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"Some 1:600 scratch built galleys" Topic


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818 hits since 13 Dec 2018
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Personal logo Lluis of Minairons Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Dec 2018 3:11 a.m. PST

Not satisfied enough with the currently existing 1:600 scale galley model offers, I've been giving a try to building a couple of them by my own means, and here's the result.

Besides of a small gunboat at background, there can be seen a 2-masted ordinary galley ('galera grossa' as we call it in Catalan language) and a single masted half galley (or galera subtil).

Accordingly to my notes, an ordinary galley would usually be around 40-45m long, powered by 24 to 29 oar pairs, and armed with 5 guns of varying calibres into an 'arrumbada' bow structure. Otherwise, a half galley would have 16 to 24 oar pairs and 3 guns with no 'arrumbada' --and that's what I've tried to reproduce here.

They've been dressed as Catalan galleys, like those the General Deputation of that principality deployed in the 17th century to protect coasts against Barbary pirates. As such, they hoist large Saint George standards on mast tops, for this was the Parliament and General Deputation device; with smaller, rectangular crimson standards at chief position showing the royal arms of Aragon.

Both galleys have been built entirely from scratch using plastic bits, sprues and spares picked from everywhere (PVC for hulls and HPS for all the rest). Only that half galley mast is white metal (because for those of the larger one I used plastic sprue frames instead).

Bulding process has been quite similar for both; I first cut the waterline level shape of the ship from a 2mm PVC sheet (very easy to work with a cutter), and afterwards glued onto it the main deck from a thin plasticard sheet. Banks, oars, lanterns, stern tents and guns are conveniently re-shaped plastic bits --from anywhere, as said.

Sails were modeled from a plastic desktop calendar, taking as a model a metal galley sail from Skytrex. Bases are 3.5 x 7.5 cm, and 2.5 x 6 cm respectively.

Not any piece of art to a naval modelist, but they look pretty enough on tabletop!! grin

Lluís

Costanzo113 Dec 2018 4:58 a.m. PST

Nice pieces! Where come from oars?

Personal logo Lluis of Minairons Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Dec 2018 5:52 a.m. PST

For the first galley built (the single masted one) I first used some plastic rods from an H0 building kit. Later I thought of a better source for oars, and used Evergreen 0.75 mm rods (=0.03"?) for the second ship (the larger one).

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2018 6:19 a.m. PST

Those look great!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

Great work!!

Jim

DOUGKL13 Dec 2018 7:28 a.m. PST

Turned out very well. Thanks for sharing.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2018 8:15 a.m. PST

Spectacular.

And thanks for all the tips!

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2018 9:39 a.m. PST

Very nice end result! thanks for posting.

DeRuyter13 Dec 2018 12:43 p.m. PST

Very well done – kudos to you sir!

Yellow Admiral13 Dec 2018 4:34 p.m. PST

Very nice. Just 482 more of those and you can do Lepanto! grin

I've set out to do this project a few times myself, but my conscience would not tolerate empty rowing benches (especially in 1/600 scale), and I've never found a way to make hundreds of rowers without going insane. The massed oarsmen are one of the few things I really like about the Skytrex galleys.

I think 1/600 is the "right" scale for Renaissance galleys – small enough to maneuver a bunch, large enough to show off the character. You captured the characteristic racy crouch with the long, low pointy bow and high, raked stern. Langton managed to do this in 1/1200 scale, but all the other small-scale Renaissance galleys I have are too indistinct to tell.

Thanks for demonstrating that plastic rod will work for oars. I never got as far as oars, but polystyrene is a lot easier to cut to length than wire. :-\

It makes me very happy to see the oars perpendicular to the sides. Bravo! Most people want them swept back (like on Navwar galleys), which is actually dead wrong.

You've gone this far, I'm betting there will be more. A few suggestions:

Crew! There are ever more 3mm miniatures around, and a lot of "2mm" troop blocks will probably work too. Galleys in action looked packed with bodies.

I miss the oar boxes along the sides. The actual hull of a standard Renaissance war galley (galea sottil) was only about 5-5.5 m wide, with almost a meter of outrigger protruding from each side (total width across oar box approx. 7.25 m). I think you had all the right construction ideas, but the hull should probably be sanded just a bit narrower, and the side rails you glued on should be widened into an oarbox on each side.

A good way to obscure the empty oar benches is to put up the decorated armings that period galleys wore along the outriggers in combat. These were used as heraldic displays, so they also make a great place to put more color; patterns of stripes, heraldic symbols, etc.

I like they way your sails turned out, but a galley under way should either have sail(s) out and oars up, or oars down and sail(s) furled.



Most gaming miniatures look just like what you've made here, so only pedants like me will notice anything wrong, but now I've infected you with too much knowledge too. grin

- Ix

Lonkka1Actual14 Dec 2018 3:17 p.m. PST

Nice!

khanscom14 Dec 2018 6:46 p.m. PST

Gorgeous pieces!!!

Personal logo Lluis of Minairons Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 4:11 a.m. PST

Thanks to you all for your warm appreciations, Sirs grin

You've gone this far, I'm betting there will be more. A few suggestions: Crew!

Yes my concern at this regard made me stop the project for several weeks while seeking an alternative --with no results. I was anxious to finish the ships and waited no longer; but I still miss the oarsmen, too.

I miss the oar boxes along the sides.

There are such boxes protruding from hull, indeed. Only that I haven't explained it well enough. Apologies for it.

Actually, hull has been built in two steps: a first PVC piece to represent it at waterline level, sharp as a knife as it should be. And then upon it a second, rectangular PVC piece to represent the oar box, quite wider than the former one.

Perhaps this schema can help me explain it better:

…a galley under way should either have sail(s) out and oars up, or oars down and sail(s) furled.

Absolutely true. Here I must admit a purely aesthetical choice in the knowledge it was wrong.

In a future I'd like to scratch build a few else (provided that as a miniature maker I haven't started to make them comercially yet, website), and if such case I'll essay with furled sails, no doubt grin

Lluís

Yellow Admiral15 Dec 2018 4:24 p.m. PST

Actually, hull has been built in two steps: a first PVC piece to represent it at waterline level, sharp as a knife as it should be. And then upon it a second, rectangular PVC piece to represent the oar box, quite wider than the former one.
Ah! I see what you did. It's much clearer after seeing the diagrams.

Cool diagrams! They looks suspiciously like published instructions for a kit. Are you planning to make these into something you can manufacture? <You can't see me, but I'm bouncing up and down with excitement…>

In your diagram the bow deck is outrigger width, but on your models, the bow deck is hull width and the arrumbada is outrigger width, which seems to be correct for the period.

BTW, having a separate piece for the bow deck is a great innovation, I'll try that myself. It should help make the bow spur sturdier, and much easier to get the shape right. Trying to file a square-section bow spur from a curvy bow section was no fun at all.

In the paintings, etchings, drawings, models, etc. I've studied, the stern castle is only barely wider than the hull (if at all) and notably narrower than the outrigger. The protruding rear of the outrigger seems to have commonly been where the entry ladders were mounted, as on the reproduction of Don Juan's Real:

If you like superdetailing, it might also be possible to get appropriately-sized ladders in photoetched brass. I haven't found any yet, but I've only tried a couple times.

…a galley under way should either have sail(s) out and oars up, or oars down and sail(s) furled.
Absolutely true. Here I must admit a purely aesthetical choice in the knowledge it was wrong.
The sails do look really nice.

Not like you need more work, but I should take this opportunity to infect you with another thought I've had previously: 1/600 scale is large enough to make sails/masts removable. I did this to some Skytrex galleons with very mixed results, but for galleys with only one sail it would be much easier to make two spars for each galley mast, one with a furled sail, one with a filled sail. Attach the spar to the crow's nest so it rests above the rigging, and the crow's nest acts as a stopper on the tube below. During a wargame, plop on the sail you need to indicate which form of locomotion the galley is using, or remove it altogether to indicate rigging damage.

- Ix

Yellow Admiral15 Dec 2018 4:32 p.m. PST

Let's talk parts. grin

When Bay Area Yards was still in operation, I bought a couple dozen ironclad-era square-rigger mast sets specifically to get the long yards with furled sails for 1/600 galleys and galleons. I don't know if Steve is still in business, but if so he might be able to make more of these.

I also bought several packs of BAY 1/600 scale boats for the same reason. They're generic enough for any era.

I'm sure you already know about the Peter Pig 1/450 boats with crews. These look really useful to me for galley battles (lots of troops shuttled between galleys during sea battles), and they're close enough for 1/600 scale naval gaming.

picture

Also maybe of use to you: a few years ago I convinced a guy on Shapeways to rescale his anchors to 1/600 scale. A set is expensive, but one set would be plenty for a whole fleet.

What did you use to make your lanterns? I've come up empty handed. I can't even find tiny beads I think would look right. I have considered asking Skytrex to sell me a pile of the lanterns they include with their galleys, but those are actually a bit too large for my taste.

I like the planks outlining the sides of your arrumbada. How did you do that?

Is the deck planking just painted on, or is that a pattern in the material you used to make the decks?

- Ix

khanscom16 Dec 2018 3:41 p.m. PST

Thank you for the templates. I am so tempted!

Personal logo Lluis of Minairons Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Dec 2018 3:10 a.m. PST

Hi,

In your diagram the bow deck is outrigger width, but on your models, the bow deck is hull width and the arrumbada is outrigger width, which seems to be correct for the period.

Well, it's so in the half galley --the first one I built. There the oar deck piece only protrudes 1mm or so beyond the hull part.

When later started planning the 'galera grossa', then I recalled that in such a ship each oar would be manned by 5 men instead of just 3, so consequently gave added width to that piece.

Please have in mind that these two models are just trials, so I've been following some sort of 'trial and error' process.

In the paintings, etchings, drawings, models, etc. I've studied, the stern castle is only barely wider than the hull (if at all) and notably narrower than the outrigger.

That above also applies to other details as stern profiling. At this regard, I feel more satisfied with the 'galera subtil' stern. More 'trial and error' to apply in a future then grin

Cool diagrams! They looks suspiciously like published instructions for a kit. Are you planning to make these into something you can manufacture?

Yes there are some plans at regard, but unrelated to my scratch building attempts. If finally endeavoured, my 1/600 scale ships would be 3D designed from blueprints. Look for 'Age of Sail Ships' label in this wishlist page.

Cheers,
Lluís

Yellow Admiral20 Dec 2018 11:30 a.m. PST

I didn't know about the wishlist page. It was tempting to send a couple thousand fake emails from spoofed email addresses, but I was honest and just sent one. grin

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