Pages

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Mimi, Toutou, and Kingani

I am about to start writing what I think will be the last chapter of my book about gridded naval wargames, and it will feature an explanatory battle report about the fight between the British gunboats Mimi and Toutou and their German opponent, Kingani.

The models I am using are approximately 1:600th-scale and were built from various bits and pieces I had in my spares box; in other words, some spare ships' boats and light guns from Airfix warship kits. For ease of handling they were stuck on pieces of Plasticard and labelled. They are not the most beautiful models I have every built, but they serve me well enough in several tabletop battles.

Mimi


Toutou


Kingani


The story of how Mimi and Toutou got to a lake in the centre of Africa is an epic tale that inspired C S Forester to write THE AFRICAN QUEEN and would make a wonderful film.

18 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    Rowan Atkinson to play Geoffrey Spicer Simpson methinks! I am looking forward to reading your AAR on this and am sure it will push me into getting the Tumbling Dice models I have ready to use (at last!).

    All the best,

    DC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,

      Not a bad choice, especially if he didn't play him for laughs but just let the character's oddities come through.

      I don't want to divert you from your existing project ... but it would only be the work of a few moments to get your lake gunboats ready for action.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Sometimes 'practical' outweighs 'pretty' for wargaming purposes.... that's what I keep telling myself anyway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee Hadley,

      It is very difficult to avoid the 'I want it to look nice' route, but sometimes one needs to in order to get a game onto the table.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Bob,
    An interesting choice of Scale in 1:600th for your Gunboat vessels- a quick calculation and I've come up with that the miniature figures would be in the 2mm Range being most suitable...pleased your nearing the final chapters of your book - well done. Cheers. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson,

      The choice of scale was more to do with what I had available than any other considerations!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. They are rather nice little models, very suitable to the job in hand.

    I'm not sure though that it would be wise to fire the main armament on the Kingani until the barrel perks up a bit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      Thanks for your kind words about the models ... and with luck the naval gunnery equivalent of Viagra will solve the problem of barrel droop!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. I don't know about the barrel pointing down thing. In the naval battles around New Orleans in 1862, in which the Gulf Fleet forced the passage of the forts, the sole success of the Confederates involved a steamer firing THROUGH ITS OWN BOWS in order critically to damage an enemy ship.

      Delete
    3. Archduke Piccolo,

      Interesting, That's a story I hadn't heard before.

      I've heard of sailing warships shooting through their own hull bottoms in order to scuttle themselves to avoid capture.

      Barrel drop affected quite a few larger calibre twentieth century guns, and it was discovered that after the first few rounds fired, the guns warmed up and the drop disappeared.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. Your models are perfect for wargaming Spicer-Simpson's campaign. I have often thought of trying to game his story. While the African Queen is a good story, it pales in comparison to the true story. I still can't believe a movie has never been made about the campaign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jhnptrqn,

      Thanks for you kind words about my lash-up models.

      The true story of the Spicer-Simson Expedition does make THE AFRICAN QUEEN look rather pale in comparison, and for the life of me - like you - I cannot understand why it has never been made into a film. Probably it is the lack of female roles that precludes it from happening these days.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. What surprised me in all this was that SMS Goetzen is still sailing the lake 100 years later (even if under a different name and without the 3" & 4" guns). I somehow doubt that Mimi and Toutou would have done too well against a ship as big as a destroyer, though this could make the campaign more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike Hall,

      MV Liemba, formerly the Graf Goetzen is still in service, although her original steam engines have been replaced with diesel ones.

      Despite having been scuttled at the end of the First World War she seems to have have survived very well indeed, and I suppose that sailing on a freshwater lake has much to do with that fact.

      When she was armed during the First World War she would have been equivalent to a dreadnought when compared to Mimi, Toutou, or the Kingani, and none of the latter would have stood much chance in an environment other than a lake.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Maudlin Jack Tar,

      I have aspirations to build them in 15mm-scale as well one day.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. Stout and serviceable craft, Bob! Giles Foden wrote this interesting WW1 story up recently (2005) as Mimi and Toutou Go Forth: The Bizarre Battle of Lake Tanganyika, still widely available in Paperback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MIN ManofTin,

      Thanks for your kind words about my models.

      I have a copy of Giles Foden's book as well as Peter Shankland's PHANTOM FLOTILLA, which was published a lot earlier. Both are well worth reading.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete