The Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing for Cruel Seas

Edit: 02.12.19 – there have been a tonne of new ships and boats added to both’s marketplace and Thingiverse for both free and premium download.  Lots of the older designs have also been updated (especially Grugnogs) with extra gun options etc. Make sure you check them out. We’ve also added a 1:300 section for WWII naval craft, where you can find a tonne of ships you can use here

Cruel Seas is a great new tabletop wargame from the team at Warlord Games.  Launched near the end of last year, the game has been so popular that local gaming stores have struggled to keep up with demand and keep stock on the shelves.  It’s an immensely playable, simple (The rules section of the Rulebook is only 6 pages long) but addictive game that has the great turn activation from bolt action, with a movement method similar to that of X-Wing or Gaslands. To quote the makers:

In Cruel Seas, you take on the role of a naval crew manning their fragile coastal craft as they head out day and night to take on both the sea and the enemy. Command your flotilla of small ships as they head out to attack a convoy, drop off Commandoes for a behind-the-lines mission or task them with one of the other myriads of missions this small and versatile craft would perform.

Be it the Coastal waters of England or across the Channel to France, on to the Mediterranean waters or on further to the vast Island chains of the Pacific, Cruel Seas will ensure your small ships see plenty of adrenaline-fuelled action.

Cruel Seas is a 1/300th scale tabletop miniatures game where you command flotillas of small ships in battle. Action in the game is fast-paced – with six or more ships per side, a thrilling seaborne dogfight can be fought in forty-five minutes or less.

Rather than focusing on large ships like most naval wargames do, Cruel Seas instead focuses on the “Mosquito Fleet”, that is the small ships that fought in the coastal areas of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. The Rulebook also contains a relatively simple points system for creating basically any ship in existence. Basically, grap your copy of Janes Fighting Ships of WWII (you have a copy right?), look up the details of the ship in question, work out speed (knots = CM, rounded up to nearest 3), compare size, armor etc with similar ships to get an approximate hull value, add up the points for weapons, choose an experience level and you’ve got your own ship. It would be better if there was a slightly more scientific method for choosing hull points, so common sense is required here and it is entirely possible for people to come up with different stat cards for the same ship. I’ll try to add unit cards as we make them for our own games, to make this as complete of a resource for 3D printed ships to use for Cruel Seas.  Eventually each image will link to a printable PDF file.

I suggest that anyone playing, downloads the Errata/FAQ, grabs some wake markers from the Warlord Games website and joins the two main facebook groups:

The creators suggest using 1/300 scale ships for small ships, 1/350 for the bigger ones, and it appears that they are using the same scale planes as Blood Red Skies making them 1/200 in size.  Just like other WWII games, 3D printed models are acceptable, and fill the gaps in the available product range for niche (or common) ships.  We’ve done a roundup of what’s currently available online, to help you get your fleet onto the tabletop:

Great Britain – Royal Navy/Merchant Navy


Early War Vosper 70″ MTB:

Although various boat lengths were produced by Vosper for the Royal Navy, the “70 ft” boat was produced from 1940. The design was produced with modifications as MTBs 31-40, 57-66, 73-98, 222-245, 347-362, 380-395 and 523-537.

Using three Packard V1-12 marine engines, they were capable of around 37 kn (43 mph; 69 km/h). Early models carried two 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, two 0.50 in (13 mm) machine guns and two 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns. They could also carry four depth charges.

Late War Vosper 73″ MTB:

The Vosper 73 foot motor torpedo boat was a mid-twentieth century British military boat design by Vospers.

At 73 ft (22 m) long they were considered small boats compared to longer designs such as the Fairmile Type D. The design came about from a requirement that British Motor Torpedo Boats should be better able to fight small craft, which was the job of Motor Gun Boats. To this end Vospers built on their existing 70 foot designs. The Type I was introduced in 1943 and the Type II before the end of the Second World War.

The boats carried four 18-inch torpedo tubes as their major offensive armament along with Oerlikon 20 mm cannon and some defensive armament (Vickers K machine guns) for protection against enemy aircraft. The Type II gave up two torpedo tubes, but gained a 6-pounder gun which displaced the twin Oerlikon to the aft deck. This made it more capable of performing the Motor Gun Boat role. Of the 29 built to this design none survives, although a slightly earlier model 60′ example has been saved and resides at the Imperial War Museum Duxford annex north east of London.

Fairmile B ML

While the Type A had been designed entirely by Fairmile, the Type B design had come from Bill Holt of the Admiralty based on the lines of a destroyer hull and the detailed design and production was taken on by Fairmile.

Like all their designs it was based on total prefabrication so individual components could be contracted out to small factories for production and these arranged as kits that would be delivered to various boatyards for assembly and fitting out.

Altogether approximately 650 boats were built between 1940 and 1945. Like the A Type, the B Type were initially intended as submarine chasers, so the boats were fitted with ASDIC (sonar) as standard. Their main armament initially reflected their anti-submarine focus, with 12 depth charges, a single QF 3-pounder Hotchkiss gun aft, and one set of twin 0.303-in machine guns. The specifications given are for the original 1940 British version. As the war moved on, the vessels were adapted to other roles and the armament was modified and upgraded such as the replacement of the 3 pounder with one or more 20 mm Oerlikon cannon and removal of the ASDIC dome for more clearance as minesweepers. Some boats were configured as motor torpedo boats.


Small Merchantman


Armed Trawler 

Higgins LCM-3

In appearance very similar to the LCVP which Higgins Industries also constructed, with a 10-foot (3.0 m) wide load area at the front and a small armoured (1/4 inch steel) wheelhouse on the aft decking over the engine room. A Higgins LCM-3 is on display at the Battleship Cove maritime museum in Fall River, Massachusetts.


The LCA was the most common British and Commonwealth landing craft of World War II, and the humblest vessel admitted to the books of the Royal Navy on D-Day.[1][2] Prior to July 1942, these craft were referred to as “Assault Landing Craft” (ALC), but “Landing Craft; Assault” (LCA) was used thereafter to conform with the joint US-UK nomenclature system.[3]

The Landing Craft Assault’s design’s sturdy hull, load capacity, low silhouette, shallow draft, little bow wave, and silenced engines were all assets that benefited the occupants. The extent of its light armour, proof against rifle bullets and shell splinters with similar ballistic power recommended the LCA. Also, many a Tommy and GI looked favourably upon the luxury of seating in the well for the soldier passengers. Throughout the war in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean, the LCA was the most likely sea assault transport of British Commandos, United States Army Rangers, and other Special Forces.


United States – US Navy


Elco Class PT Boat

The Elco Naval Division boats were the longest of the three types of PT boats built for the Navy used during World War II. By war’s end, more of the Elco 80 ft (24 m) boats were built (326 in all) than any other type of motor torpedo boat. The 80-foot wooden-hulled craft were classified as boats in comparison with much larger steel-hulled destroyers, but were comparable in size to many wooden sailing ships in history. They had a 20 ft 8 in (6.30 m) beam. Though often said to be made of plywood, they were actually made of two diagonal layered 1 in (25 mm) thick mahogany planks, with a glue-impregnated layer of canvas in between. Holding all this together were thousands of bronze screws and copper rivets. This type of construction made it possible for damage to the wooden hulls of these boats to be easily repaired at the front lines by base force personnel. Five Elco Boats were manufactured in knock-down kit form and sent to Long Beach Boatworks for assembly on the West Coast as part of an experiment and as a proof of concept.


The Landing Vehicle, Tracked (LVT) is an amphibious warfare vehicle and amphibious landing craft, introduced by the United States Navy. The United States Marine Corps, United States Army, and Canadian and British armies used several LVT models during World War II.

Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles. The types were known as amphtrack, “Amtrak”, “amtrac”, etc. (portmanteaus of “amphibious tractor”), and “alligator” or “gator”

LVCP Higgins boat

The landing craft, vehicle, personnel (LCVP) or Higgins boat was a landing craft used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes. More than 23,358 were built, by Higgins Industries and licensees.

Typically constructed from plywood, this shallow-draft, barge-like boat could ferry a roughly platoon-sized complement of 36 men to shore at 9 knots (17 km/h). Men generally entered the boat by climbing down a cargo net hung from the side of their troop transport; they exited by charging down the boat’s lowered bow ramp

LCM-3 Higgins

In appearance very similar to the LCVP which Higgins Industries also constructed, with a 10-foot (3.0 m) wide load area at the front and a small armoured (1/4 inch steel) wheelhouse on the aft decking over the engine room. A Higgins LCM-3 is on display at the Battleship Cove maritime museum in Fall River, Massachusetts


Germany – Kriegsmarine 


S-100 E-Boats

E-boat was the Western Allies’ designation for the fast attack craft (German: Schnellboot, or S-Boot, meaning “fast boat”) of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The most popular, the S-100 class, were very seaworthy,[1] heavily armed and capable of sustaining 43.5 knots (80.6 km/h; 50.1 mph), briefly accelerating to 48 knots (89 km/h; 55 mph).

These craft were 35 m (114 ft 10 in) long and 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in) in beam. Their diesel engines provided a range of 700 to 750 nmi (810 to 860 mi; 1,300 to 1,390 km), substantially greater than the gasoline-fueled American PT boats and British Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs).

From 1943. 1 × 20 mm in the bow, 2 × 20 mm gun amidships and 37 mm gun aft.


F-Lighter (Artilleriefährprahm)

The Marinefährprahm (MFP), “naval ferry barge”, was the largest landing craft operated by Germany’s Kriegsmarine during World War II.

It served a variety of roles (transport, minelayer, escort, gunboat) in the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Seas as well as the English Channel and Norwegian coastal waters. Originally developed for the proposed invasion of England (Operation Sea Lion), the first of these ships was commissioned on 16 April 1941, with approximately 700 being completed by the war’s end in May 1945. Allied sources sometimes refer to this class of vessel as a “Flak Lighter” or “F-lighter”.

The Artilleriefährprahm or AFP (Artillery Ferry) was a gunboat derivative of the MFP. These ships were used for escorting convoys, shore bombardment and minelaying. They were fitted with two 88mm guns and light AA guns.



The Seehund (German: “seal”), also known as Type XXVII, was a midget submarine manufactured by Nazi Germany during World War II. Designed in 1944 and operated by two-man crews, it was used by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) during the closing months of the war, sinking nine merchant vessels and damaging an additional three, while losing 35 boats, mostly attributed to bad weather. The French Navy used three captured boats after the war until 1953.



Soviet Union – Navy

Italy – Navy

Japan – Navy





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