Thursday, April 29, 2021

Mister Mojo Risin' . . .

 It's amazing what a little time away can do for one's creativity.  I didn't touch a sailing ship from March 17, 2020 to December 15, 2020.  Then, from 12/15/2020 to the time of this post, I completed X of them.  That's how I thought this post was going to go.

Instead, it has become a story about how your mojo can vanish and return.  I was working quickly and had 4 ships under construction, with 3 of them either ready to be, or in the process of being rigged.  Then, I walked in one morning and found a scene of partial despair.  Turns out that our 16-year-old cat had decided to hop up on my painting table during the night.  She hasn't done that in years, so why now?  No idea. 🤬 cat. . . . 

Of course, the most complete ship was the one that took the worst damage.  The Russian 46 gun ship had all the standing rigging and most of the running rigging done.  This turned out to be a good thing, as while the masts were all knocked askew, I was able to pull them back into line using the standing rigging.  The brass ratlines didn't come out anywhere near as well, though.  I wound up having to replace 3 of them, which meant I had to order a new set (they aren't something that I keep an excess stock of lying around).  

Starboard lower mainmast, starboard and port lower mizzen
ratlines. Clearly after being cat-ified.

The other two ships weren't as badly damaged, since they were sheltered behind the Russian.  Only one ratline went missing from them, and that was my fault.  I went to glue it back in place, dropped it, heard it hit the tile floor. . . and it vanished.  So, time to order TWO spare ratline sets.

Once those arrived, I was ready to get started again.  Then, the hospital called.  I've been needing some kidney surgery for a while but it had been delayed several times by COVID.  Now, they were ready for me on the 14th of April.  I'll spare you the gory details, since 1) nobody wants to hear them, and 2) I don't know any of them; I was unconscious for the bloody, cutting parts.  After an overnight stay for observation, I went home the next afternoon.  Oddly enough, the experience left me in NO mood to do any hobby type work.  Who could have guessed? 🤷‍♂️  Also, I realized that operating knives, scissors and glue might not be a good idea while under the influence of painkillers.  After all that drama, I was finally able to get back to work and get the three ships ready for their debut here on the blog.

Now, to be fair, they weren't all done from scratch.  Instead, along with working on my Trafalgar project, I decided to do some more unicorn hunting.  It's one thing for me to say that I finally finished up my Russian 46 gun frigate.  It's another thing altogether when I tell you that ship has been "under construction" since September of 2014!  In that time, the overall collection has gone from 86 ships total to 114 as of April 24.  So, even though he (Russians call their ships "he," not "she") was not the first one finished in this group, mere seniority gives him the first spot in this post.

Yes, I know the headsails are missing. That will be corrected.

The Quarter of Comparison hasn't made an appearance
in a while, so there it is.

Now, this is not his first appearance on the blog.  Back in January 2018 this ship was featured in a post called "Unicorn Hunting" (  I ended that post with the quote, "However, no matter what their future careers may take them, I'm determined to cut down on the size of the unicorn fleet."  So, just three short years later, here we are! 🙄

Remember, this is how the ship first appeared 
on the blog.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that this ship isn't painted in the usual black/white scheme associated with Russian and American ships for this period.  There is, of course, a reason for that.  As I said in the earlier post, the Russian Navy didn't start painting their ships black and white until about 1802.  One of two of the 46 gun ships might have been around then, but they were all retired by the time the Russo/Ottoman War of 1806 broke out.  So, this ship gets an earlier style scheme.

Next up is a French 74.  She only had a furled sail knocked off during the Great Cat-astrophe (you know the puns here are bad; too late to complain now) so was easy to fix.  Truth be told, I got a little lazy with this ship.  The hull and masts are the same shade of yellow.  I doubt that they were ever this exact a match.  According to Boudriot's The 74-Gun Ship, French lower masts were usually black in home waters, and white in the tropics.  His information is for the the-Revolution navy of 1780.  I suspect the regulations stayed much the same, but the disorder of the Revolution made them much harder to obey.  Well, that's my justification for it anyway.

The last ship of the three is a Spanish 74.  As mentioned in an earlier post, my Spanish navy for Trafalgar is complete.  Instead, she will take the part of Intrepide in the French fleet, as that was a Spanish ship in French service.  I decided to try a slightly different shade of yellow for this ship's hull, and it was successful but not in the way I thought.  Instead of a weathered yellow, what I got was a look that I think is very similar to the varnished sides of the 1770s and earlier.  I don't think it dates the ship too terribly, and it is a different look than unending variations on yellow.

At this point, there are two ships left to do (an 80, and a British 74 Common) and the Combined Fleet will be complete.  That, to be honest, is an odd feeling.  I will still need to build some frigates for them, but all of the ships of the line will be done.  After that, just eight more British ships of the line will complete that fleet.  I owe the British one frigate, instead of the three for the French.  Still, the end is in sight at last!

For sticking this out until the end, here's some bonus content.  At the beginning of the post, I said there were four ships under construction.  Well, here's a sneak peek at number 4:

She's the USS Franklin, one of the 74s that the US Navy launched at the end of the War of 1812.  She's called a 74, but was actually pierced for 87 guns (DANFS says 63 x32 pounder long guns and 24 x 32 LB carronades).  You can do a plausible "what-if" breakout style scenario for her and a companion, but it's more likely that she'll spend most of her life under another flag as needed.

Finally, after reading my gripes about the cat, it seems that she deserves a picture here too.  So, without further ado:

The breaker of ships.

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Fruit and Flowers Anniversary

 My calendar informed me that March 8 was the anniversary of the blog.  I've now been doing this since 2017, so this is our 4th anniversary.  According to the anniversary sites I've looked at, the traditional gift in the US are flowers and fruit.  This is because they are symbols of renewal, and sticking together.  If you're in the UK, apparently the traditional gifts are linen and silk.  In lieu of sending me gifts, go out and buy something for yourself; I'm just generous that way. 😁 If you prefer more modern anniversary traditions, apparently the appropriate gift is an electrical appliance of some sort.  So maybe I'll buy an electric paint shaker this month. 

Gifting jokes aside, it has been an interesting four years.  In that time, I've made 73 posts (not counting this one, of course) that have 45,323 views and have generated 426 comments as of March 7.  That is an average of 1.5 posts, 8.8 comments and 944.2 views a month.  On average, I almost sound like a responsible blog owner.  Loyal readers will know that those average statistics mask a multitude of sins, though. 😬  

One thing that is interesting is the sailing ship count.  On 3/8/2017 there were 97 completed sailing ships in the collection.  As of 3/6/2021, there are 111 completed sailing ships.  In four years I've completed 14 ships, or one every 3.42 months.  Hmmmm.  OK, that number is not as interesting as I first thought it was going to be. 😞 Back then, there were 5 ships under construction. They were USS Pennsylvania, USS North Carolina, a Russian 50, a Russian 46 and a Spanish 74.  Currently, there are 6 ships under construction.  They are USS Pennsylvania, a Russian 46, a Spanish 74 (not the same one!), a French 74, USS Franklin, and a French 80.  Doesn't look like a lot of progress there either, at first. . . . 

Several of those under construction ships will be joining the fleet shortly, though.  Take a look at this picture of the workbench:

That's pretty well organized for my painting desk.

All six sailing ships are in this photo
(along with some other projects too).

The Canberra seen in the background is going to be converted to her Falklands troopship appearance for my Falklands air games that I mentioned in another post. ( She was in Bomb Alley for a couple of days while she offloaded troops, so had the potential to be a target.  It will also be a fun conversion, and one that isn't seen very often in the model ship world.

One good thing about these anniversary posts is that they make me go back through the Blogger log, and see which posts I started but never finished.  That's how I discovered that I have never taken any pictures of my unrated ships to put on the blog.  Expect those in the near future.

There has been one gift to myself that is useful, but I am still less than enthused about.  What is that, you ask?  Well, it's this:

Yep, an Optivisor.  Or the cheap Harbor Freight version of one, anyway.  My wife bought me a good one about 15 years ago or so, but I didn't need any such thing back then.  Wellllll, apparently I do now, and when I went looking for mine I couldn't find it.  So now I have this one.  Actually, it's not that bad. It has a fixed lens of 1.8X, and an inside fold-down lens that makes it 2.3X.  The loupe folds out of the way, and will increase magnification to either 3.7X or 4.8X when the inside lens is in place.  Of course, when using the loupe you have to get so close that it's impossible to work, but it might be useful sometime.  Best of all, it was only $4.99 at the local store.  Even if I weren't happy with it (and I am), it costs less than a set of sails from Langton.  It's definitely a reminder that anniversaries mark the passage of time though. 

In case you should go looking for them, there are no posts for the second and third anniversaries of the blog.  No good reason, other than I just didn't do them.  I promise to try and be better going forward.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Here, There and Everywhere

 My first thought for this post was to paint several of my modern Royal Navy ships, and put together a post under the title, "The Grey Funnel Line."  Instead, I fell victim to Gamer Attention Deficit, and painted around a couple of different projects.  Hence, this post (and title).

My first turn was back towards the Cod Wars project.  I started off by painting a couple of stern trawlers for that project.  Unlike the sidewinder trawlers, I wasn't able to come up with any specific names for these.  It seems like these more modern ships just didn't have the love and respect that went to the more traditional trawlers.  Loved or not though, they were still used so we need some for the table.  Here they are in all their fishy glory:

These aren't heavily rusted like the sidewinder trawlers, and that's based on the pictures of them I've seen.  That's not to say that they don't rust, especially along the scuppers that line the net handling deck.  They are not, however, as rusted along the sides as a traditional trawler is.  I imagine that's because the sidewinder trawlers are always hauling netting and gear over the sides.

Of course, those little trawlers are going to need someone to protect them from the Icelandic Coast Guard, and for that only one outfit will do.  Enter the Royal Navy.

HMS Gurkha

Sister ship HMS Tartar

My interpretation of the Tribal class.

The ship I chose to model is HMS Gurkha, one of the seven Type 81 Tribal class ships that served from 1961-1982.  The class was originally built for "colonial gunboat" type duties, and had several innovations designed in to make that easier.  Among those were air conditioning, all bunk accommodations (no hammocks), and a combined gas and steam propulsion system, referred to as COSAG.  COSAG meant that the ships could leave port quickly in the event of war, instead of waiting several hours to fire up steam boilers.  Unfortunately, the ships were designed with a single propeller. That, and a hull designed for calmer waters than the Atlantic limited their speed and maneuverability against the ships of the Icelandic Coast Guard.  Both Gurkha and her sister ship, HMS Tartar served in the Third Cod War in 1975-76.  Both ships were activated from reserve during the Falklands War, but did not go to the South Atlantic, serving in home waters as guard ships instead.

Speaking of the Falklands, that is a perfect segue to the next ship.  She's the Type 22 Batch 1 frigate, HMS Broadsword.  I think this model was made by Oceanic back in the 1990's.  Whoever made it , she is certainly a good example of how our expectations have changed over time!  The mold lines and flash were terrible; in fact, I wasn't able to completely remove the mold line around the hull.  The overall shape of the model was also, to put it nicely, rather basic.  I have about 15 photos taken during modifications to try and improve the look of the ship, but decided not to dump them all here.  That poor model and the various modifications might be a future blog post all by itself.

OK, that kind of looks like a ship.

Even these photos don't really show how 
rough the hull is.

Why didn't I go with a Shapeways model?  Well, the problem is that no one makes a Type 22, Batch 1 frigate in 1/1200 or 1/1250 on Shapeways.  One person makes them in 1/600, but he never answered my request for a 1/1200 version.  So, the rough 1990's model it is then.

In truth, I would have been a lot happier with the ship if I could have gotten more of that damned mold line on the hull to grind away.  As it was, I was already on the verge of changing the hull shape so decided to stop before I made things even worse.  So she is a "rough and ready gaming model," but given the lack of alternatives available, she'll do.

I have to say that this post has been about half-written since October of 2020.  Once you get out of the habit of writing and photographing, it is hard to get back into it!  I wasn't completely dormant during that time, though.  Indeed, taking a break seems to have breathed a new life into wanting to blog.  There should be several sailing ships available for the next post, as the Trafalgar Project inches along toward completion.  So, until next time (which shouldn't be four months), smooth sailing.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Don't Cry for Me, Argentina

 The last post took its name from the Pat Benatar song, "Invincible."  It was the theme song for a 1985 movie titled "The Legend of Billy Jean" that I never saw.  Apparently, I didn't miss much.  According to Pat Benatar introduces the song at her concerts by saying, "This is from the worst movie ever made."  So why did I pick that song?  C'mon, the title of the song is "Invincible," and it's a post about the ship of the same name. 😏  You have to admit, it's a lot stronger association than some of the other song titles I've used here. . . . 

THIS post title is so famous that it's not even worth waiting for the next post to talk about it.  This post title is from "Evita," so clearly we're going to be looking at something Argentinian today.  I will say that this was not my first choice for a post title.  The other choice came from a very obscure (in the US, anyway) British song about the Falklands War that I heard once on the Doctor Demento show in 1982.  I thought that might be a little too obscure.  Also, I wasn't able to find a copy that would let me confirm my memory was correct.  Anyway, despite what the title might make you think, this post is not going to be about the General Belgrano.  Instead, we're going to look at HMS Invincible's hypothetical opponent, the ARA 25 de Mayo.

Like the General Belgrano, the 25 de Mayo had an interesting history.  She actually started out in the British Royal Navy as the Colossus class carrier HMS Venerable.  Launched in December 1943 and commissioned in November 1944, she saw service in the Pacific before the end of WWII.  Immediately after hostilities, she returned prisoners of war home to Canada and Australia before herself returning to the UK.  She was decommissioned in April of 1947.

In April of 1948 she was sold to the Dutch navy and renamed HNLMS Karel Doorman in honor of the Admiral killed during the Battle of the Java Sea.  She gave a solid 20 years of service to Holland, with a major rebuild from 1955-58.  This is where she got her angled flight deck, catapult, new elevators and island along with a new set of boilers.  



A major boiler fire in April 1968 signaled her retirement, and she was sold to Argentina in October of 1968.  Renamed ARA 25 de Mayo after the National Day of Argentina, she was commissioned into her third navy on March 12, 1969.

By 1982 her flight deck had been strengthened to operate the French-built Super Étendard fighter-bombers that were coming into service with the Argentine Navy.  They weren't used on board 25 de Mayo during the war though, due to troubles launching them from the catapult.  So, she carried 8 A-4 Skyhawks, 6 Grumman S-2E Trackers (anti-submarine aircraft), 4 Sikorsky SH-3D Sea King heavy helicopters, and  one Alouette III light helicopter for her air wing.

Where do you find a model of the 25 de Mayo?  Normally I would say on Shapeways, since that is where I got mine.  For some reason though, I can't find her there anymore.  Now, I will be the first to admit that their search engine is terrible, but it looks like the model may not be available any longer.  If someone can find it on Shapeways, please let me know and I will post a direct link to it.

Since the model seems to be currently unavailable, I'll skip most of the runup about how I painted it and what decals were used.  Instead, I'll just show some pictures of the finished model.  Like Invincible, this one also has a currently empty flight deck, but that should be rectified in the near future.

The stripes are from Microscale, the numbers are from Miscellaneous Minis, and the circles are from an old Dom's Decals sheet.  It is not a perfect reproduction of the flight deck and all her markings, but I think I've captured the spirit of the old girl.

I think this might be a post-Falklands model. The aft elevator was 
removed after the war for Super Étendard operations.

Even after all those years of service and facelifts, she's still a pretty ship.  She deserved a better fate than being scrapped, but most ships do.

On a closing note, I just finished reading One Hundred Days by Admiral Sandy Woodward, the commander of the British task force.  The scenario of an airstrike from 25 de Mayo against the British carriers is still a very good "what if" scenario.  In fact, Woodward mentions that they were standing by to receive a dawn strike on 2 May.  The idea of a counter-strike from Invincible and/or Hermes is a lot shakier, however.  Indeed, Woodward never even mentions the idea in his memoir.  Instead, he expected one of the two submarines in the area (Spartan and Superb) to find and deal with the Argentinians.  As it happened, neither of them contacted the Argentine task force, and the 25 de Mayo carrier group returned to base safely.  I still think a counter-strike by the British might be a fun scenario, but I also have to acknowledge it's pretty near the realm of fantasy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

"It's a do or die situation - we will be INVINCIBLE!"

It's time to start writing about ships and song lyrics again!  I know that COVID-19 is still running rampant, especially in my part of the world.  So yes, this could clearly be called "Love in the Time of Coronavirus Part 3" or whatever.  But ya see, I want things to go back to normal.  I want to visit my friends that I haven't seen in months, and I don't care whether it's to play games or just chat.  I've come to appreciate virtual gaming applications like Roll20 and Discord; they have allowed me to get SOME gaming in.  It's still not the same as pushing real minis around a tabletop though.

Now, I can already hear what you're saying to your computer: "Yeah, well, that's the same thing we ALL want! Stop whining, you big baby."  🤔🤔🤔  OK, fair enough.  My point though, (such as it is) was simply that here things can be normal, more or less.  That means less mentioning the Coronavirus, and more talking about ships and finding a song lyric that fits the subject of my posts.

In this case though, finding an appropriate song lyric was almost ridiculously easy.  As mentioned in the "Love in the Time of Coronavirus" posts, my newest air/naval project is the Falklands War.  After painting British warships for the Cod Wars, it was a natural progression.  I mean, why not get more than one use out of your minis when you can, right?  Also, I have to admit that I love the Royal Navy ship designs from the 1960's to the 1980's.  They just look good.  Finally, the Falklands War has one of the best "what-if" scenarios of all time, and it requires almost no jiggering of real life events.  Let me explain. . .

On May 2, 1982 most of the Argentine Navy was at sea, including their aircraft carrier, the 25 de Mayo.  Their objective was to find and strike either of the Royal Navy's two aircraft carriers: HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible.  With the British at the end of a 6,000 mile supply line, the Argentinians thought that any serious damage to either carrier would force it to leave for repairs.  If the Royal Navy lost one of its carriers, that might well tip the balance of the war to Argentina.  The Invincible group  was found late on May 1, and at 0600 the next morning, the Skyhawks were ready to be launched.  Then, fate (or nature) intervened.

The Skyhawks needed 40 knots of wind over the deck to launch with a significant ordnance load.  The carrier could make 20 knots, but the South Atlantic winds refused to cooperate and stayed at 10 knots (some sources say a dead calm), making impossible to launch the strike.  So, the first carrier versus carrier combat since WWII did not happen.  Like I said, it's the perfect "what-if" scenario, and all you really need to do is make the wind a few knots faster.  The normal winds for that time of year in the South Atlantic are 15-25 knots, so it's not even an unrealistic adjustment.

For a scenario like this, you have to have a target.  I found mine thanks to  Martin, the proprietor, had an assembled and painted Triton/Skytrex Invincible and I quickly snapped it up.  As usual, I decided I didn't like the old paint job and decided to repaint it.  Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the old version.  The original idea was to just repaint the flight deck, but as always, I wound up redoing the whole thing.

The problem is, I wound up repainting the flight deck more than once.  For those who don't remember, the flight deck of the Invincible looked like this:

Illustrious (front) relieves Invincible, August 1982.

Well, I thought I could paint those stripes by hand and keep them straight.  THAT necessitated a second repaint of the flight deck. So, after a lot of paint, a bit of cursing, and some payments to decal makers, my Invincible now looks like this:

The white stripes are from a company called Microscale who mostly make decals for model railroads.  The numbers are from Miscellaneous Miniatures (  As with any of my projects, the mistakes appear pretty obvious to me.  Some of the lines that run the length of the deck are a little bit wavy.  They don't look that bad in person, but it's pretty blatant looking here.  I think the problem is that I put those down in 1" segments, so there was more chance for them to not be straight.  Also, the lines on the sides of the main runway are too wide.  Every stinking picture I had of Invincible, I sear those stripes looked wider than the rest.  Not until I was finished and the deck was sealed did I find a close-up of the ramp that showed all the lines the same width.  Finally, the engraving on the deck was very light, and in the multiple times repainting, I lost the deck elevators under the paint!  I'm thinking about cutting some .001 plastic sheet to size and putting them in place, but just haven't done it yet.

As a closing thought, I know that big open deck looks awfully bare.  The next step will be to find some 1/1250 deck gear and aircraft to spot here and there.  Even like this, though, she'll make a good looking target for the Argentine Skyhawks I'm painting up.  Those will be in a future post, of course.

OH, one last thing now that I think about it. (Don't 🙄at me; I can practically hear it through the monitor.)  I thought that with the Coronavirus, I'd be making a lot more blog posts.  Obviously, that hasn't quite worked as planned.  The reason for that is our family has rediscovered game nights.  After dinner we play cards, or dominoes or Yahtzee.  For some reason, that's a lot more fun easier than writing blog posts!  I promise to do better in the future.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, Part 2

If you read the previous post, you saw the 1938 Gran Prix cars that are one of my unfinished projects.  I think that's one of the fun things about a post like this; you get to see some things that normally probably wouldn't be shown on this blog, given my focus on naval stuff.  I can even hear you asking, "what OTHER kinds of minis does he have that he hasn't shown us?"  Well, there's WWII, American Civil War, mobsters. . . Oh wait, you say you didn't ask that?  Bummer. 😞  Well, for the purposes of this post, I'm going to just pretend that you did ask.

My friends who game with me regularly already know my opinion of air power in naval games.  I think aircraft are sneaky, underhanded contraptions that are barely one step above submarines in terms of ruining a good naval fight.  Zeppelins fall into the same category, so don't think the lighter-than-air people get away either.  In short, if it moves under the sea or flies over it, I'm not a fan.

Now, airplanes fighting airplanes?  That's cool, and even more if they're jet powered.  That's probably why I've got a few sets of rules, and a box of airplanes to play with.  The set of rules I use is the one that is most popular in my area.  To wit:
They give a fun game, are easy to teach and give reasonable results.  Using these rules, I've played everything from Sabres over Korea (and other places) to "MiG-28's" from the original Top Gun. I've also played the WWII version, but the faster planes are more fun to me.

So what types of air wars do I like to play?  Well, there are a couple of periods with another in the planning stages.  As an American, I can't ignore the big dog in the room, which is Vietnam.  I've managed to mostly resist the obvious temptation to buy USAF and USN aircraft, restricting myself to USAF.  It's an interesting period because most of the Vietnamese aircraft in scenarios are MiG-17's, with an occasional MiG-21 or 19.  MiG-17's are fun to "fly."  They are quick, and maneuverable enough to run rings around any US aircraft.  Their biggest disadvantage is that they don't have any of these:

the robotic flying boomstick of DEATH, aka the Sidewinder missile.  It seems that my destiny as a Red pilot is to get hammered by one of these 🤬every time we play.  The funny thing is, they are actually pretty unreliable in game terms.  Still, they get me more often than not.  I didn't post any pictures of the Vietnam aircraft, because they were some of the first ones I ever painted.  I'm no longer happy with how they look, since they're what taught me I'm no good at using washes.

Since missiles seem to be my nemesis, the best thing to do is step back to a period where there aren't any, or not very many.  No, not Korea, as those planes aren't fast enough.  For real fun, you gotta try these:

"Oh, I recognize those.  They're, . . . wait, whut?"
Those are planes for the Indian-Pakistan War of 1965.  While the ground war ended up being a bit of a stalemate, the air war was not.  The general consensus was that in this round of the ongoing Kashmir crisis, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) was the winner.

As a game, the air war has a lot going for it.  It's short, only about three weeks.  The Indian Air Force (IAF) is flying a grab bag of British, French, and Soviet equipment, but the PAF is flying American aircraft exclusively.  The aircraft themselves range from outmatched WWII gear:

deHavilland Vampire.  First flight: 1943
Miniatures by MSD Games, flight stand by Fight's On! (

To evenly matched dogfighting rivals:

F-86 Sabre and Hawker Hunter. Both minis by I-94 Enterprises
(main site: store: )

To the limits of 1950's technology.

F-104 Starfighter and MiG-21 F-13.  Both by I-94 Enterprises.
There's not just fighters, of course.  Bombers and attack planes play their part as well:

English Electric Canberra and Dassault Mystere IV
Canberra by ??? and Mystere by I-94.

There are still more planes, but this is already getting to be a long post.  So how did I find out about this offbeat conflict?  As with so many other things, I read a couple of books:

I'm not saying which one I read first. 😎

Back in part 1 of this post, I promised you that I would tell you about a new project that somehow tied in a little closer to what I normally do.  So how does all the above stuff about airplanes tie into that?  Well, that will take a couple of more photos.  Let's look at some stuff on the painting table, shall we?

Now where could they be going?

Well, those are some good-looking ships, even if one isn't quite finished!  Pretty much the epitome of the Cold War Royal Navy.  Got to be a project set in the 1980's then.  World War III at sea, maybe?

Geez, more 1:1200/1250 aircraft carriers.  The one on the left has a ski jump and no angled deck, so clearly not US Navy.  The right hand one doesn't quite look American, but not British either.  With so many modern(ish) aircraft carriers around, there's got to be some airplanes. . . 

Oh, hello!
Well I would guess that is a naval airplane, given the anchors painted on the wings.  Maybe he can fly by again, so that we can get a better look at his markings. . .
OK, thanks.
Obviously, I'm going to start doing some of the air attacks during the Falklands War in 1982.  It gives a chance to run a small campaign using both naval and air forces.  Yes, the ships will be stationary targets, but they still need to look good!  Besides, they can shoot back with their anti-aircraft defenses like guns and missiles.  I really love Check Your 6 Jet Age, and so this project should be a lot of fun.

In closing, there is one company listed here that I would like to give a little more of a shout out to.  That company is Fight's On!, and their website is: .  They make terrain and accessories for air games.  Their best-known product, other than missiles are the "Cadillac of the Sky" flight stands that you saw in the pictures above.  The stands can track movement and altitude by using magnetic rods of differing lengths.  It sounds complicated, but is really not.  For some photos of them in action take a look at: .  Full disclosure: The owners of the company are gaming buddies of mine.  You can tell them I sent you, but I don't think it will get you a discount.😁