Messing about on the river… with ACW ironclads.

I think these have been the hardest models I have ever painted!!!

Well actually that’s needs clarifying…

Ok the models were easy very easy, really quick paint job, fairly good finish, and they should look great on the table, but the bases are another thing, they were the hardest things I have ever painted, and I am still not 100% convinced they are right.

I realised that after many many years of wargaming and painting figures that I had never painted water on a base ( other than the odd puddle on a figure base ) and it was much more difficult than I would have imagined.

This is my third attempt at the bases for these American Civil War Ironclads, they had to show a dirty muddy river, so they could not be a nice simple blue, which is how I first painted them.

I also re-modelled the water effect on the bases as my last attempt looked more like a frilly lacy skirt around all the ships, this was pointed out to me and I have to say it was correct ( although to be fair to myself I did try to copy what I had seen on the interweb )

So, after a re-modelling I tried doing the bases dark blue and putting browns and greens over the top, but it just looked… wrong!

I was told that the rivers would be very dirty and muddy, but the effect I had achieved made it look like the ships were moving through thick mud!!

So, after looking at lots of photos of boats on rivers and looking at the colours involved I came up with the following bases.

They have a black undercoat then some very watered-down Beasty Brown, followed by a Heavy Black Green thinned down with some Olive-Green Wash, I picked out some of the water at the back of each ship to try and show the water being churned up by the propellers and paddle-wheels etc. and then hit them with a heavy coat of Acrylic Gloss Varnish.

As I said earlier I am not 100% sure about the finish that they have, I am sure that it is not correct, but it will have to do for now as I have a game Monday night with the new rules I am writing and I need these ships for that.

Also, amongst these ships are some of my attempts at producing 3D printed models, and I do think that they look really good, not as much detail as the ones I purchased, but still good enough to go alongside them on the table.

Anyway, have a look at the pictures and see what you think.

CSS Nuese, CSS Planter, CSS Arkansas
CSS Albermarle, CSS Tennesse, CSS Tuscaloosa
CSS Baltic, USS Switzerland, USS Monitor
USS Essex, USS Onondaga
The Union fleet
The Confederate fleet

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