Wednesday, 13 May 2009

What to do with my Minifigs Warships?

After a very busy day yesterday, I have had a somewhat less stressful day today.

The only wargames-related task I managed to do yesterday was to help Ogrefencer with his adaptation of Phil Barker’s DAMN BATTLESHIPS AGAIN for a gridded square tabletop. He had created the original in Microsoft Excel, and I re-typeset them for him in Microsoft Word with the addition of several diagrams that I produced using Microsoft Visio.

Doing that set me thinking about what I want to do with my Minifigs World War I model warships. Because I have eight battlecruisers and only three Dreadnoughts, my options are somewhat limited. Also, because further supply of the models is non-existent, any project must use what I have and not reply on future ‘reinforcements’.

After some thought – and a look at Conway’s ALL THE WORLD’S WARSHIPS 1906 – 1921 – I decided that I could create three ‘South American’ navies, based loosely on the Argentinian, Brazilian, and Chilean Navies of the 1914 to 1920s. They all had at least one or two Dreadnought battleship, a couple of cruisers, and a flotilla or two of destroyers. I could easily manage this from what model warships I have, and I would still have a few models over.

The models are not exactly right but … with a little bit of alteration here and there they might pass muster except in the eyes of real rivet counters.

The Brazilians were the least problematic as their battleships – SAO PAULO and MINAS GERAIS – were very similar to the original DREADNOUGHT.

The Argentinian RIVADAVIA and MORENO were very distinctive designs with two funnels separated by two en echelon turrets, but after looking at my model of HMS INVINCIBLE I realised that I could get the general ‘look’ right if I removed the centre funnel. Rather than do that and then discover I have made a terrible mistake, I used SERIF PHOTOPLUS to manipulate the existing image of the model … and in my opinion it passes muster.

I then did something similar with the image of the model of HMS LION/PRINESS ROYAL. By ‘removing’ the rearmost funnel, I have produced something that looks like the Chilean Super-Dreadnoughts ALMIRANTE COCHRANE and ALMIRANTE LATORRE.

I am still thinking about this project, but having seen the possibilities the models present, it has become a very attractive proposition to be added to my list of ‘to do’ projects for later this year.


  1. Many thanks for the 'Wordisation' of the Excel stuff -it is very much appreciated and i need to make some effort to learn it! I will be getting the photos of the Minifigs ships I have that are not in your collection over the next week or so and will send them on. The image editor is really good and the ideas you have are fine - I hope that my Eastern Med idea is as successful!

  2. Bob,

    Have you considered making a mold of those ships you plan to mutilate (remove stacks)?

    Even if you used plaster (but I'm sure that there are better substances available now), you could keep the originals for other purposes.

    -- Jeff

  3. Jeff,

    I had considered it ... but then there is the problem of copyright. Even if I only make the moulds for my own use, I am in breach of the copyright. I would much rather that the original moulds were put back into use - if that is possible - than break the law.


    PS. One thing that I have thought about doing is scratch-building my own models in the same style as the Minifigs ship ones. That way I could also produce the 'missing' ships that I would like to own.


Thank you for leaving a comment. Please note that any comments that are spam or contain phishing messages or that come from Google Accounts that are 'Unknown' will be deleted.