I still haven't actually managed a game of Cruel Seas yet (although I have a couple lined up in the next week or 2) but I have now painted up all the starter set boats as well as some of the freebies that came with Wargames Illustrated.
The game comes with a cardboard template for a merchant ship to give your MTBs/S Boots something to torpedo but obviously I'd much rather have proper target. Warlord have been rushing out a lot of very nice models over the last few weeks since the game launch: these look great but aren't cheap. I'd also checked out 1:350 scale model kits at my local model store (Dorking Models) but these are even more expensive...eye-wateringly in some cases!
As my current spending is on a pretty tight rein I've been looking at alternatives and came across a post in another blog about MDF ship models. Embarrassingly I can't remember whose blog it was, so apologies to my fellow blogger.
(EDIT...I found the original blog post and it can be found here. Many thanks to John Lambshead for posting this)
They had plugged ships sold here at JB MDF Products. There are a variety of models available but I went for a pair of Liberty Ships which worked out at a very affordable £4.25 each. As you'd expect with MDF the model is a bit boxy and nowhere near as detailed as a plastic kit but as a budget option it's hard to beat. I'm not sure I'd go with their armed trawler model as I think you need the finer detail for the smaller boats but it seems to work for the larger ship.
The hull of the ships comes as 3 strips with the superstructure added on top in layers:
All the parts come loose in a bag...initially I'd thought this was going to be a real challenge but there are some simple instruction on the eBay shop page which made it very easy. Each ship took about 30 minutes to build
|ok...which idiot glued the mast on upside down!!!|
My fundamental failure to follow instructions meant I hadn't worked out which way up the masts go. It's pretty obvious if I'd paid attention. This is why I hate Ikea...
|Masts the right way up on this ship!|
Painting was pretty straightforward... grey undercoat (from Halfords) followed by assorted shades of grey on the superstructure and a dull red waterline.
|Painted models...the upside down mast has been replaced by a gun!|