Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WIP - Row Galley, Part 2

Last night was spent working out the rigging of the masts and lateen yards for the row galley.  The kit came with two masts and four yard pieces.  Last week I fished the yards together using some dark brown thread appropriated from my wife's sewing basket.  The masts will initially be loosely mounted in the holes in the deck provided for them while the yards will be hung on the masts so that they can be removed.  I bought a roll of 24 gauge (~0.5mm) copper wire from my local Ace Hardware store on the way home from work.  After several hours and a couple of false starts, this was the result:

If you double click on the picture you can get a close-up of my rigging technique.  I drilled a hole through the top of each mast and threaded the wire through it.  I had filed a groove around the mast where the hole was and wrapped and super-glued the wire to the mast, leaving enough to form into a loop.  This simulates the rigging "falls" that hold the yard.  I did the same to each yard but formed the wire into a hook that would fit into the loop piece on the mast.  By careful measuring (and some trimming of one end) I ensured that each yard would hang at a slant since this type of row galley used a lateen rig.  Now all I have to do is paint the masts and yards, make the sails, and get them attached to the yards.  There will not be any other rigging as this will be a wargaming "model" and I don't want to have to worry about rigging getting fouled with fingers and vice versa.

You will also notice that the galley has been completed painted.  The outer hull is charcoal and antique gold (ochre) while the interior is red (to hide the blood splatter).  The deck is painted a desert tan color to simulate "holy-stoned" wood planking.  The quarterdeck is a separate piece to which I've glued pins that fit into holes on the main deck sides.  The tiller bar still requires painting (in progress) and mounting.  The crewmen are being painted as well.  The artillery is still unpainted.

I plan on using this same rigging technique for the smaller vessel and the three gunboats that I have.  The smaller vessel will get a fore-and-aft rig on a single mast while the gunboats will have a single square main sail.

Now all I have to do is come up with a suitable name for a Britannian colonial ship from the southern colonies.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WIP - Row Galley, Part 1

Some time ago I acquired an 18th Century American row galley (the Old Glory Shipyard GG9, Washington, from Benedict Arnold's flotilla on Lake Champlain).  I've finally begun painting her for an upcoming Capitania General de Florida game where she'll play a role as a Britannian ship in the naval part of the battle.  I've primed the galley and have painted both of the sides.  This might not have been anything close to what the Washington was actually painted, but it suits me (he says with a big grin!).   [As usual, please click on the pictures for a larger version.]

The row galley Washington with a few older MiniFig crewman aboard for perspective.  The lower part of the hull is red while the upper sides are charcoal and yellow ochre.  I think that the quarterdeck railings will also be yellow ochre, while the deck will be a light wood color (to represent holystoned decking) and the interior of the sides may be red.

And here is an overhead view.  She came with two masts (the two crewmen happen to be standing over the holes in the deck) and yards.  Her rig on Lake Champlain was lateen sails on both masts.  I am going to try that arrangement.  The yards are each in two pieces so I'll have to "fish" them together.  I have a clamp device that my nephew gave me several Christmases ago which will come in handy to hold the two halves while I wrap glue soaked thread around them.  I have a good drawing of the galley in a book on American Revolution navies that shows how they would have been attached and hung on the mast.

More pictures later as work on her progresses.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Color Tests for Russian Pre-Dreadnoughts

After doing some reading of various interpretations of the war time paint scheme for the Russian 1st Pacific Squadron in 1904, I decided it was time to try out actually painting some ships.  These four are all Panzerschiffe models, 2 battleships and 2 cruisers.  I'm still not certain that these will be the color schemes that I will end up using - your comments will help.  As usual, please click on the pictures for a larger version.

The first two test ships are battleships from the Port Arthur based 1st Pacific Squadron.

The battleship Tsesarevitch was the flagship of the Russian squadron during the Battlle of the Yellow Sea.  Here he (to use the Russian/Soviet pronoun) is painted with a dark cinnamon hull, khaki superstructure, and ochre funnels with black band around the tops.  The base is not finished.

The Pobieda was one of the three Peresviet class battleships assigned to the Far East.  He is also in the same color scheme.

The next two ships are cruisers based out of Vladivostok.  Both were present at the Battle of Ulsan, where the Rurik was sunk.

The armored cruiser Rossiya was the flagship of the Vladivostok cruiser squadron.  Here he is with an olive drab hull, khaki superstructure, and ochre funnels.  These colors are, in my opinion, just not dark enough.

And this is the unfortunate armored cruiser Rurik.  With her compound armor and slow speed, she was obsolete by the time of the Russo-Japanese War and paid the ultimate price for it.

OK, what do y'all think?  Please give me your unbiased opinions - wrong colors, too light, too dark??  My ultimate goal is to have a distinctive color scheme for the original Pacific based ships to distinguish them from the elements of the Baltic Fleet that made up the doomed 2nd and 3rd Pacific Squadrons.  At the same time, I don't want a monotone black or gray that would make these little models nothing more than dark blobs on the gaming table.

And finally, a second test Japanese ship, this time the battleship Yashima.  She missed the Battle of the Yellow Sea because she had earlier sailed into a Russian minefield and didn't survive the encounter.

Here she is with her grey hull and superstructure and tannish decks.  The only thing lacking is the wake which I will add once I have enough ships completed to justify mixing up the texture compound.

The Yashima has been joined by the armored cruiser Yakuma which was featured in a previous post.