Over 10 years ago I bought a job lot of wargames figures from a local auction. The principle reason being that the lot consisted of a large number of reasonably well painted 28mm figures and I saw it as a money-making opportunity sprucing them up and selling them on ebay. That side of it went well but this is not what this blog post is about.
Included in that collection were over 100 1/3000 scale unpainted Japanese warships still in their manufacturer's bags - mostly Navwar with some Davco. I already had a collection of such ships which included a handful of Japanese. I retained these believing them to be useful addition and they have sat in a box ever since!
Fast forward to a few days ago and something on one of Storm of Steel's youtube videos caught my eye. He had a pdf file printed by a company called Doxdirect which got me thinking about all the pdf files stored on my laptop which rarely, if ever, get read. I am quite simply poor at reading rules and scenarios (unless very brief) in pdf format preferring the printed variety.
One such file is a General Quarters 3.3 campaign "Defending the Malay Barrier". I have glanced through it several times intending one day to do something with it and of course using those Japanese warships festering away unloved in a box somewhere!
'Time to get it printed' I thought and duly checked out Doxdirect's website. It was simplicity itself to send the pdf file for printing including selecting the type of paper required. I went for the basic 80gsm matt double sided print with 300gsm card outer covers. I also selected to have it spiral bound which I find by far the most useful for gaming purposes. This is the result:
There was a glitch in the original print with 2 maps only partially reproduced. It was explained to me by Doxdirect that the pdf file needed to be 'flattened' to prevent this problem occurring again. The necessary software would need to be purchased from Adobe which I had no intention of doing as I would be using it so rarely. Doxdirect kindly performed that operation for me and reprinted the file for no extra cost and in quick time.
The overall quality is excellent and all 74 pages for approximately £12.50 including postage. There is just one small glitch in a couple of symbols on one of the maps has printed in a different colour for some reason. It is not a major issue and something I can live with. Next time I will probably go with the 120gsm satin finish paper which does not cost that much more. 80gsm is fine for this scenario book however.
This has spurred me on to diving into that Japanese collection with the first 3 destroyers on the workbench. I am conscious of the fact that I cannot keep adding to my projects list so this will probably sit in the background to be dabbled with as the urge takes me. I tend to find with Naval wargaming that the painting and collecting of the various ships has more fascination than the actual playing! The majority of my ships in various scales have never seen the tabletop.
I have a softspot for ships probably stemming back to my brief time in the Merchant Navy in the 1970's. Researching the different ship classes and painting them up, even in such a small scale, is very satisfying.
As an aside, and with what is going on in Ukraine, that time in the Merchant Navy included a visit to Odessa. We had an all-British crew on a British registered ship which made for an interesting experience at the height of the cold war. We were guests of honour at the Opera House with front row seats to watch the Battle of Stalingrad enacted on stage! I gingerly turned around to see that the entire audience consisted of Soviet soldiers and I swear that they were all sat to attention - and appeared to be staring at us! In the Soviet era Odessa was pretty austere but even then still had some very attractive areas. I am keeping my fingers crossed it does not suffer the utter devastation inflicted on Meriupol.
I will post the painted Japanese destroyers on the blog when completed. They are currently sat at one end of the workbench providing a useful break from painting countless ECW figures!
If anybody is interested in trying out Doxdirect you will find them here https://www.doxdirect.com/.