Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Dockside Crane for Gierburg

The 1:72 scale medieval crane from Green Line is the latest addition to the docks of my Gierbug gaming board.

I bought the kit at this year's Tactica show, where I saw the assembled model in the flesh and was immediately convinced. It is available from Fredericus Rex.

The kit comprises mainly of various sheets of laser cut balsa wood. There are also two paper sheets for the "metal" parts, rivets and the hook. Thread is included to represent rope.

Usually I mainly work with resin buildings and I am totally spoiled by Tabletop World and Grand Manner models which come pretty much fully assembled out of the box. Because of this, I found the kit somewhat challenging - lots of pieces that need to be prepared and glued together. However, it was challenging in a very positive way: The pieces fit together perfectly and balsa is always easy to work with. It actually felt like I was assembling my own scratch-built model, with the exception that the various pieces were already provided. The model does not have any of the design flaws I usually dislike about laser cut terrain, where you can clearly tell from the finished model that it was built from simple precut kits.

The crane assembled but yet unpainted

After assembling the crane I removed the wheel again for undercoating and painting. I always enjoy painting wood structures: A bunch of drybrushing with browns and whites, finished off with a bit of weathering with green wash, and you're done - a very relaxed and rewarding task.

The finished crane


Since I was "transferring" the crane from 1:72 to 28mm scale I found it appropriate to use a thicker type of thread than the one that came with the model. So I went with the same that I currently use for rigging on my ships.

Finally, this is how the finished model looks as a dockside crane at the Port of Gierburg:

In conclusion, I am very happy with this model. It was refreshingly challenging to assemble without ever being too difficult. It looks like a cool scratch-built piece rather than one of those boring unrealistic laser cut buildings you see so often. I do not find the 1:72 scale to be a problem, either - it gives the impression of a nice small crane to me and works perfectly well with 28mm figures. In short: an excellent addition to the Port of Gierburg.


  1. Excellent piece of kit and well put together and painted.

  2. The whole harbour area is looking fantastic.


  3. Delicious! Really not surprised you picked this up on sight.

  4. Excellent, Chris! The port is getting more and more character with these characters and terrain. This latest addition is fantastic and I wonder if you came up with any possible gaming rules for the crane? There might be some potential for it.


  5. Thanks, y'all!

    @Joao: Yes, I have been thinking about that already. Last time my mate Jens came around we played a scenario where one crew was unloading cargo at the docks. I will definately refine that scenario by incorporating the crane. Can't wait to use it in-game!

  6. Finally got around to ordering the crane kit for my "decaying port". A nice little project for the summer. It should come in handy for the Illegal Salvage Operation scenario. "The plague-ravaged ruins of Marienburg crawled with maggots and rot, the city's once-bustling harbour choked with blackened hulks."


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