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Kiwi Imperialist
Post subject: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 3rd, 2021, 12:01 pm
Posts: 101
Joined: December 10th, 2014, 9:38 am
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'The battleship battery Pervenets' by Stadler and Pattinot

Welcome to the Iron-Clad Menace challenge. The year is 1866. A rival power has laid down a class of ironclads suitable for overseas service. Reports indicate they will displace 4,000 long tons and carry six 8-inch guns in a central battery. A speed of 12 knots is expected. While these ships are on the smaller side, they can be deployed anywhere in the world using a combination of steam and sail. To a great power, the new ironclads will pose a threat to international trade and colonies far removed from the homeland. Smaller states which once relied on distance for security may soon find one of these ironclads prowling their shores. Your task is to develop a response to this new class of ironclads. You might consider a monitor, a ram, a second-class battleship, or something else entirely (so long as it is a ship).

Design Requirements
  1. Your submission must depict a ship designed as a response to the class of ironclads described above.

Challenge Rules
  1. Each participant must submit a single image.
  2. The image should be a Shipbucket template modified to include the participant’s art. Templates which include a data sheet are allowed.
  3. One side-view of the participant's ship must be included. One top-view is also permitted, but not required. A second side-view may be added for the sole purpose of depicting bulwarks in a raised and lowered state. All other views are prohibited.
  4. If two or more views are included, they must depict the same ship at the same point in time.
  5. All art should be in Shipbucket scale, and conform to the Shipbucket style guidelines.
  6. A textual description accompanying each submission is permitted, but not necessary.
  7. Off-topic posts will be reported to the relevant authorities.

This challenge will run until the 30th of January, ending at 23:59 UTC-12 (International Date Line West).
A countdown timer can be found at this link.

A poll will be held after this date. Members of the Shipbucket community will have an opportunity to rate each submission. Please provide honest and meaningful scores for each entry. Responses which grant maximum scores to a select group of entries, and minimum scores to all other entries, will be deleted. Members of the community who manipulate the results in such a fashion may also be subject to a permanent ban. Scores will be allocated in three categories, each with a scale of 1 to 10. They are as follows:
  • Drawing Quality - The overall quality of the drawing. One might consider detailing, shading, and accuracy.
  • Design Realism - How realistic is the design presented? Any accompanying text may be considered.
  • Originality - Does the submission present a new and unique design, or is it a copy of an existing one?

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Kiwi Imperialist
Post subject: Rules Update and Some ClarificationsPosted: January 3rd, 2021, 10:11 pm
Posts: 101
Joined: December 10th, 2014, 9:38 am
There have been some questions on the Discord server relating to the challenge. I would like to issue a couple of clarifications. First, a floating battery is considered a ship for the purposes of the challenge. A participant may choose to draw a floating battery if they so desire. Second, the 12 knot figure in the opening post is the top speed of the rival ironclad under power. I have also updated the challenge rules to allow a second side-view within a participant's drawing. This is for the sole purpose of showing bulwarks in a raised and lowered state. The changes are specific to challenge rules 3 and 4. Finally, please note that the section of the opening post describing the poll has been modified to include the following: "Responses which grant maximum scores to a select group of entries, and minimum scores to all other entries, will be deleted. Members of the community who manipulate the results in such a fashion may also be subject to a permanent ban." This is a more explicit version of a warning that was issued with the poll for the Soldierbucket infantry challenge. Please do try to provide meaningful scores when the poll for this challenge comes around.

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 12th, 2021, 4:43 am
Posts: 3
Joined: December 25th, 2020, 10:45 pm
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The Young Choung-class ironclads (Menghean: 영정급 철갑함 / 永靖級鐵甲艦 Yŏngjŏng-gŭb Chŏlgabham) were a pair of ironclad warships built for the navy of the Namyang Government during Menghe's Three States Period. They were ordered in response to a new generation of heavy oceangoing ironclads entering service in Sieuxerr and Anglia and Lechernt. Although built overseas in Hallia, the Young Choung and Young Ahn are still remembered as Menghe's first battleships. In the Romaja transliteration system used today, their names are rendered Yŏngjŏng and Yŏng'an respectively; at the time of their commissioning, the Stuart-Lavender system for romanizing Menghean was still in use.

Technical Characteristics:
Displacement: 3,452 tons (full)
Length: 67.5 m overall
Beam: 14.9 m
Draft: 5.63 m (full)
Propulsion: one-shaft steam engine, 4,180 shp
Speed: 12.2 knots
Complement: 212 officers and men
Armament (1875):
Armored ram
4 x 220mm muzzle-loading gun

In the first half of the 19th century, Menghe experienced a series of humiliating naval defeats against the Western colonial powers. During the Uzeri Rebellion of 1822-1824, Myŏn Dynasty forces clashed with the Anglian Royal Navy at the Battle of Sơn Hái Point and the Battle of the Baekyong Gulf, suffering heavy losses which left the country's southern ports open to attack. Thirty years later, during the Brothel War of 1851-1853, Sylvan warships inflicted an equally severe defeat at the First Battle of Hwangsa Bay, annihilating the light coastal junks of the Myŏn Navy and sailing up the Ŭm River to bombard Sunju. This engagement witnessed the trapping and destruction of the entire South Sea Fleet, which had been built up at great expense following the clashes with Anglia in the 1820s.

The Brothel War and the unequal treaties that followed finally tipped the balance of power in the Imperial Court in favor of the pro-modernization faction. In 1856, the last Myŏn emperor issued the Imperial Rescript on Modernizing the Navy, which formally endorsed the goal of building a modern war fleet armed with the latest Western technology. Funds for the fleet modernization program, however, were short in coming, and many Western powers were wary of selling arms to a country that could use them to restrict future trade. A handful of sail-driven frigates were delivered in the early 1860s, but armor-plated and steam-driven warships were already poised to render this small fleet obsolete.

The year 1866 saw the commissioning of heavy oceangoing ironclads in Anglia and Lechernt and Sieuxerr. Rumored to be immune to existing ships' cannon fire, these enormous warships could also deploy on long voyages overseas, unlike the small coastal and river monitors of inter-Casaterran wars. Menghe once again faced the prospect of possessing a war fleet which would be unable to inflict serious damage on colonial navies. Yet Menghe was in no position to respond quickly to the new threat: General Kim Ryung-sŏng had launched a major insurrection the previous year, and his forces were now marching on the capital at Junggyŏng. The country's already strained treasury was directed to the purchase of flintlock rifles and cannons, and two brand-new frigates in Anchŏn Harbor were scuttled to prevent the rebels from capturing them.

It was only in 1871, after repeated rebel offensives on land stalled out, that naval modernization could resume. After the last Myŏn emperor's suicide, pro-modernization thinkers and officials had established an anti-rebel rump state known as the Namyang Government, or more formally the Emergency Provisional Government. Though their main goal was the defeat of the Sinyi rebels and the reunification of Menghe, Namyang politicians also had to contend with the threat of foreign intervention. In 1872, Namyang leaders were finally able to secure funding for two ironclad warships. Because Menghe's economy was not yet industrialized, and its domestic steelworking sector was highly immature, both ironclads were to be designed and built in Hallia, which refrained from engaging in either of the two previous foreign interventions in Menghe. They were laid down in 1872 and 1873, and delivered in 1875.

Knowing that it was futile to confront the large navies of the major Casaterran powers on the open ocean, and still held back by shoestring budgets, Namyang emissaries requested that their Hallian contractors design coastal defense ships. According to the Namyang Government's naval construction plan, one ironclad would be stationed in Sunju to patrol Hwangsa Bay and the Ŭm River Delta; the other would be stationed in Chasŏ to patrol the wide Meng River Estuary. Because both of these rivers deposited large amounts of silt, the new ships needed a relatively shallow draft, which would also allow them to access berths slightly upriver. Yet they would also have to be able to sortie modest distances out to sea and reinforce one another's stations.

Following Casaterran naval theory second-hand, Namyang representatives shared the conclusion that ramming was the only reliable means of sinking ironclad warships, especially oceangoing ironclads of over 4,000 tons. Accordingly, the new Menghean ironclads would be built around forged steel rams, and equipped with steam engines to accelerate more easily toward the target.

Gun armament consisted of four 22-centimeter muzzle-loading cannons located in a central armored battery on the deck. A rotating turret was considered, but rejected, for two reasons. First, a turret could break down during routine service, and because Menghe's machine-working sector was still underdeveloped, spare parts would have to be imported from abroad. Second, the turret drive could jam as a result of ramming, shell impacts, or sustained firing. Instead, the four guns were mounted on tracks inside the armored battery. The aft gun pair could traverse 30 degrees to either side. The forward guns were on longer rails, and could either traverse across the same range through broadside ports, or traverse to fire directly forward through an additional pair of firing ports. This arrangement allowed the ship to fire on an enemy vessel while attempting to ram, or fire to either side if a ramming attempt missed. As built, the ships carried no other armament.

At the time of the ironclads' construction, the Namyang Government's zone of control did not include any coal mines, and its navy was entirely reliant on imported coal. In virtually all peacetime operations, including the delivery voyages across the northern part of the Meridian Ocean, the Young Choung class ironclads relied on sail power alone, reserving steam power for battles and drills.

Operational Service:
The two Young Choung-class ironclads never had the opportunity to face off against the Casaterran oceangoing ironclads they were designed to face. The Namyang Government maintained good relations with most foreign powers during the remaining years of the 19th century, in part because of its shrewd diplomacy and generous trading concessions. Young Ahn did take part in a number of naval campaigns against Sinyi forces during the 1880s, where she mostly encountered wooden ships. From 1890 onward she remained in Chanam to protect the Meng River Estuary.

Part of this unimpressive service record stemmed from the ships' unimpressive characteristics. Though ordered as part of an effort to modernize the Menghean Navy, they were already nearing obsolescence at the time of their delivery, and subsequent Namyang battleships overshadowed them. The design's emphasis on ramming, itself a questionable tactic, was undermined by their modest speed: newer enemy warships could outrun them with ease. Both the armored battery and the crew quarters were cramped, wet, and uncomfortable, and the six large gun ports created serious holes in the armor. Despite efforts to reduce draft, Young Ahn ran agound on a sandbar in 1879, and Young Choung ran aground in 1876, 1882, and 1884; the estuaries where they operated were poorly charted and constantly changing with erosion and deposition, a phenomenon which ultimately may have been more effective at preventing ever-larger Casaterran ships from threatening the ports they defended.

Young Ahn was refitted in 1882, her rigging replaced by two freestanding masts and her raised quarterdeck fitted with four quick-firing guns to fend off torpedo boats. Young Choung underwent similar refits at some point in the late 1880s. Despite plans to convert the two ironclads into central battery ships with high-velocity breechloading guns, the Namyang Government left the main armament as it had been.

After the formation of the Federative Republic of Menghe in 1901, the Young Choung-class ironclads fell out of active service and were converted to storeships. Young Choung was gutted by fire in 1905 and written off as a total loss; her charred hulk sat at the docks in Sunju for several years before a scrap buyer was found. Young Ahn was decommissioned in 1908, and after a fervent last-ditch effort by the Menghwa Historical Society failed to raise enough funds to pay for her preservation, she was sold for scrap in 1911.

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 13th, 2021, 4:08 am
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Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Smoke And Iron: The Adriatic Ram Race:
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-The clash of ironclad rams at Lissa was a profound event throughout the naval world. There were lessons to be learned. Some nations rejected the idea that naval warfare should be based around capital ships fighting head-on, other embraced it. The Republic of Venice was one of these nations. They had not survived the last hundred years with ease. Spanish and French support was the only thing that had kept them from total annexation by Austria, and with the new war to unify Italy, a strong armed forces was more important than ever. The land war had stalemated with both sides dug in deep, and the Venetian-Italian alliance looked to the sea to make headway in the war. The defeat at Lissa had only shown the Italian alliance that the days of the line-of-battle ship were over, and tactics had to change. Austrian heavily armored rams had broken through the numerically superior Allied fleet and wreaked havoc on the older steam and sail ships, both armored and unarmored alike. After their heavy losses at the battle, both Italy and Venice looked to their lead naval designers to come up with a weapon to defeat the Austrian rams. Venetian naval designers produced a novel design, a hybrid between the older line-of-battle ships and the new-era ironclad rams. They were built directly in response to the ship most feared after the battle of Lissa: The Erzherzog Ferdinand Max.
They were to carry a main battery of 8-inch guns; the largest guns ever mounted on a Venetian warship. They were approximately 330 feet long, with a beam of 55 feet and a draft of 20 feet.
Armament: Though their main battery was formidable in size and caliber, (10 8-inch guns gave it the heaviest main battery of any Adriatic warship) its primary weapon was it's massive ram bow, reinforced with iron framing and fasteners.The guns were smoothbore muzzle loaders, the largest in service on either side, and built to an English design. Ballistics testing had shown them to be able to crack 4.5-inch armor plating at extreme combat ranges. The ship's main battery guns were arranged so that it could fire forward with 2 of it's main guns while engaged in ramming. Additionally, two 40-pounder Armstrong rifled breech-loading guns were mounted at the bow and stern, with collapsible bulwarks on either side. These guns were intended to rotate on their mounts in order to fire explosive shells at enemy ships in a close or medium range action to spread chaos on deck and destroy important components like masts and command structures. All in all, they were the most heavily armed ships in the Mediterranean when commissioned.
Armor: All main guns were encased in an iron box amidships, plated with 4.5 inches of wrought-iron armor. The remainder of the hull was given 1.5-inch splinter protection. Machinery was located centrally, and as such was protected by the same armor as the main battery guns. The framing and fastening in the center battery box was all iron as well, just like the bow. A similar structure had been built on a floating platform and tested with the ship's 10-inch guns during firing excercises prior to service, and held up well at combat ranges. Hardwood was layered for 13.5 inches behind the armor plating. An additional 1-inch layer of iron was placed halfway through the hardwood layering. This experimental scheme was intended to protect against newer rifled guns firing armor piercing shells. The conning tower structure aft of the foremast was plated in 8 inches.
Machinery: As with most warships of the period, the ships were engined with a single-expansion steam engine. Manufactured by the Naval Engineering Works at the Great Arsenal, the engine was geared to two screws, unlike many of the contemporary ships of the period. Providing steam were 12 rectangular boilers, manufactured by the same facility. Coal capacity gave a range of about 1,800 nautical miles, more than enough for Mediterannean service. The machinery was arranged along the vessel's centerline, with 2 boiler rooms of 6 boilers each arranged in front of the engines. Design speed was 12 knots, but in service the vessel only managed to achieve 10.5 knots. 11.5 was achieved on a good day with both steam and sail, but their speed left something to be desired.
Construction and service: Both ships were laid down at the Grand Arsenal in Venice in December of 1866, the largest ever built at the yard. They were completed August of 1867. Construction had clearly been at a frenzied pace, mainly due to the need to rebuild the fleet after Lissa, and as a result several flaws had to be rectified. The funnels were hightened and given vented caps to prevent smoke interference with anyone standing on top of the aft command structure, the aft admirals walk was hightened to prevent sea spray, and the bow and stern rotating gun mounts barely even worked when commissioned, and had to be replaced twice before finally getting their kinks ironed out. Aside from several other minor issues, the ships entered service in January of 1868, too late to see service in the war. Both ships remained in service, largely unchanged, until 1882, when they were re-armed with 6-inch RBL guns, and had their armor replaced with Krupp Steel. Their masts were also replaced with military style pole masts with searchlights. The rotating guns were replaced with 4.5-inch RBL guns, and 8 6-pounder guns and 4 machine guns were also shipped. The ship was reboilered and re-engined as well, with a new triple-expansion engine. She was good for 14 knots after this. They were still in service, reclassfied as armored cruisers, when WW1 broke out. As when they were first designed, the land war rapidly stalemated, with entrenched Italian and Venetian forces digging in the mountains and exchanging artillery fire. The cruisers were deployed to Taranto, to assist in ensuring the safe passage of convoys into the Adriatic. Dante Alighieri was on convoy escort duty in 1915 (ironically, the convoy had to slow it's speed to keep up with it, rather than the other way around) when it was torpedoed by an Austrian submarine. The outdated and tired ship instantly detonated, splitting it in half. Only 25 men survived. Enrico Dandolo, on the other hand, had a more exciting career. It was on it's way to Venice for maintenance from Taranto when it encountered 3 Austrian destroyers. The Austrian ships instantly closed to range, with 2 of them drawing fire from the ship's main guns while another closed in. The Austrians fired 2 torpedos and over 25 shells into the Enrico Dandolo, setting her aflame from stem to stern. She began to list heavily to port before capsizing and exploding. 70 men survived the sinking. Their guns were taken off the wrecks, and were transferred to new cruisers along with their names.

Best regards,


Current Worklist:
-Real designs
-Nicaragua AU
-Emperia Group AU
-FD scale diesel trucks

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 18th, 2021, 10:11 pm
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King Eisen I-class battleship

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The King Eisens were the second group of full-iron battleships built by the Antarans in their attempt to keep up with the Aemoric navies. King Eisen I ditched the three gun deck set up that was the mainstay of previous generation ship-of-the-lines and settled with a single deck with a heavy battery. Her citadel was armoured with 178mm iron plates while her extended belt was at most 152mm. While Antara's industry was growing rapidly, the quality of its product was subpar for its time, particularly with the strength of its iron, which would not reach Aemoric standards for another 20 years.

King Eisen I and Duchess of Cascadia were both launched several months before Antara's war with Saliam began in 1178 and saw action against the empire. The Duchess won an unsurprising victory against the Salian wooden-hulled battleship Dévastateur in February 1179, however celebrations were short as the Antaran vessel suffered a structural failure which caused massive flooding. The Duchess capsized to her starboard, creating a maritime hazard in the port of Angel Bay for 13 years due to the difficulty of removing her wreckage.

King Eisen I took part in the Battle of Cabot Landing in October 1179 without her sistership. The battleship was rammed by the ironclad frigate Devoir after an unsuccessful broadside attack from both parties, with the latter overcome by flooding. Later throughout the battle another frigate, the L'exécuteur boarded the King Eisen-I which had run adrift due to a boiler failure and was captured. The Salian crew too were unable to solve the boiler problem and had to be towed to the still Salian held town of Ferguson. Eisen was renamed to Repenti and entirely re-engined. Repenti was scrapped several years after the war in 1194.

Blank version -

Ships in class

King Eisen I - captured, 1179, scrapped, 1194
Duchess of Cascadia - capsized, 1179


Tonnage - 4800 tonnes standard
Speed - 13 knots under steam power
Range - 1400nm at 10 knots
Armament - 4xI 305mm/13, 4xI 203mm/15, 16xI 127mm, all muzzle-loaded shell guns
Armor - 178mm citadel, 152mm extended belt, 25mm decks, 203mm conning tower

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Last edited by Shigure on January 27th, 2021, 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 19th, 2021, 5:36 pm
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Admiral Burdina-Class Battleship
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The Burdina-Class Ironclad was ordered shortly following the news of Utinorebea's Bahulyam ironclad. Utinorebea was always considered to be behind in naval technology, relying on it's land power, but a new administration began measures to push the envelope of ship design. The Bahulyam came as a means to even out Myrodraethian and Arandish numerical advantages, both of whom had large fleets, but many were aging.

Arand has held pride in it's navy for eons, prioritizing it as it's main means of defending the nation's island homeland. Arand constantly developed new naval technology itself and not one to fall behind, immediately began development of a similar ironclad using breech-loaded guns and explosive shells. The result was the Burdina-class, first setting sail with the AIS Gerlaria just a few years later. Named after recently-passed Admiral Estebe Burdina who was nicknamed "Ironguts" for the slew of injuries he faced in his career, the new battleship was highly advanced in of itself. It was the first ship to utilize turrets, and the first ocean-going mastless ship. Through the next several years the Arandish navy would produce four such ships.

The Burdina class would serve well: it was critical in several wars. Though largely obsolete by 288, it fought in the battle of Muladhanam and sunk several enemy ships.
The AIS Salamander, pictured above, sunk the Utinorebean flagship UKK Vanashatya in said battle. According to eyewitness reports, the Salamander, under a barrage of enemy fire and low on ammunition itself, stockpiled it's remaining ammo to the front and rammed the Vanashatya. Both ships were sunk in the ensuing explosion. According to eyewitnesses the Salamander's commander, one Captain Aritza, shouted "witness me" as they collided.
Following the Battle of Muladhanam and the end of the 15th Myrodraeth-Utinorebean War all Burdina-class ships were retired. Two were scrapped, but the Gerlaria remains as a museum ship in Arand's capital.

Length: 296 feet
Armament: 4x 12 inch guns
Displacement: 7,110 tons
Speed: 14.1 knots
Complement: 380

“The horror! The horror!”

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 20th, 2021, 9:10 pm
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HMS Hermione, Westlandian central battery ironclad (1870)

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The Calliope-class of four central battery ironclads were built for the Royal Westlandian Navy in response to a class of new Ruzenian ironclad warships that threatened Westlandia's overseas territories. As not all overseas stations possessed docking facilities and coal could be scarce and expensive, it was determined that the new class would have to be efficient under sail and be able to operate for extended periods without needing a drydock. This resulted in a design that, while made of iron, was covered in wood and copper sheathing, had a lifting screw propeller and a full ship rig. The ships performed well under sail and could reach a speed of around 10 knots, or 14 knots under power.

While turrets were considered, the lack of experience the Westlandian navy had with them and the fact that the ships were needed quickly meant that a more conservative central battery armament was chosen instead. The armoured box in the centre of the ship contained an armament of ten 22.5 cm rifled muzzle-loading guns on two decks. Six were placed on the lower deck and fired on the broadside, while the other four were placed one deck higher and further outboard. These four guns were provided with two gunports each, allowing one per side to fire ahead and one to fire astern, in addition to being able to fire on the broadside. This meant most angles were covered without the need for turrets. The ships were also fitted with reinforced ram bows.

HMS Hermione was the last of the class to be completed in 1870, and was first stationed in southern Wubbeland to deter the Ruzenian navy. She then became the flagship of the Jinbei station, before returning to Westlandia where, in 1877, she accidentally rammed and sank her sister Calliope in a dense fog off Earnsborough. This made her the only ship in her class to sink another vessel. She would later be stationed in the Midsummer Isles before being placed in reserve in 1893 and becoming a depot ship. Hermione was scrapped in 1906.

A few (estimated) numbers:
Length: 93.1 metres overall, 80.0 metres waterline.
Beam: 16.5 metres.
Draught: 7.0 metres.
Displacement: 6,000 tonnes.

Armour: 150-200 mm belt, 100-150 mm armoured box.
Armament: 10 x 22.5 cm rifled muzzle-loaders, 1 x ram bow.
Sail plan: Ship rig, 3,750 square metres.
Propulsion: 1 shaft, 4,500 hp, 6 coal-fired boilers.
Speed: 10 knots under sail, 14 knots under power.

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 21st, 2021, 5:21 pm
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Tenhō class monitor
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Developed as a response to rumoured Japanese central battery ironclads that was supposedly under construction, the Tenhō, was a class of hybrid casemate/ turreted monitor built in the early 1870s, she was in terms of design quite unremarkable for her time featuring the typical muzzle loading large calibre guns, in the traditional monitor twin layout, the main aspect that made her stand out from any other monitors of the time was the inclusion of a large casemates superstructure on her deck, with 8 9" muzzleloading guns mounted in this superstructure, her service would be relatively unremarkable. with her main duty being that of a patrol ship in and around Tajima bay, she would be reclassified as a guard ship and have her engine removed in 1888 she would last in this role until 1896, finally being decommissioned, and sunk as a Breakwater in Tajima harbour, where her deteriorated wreck is still present to this day.


Tonnage - 6,000 tonnes standard
Speed - 10 knots under steam power
Range - 600nm at 5 knots
Armament - 2x2 15", 8x1 9", muzzle-loading guns
Armor - Pilot house: 9" Gun turret: 5" Superstructure: 3" Waterline belt: 3-6" Deck: 1"

Work list: 1. various pre-1900 Zipang ships 2. Haruryū class battlecruiser 3. Some protected cruisers and other miscellaneous projects

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 22nd, 2021, 7:15 pm
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Location: Uosmaf, Cossian Republic
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The Saint-class (Judolian: Qorhvat-khvak Rhikksar jur Nivok [qɔʀ.vɑt xfɑk ʀɪkʰ.saɾ jyɾ ɲɪ.vɔk]) was a class of two ironclads built for the Navy of the Blessed Judolian State in the prelude to the Father and Child War (Judolian: Ghaghar Vzaq lit. Family War) fought between members of the Dahrmian Empire's sphere of influence and the Triple Alliance of Tera, Feldzin, and Cassidy. Built and overseen by Dahrmia, they were the only class of capital ships ever to see service with the Judolian Navy.


Early in the 19th century, the Dahrmian Empire and its main Ghalamian allies Judolia and Harvona would launch the genocidal Pacification of the North, stoking tensions with the sole other Ghalamian power bloc, the Triple Alliance of Tera, Feldzin, and Cassidy to their east. This tension came to a head in 1833 with the desperate Kalbarghan appeal for aid from the Triple Alliance and the subsequent clash between the zealous volunteer forces of the Triple Alliance and the half-inquisitors, half-militias sent by Dahrmia to establish control over Central Ghalamia. Though the fighting would prove indecisive, and the Kalbarghans would retain their independence owing largely to the continued presence of Triple Alliance garrisons, it would remain as a sort of "frozen conflict" zone where ethnic and religious infighting, stoked by their respective factions to the west and east.

The progression of the 19th century would see the modernization of the Triple Alliance and a subsequent increase in their ability to project force, specifically in the narrow sea lanes that separated the comparatively weak nations of Judolia and Harvona from their main benefactor, Dahrmia. The year 1866 specifically would see the deployment of the first class of Teran oceangoing ironclads. Ironclads, which had prior only been built by Dahrmia as coastal vessels to patrol the archipelagos separating them from Judolia, had proven to be extremely resilient to existing cannon fire and easily capable of defeating older wooden-hulled vessels, but were limited in their seakeeping and range. The appearance of Triple Alliance vessels capable of overcoming this limitation immediately became a matter of great concern for the Dahrmians, who would scramble to develop oceangoing ironclads of their own to counter this new threat. This would begin the Northern ironclad race that would eventually culminate in the Father and Child War of the 1880s.

This sentiment was also shared by the Judolians, who had, in the years following the Pacification of the North, been attempting to assert a degree of self-reliance from Dahrmia. The appearance of Triple Alliance oceangoing ironclads would act as the catalyst to large-scale Judolian naval expansion, which had been a priority of Queen Imar, who aimed to take Judolia from a navy limited to coastal defense to one with the capability of projecting power overseas.


Owing to the limited industrial capability of the Judolians, the two ships ordered in 1870 were constructed in Dahrmia and overseen by Dahrmian engineers. Unlike previous Judolian orders, a specific design request for these ships was a long range and the ability to stay at sea for a long period of time. Each ship was intended to serve as the flagship of a squadron of gunboats, which would form the core of the new navy. The ships carried a main battery of four 305 mm guns mounted in two twin centerline turrets, intended to be capable of defeating the armor of contemporary Teran ironclads, and carried an additional six 130 mm guns mounted broadside. The citadel and turrets were armored in approximately 175 mm of iron armor, with the extended belt and ends being armored in a maximum of 125 mm. The conning tower sported 250 mm of armor. The ship was capable of moving both under steam and sail power, and was capable of making 12 knots in fair conditions under full power. Her range under coal power was approximately 1,750 nm. Overall, the ships weight approximately 4,450 tons, and were the largest ships to see service with the Judolian Navy until that point.


After being commissioned in 1874, Queen Imar would board Saint Marjar of Qaghas to take part in a ceremonial mission to the island of Priksa to attend a mass at the important cathedral located on the island. It is believed that living in the wet and cold conditions on the ship, even for the short period of time, resulted in her contracting the pneumonia that would ultimately lead to her death the following year.

The Saint Matjas of Paghrav was commissioned the following year in 1875, and would initially serve as the core of the navy along with her sister ship in the Judolian Squadron. She would take part in a goodwill mission to Siadria in 1878 as part of the formal opening of relations between Judolia and the Hymuth Empire.

Both ships would take part in the Father and Child War starting in 1881, fighting in both of the two decisive naval battles of the war, the Battle of Tsavakki, and the Battle of Akkrin. Ultimately, neither ship would receive the squadron that was intended for them, mainly as a result of Queen Imar's death and the failure of her successor to maintain interest in the navy that she had created. Both ships saw service mainly as a part of Dahrmian formations, and served as supporting elements to larger, newer Dahrmian ironclad battleships.

Arriving late to Tsavakki on February 2nd, 1882, both ships would evade attack in the night action that followed, and would return unscathed to the action of the morning of February 3rd. After the destruction of the Dahrmia flagship Xiftsat after being struck by a Teran 12-inch shell and the collapse of the Dahrmian formation, both ships would escape the battle with minimal damage, and would regroup with what remained of the Dahrmian fleet to attempt to break the Triple Alliance blockade once more at Akkrin.

Akkrin would serve as the great decisive battle of the war, and it was here that both ships would meet their demise. Entering the combat as part of the center of the Dahrmian battleline on May 15th, both ships suffered only light damage in the early stages of the battle. However, after the vanguard of the formation turned north to attempt to cut off the Teran flying squadron flanking them, what was most likely a communication error saw the Judolian squadron turn south and split away from the formation, attracting concentrated fire. In the confusion that followed, Matjas would sink first, after being pounded by high explosive from several Teran warships. Critically on fire and losing power, the ship would break formation, resulting in even more concentrated fire from the Teran battle line. Eventually, the fire reached the magazines and the ship would explode with almost all hands lost.

The battle quickly devolved into chaos following the split of Dahrmian forces. The more numerous Teran forces began to hunt down and destroy straggling Dahrmian and Judolian ships, and the destruction of the Dahrmian flagship Hvaklav's mainmast increased the confusion as it became impossible to direct Dahrmian forces. Despite this, Marjar fought until the end of the battle, refusing to surrender even after the disorderly retreat of the majority of surviving Dahrmian forces. With the sun setting and the Terans closing in, Captain Pavar ordered the ship scuttled, and shot himself in the conning tower after the ship was evacuated. Marjar would be the final ship to sink in the battle.

edit: removed some stupid orange pixels from the template

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Post subject: Re: The Iron-Clad Menace (Challenge)Posted: January 27th, 2021, 9:14 pm
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Hi all!

When I started to draw this, I thought I was the only one going for a symmetrical solution, matching an ironclad with a bigger one, but evidently I am not. Well, that's what I have, so I post it:

LT Conlan

By 1865, the Thiarian Navy was an all-wooden operation. Five screw frigates, five screw corvettes, two screw sloops, two paddle sloops and thirty-six sailing ships (seven frigates, six corvettes, eight sloops and fifteen gunvessels) made up its strength. Except the sloops, which were 1850s experimental designs, the steamers were all brand-new, having been ordered in 1861 through 1864, when the Pacific War, the Third Patagonian War and the American and Mexican Civil Wars shook up affairs in the Americas. Foreign developments such as ironclads were monitored – who knew whether all this new-fashioned stuff would ever stick – but up to that moment not followed up; the mood in the country was thoroughly liberal at that time, with low taxes and correspondingly low government spending. Then, late in 1864, the Brazilians instigated a military coup in Uruguay, placing Thiaria’s considerable business interests there in jeopardy. Thiarian diplomats had little trouble convincing Paraguay’s dictator Francisco Solano Lopez that this move would cut off his nation from world trade, and Paraguay’s well-trained and equipped army could surely set affairs right in a fortnight. No one can say whether that scheme would have worked, because Solana, megalomaniac as he was, declared war not only on Uruguay, but on Brazil and – worse – Thiaria’s traditional ally Argentina as well, starting the five year Paraguayan War, the bloodiest affair on the South American continent prior to Thiaria’s Brazilian campaign during World War II. Having no significant ground forces to contribute (they only had a volunteer militia which by constitution was only required to fight if Thiaria was invaded), Thiaria had to sit back and watch events unfold. To aid ground operations, Brazil acquired no less than eight small ironclads capable of riverine operations on the Parana, the largest of which displaced over 3.000 tons and were easily a match for any Thiarian man-o-war; worse, they also bought two 4.000 ton ‘coast defence ships’ under construction for Russia in Britain (the Russians would replace them with domestically-made copies), which at six meters draught were of no use whatsoever on the Parana. They were far advanced when the contract was struck, and late in 1866, the first – named Amazonas – reached Brazil. Her sister Madeira (both were named for Rivers, which made the Thiarians particularly suspicious), followed in mid-1867. As the Paraguayan Navy had nothing bigger than a few gunboats, this Brazilian fleet would certainly outlast the war, no matter how the land campaign went, and then be available against Thiaria. This situation spawned Thiaria’s 1866 fleet programme – designed not only to contain, but entirely dominate any navy Brazil could hope to build up. No less than eight ironclads were approved, and the first two, whose orders went out in mid-1867, were the biggest of them all. To build them, Thiaria had to rely on French yards, particularly as they wanted the newest and best in all areas of technology, none of which they could produce themselves at that time. They specified an iron hull, twin screws for maneuverability, 14 knots tops speed, and the heaviest possible armament on a hull not exceeding 8.000 tons. The order went to the FCM yard at La Seyne on the French Mediterranean coast, which had outbid Arman and Penhoet. Starting point for the design was France’s first domestic ironclad Friedland, then under construction at the Lorient naval yard, but modified to meet Thiarian requirements. Final size grew as two more upper deck barbettes were added and six transverse bulkheads were worked in, and approached 9.000 tons in the end, making them by far the largest warships in the Americas. Their hulls were all-iron below water, sheathed and plated with Muntz-metal, and built up with iron-plated wood above the belt. There was a complete belt of 170mm wrought iron forward and aft, and 240mm over most of the ship’s length; the citadel was plated with 100mm wrought iron, as were the barbettes. Armament comprised eleven heavy breech-loading guns, all of uniform calibre (240mm/19), of which six were in the battery, four in circular upper-deck barbettes arranged at the battery’s quarters, and one bow-chaser in a short forecastle, a feature which would spill over to several later French ironclad types. There were no lighter guns at all; the spar-torpedo boat was not yet considered a threat. The bow was shaped into a ludicrously huge ram, which also would become a typical feature of French ironclads in the following years. Machinery consisted of twin-shaft HRCR engines fed by eight oval boilers, all discharging into a single funnel; these vessels were the first twin-screw ironclad warships built in France. They made the contract speed of 14 knots on trials and were good for twelve knots deep and dirty. Their barquentine sail rig on the other hand was next to useless due to insufficient sail area for the vessel’s prominent size and weight, and any increase would impair stability, which was approaching the limit of what was acceptable anyway. They were named Conlan (Endeavour) and Caithreim (Triumph), ending the long tradition of Thiarian large warships being given geographical names. They were identical except for the prominent flag facilities in front of the funnel, which Caithreim lacked. Construction of Conlan commenced early in 1868, with Caithreim being laid down early in 1870. The Franco-German war of 1870/1 greatly delayed their completion due to lack of yard workers for the duration of hostilities, but Conlan – which was practically ready for launch when the war started – could be launched early in 1873 and completed late in 1875, while Caithreim was not launched before 1876 and completed in 1878. Due to this delay, Conlan, who reached Thiaria late in 1875, was the largest warship in the Americas for only three years, before Emperor Maximilian of Mexico purchased a 10.000-ton turret ironclad (ironically ordered by Brazil in 1872 to counter Conlan and Caithreim, but not delivered due to lack of payment).
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Conlan was fleet flagship for fourteen years, and she and her sister were well liked by the Thiarian public despite their obvious obsolescence. Like all Thiarian sail warships, their fore topsails were made of green canvas, that being a tradition from the 1806-15 war of independence (back then, Admiral Conaire had his personal sigil – the Thiarian snow Jaguar on a green field, which was also his flag – depicted on his fore topsail, indicating he would never strike his flag as long as his ship was able to fly a single sail). Their crews liked them less; their French-style quarters were cramped and uncomfortable – especially compared with their luxurious officer accommodation and flag quarters – and with their rather low metacentric height, they rolled slowly, but with a worrying angle of heel – a typical feature of French ships of the period. In addition, their ceremonial role required a strenuous and boring routine of constant cleaning, polishing and parading. On the plus side, their gunnery was arguably very effective, although Conlan and Caithreim never had to fire their 240mm guns in anger; the barbette guns however could not provide the hoped-for axial fire because their gas pressure would shred the ship’s rigging if fired dead forward or aft. In 1892 through 1894, both were rebuilt with two military masts, added superstructure and newer guns. The battery guns were replaced with six 165mm/35 breech loaders – another four of the type were added in new embrasures fore and aft – while the barbette guns were replaced with 240/30 pieces of the same calibre, but twice the range. The bow chaser and the built-up forecastle were deleted, and the ponderous bowsprit gave way to a much smaller one. A tertiary armament of twelve 47mm/40 guns and eight 37mm revolvers was installed, as were five 381mm torpedo tubes (one forward, two on each beam, all above water. They were also re-engined with VTE machinery and re-boilered with Belleville watertube boilers and could make 15 knots afterwards. The wooden upper hull was rebuilt in steel, and the wrought iron belt was replaced with one made of homogenous Nickel steel. All in all, it was a dubious investment in two clearly obsolete hulls. They were fresh from refit and in active service when the First Brazilian war broke out in 1894. They were with the Thiarian first squadron during the disastrous battle of Sao Jorge da Mina and gave the Brazilians quite a fight; as the Brazilians concentrated their fury on the Thiarian flagship Ardcheannas, Conlan actually emerged from the battle with little damage. Caithreim however went down under the fire of the Brazilian battleships Riachuelo and Aquidaban. After the war, Conlan had to remain in service despite her age until the new battleships of the 1898 programme were delivered; by the time she was finally placed in reserve in 1903, she was only good for 9 knots. Her hull was still in decent shape, and she was used as gunnery TS, mounting guns of a dozen different types, till 1913, when she was hulked. The hulk was broken up soon after the First World war.


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