I finished up a small fleet of GZG Neu Swabian League old sculpt ships this past week. For the NSL I prefer the old sculpts. They just scream ‘flying brick’, tough ships winning battles through brute force. I got my hands on a couple of small fleets through Ebay and Facebook groups an assembled a couple of the SDN carriers and an escort cruiser. I grabbed a couple of smaller escort ships and started a test paint job.
These casts were of mixed quality. Jon at GZG mentioned the molds wearing out on the larger NSL ships which prompted him to retire them and make the new sculpts. The two Der Theuerdank dreadnought/carrier models I got my hands on first definitely showed signs of miscasting. It didn’t help that the previous owner assembled them poorly and roughed them up pretty bad. If I had noticed the damage I probably wouldn’t have bought them. I got a third cast, a Von Teggetthoff Dreadnought identical to the carrier minus one added piece, and the cast is crisp and the pieces fit pretty well together. The smaller ships were well cast with the exception of some minor damage on the escort cruiser’s bridge section that made me use some putty to help it attach to the hull.
Once the carrier was assembled again and painted up the damage is far less noticeable, and I’m going to add some greebles to the second one to hide some of it.
I wanted a pretty simple paint job reminiscent of WWII German vehicles, both real and Hollywood. I decided to go with a ‘German Grey’ base coat with darker grey and Field Grau accents. I picked out some details in a very light grey to show them off against the darker mini.
I also took the opportunity to try and finalize the jewelry barrel clasp stand method I saw on another website. Most of the ships are big enough to allow me to pin the barrel clasp to the mini with a 2mm rod, which also nests well into a 3mm brass tube on the other barrel clasp half that will go into my stands. Th same 3mm brass tube nests into a 4mm brass tube when needed for extra stability on the larger pieces, allowing me to use the same methods and bases for a variety of ships while still giving the larger ships added stability.
The largest ship in the NSL fleet is the Der Theuerdank class heavy carrier, unlike other space powers this ships only carries four flights of fighters while still keeping the NSLs typical heavy weapon layout and armor. This design allows the carrier to stand as a ship of the line and fight alongside is escorts. The ship is based off of the Von Teggetthof super dreadnought class frame. These aging ships are often relegated reserve fleets or minor roles such as pirate hunting duty where they will vastly overpower their prey and their fighter wings will make up for the carriers slow speed.
The KRF Baden has been relegated to anti-pirate patrols, convoy protection and shows of force in the outer rim territories. This old girl and her task force, while aging and outclassed by the newest ships of the line, still has a nasty punch and will stand toe to toe with all but the most serious of enemies. Shes seen things most ships wouldn’t survive and has outlasted every one of her opponents.
The Radetzky class escort cruiser was the main defense against fighters for almost twenty years in the KRF. Like most NSL ships it is heavily armed and armored and has been expected to fight alongside the other capital ships on the line. The KRF Roon has accompanies the Baden on patrols and is occasionally broken off for short missions or to escort merchant ships.
The Waldburg class destroyer is a multi-role destroyer expected to be able to lend its firepower to a battle line. Its class 1 beams and PDS systems help it fend off fighters and missiles while its twin class 2 beams allow to reach out a pack a punch. KRF Blitz and Pfeil are assigned to support the KRF Baden.
The Ehrenhold class frigate packs the same class 2 beams that its the Waldburg does. The KRF Comet and Delphin offer almost as much of a threat as the larger destroyers and have bee known to scare off pirates while escorting convoys even alone.
The Strochen class corvettes are the smallest combat vessels found in the KRF. While rarely encountered alone their single class 2 beam is often a surprise to any captain foolish enough to underestimate them. The KRF Hummel and Natter round out the Baden’s task force while still giving it the ability to out range most opponents since they can’t out maneuver them.