time, the Anniversary of Jutland was of course looming but it was just financially impractical to think at that stage of refighting the battle in 2016.

The Armoured Cruisers screening the Fleet
Then step forward, friend and gaming chum Andrew Dickinson who offered to finance the British Dreadnoughts, so in late January 2016 Project Jutland began.

Here we are in late September, 8 months later and the painting stage of the Project is done, 200 ships in that time is pretty good going. I did a High Seas Fleet Review a few weeks ago and a quick post earlier in the week on the last few ships. It would be rude to not follow that up with a Grand Fleet Review.

Lots of Dreadnoughts
There's not much more to say regarding these ships that hasn't been said in previous post so here are some pics,

5th Battle Squadron  (the 15" Battleships)

1st Battlecruiser Squadron 

HMS Lion

HMS Tiger
2nd Battlecruiser Squadron

3rd Battlecruiser Squadron

Engadine and Escort 

Whilst the ships were out it would be amiss not to put the ships out in fighting formation and try out the set up we are going to use at FIASCO for the static display, which is basically the position of the ships at around 19.30 hours as the Fleets clashed. Note I have left all the ships in the fleet on the table for the photos as by 1930 some had been sunk.

HMS King George V leads the line
From the back of the line

The Battle Line for the British is just under 12ft with the ship bases touching and as can be seen the ships comfortably filled the table, the ends have been compressed to fit and will cover about 15ft in total.

It was at this point I sent a picture to Andrew who as a Draughtsman has an eye for distances, our initial plan was to use a 24 x 6 table for the game but it was clear width was going to be a serious issue, so with the British on the table I moved them as far to one edge as possible and then put the Germans on.

So there you have Jutland at 1 to 1 on a 12 x 6 table ! Plenty of manoeuvre room then. The German Battle line should be considerably more square on to the British line and extra table depth is needed. This little practice has certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons in terms of table size, the static display will take a bit of a rejig however the refights are going to need some serious thinking about and more table than originally thought.

So there you have it, thanks to everyone who has visited Project Jutland as it has been ongoing, you support and kind comments have helped to keep me going. Remember that the ships will be on display for the first time at FIASCO at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on 30th October 2016. I will be nearby and more than happy to chat about the project.

P.S. It's at this point that I should confess that during the layout of the ships I realised that I had 3 Destroyers called HMS Manners, cue some rapid searching to find which ships I had missed and repaint the names, then I found I was 2 Admiralty M Class Destroyers short (gasp) so I used two 4 funnel M Class as substitutes (spot them if you can !). Order in to Wargames Emporium in Sheffield for the missing ships, Oops.

Monday 19 September 2016

Project Jutland - The Final Batch

So that's it, it's finally done !

The painting stage of Project Jutland is over with the completion of these 32 British ships, we have 24 Destroyers and 8 Light Cruisers. I will do a full Grand Fleet Review at the end of the week but decided to do a quick post to cover this final group in a bit of detail.

The ships are of course 1/2400 in scale and all of these are manufactured by WTJ.

One of the more unusual ships at Jutland was HMS Abdiel which had been converted into a Minelayer. The exact model is not available however WTJ do this excellent Minelayer, which is actually based on HMS Legion.

The company also do a number of variations of the ubiquitous M Class Destroyer and the picture above shows the 2 Funnel Yarrow and 3 Funnel Thornycroft versions.

Just in time for the project WTJ released 3 separate models to cover the Scout Cruisers involved and lovely ships they are too.

The final ship of the final batch of the Project, HMS Chester.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Project Jutland - German HSF Complete

The High Seas Fleet  (all of it)
The first "half" of Project Jutland has been completed this week with a final small batch of 21 Destroyers / Torpedo Boats which finished The High Seas Fleet. There are 99 ships in the collection, this post is therefore mostly photos.

It's was quite good fun to finally get them all on the table in one go, setting them out in formation I was glad to find that I hadn't missed or forgotten any of the ships.

The Scouting Force
I set the Scouting Force up in sailing formation with the 5 Light Cruisers and supporting Torpedo Boats in a screen across the front of the 5 Battlecruisers with their Escort.

Lutzow leading the way

Photographing the Main Fleet in sailing formation was not so straight forward !

The Battle Line is just over 8 feet long, with no gaps between the ships

From the cheap seats
With the ships laid out its nearly impossible to get all of them into on shot, the 16 Dreadnoughts and 6 Pre Dreadnoughts are top and tailed by a Light Cruiser and a Torpedo Boat. There are two more LC DD pairs left and right of the main line at the front and rear whilst the remaining DD / TB flank either side of it.

For photographic purposes I decided to group the main force together.

A few closer shots of the group.

And it would be rude not to include some close ups !

So there you have it, the whole of the High Seas Fleet all in one place, the last batch of the British has been based and I am just about to pop down the cellar and spray them with primer.

If you fancy seeing the whole collection in the flesh it will be unveiled to the public at the Leeds Royal Armouries as part of the FIASCO show on Sunday 30th October. It will be shown as a static display as the club members will be engaged in running the show but I will be around if anyone wants a chat about the project.

We will be back at the Armouries a couple of weeks later for the RAGE WW1 wargames event, it's a single day event giving us a chance to try out some of the battle.

From there the plan is to go to some shows with the game in 2017 but with working shifts planning is not straight forward that and finding places that can fit a minimum 24 x 6 table might limit our outings.