After thinking about it, and some discussion over at TMP, I've decided that I am going to have to base these ships as well. Compared to the sailing ships, these ironclads are mere slips of metal and I think that bases will be much easier in moving them. Also, some of the gunboats are easily under 100 feet long, so less than 1 inch in 1/1200 scale. In a way, it's the opposite of the sailing ship problem; instead of being top heavy, they are so small that a sneeze might blow them away (or at least the resin ones).
Unlike the sailing ships though, these are going to be on clear bases. Given that Civil War ship operations go back and forth between rivers and deep water, I don't want to own one set of ships on ocean bases and one set on river bases. While I realize that I could use my ocean mats for riverine scenarios, this is an area where traveling has convinced me otherwise. After looking at various rivers during my trip to Virginia, one thing I can say is that rivers aren't blue! Brown, green or some mixture of the two, but not blue. I'm thinking about going with this mat for my rivers: http://cigarboxbattlestore.bigcartel.com/product/full-river-4x6-plus-230 as it would let me place land on top of it while still having a very wide river if that were to be needed for a scenario.
Below are some photos of the ironclads after they've been painted. While I'm happy enough with how the two Monitors came out, I'm not as happy with the CSS Atlanta. I just don't think that I did justice to all the fine details that Thoroughbred put into the model. For the moment I'm consoling myself with the fact that the pictures show the ship at much larger than full size, thereby magnifying my sloppy brushwork.
|Obligatory shot with US quarter|
|USS Nahant. You can see why the different markings are necessary.|
|Their opponent, CSS Atlanta. The flagpole is removable so she can be the |
USS Atlanta as needed.
|Even this ship is not particularly tall, as the quarter shot shows.|
|It actually looks a lot better in person. This photo makes the color look|
like dog poop brown.
|I tried to make the mud around the guns a slightly different color,|
to show it being stirred up by people moving around.
I think it worked pretty well.
|The detail is very nice. This flagpole is also removable.|