Thursday, March 8, 2018


The Korean Navy, during the Japanese Invasion 1592-1598 - played a huge role in containing the Japanese. Their most effective ship - alogside the Turtleship - was the Panokseon class.
Panokseon ("board roofed" or "superstructured" ship) was an oar and sail propelled ship that was the main class of warship used by Joseon Korea during the late 16th century. The first ship of this class was constructed in 1555.[1] It was a ship made of sturdy pine wood, and was instrumental in the victories over the numerically superior Japanese Navy during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98). Admiral Yi Sun-sin (1545–98) of the Joseon navy employed them alongside turtle ships during the war with great success.
A key feature of a panokseon was its multiple decks. The first deck had non-combatant personnel, such as the rowers, who were positioned between the lower deck and the upper deck, away from enemy fire. The combatant personnel were stationed on the upper deck, which allowed them to attack the enemy from a higher vantage point. The panokseon also had a raised roofed observation platform where the commander stood.

Characteristics (Wikipedia)

In line with the traditional structure of Korean ships, the panokseon had a U-shaped hull and a flat keel. This feature was due to the nature of the Korean coastal waters, which have a large tidal range and flat, expansive tidal plains. A flat keel enables a ship to sit comfortably on the tideland when the tide is out, after coming ashore or inside a wharf at high water. It also ensured greater mobility and a shallow draft and in particular allowed a ship to make sharp changes of direction at short notice. This panokseon was one of the main reasons why Admiral Yi was able to employ the Crane Wing formation at the Battle of Hansan Island with great success.
A model of panokseon centering on the commander deck.
Panokseons were propelled by both sails and oars. Of the two basic types of sail, square and lateen, the square gives a strong performance downwind but struggles windward, whereas the fore-and-aft lateen excels against the wind, though requiring a large crew to handle it. In the West, square sails were used in the galleys of Ancient Greece and the Viking longships, and the fore-and-aft variety as early as the Mediterranean dromons of the Middle Ages. When the Age of Discovery began in the fifteenth century, multiple-masted ships equipped with both types of sails eventually appeared. In Korea fore-and-aft sail equipped ships had been in use since the eighth century. The panokseon and turtle ship therefore had two masts by default, and their position and angle could easily be managed so that the sails could be used in all winds, whether adverse or favorable.
The ships had two to three levels stacked up on top of each other. By having multiple levels the rowers at the bottom were relatively safe, and marines at the top would have a height advantage over the enemy, firing down upon them and avoiding boarding of the ship. The upper deck had a tower in the middle of the ship that would be used for command and observation. The deck of the panokseon was broad and flat, making it ideal for the installation of cannons.
Panokseons came in different sizes, the largest vessels estimated to range between 70 feet (21 m) and 100 feet (30 m) in length.[2] The ship usually had 8 to 10 oars on each side, 50 to 60 oarsman and sailors and another 125 marines (i.e. fighting men).

I decided to try to reproduce in paper one of them.
I've got on internet a paper model of this ship that actually I was not able to set up, and therefore I decided to try to build up one by myself, using some ideas of my own.

 I started with 3 squares and 2 paper sheets to recreate the back of the ship.

Monday, February 26, 2018


On a site (I will not name it!) I was "reproached" that my papersoldiers aobut the Samurai invasion of Korea did not represent any Samurai figures. Well, they were right. Finally I've got some free time and I had time to prepare some Samurai figures. They represent the Samurai of the (Christian) Daymo Konishi Yukinaga, that with 7.000 men firstly attacked the Pusan harbour.

His crest has the black cross in white field. 
The Samurai are with arches and pikes and sword. In few days I will be able to represent also with matchlocks.

Friday, June 16, 2017


It is true: it's really very hard to remake a battle at 1:1 ratio. Yes. Because when you decide to re-fight a battle you know that you also have to prepare 30.000 or even 50.000 paper soldiers.
I moved a little towards little engagements in order to minimalize the work. But the wors remains huge in any way.
I was wondering whether to change the ratio to 1:5; still I don't know.
Surely - and I hope no one will get offended - when I see the wargames boards filled up with 1.000 soldiers representing 30.000 men, well it seems to me like a pick-nick meeting with some funny "sbandieratori" from the Palio of Siena.
So I try to compare some pictures of the same event to give the idea of the differences: here I attach the diorama/wargame from the blog "Der Alte Fritz" (by the way it's really a fantastic blog, full of ideas and passion) just to give an exemple of the attack on the church of Leuthen
Risultati immagini per leuthen wargame
 Top: it seems that the battalion is around 60 figures, i.e. 1:10 ratio (already great ratio!)
Again. in the following picture you can have another example

As you can easly see, each batallion is formed by about 24 figures, representing around 500 men, with a ratio 1:20.

Just to give you a glance for comparing I attach here some pictures of the same zone of the battle of Leuthen (the attack around the Catholich Church of the village) at 1:1 ratio

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Austerlitz 1805 - Pictures of a Battle

I had some time this winter, in Poland, and I used it (also) to take some pictures of an idea of wargame representing part of the Battle of Austerlitz 5th  December 1805.
For this purpose, I used the village of the Battle of Leuthen. Actually Austerlitz occurred in current Czechiam next to Brno in December and Leuthen in current Poland (South West) in December, around 50 years before, so the village were as style and weather quite the same (both with snow).

Friday, May 19, 2017


Well, in family we have Korean can vs a Japanese car; following this I implemented my fighting in the Japanese Invasion of Korea at the end of the XVII Century.

 The Korean army in front of the Gate of the walled town of Busan (South Korea) is waiting for the Japanese attack. All in paper.

 Top & bottom: the Korean heavy infantry, led by an officer, is ready for fighting.
 Top: Korean light infantry ready for fighting too (the church in the background is from Leuthen village.... sorry!)

 Top: a good image of the Korean Infantry

 Top & Bottom: notice the flag of the town of Busan

Top: on the top of the walls of the town the fierce Korean infantry is defending its Country and the town of Busan.

 Top:  a more complete vision of the defence of the Town of Busan
 Top: the yellow castle
 Top: the Japanese arrived. I liked very much their shape and how they look!
 Top: vision form the top
 Top & bottom: and intense fight: the Japanese are pressing towards the walls of the town.

Top: details of the fighting
 The Japanese Ashigaru are attacking in very deep formation. Will their discipline prevail?
 Top: pitched battle!
 Top & bottom: light Korean infantry is advancing to defend honour and Country.

 Top & bottom: hard fighting. Who will prevail?
 Bottom: the night is falling upon the fighters