Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Project: Modern River Monitors

The General's strategy (Operation: Ike & Tina) is based on moving down and attacking from rivers. I already built the small patrol boat, but I figure that there needs to be more firepower. I have no idea if any of these 1/300 scale ships will be used in any games, but they are fun and challenging to make.

The Plans
The former Soviet Union/Russia seems to have employed a number of river monitors within its borders. I thought I would design one based on theirs. The book by A. S, Pavlov, Warships of the USSR and Russia 1945-1995 (1997, Naval Institute Press) helped me find what I was looking for. There are two that I am considering.

The Slepen' is the larger of the two. It is armed with two T-55 tank turrets, plus 2 AK-630M 30mm turrets. The Shmel' is armed with a PT-76 tank turret plus a variety of smaller weapons depending on the ship. While most ships depicted in Warships of the USSR and Russia 1945-1995 have both a deck plan and a top view, entries for these two ships only had the deck plan. So, what I need to do first, is to make up top views based on what I can tell about deck plans. Easier said than done!

The Project
Once I get my top views drawn, I will come up with my own monitor design, based on a combination of these two existing ships. Once I've got my plans down, I will scale it down to size and build it much the same way as I did the patrol boat. The members of the Shmel' class seem to carry an number of different weapons including multiple rocket launchers, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as anti-aircraft gun turrets. Therefore, I'm thinking of making a number of different weapons systems that can be swapped in and out. They will be held onto the ship by a rare earth magnet. Stay tuned for more updates!

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