|WTJ 1:1500 model of HMS Lion - tone and balance of photo adjusted to show detail.|
|WTJ 1:1500 model of SMS Seydlitz|
|HMS Lion now masted and painted|
Now when it comes to wargaming scales, I am a firm adherent of the 'big is beautiful' school of thought - I think table top game models should have some presence to assist in the depiction of the alternative 'play' reality, and impart a 'sense of occasion' to one's gaming - otherwise, why not just wargame on a map or chart?
|SMS Seydlitz - note the darker deck colour.|
Now when I said 'cheap', of course that's a relative concept. These two models together cost me $54AUD, which seems fine, particularly in comparison to existing models from German companies such as Navis who don't seem to scale their prices down from the real thing to the same extent as their models! But being shipped across from the States seems relatively expensive, $13.15AUD for these two very light and small models. And playing around with the WTJ shopping cart, the postage doesn't seem to come down if you bulk buy....
On the other hand, that's an inducement to build up my fleets slowly and carefully in time for 2016...
So what's my opinion of the models? Overall, I'm very impressed. WTJ took a good deal of care with the packing so that the models arrived completely undamaged. The detail is extraordinary, and crisp and proud so that its easy to paint. There are even guide holes drilled should you wish to fit masts, which I did using commercially available 28mm size lance/spear rods. The models come in a translucent pale white colour, as show in the heading photo, but do bear a good soaking and light brushing in warm soapy water prior to being painted.
They can be ordered without boats if desired, but the detail on the whalers and Chevertons has to be seem to be believed!
I haven't made up my mind about basing yet, the models seem to me to be pretty tough and internally braced sufficient to withstand warping, so I shall probably leave as is...
Now I know what you are all thinking - deranged and megalomaniacal though he may be, surely even Sparker isn't going to try to do Jutland in 1/1500 scale!
|SMS Seydlitz - detail 01Deck amidships - I hope the Boats Officer and the Top Part O Ship King get on well!|
|HMS Lion - detail Focsle afterpart - note bollards, secondary batteries, and focsle breakwater. Any FX king would be proud!|
|The real HMS Lion|
So why did I start off with these two ships? Well they were both protagonists at the Battle of Dogger Bank, where Seydlitz narrowly survived a shell hit from the Lion on one of her magazines - resulting in valuable lessons being learnt about flash safety in the Imperial, if not the Royal, Navy. HMS Lion was of course Admiral Beatty's flagship at Jutland, and the ship upon which Major Harvey RM earnt his VC - mortally wounded and lying in the 'X' turret magazine which was being approached by propellant fire, he had the presence of mind to order the compartment flooded.
SMS Seydlitz was no less a witness to heroism and stoicism at this battle, shrugging off an incredible amount of damage, surviving 21 large calibre shells hits and a torpedo strike, and shipping over 5000 tonnes of seawater. She could dish it out of course, being largely responsible for the loss of the Queen Mary, Lion's sister ship.