Dutch Fleet update and Medway 1667 mini campaign

To say I have been totally absorbed by my new obsession for 1/2400 scale 1650-1720 period ships would be the understatement of my hobby life time. Not since my Ost Front Microtanks phase of the late 1990s have I been this driven to finding information and being productive on an industrial scale.

2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th rates plus Fireship and Heoker - a cross section of my growing Dutch Fleet for the Medway fight of 1667

I am already working on a mini-campaign covering the spectacular 1667 Tocht naar Chatham (The journey to Chatham). This has been inspired by the campaign itself, Mark Backhouse's spectacular 2mm scale Siege of Portsmouth and Tumbling Dice's ship models.

2nd Rate (80-90 guns) - the largest ships in the Dutch Admiralties - this one is De Ruyter's flagship De Zeven Provincien

The campaign will be a combination of scales: 1/2400 Tumbling Dice models for the ships, 2mm Irregular Miniatures for the board movement of troops, Brigade Models 2mm buildings which actually seem to suit the 1/2400 ships better than 1/1200 ships and 28mm scale ships and models for the small scale battles and 1:1 skirmishes. I intended to take this out on the show circuit at some point but am currently exploring ways to run it virtually through the blog as a participation campaign.

3rd Rate (60-70 guns) This one will play the role of Agatha - van Ghent's flagship during the Medway Raid scenario 1667

This could mean that players contribute moves and orders through the blog with games being run by me and my chums or alterantively by designated blog followers with the results reported back. I have run similar activities before so the method is sound and can be done.

4th Rate (40-55 guns) This model will probably be used as the Vrede, van Brakel's ship during the Medway attack of 1667

Although the Dutch fleet which attacked the Medway consisted of around seventy ships the damage was actually done by a small squadron of around seventeen ships mostly of 30-50 guns, some fireships and 1,000 marines. This is a very manageable force considering I have already completed thirteen Dutch ships in about four weeks.

5th Rate (30-40 guns) This model will be part of the raiding squadron in the Medway raid scenario.

The ' at rest' English fleet will take a little more work but I am beasting through that at the moment too. The terrain is already planned and will follow the 'Backhouse Principle'. The buildings are already being painted and the Irregular Miniatures are in the post. My 28mm Dutch Marines are being painted. More on them shortly with a few pictures of the WiP.

Three Fireships and a Heoker. Note the scratchbuilt towed boats for crew evacuation after firing.

I have taken Neil Fox's 1/2400 Naval rules and built on those to produce the next level of detail down allowing smaller scale action between just two vessels and well as larger fleet actions. I am very appreciative of his help in doing this.

Unusual models for the Medway scenarios - Frigate wrecks, decommissioned English man o'war and sunken blockships

The pictures accompanying this post will provide an idea of the level of detail I am attempting to achieve with the project particularly around some of the peculiarities such as block ships, tethered and mothballed 'battleships', wrecks and similar details.

Two small merchantmen converted to Fireships - note the painted in escape door on the model on the left.

Friend of the Blog Peter A has been very helpful with his own notes, photos and pictures from the Medway area. I know he has gamed the action and I'll include some of his collateral soon (with his permission of course!).

So, here on this post we have a selection of vessels all from the Tumbling Dice range. The piece of scratch building I was most pleased with was the small longboats being towed by the Fireships - Does anyone have any idea how I made those? Definitely a prize if you can guess!