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Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Conversion to a Romanian gunboat

Not much time to play games as of late.  But am taking on the challenge of making a Romanian navy for cruel seas.  [ for those of you that are tired of naval posts, I hope to play a Force on Force battle this weekend set in cold war NATO.] They had 4-6 MTBs and 2 flaklighters so those are easy.  The 2 DDs I don't have to worry about.  Their 2 gunboats caught my eye.  They were active in the black sea protecting convoys and during the evacuation of Sevastopol in 1944 even sank several russian MTBs.  Perfect for coastal gaming!  They were armed with 2 4 inch guns with a top speed of 15 knots and displaced about 450 tons loaded.  What to use...  Hey the russian Fugas minesweeper has a 4 in gun forward and displaces about the same tonnage.
Main differences   ( I don't know how to load pictures from the web that is why there aren't any in this post.  sorry )  Fugas                                     Locotenent-Comandor Stihi
                            1 4 in Forward  40mm aft           1 4in forward     1 4 in aft
                             main mast slanted diagnoally      main mast straight
                             fitted for minesweeping               not fitted for minesweeping
                             straight funnel                             slanted funnel
                             funnel mid ship                           funnel not midship

Except for the funnel I thought I could convert the rest.  Here is that story.

First, need to get rid of all the minesweeping vanes.  These 2 are sanded off 


Now the vanes are the deck were more of a challenge.  I could have sanded them off but would have taken a long time and the deck would have looked irregular.  Why not cover them with a tarp?  How do you make a tarp in 1/300 scale you ask?

You see the vanes on the deck we have to cover.  Upper right is some gauze I soaked for a dessert project that was left over.  Since I don't want netting I leave the gauze in undiluted dark gray paint and end up with the gauze on the left.  Trim to fit and I have a tarp! 

Tarp covering the vanes.   Ignore the gun; we will come back to that.

Glue the mast straight instead of slanted; not that hard.  [ actually the mast should have been in front of the bridge for purists.  That just looked too dumb and I couldn't bring myself to do it; but it is straight behind the bridge.]  Here is the hard part; I want to flag it for Romania but also want to be able to flag it for Finland as they had a similar gunboat.  I need a removable flag and this mast has no crosspost. 
First cut a small piece of card or sandpaper, poke a hole in it and slide it down the mast.  Paint it.

Sandpaper to hold my Romanian and Finnish flags.

Next cut a small strip of paper thinner than the flag and loop it so it will slide down the mast.  Slide it down the mast and paint it.

Print out your historically researched flag.  [ This one courtesy  of Alex Danes and Razva Pala.] If it is not accurate your ships starts out with 30 points of damage! 

Glue the 2 far ends of the flag together leaving the near ends  open.  The near ends will be attached to the loop you made earlier and is already sitting on the mast.

It should look like this when you are done!  The flag is glued to the loop and the loop slides on and off easily. 

On to the aft gun.    First you have to purchase the additional weapons pack from Warlords.  Buy the German one as their Raum boat has the incorrect guns and you can fix it with this pack.  I can show you how.  You will also be able to update the raum, and S boats easily.  If you are big into the Fairmile Ds then get the British one.  Those guns on the model are late war only so you can do authentic early war actions with the pack.

First drill a hole with the appropriate drill.  You can hand drill this.  It doesn't have to be deep!

Next take a small magnet and glue into the hole so it is flush with the deck.  Sand down the base of the large deck gun from the weapons pack and glue a magnet on there also.  Make sure you get the polarity correct!  [ tip make sure both magnets are level.  If not the gun won't rotate correctly. Trust me I know]

Magnet glued into place for our 4 inch gun.  You could paint if, as on the raum boat, there would be times when there would not be a gun in place. 

Aft gun in place.  It will rotate nicely and be secure.  

In regards to uniforms.  The Romanian navy had dark blue jumpers with a jean color collar that had 3 white strips on it.  Note the gun crew above.  No I didn't paint the three white strips on the collar!  Officers wore a dark blue uniform with gold braid. 

Our gunboat on her shakedown cruise.  Bombarding russian positions.  I applied a 4 color splinter camo paint scheme that they used on their bigger [ gunboats and above] ships. 

A view of the bridge. 

For gamers wanting to include this ship it also carried 2 HMGs on the wings of the bridge.  It appears that these were replaced by 20mm guns at some point during the war.  For my purposes glueing the HMGs into place will do fine.  I will probably say in 1943 these will be 20mm. 

Start of my ship card.   Speed will only be 15 knots.  For those of you that will play my variant Tumultuous Seas, this ship will probably have 150 hps. 

Hopefully you found that interesting and maybe helpful.  If you want to convert a Romanian MTB that is easy...

Put a flag on one of your vospers!  [ purists note their should be a single mg aft.]




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