Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dry Dock

I took these photos yesterday of my carrier fleet. During my last visit to Glenn, I mentioned my carriers, and said I would do a post on them. My purchase of large toy aircraft carriers started in around 2003 or 2004, when the Countdown chain of supermarkets brought in a range of large toys for sale at around the $100 price point. These toys were largely of the large truck/ fire engine variety - but there were also aircraft carriers. taking my inspiration from a couple of articles/pictorials that had appeared in Wargames Illustrated using large cartoon scale scale ships I purchased two - and the second one took some doing to find!

The fleet of six sitting in drydock - my driveway!
 These first two purchases are the largest of the carriers and have a rather nice black flight deck. Naturally, they came with an air wing, electric sounds and lights and can move well, albeit slowly. Racing them has also proved to be a surprising popular activity.....

I have placed  a 1/72 Esci figure for comparison purposes on the flight deck.

The other four ships of the fleet were all purchased during the New Years sales in around 2006. They were significantly cheaper - and of lesser quality - than the earlier larger units. I plan to convert two of these carriers into amphibious warfare ships, while ideas for the smaller pair range from replacing the angled flight deck with a straight thru one and using them as generic WW2 style escort type carriers,  or making them amphibious platforms, or even using them as carriers.

The holes in the flight decks of the closest two carriers are where I removed a large and silly looking missile turntable.



Third carrier up from the bottom has an AAVP-7 on deck.
Close up of the AAVP-7 on the deck. In is a 1/72 die cast model from the  Combat Tanks Collection.
The third and forth carriers (counting from the bottom) in this picture are the two destined at this stage to be used as amphibious warfare platforms. While these ships are all grossly oversized to be used in a standard CD3 game, the idea was to use these ships as an off board assembly area for players to organise their forces. They are planned to be used in a large moderns amphibious game I hope to run - similar to the large Tarawa game I ran at the UCSA many years ago.

As I slowly gear up for this I will post information in this  blog - but I can't imagine anything happening soon! - This project has been brewing away for some time and progress has been some what glacial in nature! That being said, most of the major purchases for the game have already been made - I just have to do some painting and assembly work!

12 comments:

  1. I think I have a couple of old WI's somewhere with articles by Richard Marsh (of Rapid Fire fame) about his fleet - are those the same articles? I can't believe that photo with the Esci bloke on the flight deck - those things are absolutely huge!!

    Cheers, Dave

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    1. Yep, the first article to send me down this particular path was "Big Boats (and Bigger Boats) The chastening tale of a WWII navy in 20mm" in the November 1995 issue of W.I.

      That article is one of my favourites.....

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    2. Yes, that's the one ! I also notice from a quick flip through my WIs from that time that there was a big slab missing from that article and it was printed as an addendum in February 1996 (WI #101).

      Cheers, Dave

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  2. Speechless!

    I think I will stick to 1/3000 Brian!

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  3. HUGE!!!!!! is there a better way to describe them? these will easily fit with 1/72 scale soldiers my only complaint is that there is no phootate of these races... I can imagine it is a real laugh.

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    1. The races were a great deal of fun, should they occur again I might take some photos.

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  4. Far out, Brian! I never would have thought of this sort of thing. Probably just as well, too. I'm trying to establish some kind of order here, and not making much of it.

    I read recently - on one of these blogspots, actually, of someone placing his vessels on table-high stands, as if the table edge were a shore line, and off-table being the ocean or large waterway. I imagine you would have a second blue covered table - a patch of ocean - a short distance from the land battle table. That would work I think.

    Speaking of which: did you ever finish that cruiser that provided (yeah, right) the fire support at the Tarawa landings game at the USCA way back when? (Incidentally, if I was still smoking back then, that would make it 2003. I quit a few weeks later). If you didn't, but still have the hull, maybe we could do something with it?

    Although I'm not tempted to go down this road, I do admire these vessels. Not knowing much about the post-War US Navy, I'd almost suggest that one of the Saratogas become the Lexington - a sister ship during WW2. Lexington was lost at the Coral Sea battle, but had given a good account of herself up until then.

    Two other carriers might be Enterprise and Yorktown, which, at 20,000 tons' displacement, were little more than half the size of the Saratoga/Lexington class (still fair sized ships, though. The British Illustrious class weren't much bigger). True, we are looking post WW2 here, but ... y'know... tradition...

    Cheers,
    Ion

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    1. Oh wow! - the Tarawa game....the complete clusterfuck of the landings....I still think you did the right thing given the circumstances.

      As to the cruiser, it was a monster of a thing! Actually Ion, I didn't keep it long - instead I bowed to the harsh practicalities of logistics. Storing the unfinished beast was proving very difficult, and transporting it to the UCSA and back the one time was extremely difficult. Since then I have put a size limit on individual gaming pieces which runs along the lines of if it is too big to fit easily in a car, then it is too big.

      Your naming suggestions will be kept in mind as these ships are likely to only see service in the more alternate of my moderns campaigns. As to the placement of these beasts in a game, your suggestions are similar to what I was thinking, but given a large enough room with blueenough carpet and I would be sorely tempted to play on the floor again.

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    2. The names I suggested was because I noticed one of those carriers was called 'Saratoga'. Originality is not one of my long suits.

      Floor play has its attractions, sure, but I am getting a bit creaky these days, and in any case proximity to allergens is apt to induce a paroxysm of sneezing not to be arrested. That's what happened in the 'Darklands' battle last year. It was horrible...

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    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Jake for your kind words. Your site looks like a commercial site for selling various toy guns. I hope you are successful with that venture:)

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