The Gunboat

Old Glory, or its subsidiary Merrimac Shipyard, makes a 28mm gunboat for its Sudan range.  It’s nominally called a Safieh style gunboat.

The Safieh figured prominently in the river expedition to rescue General Gordon at Khartoum in 1885.  Though it effectively engaged Dervish batteries at Mettemeh on the Nile, Safieh was later captured and pressed into Dervish service, only to be destroyed by a new generation of British gunboats during Kitchener’s reconquest in 1898.

Of course, I have different plans.  My gunboat, The Parhoon Princess, will be the flagship of the canal fleet on Mars.

It’s big.  The model is about 14 inches long from stem to stern, and about six inches across from sidewheel to sidewheel.  The massive resin hull comes with some additional resin bits to house the smokestack, the paddle-wheels that fit very tidily under their housings and a gun shield for the twelve pounder and crew that are also supplied. In addition, some plank barricades cast in metal are supplied to create impromptu fortifications on the upper deck.

This miniature is intended to be a representation of a gunboat.  So don’t look for minute detailing.  It’s big and clunky, almost a caricature of a gunboat, but it’s perfect for wargaming.  28mm figures fit nicely around the bulwarks and barricades.  Nothing delicate about this model that can easily be broken or damaged.

It doesn’t come with a smokestack, which I think is weird. I initially bought a big piece of copper tubing, but found that cutting it neatly and affixing it to the model might be challenging.  It was also a little too small in diameter.  I settled instead on a four inch metal tail pipe for a sink. It is a little big, but, as I said, the model is a bit of a caricature.  It’s just got one big mo fo smokestack.

The paint scheme is pretty simple.  Though I often see this model with a white hull and superstructure with pretty serious washing, I chose the black hull with white works. I painted the deck Vallejo Deck Tan and gave it a good wash with Vallejo Brown Wash.  The gun-shield, smokestack works, and ad hoc defenses were a little more involved.  The base color was Ceramcoat gray-brown.  I dry brushed some Ceramcoat Spice Brown, over the top, and then gave a black wash.  I got the effect I was looking for. I dry-brushed some gray over the black surfaces, but bad dry-brusher that I am, didn’t quite get what I want.

I added a pair of Old Glory Gardner guns to the protected top deck, and there is still plenty of room for a unit of Marines to add their rifles to fend off borders.

This finishes off my cache of 28mm resin ships I bought ten or so years ago.  It’s nice to have them done. We’ll be playing a big Martian vs. Brits game on the canals of Mars on July 22nd, so the Parhoon Princess should get some action.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Until then, I’ll be working on my Aztec project

Music to Paint by


Some records are just difficult to find used, so I always hope like hell I can find a new copy.  One album that is a tough get is Fighting by Thin Lizzy. I wasn’t always a Thin Lizzy fan, though I have a weakness for Irish bands. I think it was because “The Boys Are Back In Town” seemed to be on the radio every other minute when I was young, and I kind of thought that was all there was.  But I was wrong, of course.  They had a string of wonderful albums-Jailbreak, Johnny the Fox, Armed and Dangerous is as good a live record as you can ever hope to find, and Black Rose, which is superb. Phil Lynott was a wonderful songwriter and front man, and the twin lead guitars of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson are incredibly strong. 1975’s Fighting is the first in a string of excellent records released by Thin Lizzy with the wonderful “Rosalie,” “Fighting My Way Back,” and “Ballad of a Hard Man.”

This isn’t an impossible get used.  But it’s not a cheap one either.  It’s one of those albums where you might spend $25 on a vintage copy and be disappointed in its condition. Amazon sells an imported pressing of Fighting from the Czech Republic.  It was less than $24 on 180 gram vinyl.  It played very well and wrapped up my Thin Lizzy mini-collection.


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