Sunday, April 19, 2020

Naval developments...

Two new vessels for the Azeitonian Colonial flotilla.
An added dimension to the affairs in deepest darkest Aithiops, upon the equatorial east coast of which has been established an Azeitona colony close by the mouths of the great grey-green Limpopo River, which is a deep as the sea (handy, that!) and bordered with fever trees...  To maintain this outpost against the seaborne depredations of rival Azuria colonists upon the Island of Madasagascar (not to mention Madasahatta), the rude irruptions of the Ruberians of the Cape Colony, the coarse corsairs of Zanzingabar, and the riverine incursions of the militant m'Butu... the Azeitonians right early recognised the requirement for a strong and versatile naval presence.

Kickapoo, flying the Azeitonian flag.  The flag was designed by
Paul 'Jacko' Jackson.  Quite a nice one, I think.
Hence the purchase at vast expense, two vessels, veterans of the War Between the States of the U.S. of Anaconda, the ironclad Lafayette, and the turreted monitor Kickapoo; and their towage, at vast effort, of both, across the Great Western Ocean, around the Cape of Good Grief, to safe anchorage in the Limpopo Estuary.
The Lafayette - slow, but imposing.  

The Governor of the Cape Colony, Darius Lord Reduncle was not best pleased the Azeitonians had achieved a viable and rival naval presence in this part of the world, right under his nose as well.  To be sure, neither vessel was a match for the coastal battleship HMS Blunderer, which flew the broad pennant of Commodore Roger Redington, but they would form the nucleus around which could be built a considerable flotilla of small craft.   The Governor felt in his bones that the Blunderer would one day be forced to try conclusions with the two intruding vessels...

HMS Blunderer, flying the blue ensign, at anchor at the Cape
of Good Grief.  Over the way lies HMS Horsefly - too small
to take on the Azeitonian ironclads...

There will be an action between the rival flotillas, but unless I do some tweaking, it is very unlikely the two ironclads together could possibly be a match for HMS Blunderer alone.  Some tall cunning might be in order for the Azeitonian flotilla commander to make a fight of it should the Ruberians put in an appearance...

I've created a couple of 'broad pennants' for the respective naval commanders, but where (and how) they are to be flown has yet to be determined.


  1. Nice ships Archduke - did you scratch build them? Cheers. KEV.

  2. Lovely vessels indeed - same question as Kev!!

  3. Thanks for your comments!

    Yes, all were made out of bits of balsa, card, toothpick and plastic tube. The funnels of the coastal battleship (modelled upon HMS Thunderer) are inverted caps of 40+ year old highlighter pens.

    The ensigns are paper, the designs drawn with ball-pen, and coloured with felt-yip pen (the types used on overhead projector transparencies). The fibriation of the star had to be painted. The jack staffs are simply pins.

    I have to admit, the paint jobs could use a bit of tidying up!

  4. Archduke Piccolo,

    A stunning pair of warships that will do credit (and great service) to their owners. Whether they will ever stand up to the ministrations of the Blunderer is a question that we may one day find out!

    All the best,


    1. Hi Bob -
      I thought a naval action would be fairly interesting (and reasonably plausible) but for HMS Blunderer to be much the more powerful vessel, faster, more powerful and longer ranged guns. I can see a possible action in which the Azeitonians base their tactics on keeping close to the shore, so as to bring into action their shore batteries and possibly small steamers armed with spar torpedoes. But I doubt if Commodore Redington would be so ... unwise ... as to send in Blunderer all alone against that lot...

      This will require some thought!

    2. I forgot to mention that the acquisitions of the Azeitonian Navy I made about 25 or more years ago for my American Civil War riverine operations. Both vessels were sold off some time after that war ended. It seemed vaguely plausible that a colonial power might have bought both. All that has changed is that they have been given - for the nonce - Azeitonian colours.

  5. Great job on all the ships! I look forward to some naval engagement reports.

    1. Thinking about it, Chris...! I have a scenario in mind, but might need to try a few simple single vessel actions first.