1/3000 US Pre-Dreadnoughts (plus small 40k Imperial Navy update)

Blimey, it's been a while.Thanks to everyone that's checked that all is well, I'm glad to report all definitely is.

Back to blogging. I've been working on some 1/3000 pre-Dreadnought ships (from WTJ Store) for Battlefleet 1900 (more on the Palladian Guard blog). These are superb miniatures and enjoyable enough to paint - although they frosted slightly whilst spray undercoating so some colours are a bit drab. But as they're not meant to be looked at close up it's not a huge issue.

Why pick a US fleet?

It's difficult to imagine the US as the emerging power trying to make its mark on the world stage, but that's exactly what it was at the turn of the 20th century. 
Photo courtesy of US Naval History and Heritage Command
Enter the Great White Fleet, a huge fleet that included the most modern warships available was sent to circumnavigate the globe in a 2 year span. Almost literally making a mark on the world. Something about this appealed to me, as did the potential "what if" scenarios - of the fleet or part of it being drawn into a conflict along the way. 

That said, most of our games are pre-1906 so my actual fleet composition is based around the European / North Atlantic fleets/squadrons to fit with everyone else's fleets. 

The Miniatures

As I said they did frost a little, the easiest to rescue, and which has a colour scheme closest the one I went for is the USS Brooklyn (which is the only "Rapid Prototype Plastic" miniature). However removing the spraypaint damaged a couple of turrets and gun barrels. 

I decided to go for the peacetime white hull/brown upperworks paint scheme as I rather like it and thought it would look good on the table. It's that simple. 

The sea base is No More Nails (thanks for the tip, Ed) that I sculpted into waves (with a hint of wake/wash). 

USS Alabama

This Illinois-class battleship is the current flagship of my fleet and the only battleship. I would have had the USS Maine and USS Ohio too if I hadn't ordered the wrong Maine Class from WTJ. What an idiot.

The real USS Alabama, courtesy of the Naval Historical Center
USS Brooklyn

USS Columbia

This came out more drab that intended, but as it's one of the older ships in the fleet, it kind of makes sense.

Courtesy of Navsoure.org
USS Minneapolis

This is the only one I painted the red line at the waterline on, then I decided it didn't quite look right.
Courtesy of Navsource.org
USS New Orleans 

The miniature is the Albany. Originally intended for the Brazilian navy, this was built in Britain (in the Newcastle yards of Armstrong, Mitchell and Co.)
Courtesy of Navsource.org
The Fleet in Review

Not listed are my 5-boat Destroyer squadron as they are still to be based, and 3 Pennsylvania-class cruisers yet to be painted (and rules written for as WTJ's Battlefleet 1900 doesn't include any). More on them soon

Other Nautical News - The Imperial Navy Lieutenant 

This side project has been long in the works (too long), but my glacial hobbying has finally taking a step forward. The Lieutenant has finally started getting his first dash of paint. The blue is a little too... blue, and a bit too patchy at the moment, but hopefully the next coat on the, er, coat, will fix that. That's all for this time folks, thanks for reading


  1. Like how these ships are all researched off historical counterparts. As for how they look... at that scale... Must be a pig to try to get those listed details in.

    Lieutenant looks great so far - very Hornblower. About time he got some painting love. :)

    Good to have you back mate!

    1. Thanks Dai, I find it quite rewarding to see the research pay off on the table, definitely adds to the games I think. Yeah they are a bit of a bugger, but I tried not to worry about too much, just picked out the key stuff - they way they'd frosted seemed to soak up a bit of colour on some of them. But I'm happy enough with them for gaming.

      Ta very much, definitely what I was going for. I know I can drag my heels with some projects, but it's nice to get going with a few bits again. Not done any 40k in ages so I might have to get some new Mawdryn stuff on the blog...

  2. Great little ships, you have got the sea dead on imo.

    I loved that Lt conversion, great to see him get some paint, I make no excuses that I fully intend to steal this idea at some point, he looks epic! Look forward to seeing the finished guy.

    1. Thanks very much Buffer, much appreciated. The No More Nails stuff is great to work with for textures like this.

      He's one of my favourites too, the telescope on his belt has gone missing so I need to replace that at somepoint. Now I've done half of the basecoat I've got no excuse for cracking on. Be my guest, steal away, would love to see what you do with the idea. I've got a few more crewmen to go with him, but some of the bitz I acquired didn't go together as well as I'd hoped - but they're getting there.

  3. Cracking stuff on the white fleet - there is particular resonance down here in Oz about the famed fleet - it was what gave the countries early leaders the impetus to champion the creation of its own naval forces, assisting on the further separation from reliance on the old Empire, and a strategic shift towards Pacific and American pacts.

    As Buffer says - you've captured the wave abd wake action perfectly and the paint sells the effect really well.

    Jericho is a fitting model to base the Lt on.

    Great to see you back buddy - crack on!

    1. Thanks very much Liam, I tried not to worry too much about getting it exactly right at this scale, and this was more of a speed painting project than anything.

      I had no idea about that at all, that's really interesting - and makes a lot of sense. Thanks very much, will have to look into this more!

      Hopefully the Lt. will be on the table soon in some form. Thanks again, hopefully I won't leave it too long this time

  4. Great post, beautiful ships and historical pics!

  5. It's cracking posts like this that make people miss your stuff! Brilliant brilliant little ships. Also seeing the Navy Lieutenant again brought a smile to my face. Welcome back Kieran! ;)

  6. Very kind of you and thanks very much! Glad to see you're still around too, I thought if left a comment on your last (staggeringly impressive Necron terrain) post asking if all was well, doesn't seem to be any sign of it though. Anyhoo hopefully I shall be around a bit more again now


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