Wednesday, 26 December 2012

M-35 Mako from Mass Effect and Sci-fi stuff

Hi all, I admit it, this is just a shameless post to advertise my Sci-fi Stuff blog. I have a few posts of builds I have done for my sci-fi troops. I have just completed a version of the M-35 Mako from Mass Effect.

Now, I have noticed a few posts on various blogs regarding Mass Effect models, stand in models etc, or lack there of, so thought my Mako might be of interest to Mass Effect and sci-fi gamers out there.

I do plan to take my Sci-fi gaming background / setting from the Mass Effect Universe, modified for my own needs of course! So I hope to eventually find miniatures for most of the races and scratch built models of the vehicles, all in 15mm scale, using the excellent USE ME rule sets from

In the new year I will of course be back to ship building, not sure which ship will be first, so stay tuned!!

That's it for now anyway, hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas!
Mark B.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See you soon

Mark B.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Make you own Porcelain

Hi all,

Whilst perusing the information super highway, my lovely trouble and strife happened across this, and thought it might be useful for  me. It's a how-to guide to make your own porcelain clay. At this time I'm not planning on sculpting anything, but I thought I'd share it with you lot, certainly looks like a handy thing to know if you sculpt a lot.

Take care and Happy Christmas.
Mark B.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Seasonal slowdown

Hi all,
I won't get a chance to post often this month, with work and Xmas stuff, it'll be a busy one for me. What time I do have for gaming stuff will be divided between this blog and my Sci-Fi stuff blog. I hope to get another ship complete by next weekend and post it up. Until then I've posted a couple of pic of a Mantis gunship I made over on my Sci-fi page.

Take care.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Thémis Launches.

Beighton's Shipyard is proud to present, the French Frigate Themis. Named after an ancient Greek Titaness who was described as "of good counsel", and was the embodiment of divine order, law, and custom.

Thémis makes sail.

Aft View

The Thémis took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre and in the Battle of Trafalgar. After the battle of Trafalgar, she took Principe de Asturias in tow to safety in Cadiz. In early 1808, she raided commerce with Pénélope and sailed to Toulon. From there, she was tasked to ferry supplies to Corfu, along with Pauline. She was trapped there and eventually seized by the British when they captured the island.

French Convoy.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Wind stops play

Hello all, I was going to catch up on the many projects I've got ongoing at the moment and get some pictures online, Sunday seems to be the best day for me to catch up and complete things. Alas, it was not to be, as we had severe wind last night, not meaning the smelly kind. We awoke this morning to next doors fence in our garden, and our walnut tree had toppled! Unfortunately the tree landed across a public footpath, and in the garden of our neighbour, destroying a small section of his fence.

That's me, valiantly struggling with the tree!

That is what's still left to clear. It was a big tree!

Poor thing :(

So, instead of a relaxing Sunday painting, the missus and me were clearing a tree, helped by a chainsaw wielding neighbour (Thanks Dave), until he was sadly called away after an hour or so. Then we had to cut the tree by hand, awfully tiring! We also had to contend with a unsympathetic dog walker who just had to get down the footpath! So he was guided through the neighbours garden to the other side, he never came back....

That's the footpath and neighbours garden half cleared!

Well, we will have plenty of fire wood!

We finally managed to clear the footpath and neighbours garden, botch together a temporary repair on his fence to stop his dog escaping. We also blockaded our fence to stop our dog escaping, and propped up the other neighbours fence. Busy day!!

Our faithful helpers, Nelson (Our neighbour's dog) in foreground,
he likes Sticks!!!. Sephton (our dog) at the rear, more of a supervisor!

We still have over half a tree to chop up and clear, so that'll be another ongoing job. So, unfortunately I didn't get to finish the frigate I was hoping to get finished today. My Sci-fi blog will shortly have some pics of a terrain piece I completed earlier this week, Hopefully I'll finish that frigate tomorrow.

Until next careful out there!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Still Here!

Sorry for the lack of activity, but real life has gotten in the way again. Not had much time of late to complete another frigate, it's half done, but hopefully will complete it by next weekend. Work has left me tired of late, so the only thing I've been in the mood for is painting, I find it relaxing and therapeutic. As the only models I have at hand to paint are Science Fiction, and not really suitable for this blog, I've created another blog for all things Sci- Fi. I hope you check it out and enjoy. You can find what I've managed to complete since last post, here.

Until next time, may the dice be with you!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

'Étoile' Sets Sail!

Finished the french frigate Étoile. I still have a few frigates planned for French and British navies, see the Dockyard page for my planned ships. As I now have a frigate and 2 sloops/corvettes per side, I can start my naval career proper, just got to sort some terrain and rules out and have a game!
Here's some pics of the frigate Étoile.

The majestic Etoile sets sail.

Aft view.

Bow view.

French Convoy, Etoile supported by corvettes Iéna and Créole.

Until next time...

Friday, 2 November 2012

Mine's bigger than yours!

Hi all, while I'm still constructing a French Frigate I was thinking... about scale, or to be more precise, my indecision of what scale to use for land battles! I had originally intended to go for 6mm miniatures, who can resist the huge battle recreated on the tabletop. Hundreds of little miniatures slugging it out makes for an impressive scene. I may be wrong, please correct me if I am, but I feel 6mm does not lend itself well to skirmishes, cutting out of a ship in port, pirate raids on a coastal town, etc. I do like a little skirmish, and intend on having a few. Of late I have also been distracted by a lot of eye candy from 28mm ranges, while looking for suitable smaller scale miniatures, that I feel myself being drawn to the dark side, or the larger scale miniatures again...

I'm happy with the 6mm (1/300th scale) ships that I will continue to build, but I find myself all at sea at the moment, in regard to land scale.

There are some beautifully crafted miniatures in the 25mm - 30mm range from:
Black Scorpion Miniatures
Black Cat Bases 
Crusader Miniatures
Alternate Armies I'm getting swayed by their Flintloque range.
The list goes on...

And for the 15mm range there is:
Blue Moon Miniatures
East Riding Miniatures
Peter Pig
again to name a few.

I am leaning toward the 28mm mini's, mainly because I started this before...I had started a 28mm scale ship, It still sits on my shelf in it's half finished state. I stopped due to life's little habit of getting in the way! And didn't come back to war gaming till recently. So I may collect some 28mm mini's for skirmishes, and give me an excuse to finish the ship, but I may have to create another ship or two for the games. This does pose a problem...
The size of the ships.

For example:
In 6mm (1/300) scale the Surprise is just under 7.5 inches
In 15mm (1/100) scale it would be 21.5 inches
In 28mm (1/58) scale it would be a table buckling 37 inches, over 3 feet long!

Like I mentioned, I have an unfinished 28mm scale ship sitting on the shelf, some pics below. Although I did shorten the dimensions, It's huge! It measures 30 inches, including bowsprit,  by 6 inches. So... do I finish this ship and just have that one ship for the skirmish or create a enemy vessel? With the added problem of storage, my shelves are only so big!

What do you guys think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject, or experiences with large scale ship warfare.

That's it for now, I will finish a French Frigate this weekend so I'll post some fleet pics next time.
Until then, farewell!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different!

Hello everyone. 
I apologise for not posting this last week, but a combination of work and not feeling too great has conspired to keep me from building models. However in the little time I did have, I managed to complete a little painting on some models I started months ago, totally not related to anything nautical. 
The models were some fine little Sci-fi chaps from Ground Zero Games. Now, you may ask why I've been painting sci-fi troops when I have a blog about 18th-19th century warships? Well when I was thinking of coming back to the war gaming world, I originally decided to try 15mm war gaming after purchasing some rather good little rule sets from those guys at So I bought a load of miniatures to get me started. The rules in question are from their USE ME range of rules. These rule books look to be great little rule sets for fast and simple war gaming and thus far have a range of 12 books in their ever expanding range. These books cover sci-fi armies, fantasy armies and whole other different periods from the American Civil war to Modern Warfare. I made some Space ships to go with their Starship Battles book, I may post them up sometime. I'm not going to do a review, I lack experience in war gaming to review them and besides they have had positive reviews elsewhere, so make sure you check them out!

Now back to the mini's, here are some pics of what I painted, they are from the 15mm Stargrunt range.

New Anglian Confederation Command Squad with APC

New Anglian Confederation Command Squad

New Anglian Confederation Marine Squad with APC

New Anglian Confederation Marine Squad with APC
I'm new to painting on a smaller scale so the painting is not exactly masterclass, but I'm happy with them :) I have around 30 more of these miniatures which will eventually be painted, time permitting, but my efforts are going to be concentrating on the shipbuilding for now.

While I seem to be writing a long post, I'd like to take this opportunity to mention some blog's I've been following, Which I should of done a while ago. I have found all these blogs very interesting and informative, great for someone new to war gaming, like me. I could write a page about each blog, but I'll keep it to a brief description of each, although I highly recommend them all. In no particular order:
  • Lair of the Uber Geek - Currently building sectional terrain, great in progress terrain posts, once finished his sectional terrain is going to be awesome!
  • The Zone - Sci Fi Thrill in 15mm - Welcome to Meta City One! This brilliant and highly entertaining blog follows the happenings in Meta City One through news reports, I love the puns Mark and Master Chef drop into each news flash.
  • Gavin Syme - Mr Syme is the Creative Manager of Alternative Armies and its sister brand His blog contains a lot of useful tit bits on forthcoming ranges for Alternative Armies and the USE ME rules. If your a fan of either, he's a must follow!
  • Naval Gazing - Dave's Blog for all things Naval, From Space Navies to contemporary Navies, if your nautically minded, stop by.
  • Comment-Deleted - Dave Humm's blog mainly covers his painting of mostly Alternative Armies miniatures, some lovely models he has!
  • Dragonfaeri's Pyrography - Not war gaming related, but if you find yourself wanting to burn something, go!
  • A Napoleonic therapy project for 2012 - Lee's grand undertaking to recreate the Peninsular War with 6mm Baccus figures. Some fantastic mini's being painted! Great work.
  • Scott's War-gaming - An excellent blog by Scott, who covers a lot of games, I like his Legends of the High Seas posts, 28mm pirate war gaming at it's best!
  • Tabletop War gaming with Gavin Syme - Gavin's war gaming blog, here you'll find what miniatures he's currently painting or collecting.
  • Wooden Warriors - If you've ever wanted to make your own soldiers out of wood, this is the site to go to, filled with tutorials and other useful information.
Well, I think that's it for this post, see you soon!
hwyl fawr

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Black Pearl

Guard 1: Oh, the Dauntless is the power in these waters, true enough. But there's no ship as can match the Interceptor for speed. 
Jack Sparrow: I've heard of one, supposed to be very fast, nigh uncatchable: The Black Pearl. 
Guard 2: Well, there's no real ship as can match the Interceptor. 
Guard 1: The Black Pearl is a real ship. 
Guard 2: No, it's not. 
Guard 1: Yes it is, I've seen it. 
Guard 2: You've seen it? 
Guard 1: Yes. 
Guard 2: You haven't seen it. 
Guard 1: Yes, I have. 
Guard 2: You've seen a ship with black sails that's crewed by the damned, and captained by a man so evil that Hell itself spat him back out? 
Guard 1: No. 
Guard 2: No. 
Guard 1: But I have seen a ship with black sails. 
[Jack quietly slips passed them unnoticed] 
Guard 2: Oh, and no ship that's not crewed by the damned and captained by a man so evil that Hell itself spat him back out could possibly have black sails, therefore couldn't possibly be any other ship than the Black Pearl. Is that what you're telling me? 
Guard 1: [nods] No. 
Guard 2: Like I said, there's no real ship as can match the Interceptor. 

The Black Pearl

The Black Pearl was an infamous pirate ship, originally a merchant ship operating for the East India Trading Company under the name Wicked Wench. A well-known threat in the Caribbean, this legendary ship of the seven seas was most notably captained by Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa.
Command was first given to Jack Sparrow who fulfilled many contracts for the Company on the behalf of Cutler Beckett. However, after Jack refused to carry out a certain task, Beckett ordered the Wench set alight and sunk and her captain forever branded as a pirate. After failing to rescue the Wench, Jack struck a bargain with Davy Jones, the ghostly captain of the Flying Dutchman. Jones raised the Wicked Wench from the depths, giving Jack thirteen years as captain, in exchange for one hundred years of service aboard the Dutchman. With the Wench's new charred look, Jack renamed her the Black Pearl. Now a renowned pirate vessel and threat of the Caribbean, the Black Pearl would embark on many adventures on the high seas.

Deck Detail

Until next time.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

In Progress 2 : The Black Pearl

Hi all
Just an update with how the majestic Black Pearl is coming along. I did raise it a couple of layers of card, I figured being a merchant type ship, it needed more volume. The hull is finished and painted, I tried to make it look weathered, as The Black Pearl is.....Black, not usually an interesting colour.

The Hull completed.

Cabin detail.

Comparison shot, with a sloop, shes about the size of a frigate.

Until the next time farvel!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

In Progress: The Black Pearl

Hi All,
Just a short post to let you know I've started the notorious Black Pearl today. I had a few good hours on it and got most of the hull complete. Here's some pics of the ship so far.

A look at the aft cabin

A comparison pic, next to the Sloop HMS Lark

So far So good!
I might need to raise it up a few more millimetres, looking a bit low. Anyway, hopefully by the next post it will have the hull complete and a cannon or two.

Until the next time, be careful out there!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

Ukranian waters anyway...

my wife found this weird article on the interwebs...
The Ukranian navy are arming dolphins with knives and pistols to defend against underwater attackers.
read the full article here.

Guess thar'll be no sackin' them Ukranian ports!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Wherever we want to go, we go.

Hi, I've had a busy week this week, with work and what-not, so I have only just finished the 4th Brig, HMS Lark. Hopefully this weekend I will start The Black Pearl, as mentioned in the previous post. My good lady is eager to start her pirate career to seek fortune and fame! To quote Jack Sparrow:
"Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and sails; that's what a ship needs. Not what a ship is. What the Black Pearl really is, is freedom."
Oh and for the pyromaniac inclined, you may find my wife's blog of interest.
EDIT: My wonderful wife gifted me her latest creation! Whooo!!! I love Dragons!
ere, be Dragons....arrrr

Until next time hwyl fawr

Monday, 8 October 2012

What's Next

Good day to you all, as I still haven't completed the other Brigs, carrying on from the last post, I thought I'd give you a heads up of a couple of ships currently in the planning stage.

The next ship to sail out of the shipyard will be The Black Pearl, from Pirates of the Caribbean fame. I've made a rough scale drawing, will redo the drawing to work from, to give me a sense of size, shown below. It does have a nice Galleon look about it. By the way, I did mess up the masts in the drawing, told you it was rough ;)

The Black Pearl.
Then after The Black Pearl, the next planned ship, is HMS Victory. She looks to be a monster! Just over 9 inches long, 2 inches wide and 8 inches high, she will be a intimidating model. I'm looking forward to this one, hopefully I can do her proud!
HMS Victory.
That's it for now, see you soon

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Sloop of War - HMS Sophie Part 3

Hi all, and welcome to the third part of how to build a ship for your all conquering world domineering war fleet. Since the last post, I've managed to get two ships ready and painted, one as HMS Sophie, another as French Brig Iena. So.... onto the next stage.

First we need the materials for the masts, rigging and sails. 
  • Bamboo skewers.
  • Cocktail Sticks.
  • Sewing Thread, mine is chestnut colour, but any colour will do...well maybe not any colour pink might be odd for a warship but, if you like pink, then why not :)
  • Some paper, this will be cut into thin strips.
  • Some card, again we will need thin strips.
  • Thin textured card for the sails.

Some of the materials needed.
Cut the bamboo skewers to a desired length, refer to any plan you have made. Cut out a notch on each piece, this is where they are going to join.

Cut out a notch to fix too.
Then join the 2 pieces together. I use PVA glue for this, it's a better join, but it takes awhile to dry. I recommend cutting all your mast pieces first then gluing them all at the same time.

Glued mast.
 For the upper most mast section, use a cocktail stick, again notch out both pieces, although not as deep and glue together.

Here's some I made earlier!
 Cut cocktail sticks to length, for the spars, and cut a little notch in the masts, where they are to be attached. I use a spot of super glue to attach the spars first. When super glue dry, support all the mast and spar joints, with thin strips of paper wrapped around then covered in PVA glue. Repeat for all masts. Carefully drill two little holes in the main mast for the Spanker (I think that's what's it's called) as in the pic below. When all glue is dried, fix to the ships.

Masts ready to attach to ship hulls. 
Ships masted.
Next is the rigging, This can be frustrating, so take your time with it. I will only do a minimum of rigging on my ships as they are gaming models, not show pieces. But if you like a more authentic rigging scheme then feel free to carry on till your happy ;)

For the mast stays, cut three lengths of thread, about 6 inches long, bunch together and tie around the mast, just above the first sail position. You should have equal lengths on both sides.
Thread around mast.
Start on one side, pull each thread reasonably tight and super glue, only a small dot of glue, to hull. Repeat with other two threads, spacing them a couple of millimetres apart. Cut a small strip of card and cover where the threads join on the hull. These will support the join, and will need painting the same colour as the hull later.

Stays on main mast.
Repeat for the other side and for the other mast. I did both ships at the same time.
Both ships with stays complete.
Next add more standing rigging to the masts. I cut a long piece of thread, about 18 inches, doubled it over and tied the ends together. Starting from the spanker, I tied it on, wrapped it around the top of the main mast, the same with the fore mast, then down to the top of the bowsprit. Then back to the Mid sail point on the fore mast, and back to the spar on the bowsprit, tie a knot here because that's it.

Rigging complete.
I brush PVA glue on all the rigging, including the stays, making sure i cover where the thread has wrapped around the masts. This makes the rigging a lot more stiffer and stops any of the knots coming free. When dried, it's time for the sails.

I found some nice textured card at a local art shop, 29p for A4 size, will get around 3 ships out of one sheet.
As I haven't given you any dimensions of masts, sail, spars, etc, this is just a general guide, I'll just say, cut the sails to the required size. Remember to cut them a few mm longer and curve the card, for a billowing look. Glue to the spars with PVA glue, these will have to be held in place to dry. I use a couple of pegs that come from a Christmas gift wrapping set.

Half way with the sails.
I have found working from the back, low to high is the easiest. Also if possible, glue the bottom of the sails to anything they touch, this will keep them secured and help keep the shape of them.

Completed ships.
That's it, ships completed. Hopefully I've explained everything, but if you have any questions, I'll be happy to help. So all that's left to do is set sail and head out to sea.

His Majesty's Ship Sophie and the French Brig Iena slug it out!

HMS Sophie

French Brig Iena
Thanks for looking and take care.
Edit: Forgot to mention all in all the cost of each ship in materials is less than a £1