Sunday, 19 August 2012

Aeronef Shipyard - 1

OK, so I was so taken by my first game of Aeronef on Thursday, that I decided to download the rules, and the Captain's Handbook. And, of course, to acquire some fleets of my own. Since I'm a cheapskate (well, 'on a budget' is a more accurate term) I decided to scratch-build. Given the nature of the vessels this didn't seem too difficult a proposition - certainly not if I just wanted a basic force of ships to try out the rules with.

The ships I used on Thursday, which were from Geoff's collection, were mostly based on hulls from the old 'Sky Galleons Of Mars' game (including sailing vessels, which really need some rules in Aeronef). These seem slightly smaller than the 1/1200th scale of the 'official' Aeronef models from Brigade games. However since Geoff's ships will probably be the club standard for now, I decided to base my own ships on them. I'm not sure that any slight incompatibilities of scale will be too much of an issue anyway.

I have decided to base my builds around relatively fixed lengths for each class, although design variations will affect these. So, the basic lengths are:

Class 5 - 25mm
Class 4 - 35mm
Class 3 - 50mm
Class 2 - 60mm
Class 1 - 75mm

We'll see how they work over time.

Like my scratch-built starships I went for a layered card constriction. I start with a basic hull shape, then glue smaller pieces of mounting board and thin card on it until I get something that looks right. the end result is probably flatter than it should be - more like a 3D counter, perhaps - but it does the job.

I decided to build two forces. A British force seemed obvious (well, to me) and, since Geoff is well stocked with dirigibles to use as Germans, I thought I would make more aeronef and paint them as French vessels.

I started small - Class 4 and 5 vessels. Specifically, for each side, six Class 5 gunboats and for Class 4 frigates. Enough for a decent game, in fact, and enough to support the larger ships when (or if) I get around to making them.

Here they are under construction:

In fact the Class 5 vessels are pretty much complete. The brown patches are the thinner card, and the guns are snipped sections of florist's wire. In the foreground can be seen the marked out hulls of the Class 4 vessels. The biro casings are scheduled for conversion into dirigible bombers; the ink tubes from each provide funnels for the aeronefs.

I keep the small card off-cuts, as they make useful fins and trim for the ships.

A closeup of the gunboats. The British are on the left, whilst the sleeker, faster French ones are on the right:

You can see how I've used card off-cuts as the rudders on the French vessels.

And here are the assembled Class 4 and 5 aeronefs: the French in the foreground and the British behind them:

The next stage is undercoating and painting, so I now need to research some possible colour schemes


  1. Hi Kaptain,

    If you check out the Wessex Games Yahoo group there is a lot of pictures to be had of many types of 'Nef and 'Dig. 1/72nd scale aircraft bombs make the basis for great 'Dig bombers and the original Turks started life as them.

    The models look really good and I am looking forward to seeing them painted.

    All the best,


    1. Geoff's 'digs are mostly plastic aircraft kit bombs and drop-tanks. Sadly they aren't the kind of thing I have in my bits box; I was never really into model aircraft kit building. But I acquire a lot of biros ... :)

  2. Hi Kaptain,

    Hasegawa produce a box of bombs and stuff in 1/72nd that is very useful and pretty cheap!

    You could probably get a couple of dozen digs easily out of the box. Plastic disposable razor covers are also useful....;-)

    All the best,


    1. Thanks - I'll look out for that box when I'm next near a model shop.

      Sadly I don't use disposable razors ;)

    2. I picked up a set of 1/48th scale missiles and bombs yesterday which should make some interesting 'digs.

  3. Very nice scratching, Sir.


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