German Schnellboots

Cruel Seas is a new 1:300 scale Naval game created by Warlord Games. I’ve got a soft spot for Naval miniatures and on an impulse I picked up a box of the Schnellboots, because they’re just so damn pretty. I’ve since picked up a full German fleet and I’m also in the middle of painting an IJN fleet for a friend. So it’s going to be a very Nautical February. Let Feboatary commence!

I’ve got some work in progress shots; the first couple show how I magnetised the turrets. I’m not 100% sure why I’ve done this, but everytime I get turrets I feel the urge to make them rotate! These were pretty easy, though. Just a 2x1mm disc on the guns and a 6x1mm disc on the hull underneath. The holes are already 2mm thick and deep enough to fit the magnet if you chop off the attachment pin. The hardest part is lining the magnets up with the middle of the turrets.

In the next shot you can see how it looks with them all in place. They can point at the thing they’re shooting!!!

Here you can see them basecoated. I started with a black undercoat and an azimuthal pure white coat. I then airbrushed the off-white with an airbrush. The rest is just brush painted. Here you can see one of the S-28 boats (my first, test model).

  • Hull:
    • Vertical Surfaces: White Sands (SC-09)
    • Horizontal Surfaces: French Mirage Blue (VMC 70.900)
    • Metal Surfaces: Graphite (SC-03)
    • Dark Surfaces: Abyssal Blue (SC-08)
    • Panel/Recess Wash: PLW Black Night (A.MIG-1611)
    • Rust: Rust Streaks (AK 013)
  • Windows: Deep Blue (SC-55)
  • Wooden Decks:
    • Base: Deck Tan (VMC 70.986)
    • Wash: Inktense Wood (SC-80) & Black Wash (VGc 73.201) — 1:2
  • Torpedoes:
    • Body: Medium Sea Grey (VMC 70.870)
    • Head: Eclipse Grey (SC-16)
  • Crew:
    • Body: Navy Blue (SC-54)
    • Life Jacket: US Field Drab (VMC 70.873)
    • Face: Something pinkish (???)
    • Helmet: Field Grey (SC-46)

I’ve another WiP picture that shows how I apply the panel washes. I start by covering the miniature in a gloss varnish coat. I get the wash into the crevices by wetting the brush and then tapping it on a part of the panel line or crevice. Capillary action then transfers the paint across, hopefully, the entire length. It doesn’t always go far enough of course, so I just move along to where it didn’t go and tap it again. This isn’t perfect, because each place you tap the brush leaves a round spot of the wash. I let it dry for a bit (probably any where from 10min to an hour) and then come back to the miniature to clean away the excess. The washes I’m using are enamel based so they can be re-activated by applying white spirits. I wet the brush then wipe most off until it is just damp and then wipe where I don’t want the wash. After a couple of spots you have to wet the brush to clean off the spirits and repeat. It’s not a heap of fun, but I’m happy with the results. The WiP below shows the S-38 (front) which has been cleaned and the S-100 which has the wash, but is still messy.

My final step is to apply some rust streaks. The process is the same, in spirit, to the wash. I draw lots of small thin lines with a tooth pick. These are still too thick and look awful. But a brush that’s damp with white spirits takes most of the colour away and leaves fairly random streaks; it’s really important to brush in the direction of the streaks, i.e. up/down – they look odd if they’re at an angle. Playing around with drying times, thickness of lines and direction (up/down) gives a variety of effects. I didn’t take any progress pictures of this step, maybe in the future

First a couple of pictures of the older S-38

Next up is a couple of pictures of the later model S-100 (note the armoured bridge and additional guns. Unfortunately the kit doesn’t come with a extra 37mm canon for the aft of the S-100, so you have to put the quad 20mm cannon. They should be switched in the pictures below. Lucky they’re magnetised.

I think the overhead pictures look better than the side on shots, so I might skip the side-ons in future. But here’s a couple of overhead shots of the pair.

Lastly here is all the Schnellboots I’ve painted so far. I’ve finished another S-100 hull, but she doesn’t have any turrets yet.

I’m stoked with how they’ve come out. Hats off to Warlord Games. I wasn’t sure when I started, but I’m a convert now. I think these are great little miniatures with just the right amount of detail. It’s a shame they didn’t include just one extra gun so you could create both versions of the S-100, but that’s a minor quibble.

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