The first prototype of our forthcoming Victory at Sea range made an appearence in our office this morning. Designed by Sandrine in 3D software (and then checked and rechecked by our team of Naval Boffins), these are 1/2400 scale ships cast in resin with a few metal odds and ends, such as turrets, with the intention of cramming as much detail as possible on to them – we have, we are pretty sure, the most accurate hull shapes in scale this, for example, but more on that at a later date.
Anyway, this is the Bismarck. Click on the photo for a closer look.
Please note this is a prototype – the final version will have several changes. For example, the base will be flatter, probably squarer, have a wave/wake effect on the surface and likely a flat area for you to place a flag and name label (which we are aiming to provide). The turret guns, while scale-accurate in size, are too thin to a) look completely right and b) survive more than a game or two, and so will be made a little thicker. The top of the bridge has not cast properly on this particular model, and we will be altering the mould to suit.
All that said, you can readily see the detail Sandrine has already crammed onto the model, from the anchors (which are almost too small to see, but very much present), to the secondary weapons along the hull.
Using the 3D modelling software (also responsible for the new Star Fleet ships and much of the Noble Armada range) allows Sandrine to do some really fun things that might otherwise require a great deal of time under more conventional methods. For example, being French herself, she was particularly proud to do the Richelieu (and a fine ship it was). However, there will not be just one Richelieu in the Victory at Sea range. There is the Richelieu as it appeared in 1940. And as it appeared in 1943. And she did the Jean Bart for good measure (the Richelieu‘s sister ship).
Sandrine has done this for every sister ship/variant she has so far worked on, right down to cruiser level (it is entirely possible that she won’t do a different model of every destroyer that ever floated in World War II…). So, no need to just pick up a handful of, say, Leander-class cruisers. You’ll be able to grab the Leander, Orion, Achilles and the Ajax, and they will all be accurately presented.
So far, Sandrine has covered something like fifty different ships, ranging from the Yamato to the Liberty ships, and our (completely unofficial) aim is to have a model of just about everything that floated during the war – that may take some time, as Sandrine also has some other model ranges to work on as well, but after the first wave of releases, we intend to come back to Victory at Sea on a regular basis, and continue filling in the gaps. Large portions of the Royal Navy and Kriegsmarine have been completed and, in between a few revised Gorns, Sandrine is making a determined attack on the core ships of the Pacific Theatre. Next week she is scheduled to work on the Nagato, Shokaku and Fubuki.
So, when will these lovely models be revealed to the world at large? Well, not for a little while. We are currently working on a new edition of the Victory at Sea rules (and a lovely book that is turning out to be), though you will likely see the models out before the book – we have kinda pencilled in this Summer for a potential release date, but we are not hurrying this range. They’ll be done when they are done!