Tuesday, August 18, 2015

1/600 scale Italia 1885

In my wandering gaming interests I have started to envision gaming late 1800s naval battles.  Mostly European in scope, with an emphasis on Mediterranean navies, but that can change.  Since I already had 1/600 scale ships for ACW, this seemed like a good choice for this new endeavor. Looking around I found Old Glory had 1/600 scale ships for the period.  So I bought the Italian Ship Italia 1885.  The lack of pictures on the website led me to buying the model blind and not fully understanding how large the model would be when it arrived.   I don't know about anyone else but I have a had time seeing the "scale" of something when it's listed as being 1/600 or 1/6000.  The numbers don't seem to make sense to me until I see it.

It took a few weeks to get the model.  It arrived in a long bag with a cardboard cover, stapled to keep the parts inside and the product number on it. No mention of the ship name or scale and lacked any sort of instructions on how to put the thing together.
Below is my work through on this model.

These two photos show what was included in the package. I began my internet search for diagrams and/or photos, really anything that would clue me in on how all of these parts went together.

The above images were ones I could find that allowed me to see what this ship looked like and gave me an idea how to put it together.

These three photos are me just test fitting the pieces together. I will say that nothing fit together smoothly. Most of the holes for the stacks had to be redrilled, the holes for the flying deck needed flashing removed and nothing lined up well. Everything was off by an 1/16" giving the whole structure an awkward appearance.

Once I got everything drilled, retest fitted and somewhat lined up I was able to glue it all together which wasn't easy. Because none of the holes lined up well, there was a constant fight to keep things glued in place but still not quite set so I could fit the next pieces in and so on.  The worst part was the mast.  Even with drilling out the holes the pieces were cast at odd angles so they didn't sit flush or straight.

The funnels and mast done I started adding in the other pieces.  Just as a precaution when I was drilling out the holes for the funnels, etc...I drilled out all of the rest of them to save time.

You can see in this picture the bottom part of the mast doesn't sit flush with the deck. No amount of sanding was going to fix that.

The forward, mid and rear guns are now in place, along with the life boats.

A couple of different angle shots to show what the ship looks like.

Now I had to paint it!!!  I couldn't find anything on the internet on what this ship was painted like. Other than the one picture above of someone else's model, I had nothing to go on.  I posted a query on The Miniatures Page and received a very helpful reply.
The gentleman had a copy of Tony Gibbon's Encyclopedia of Battleships and gave me these colors to work with: The hull is a grimy black, as are the guns and the top 1/4 of the funnels. The superstructure, including the crane, lower funnels and barbette walls are a pale gray. The flying deck and the central deck-house have pale gray sides. The ship's boats are also pale gray. The mast is black up to the top of the deck house and yellow/buff from there up. The deck is a light yellow-brown. The floor of the flying deck is the same. The floor of the barbettes, the top of the deck house and the boat covers are all a medium chocolate brown. 

Overall the model looks good and I learned quite a bit from putting this one together. I, however, may not buy another Old Glory ship. I was/am very turned off at the sloppy molding and mismatched pieces and the lack of instructions on how to put the thing together.  I may look to a smaller scale like 1/3000 for this project.


  1. Wow, I'm fairly shocked to hear about the difficulties in assembling that model. It would put me off to further purchases as well.

    May I recommend the ships from War Times Journal - http://www.wtj.com/store/

    They have a variety of scales, with 1/1500 being their largest and down to 1/3000, but their detail is much nicer and many of the ships are one-piece castings.


  2. Love this post Vic! Hope you can get your Italians and Austrians out on the table soon. Love those battle reports.

  3. Looks good - nice start to finish pictures - really cool.

  4. Sorry that you had such a tough fight with this model - it looks like it might work best as "table dressing" for a coastal land battle.

  5. ive got a handful of these ships also and the lack of instructions has left them in dry dock

    great looking model!

  6. My word, she came out looking quite pretty though!

  7. A good job of what is a very mediocre kit. A friend of mine actually gave up on a couple of these after weeks of frustration. Its a shame because Old Glory usually produce good stuff.


    PS as a visual for 1/600th 1mm equals two feet so a man is 3mmish.