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Bigger Smaller Boats

Posted by Adam on December 30, 2019 at 6:55 AM

Barry Hilton's current enthusiasm with the naval aspects of the late 17th Century is very infectious and I have been following with interest.

http://leagueofaugsburg.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-big-one-part-1-getting-organized.html


Altough eminently practical, I quickly realised I could muster no interest in the microscopic ship models that Barry has been using to such great effect.  Instead I dug into the pile of  abandoned projects to find an alternative. Amongst my on again off again Armada project I found a stash of 1/450 Peter Pig ship models and some plastic kits that  looked good for conversion fodder. The first few efforts are now ready for the table top.


A small Engilish galleon investigates a Dutch sloop in company with a brigantine.


I found a half converted Airfix Mayflower that looked about right as a 17th Century galleon (at the small end for this type of ship.) Some further examples of this kit look like a possible basis for early frigate models from the period. A Peter Pig pirate sloop with a bit of milliput clay was an easy conversion. The models are bang on scale and just about perfect for the period. The third model up was a  Janapanese plastic toy which with some hacking around and changes to the rigging makes a passable impression of a two masted brigantine.


Left to right: Airfix, Japanese toy and Peter Pig.


Enlarging the scale to 1/450 does mean that fleets of ships of the line become impractical in space and financial  terms. However the lower level fights, convoys  and skirmishes that are the day to day reality of naval warfare, look like an interesting arena (and pirates become a viable combatant!)  The smaller warships of this period still seem to have the ridiculous baroque decoration that makes the navies of the period so picturesque.  Painting these models should be fun then; a 100 ft long frigate will be a model of around 3" long, so big enough to see some detail but not so large it is more of a modelling challenge than I want to take on. Finding a set of rules that suits this level of warfare will be the next challenge...

Categories: Painting Projects

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