[Archive] Is there any interest in a fantasy evil dwarf steamship fleet range?


Is there? Would you like to buy it if there was? We’re talking small scale, not 28mm.

Merely testing the waters here, since Dînadan came up with a highly aluring idea which would however distract from landlubber projects… Though not terribly much, since such a range would be limited.

If we can count 10-20 interested persons and likely customers, I might give it a shot some months from now, after other projects have been cleared. This is a real niche thing, yet everything naval is dear to me, so it could be worth a shot if enough people would enjoy such miniatures. Please understand that such small vessels would be quite costly mainly due to the small market, as has been the case in similar naval wargame ranges.

animated dwarf statue: The mould was finished some months ago, and the busy caster will have spare time to get around to cast in metal come next month. A release before Christmas might be realistic if everything works out fine. Will keep you updated in the linked thread when I have something more solid to share.


Sounds interesting.  Depending on cost and what they look like, I’d be tempted :slight_smile:


Expect high costs and you might be pleasantly surprised. Everything else is wishful planning given what we know about the naval wargame niche. So please only say “yes, I’m interested” if this has been taken into consideration. :slight_smile:

Looks are of course all-important, but will only be apparent if such sculpts really were to be made. Possibly some sketches could help later on, should enough interested people make themselves known.

As for possible vessels, they would ideally include one weird submersible with hull drill, one bizarre possessed steamship, one lighter steamship with sails, one ostentatious capital artillery steamship, one slave galley with ram and maybe even one floating sea fortress ziggurat as a centerpiece. Probably only some, not all, vessels would be sculpted in a first wave, though later additions to a range are always possible. Almost everything would be sold in squadrons not singly to help repay mould costs with each order.

I hope that brainstorming might help.


If possible I’d recommend going down the route of having a small selection of ‘standardised hulls’ with add on parts used to make a variety of ships.

Eg. On the sub idea, make a standard sub hull, and have a drill part and a mechanical tentacle part which slot into the front of the sub so you can make either type.

It should make sculpting easier for you as you’ll only have to sculpt one ship instead of two. It’ll also make it easier to expand the range later on as a new class could be made just by producing a new bit rather than needing a whole ship sculpted for it.

One more thing to think about is that before sculpting starts, if it’s going to have a companion rule set, it might be worth thinking about the rules. Will the minis have bases or not? Eg Dreadfleet ships have bases while Uncharted Seas ones (other than subs and airships) don’t. This might have an impact on how you design/sculpt them :wink:


I would very likely be interested.  

Also, I have no experience casting, but I could offer my services to help with scratch-building models, or parts for models for this potentially out of plasti-card, rod, and other materials.   I have quite a bit of experience on that end of things. Cheers, JR


I count 2!

Very good thoughts Dînadan, and very kind offer Jackswift. Plasticard and plastic rods are materials I’ve yet to master, so it’s an interesting idea. We’ll see if there is enough interest in this to attempt it first. :slight_smile:

There would be no bases, unless someone can point me in the direction of the best naval wargame bases around, sold by a producer not minding other market actors use it in their kits. One argument against including bases is that base size, thickness etc. might be better left to the collector to decide, not least depending on which rules system he’d use. This potential project would be a bit Spartan, but various armament parts is such an obvious feature it’s more or less bound to happen, should this enterprise be launched.

Let’s see if we can count to 10 at least.

Fuggit Khan:

I count 2!
Let's see if we can count to 10 at least.

Da Khan makes the count 3 :hashut


Do Hobgoblins count as ½? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Only kidding, we’re up at 3!


I wouldn’t so much be interested in buying, but I would also help out with sculpting one ship. I’ve had a bit of a naval fun recently with my dreadfleet stuff.


Very interesting. Perhaps a chain sculpting venture could be arranged, with the aim of several people together making a diverse little evil dwarf fleet range?


Group effort sounds like a good idea, although before anyone starts sculpting I think some guidelines need to be laid down - don’t want one person sculpting a frigate and have it be bigger than someone else’s battleship lol.


Interested yes, but do not promise anything. Im trying not to buy stuff and put away in a box straight away… :stuck_out_tongue:


Another thought - should these be made compatible with Warmaster scalewise, or be in their own scale?


@tjub: Then paint it straight away! :stuck_out_tongue:

@Dînadan: I believe the only realistic way is to keep it in its own scale, and perhaps it will by accident be compatible sizewise with some smallscale miniature ranges, depending upon the eye of the beholder (collector). Ships compatible with Warmaster would be a lot bigger than, say ships compatible with Man o’ War or Unchartered Seas, right?

Ideally, one could aim for vessels roughly compatible with something like Man o’ War, which also would be inclusive to larger vessels like the Dreadfleet ones and similar from other producers, since everyone likes big capital ships.

As for group effort, that sounds all the more like an appealing way to make it! In fact, if done by cooperation, I’d be willing to attempt it without even 10 probable customers. Shall we attempt it? Some sharing of costs could perhaps also be good since I guess we’d all be into it partly to claim a fleet for ourselves, but otherwise I could stand for all the investment and selling hassle. And aim for total costs less than a royal fortune. :slight_smile:

Since I’d be the weak link in the chain owing to an inherent poor ability to grasp scale, proportions, symmetry etc. (despite working quite tediously with those things in nearly every hobby and interest for my whole life…), perhaps we could attempt to start this chain sculpting project by me making one or two vessels, and posting them on to Jackswift or Grimstonefire to use as scale comparisons when sculpting/building? Then the receiver in turn posts on all the ships to the next, to help keep scale reasonable.

I could fill out Jackswift’s plasticard ship/s with green stuff details, if that’s alright. Also, depending on what multi-part main ship armaments are wanted, perhaps some of those could be prepared by Jackswift in plasticard/rods for vessels already sculpted, and then have the plastic basework sent on for a sculpting layer?

We’d have to plan this out in some detail if we’re to attempt it.


I think first of all we should outline a rough idea of what ships we need and possibly get some concept sketches of those. Then those interested in sculpting can pick which ones they want to give a go at, otherwise we could end up with everyone doing battleships and no one doing cruisers, escorts, etc.

So, what do we need?


A standard battleship with loads of cannons and/or rocket launchers and/torpedo launchers

A Dreadnought - bigger and more heavily armed battleship. Maybe also have Taurus stables/gyrocopter hanger (or that could be a variant that drops some weapons in exchange for stables/hangers)


A standard cruiser with some cannons

A cruiser with a rocket launcher and cannons

A cruiser with a magma cannon/flame thrower and cannons

A cruiser designed to board enemy ships


An escort with a cannon

An escort with a magma cannon/flame thrower

An escort with a rocket launcher

an escort designed to ram enemy ships


Ziggurat fortress - either a mobile dreadnought or an immobile terrain piece. Either way heavily armed with cannons, rocket launchers and magma cannons/flame throwers. Maybe also a variant that has Taurus stables/gyrocopter hangers and/or derisive docking tower.

Submersibles - one with a torpedo launcher, one with drills/grinders to smash ship hulls and one ‘kracken’ style sub

Derigibles - some small ones with cannons and bombs, one large one with cannons, bombs and maybe a runway to launch gyrocopters and taurii

Tugs - no armaments, can be used to pull disabled ships/the fortress. One with a crane that can be used to make a ‘close combat’ attack on enemy ships (or rescue crew/grab treasure in scenarios)

Taurus riders - self explanatory. Maybe also lamasu riders? Other ridden monsters?

Gyrocopters - armed with bombs and/or a weak cannon

Anyone else think of something to add? Also, what size categories should the specials fit in (if at all)?


What game/ system would these be intended to be played with?  That should be the first consideration imo to sell plenty.

Not that I would mind just working on a collectors model of course.

Presumably those categories are based on a game system?  I freely admit I have no knowledge whatsoever of those games.

I think just taking clear photos with lots of scale measurements would be enough for me to work with.

I forget who it was that did the warmaster war machines, but they would be a great person to have working on this btw.


@Grimstonefire: they’re based on the BFG categories. US has a similar ranking, but uses small medium and large. Basically they’re just broad categories to help sort out the ships.

Battleship is the largest and should be the rarest. Generally speaking the flagship of a fleet will be one of these.

Cruisers are the mainline ships and covers anything that’s midsized.

Escorts are the smallest and tend to be the quickest/most manoeuvrable. Destroyers, interceptors, etc fall into this category, it doesn’t specifically mean a ‘wingman’ ship.

Special isn’t a specific category, just a list of stuff that’s not a regular ship. Depending on size these can fit into one of the other categories, eg the ziggurat would fall into battleship because of the size, if subs are small they fall under escort, but if they were the size of the dread fleet kracken then they’d be cruisers.

Basically these are categories to help organise the ships. If you want to build a nimble scout then it’d be an escort so you want to try to get it around the size of other escorts and smaller than cruisers. If you want to make a mainline ship, then it’d be a cruiser and depending on how heavily armed/armoured it is would determine whether it was closer to an escort or battleship in size.

As for rules, I don’t think any have been decided yet. We could develop our own, but if so I think at least one other faction would need to be made to play against. The other alternative is to design them to be compatible with either uncharted Seas or Man o War, in which case sizes would really need to line up with the official ships.


This is the planning I talked about. Very good! :yar

The aim here should be to keep the number of moulds small to keep those costs down. That means we’d keep the number of vessel sculpts quite low, or else have two vessels cast in the same mould (in which case they’d be available in the same box, to not mount up a backlog of leftover ship classes less desired than others). So no nitpicking favourite ship types, that’s only an option for bigger companies.

I propose we make two or three escort ships (plus whatever small tugboats etc. we might make) and cast these small ships in the same mould, including possible weapon variants. Then, we cast all the cruisers in the same mould, and the battleship and submersible/s in the same mould. That makes 3 moulds, up to 4 if we want a floating/island ziggurat.

Also, here’s a grey stuff basis for a ramming escort galley. Grimstonefire, just make sure whatever you sculpt is bigger than this and smaller than the Dreadfleet ships. :wink:

And go for your own style of ship! The ships I’d like to sculpt will all vary in style, though have a few common features that ties the disparate bunch together. A variety of looks indicates a variety of inventive and eccentric shipwrights pursuing their own visions and schools of design, which is what one would expect. The collector can tie them together well enough with a cohesive paintjob, should he wish to.

Also, Dînadan, how good are you at writing rules? It could be good to have some elegant rules system to go with this, unless there is some readily available one out there to just hook onto.


I propose we make two or three escort ships (plus whatever small tugboats etc. we might make) and cast these small ships in the same mould, including possible weapon variants. Then, we cast all the cruisers in the same mould, and the battleship and submersible/s in the same mould. That makes 3 moulds, up to 4 if we want a floating/island ziggurat.

How feasible is it to have ships be multi-part? I think it'd be best if there were parts of the ship that were seperate to the main hull, that way at a later date, extra parts could be cast as a 'booster pack' that slots onto part of the ship to make a different one. Eg, with the ramming escort you've done, if the armoured prow/ram was left seperate to the main body of the ship, then at a later date a drill/grinder could be cast that replaces the ram to make a different sort of ship.
Also, Dînadan, how good are you at writing rules? It could be good to have some elegant rules system to go with this, unless there is some readily available one out there to just hook onto.
Not sure, don't think I've ever given writing a whole rule set a go before, but worth a shot :)

On ship sizes, as a guideline how about something like escort/small ships fit within the 'footprint' of a GW cavalry base, cruisers/medium fit within the footprint of a GW monstrous cavalry base and battleships/large fit within the footprint of a GW chariot base? They don't have to fill the entire base (and decorations such as rams can overhang), but roughly speaking, keeping to those sizes should give enough of a range for people to have flexibility. anything bigger than a chariot base should really be reserved for something special, and anything smaller than 25x25 should probably be a tug, dingy or other such support craft.

On a side note Admiral - roughly how big would a Chaos Dwarf be in comparison to your escort? Something like that would be useful for people to keep things like doors, portholes, etc in scale ;)


Good input!

The more multipart it its, the more difficult and time-consuming it is to make. Loose parts in such small scale are very fiddly to create. The escort galley will be one piece only to test the waters at ship sculpting, then multi-part ships can be attempted after that. At least one more of the smaller ships (a demolition ship) will also be one piece only, and even smaller than the galley. The escort box, if we get to release it, will include quite a range of small vessels, and anyone wanting to make squadrons of the same ship type would have to buy at least 3 kits. That’ll help repay the mouldmaking, postage and casting expenses. Also, separate booster packs isn’t economically feasible with our small market to support the limited enterprise. Grab it all, or nothing, is the way to go here.

Interesting point about bases. This needs some deliberation, although I guess it will work itself out by itself if we just keep below Dreadfleet sizes (most collectors will probably use plasticard bases anyway, so we don’t need to keep slavishly to base footprint). We don’t want to utterly dwarf Man o’ War capital ships with our medium-sized vessels, since fantasy collectors will want some compatibility between ranges. Given this comparison shot, we should be careful to keep things smaller than Dreadfleet vessels, with the possible exception of the capital ship, if even that. Most naval ranges have small miniatures, like these 18th century ships of the line. It’s a sound template to follow, for reasons of economy. Bigger ships need bigger and more expensive moulds, and I’d rather have sizeable moulds containing more rather than less ships. :slight_smile:

As for portholes etc. a guesstimate could be crew about 1mm or 1,5 mm tall. But of course one can make bigger doors, portholes etc. if one want to get a more luxurious impression.