Having completed an prolonged move of house (miniatures packed in boxes and lack of internet contributing to a general malaise on the hobby front) the first box I found were my 1/4800 Tumbling Dice ships.
I decided it was time to give the Trafalgar rules a run, so a few Family Guy episodes later, I had a small fleet ready.
A scorched brown hull, sails and rigging, chaos black sides, with yellow blobs for the "Nelson checker" look. I'll get around to gilding the sterns sometime. Bleached bone over graveyard brown for the sails completed my quick-n-nasty paint job. I felt the best effect to make the model 'pop' was the white wake on the base. These took surprisingly long to do, considering my super simple rushed paint job.
Tumbling Dice 1/4800 Review
+ Good feeling of 'life' in the sculpts
+ Good sense of scale; looks effective as a fleet
+ Affordability - 18 SOL, 3 frigates, 2 sloops, 2 brigs and 2 cutters for $20 = a complete fleet
- surprisingly long to paint even with a quick-n-nasty scheme
- the smaller 2-decker was much smaller than even the frigates in every way. Since they included 12 of these in the fleet pack I presume they represent the popular 74-gunner but one presumes a 74-gunner would not be 2/3rds the size of a larger frigate. I know frigates were as long as many SOL, but the frigates are bulkier to boot.
- no merchant or special ship options (bomb ketches etc) althought the abovementioned stubby 74 looks more like a small merchant than a warship...
I've revisited this, but so far my internet searching has lead me to conclude:
1/1200 - Skytrex $6/ship. Langton & GHQ fall into more 'models' than playing pieces at $12-15 each.
1/2000 - Valiant has bulk $100 specials that work out to $3/ship. They are well detailed but a bit fiddly/breakable, and look good either rigged or not. They fit well enough with 1/2400 apparently.
1/2400 - $3 ea - Tumbling Dice > Old Glory due to superior cast rigging and ability to buy individual ships. Hallmark are finer and fiddlier and seem to be $4-5. They do NOT have the cast ratlines which is probably more realistic but the extra cost is not worth it I feel.
1/3000 - West Wind > Navwar due to price and availability/ease of ordering. Super cheap in packs ($1-50 a ship) but I prefer more 'standard' 1/1200 or 1/2400 scales. Also not a great step up from 1/4800, which is under $1 a ship.