Monday, May 12, 2014

Æronef vs. Ærial Gunboat

Discussion on The Miniatures Page encouraged me to descend into the crypt and dig out my old 25mm aerial gunboats.  These had been used for a single game of Sky Galleons of Mars back in the mid-to-late 90s.

Above is a comparison of the Ironclad Aeronef vs the smallest British "Aphid" - although I think I was building the "Penelope" as I note the plethora of Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon and a rather prominent ram.

These are made of card stock and foam core on blue DIY/Dow insulation board formers, with thin wood decking. Ship plans are available in GDWs "Cloudships and Gunboats", now available from Heliograph Publishing Inc.

I am a little embarrassed at the poor quality and lack of important detail on these scratchbuilt models - my only defense is, in may callow youth, I was rushing to finish and we only played once, because we had issues keeping the stands upright. 

Later on, a friend of mine welded the pipes to steel railway washers, which gave them more stability.  Adding a few more washers, usually of a larger size, also increased stability - though these stands shown are not yet safe for any kind of carpet. A larger 4" OD washer is needed.

Being older and wiser, nowadays I would use a flange and pipe arrangement, or else cut these from clear Lucite. I will probably exchange the black rods for clear Lucite ones.

"Look Sarge, he didn't even paint the stacks..."

The current project will be to refinish this and bring it up to spec, along with several others that are currently languishing in mothballs.

- finis -


  1. Looking forward to the refit finishing out.


  2. -THIS is Inspirational, indeed!
    Love to see the refit and updated versions!
    Keep up the good Steam Cap !

  3. Splendid job! I think they both look great.
    And now that you feel all inspired again, the Penelope looks like an opportunity for extra detailing to me!

  4. LOL.

    Nicely baited, Paul. : ) Aye, weel...we'll see. August should be a quiet month, so if I can gather the proper fittings, mayhaps I'll have a go.

  5. My cunning plan is working - Bwahahahahaha!

    Actually, I'd be very interested in your thoughts on the Ironclad Gunship. She looks pretty sturdy but a little on the small side. Yet AFAIK its the only commercial available model.
    What did you think of the model?

    1. Well done, Paulders. : )

      it's a nice model and well worth the price. It won't do for much besides an aerial steam launch, I'm afraid, unless you're using the 15mm scale, in which case, she could be modified into HMAS Thunderer.

      I plan on adding another one to the Royal Naval Aerial Squadron eventually, since they're of the right size to support a ground action without overshadowing the infantry.

      Even with a single 1-or-3 lb HRC on her, as a flanker she would make most of the smaller Martian cloudships unhappy - 'til she's hit.

      There was a rumour knocking about that Ironclad is looking at expanding their line of aeronefs, so perhaps they're planning to go bigger?

    2. My pleasure :-D

      Sounds like they might just be the ticket then! They seem amenable to a bit of minor modification too - a ram or an enlarged bow for a 1pdr perhaps, maybe a Gatling on the afterdeck. I've also seen some pics at the Lead Adventure Forum with the stern modified and a chin turret added. Look pretty good! Of course the danger is to over arm them to the point where they look silly

      I hope that is a true buzz about Ironclad - I like what I have got of theirs, including a wheeled steam tank, a Tripod and a 10 man unit of their Armoured Naval landing Party (they are all up at my Yours in a White Wine Sauce Blog).

  6. I don't think you'd need to enlarge the bow - that's a 1pdr HRC pictured.

    Being a trifle obsessive, I run any mods through the Cloudships of Mars design sequence, to see if performance would be altered by the mod. That might seem a bit like extra work, but it does allow me to wargame with a (mostly) clear conscience. : )

    If you order from Ironclad, you might ask John L if there's summit up about new 'nefs.

    1. I'm not exclusively gaming for S1889 so am a little more liberal.

      Will ask John when I drop him a line



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