Sunday, 23 December 2018

From Curt: 1/300 Scale German E-Boats from 'Cruel Seas' (32 Points)


Oddly, as a born and bred prairie boy, I've always held a great fascination for naval warfare  and being an enthusiast of the large ship games like 'Wooden Ships and Iron Men', 'Fleet Action Imminent' and 'General Quarters III'. So, when I saw the promo ads for Warlord Games' new 'Cruel Seas' I knew I had to jump in with both feet. 

The WWII coastal war setting really hasn't been done in a comprehensive way, meaning with purpose built rules and a full range of miniatures, so I think Warlord may be onto something really exciting here. As soon as I unpacked my copy of the 'Cruel Seas' I quickly assembled the core set miniatures and tried out the introductory scenarios with the chaps from our group, The Friday Night Raconteurs. Thankfully the hype for the game is not misplaced. The rules play very well and give a fast, furious, action-filled game without being too ponderous or 'crunchy'.

This past Friday, the first full day of the Challenge, I hosted another 'Cruel Seas' game for the boys and really wanted to get some of the miniatures properly painted for the tabletop. Thankfully I had the day off so I lashed away and managed to get most of the Motor Torpedo Boats and E Boats completed for the night's fun. So, here are four of the German E-Boats ('Enemy Boats' or as the Kriegsmarine classed them Schnellboots), a brace each of the S-38 class and the later S-100 class.


These are 1/300 scale plastic kits (those in the UK will probably have seen them included with the latest Wargames Illustrated). Very easy to put together and a breeze to paint. I like that Warlord included two sheets of ensigns for both the British and the Germans.


I really like the design aesthetic of these boats, with their menacing low, long silhouettes, exposed torpedoes and decks bristling with all forms of automatic weapons. They look the business.

S-38 Class E-Boats

The two S-100s here have the optional quad 20mm flak gun ('Flakvierling'), which, as you can imagine, would be a pretty ferocious weapon in setting where most of things you were shooting at were constructed of thin wood planking or thin steel.

Later S-100 Class E-Boats with quad 20mm at the stern

The paint scheme I went with is fairly stock to what most vessels in the Kriegsmarine would have sported. I put aside the supplied painting guide and decided instead to keep the colours anachronistically punchy to help them stand out on the tabletop. In the future I'll do up one or two boats in the distinctive (but more rare) splinter pattern camouflage to denote Veteran crews. (BTW, if anyone has a set of the MTBs/EBoats from the recent Wargames Illustrated that they don't want please drop me a note.) 

For points I'm placing these at the equivalent of a 15mm vehicle, so 8 points each for a grand total of 32.

This entry should be enough for my first pip in the Squirrel Challenge and the Naval Challenge.

The British Vosper MTBs will be coming up soon but, you know, ...SQUIRREL!!

Thanks for dropping in folks!

42 comments:

  1. Very cool, not convinced by this game but Dave and James have the started sets so will give it ago. Never been really attracted to the sea as I'm from the middle of a small island nation

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    1. Oh you Brits! There’s nowhere on your isle of pestilence that’s more than 50 miles inland!

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  2. Outstanding stuff, Curt. I too own the "Cruel Seas" starter set and will be returning to this post repeatedly when I get round to painting them.

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    1. You're very kind Simon. I look forward to seeing/hearing how you get on with them.

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  3. Superb entry Curt, love the colour choices and the clean style you have used wit hb these guys

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  4. Great stuff Curt. I had a lot of fun with theses on Friday - didn’t realize that I was a raconteur, sounds like we should show up at open mike night at the local coffee shop!

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    1. Thanks Peter. Yes, between the two of us we make a full raconteur - you have the hair and ace uni job and I have the hipster beard and big opinions. ;)

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  5. Amazing how much detail you can extract from such tiny models Curt! 😮

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    1. Cheers Benito. They're actually bigger than you think and the details are very distinct, so it's not too hard to blob paint where you need it.

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  6. They look great, I had a bunch of the Skytrex ones back in the day but these look a lot better, must try to not get into another new period.

    I've been trying to pick up WI at
    Barnes & Nobel, I am told they do stock it but I've never seen it here in Madison.

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    1. Thanks Paul! Yeah, you can tell by their promo photos and release schedule that Warlord has given this range some consideration and support. I'm interested in how it will be received as it's sort of a niche topic.

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  7. Nice work on those, Curt. I was going to pick up that WI issue with the freebie boat too. :)

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    1. Cheers Paul! I'll keep an eye out on your blog to see how you get on with those boats.

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  8. That’s an impressive level of detail for suck teeny tiny ships, excellent work!

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    1. Thanks Jamie. Once you have some good source material to refer to then the painting seems pretty straightforward.

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  9. Lovely neat paintwork on these boats!
    Best Iain

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  10. I’m usually disinterested by naval gaming with ponderous battleships and endless blue sea, but I admit Cruel Seas looks fun.

    Lovely little E-Boats here Curt.

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    1. Thanks Phil. I get what you're saying, naval gaming is an acquired taste, but I've always found it strangely fascinating - maybe it's the fact that big bodies of water and big ships on them are completely alien to me so I'm drawn to them.

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  11. Those look great Curt, everything else I have seen Cruel Seas wise has been pretty bland so far, you have done a top job on those they really stand out, A+

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    1. You know you're right. The painted Warlord stuff has been fairly uninspiring on the whole, part of this is what drove me to amp up the tones a bit. Delighted you like them.

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  12. Nicely done mate - Im not surprised that you were the first (of many I'm guessing) to post Cruel Seas goodness. And lovely they are too!

    Naval gaming is cool - in all scales :-)

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  13. Looking good-I’m curious to see these miniatures in the flesh.

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  14. Great work Curt. Nice, clean brushwork with lots of detail.

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  15. Very nice Curt! Good inspiration for me to have a go at mine and get some points up on the naval challenge before Paul O'G.

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  16. Nice stuff Curt! I'm still on the fence about getting into the game as some of the reviews haven't been exactly positive. It's definitely an interesting subject and naval wargaming has always been something I've wanted to do more of.

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    1. Really, that's funny as we've quite enjoyed the rules here. There are few oddities but nothing that can't be sorted out.

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  17. Very nice! Been on the fence as well on this game. Wanting more of a Battleship game rather than smaller boats. Kinda waiting to see where this goes.

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    1. Thanks Brett. If you want an excellent fleet set of rules you can't go wrong with General Quarters III. They may seem a bit dense but they actually play very well and the level of thought and detail is amazing. You can tell the authors are real ship-heads. :)

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  18. The boats look mighty fine, Curt! You most certainly packed the detail on them! I can almost hear the diesel hum and smell the salt spray!

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  19. Another one doing Cruel Seas. Seems a rather common topic this year. ;-)

    But those boats are truely wonderful. Really well done, Curt!

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  20. You guys are amazing!!! I can't wait for your next series of blog !!!👍🌹🤩 best of good luck !! Best inflatable boats

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