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"Colors or yards, masts, mast tops?" Topic

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Pajaro Muerto29 Mar 2019 6:43 p.m. PST

So I searched around and could see nothing about this in particular…

I just came around a few Sails of Glory ships to begin in this game, and want to "pimp" the masts and maybe rig them and ratline them after.

I know the Royal Navy had the sail yards in black, and ditto the mast tops (is that what the "floors" in between ratlines are called?), and that the masts themselves were ochre or varnished wood, I think.

How about the French and Spanish though? I've gathered–loosely–that the French also painted the yards black, but other people say wooden or tan. I have no info on the Spanish.

And I BOUGHT the Langton book, just I right know can't find it in my mess!! Please help me out. If you know a particular ship's yard or mast colors, all the more love to you!

Also, did the original 1789 French Tricoloure flag have the blue stripe in Navy Blue as the Sails Of Glory have? I know it's a Bright, maybe Cerulean Blue today, and has been for some time…

Thanks, friends!

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2019 1:16 a.m. PST

I am a novice in this field ,so I am not much help.However if you check out a series of vidios on You Tube that a modeller called Gavin Booth did on Langton ships ,I think this could very well help you.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2019 8:39 a.m. PST

I suggest going on-line to maritime museums and ship enthusiast sites, and look at paintings depicted there.






khanscom30 Mar 2019 6:19 p.m. PST

From "Historic Ship Models" by Wolfram zu Mondfeld:

"…From the first half of the 19th century the lower masts complete with mastheads were white overall, while the masts of clippers and sometimes of warships were painted black. The yards were often white on merchant ships, but the yardarms were always black. The topmasts generally remained natural brown, often with white mastheads, although occasionally they were white or black overall. The tops, crosstrees and caps of some merchant ships were also white, while clippers and warships and also many merchant ships preferred the more somber black."

Hope this is of some help.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2019 11:58 a.m. PST

Some more images:



link (ignore the computer game images !)



Kevin in Albuquerque31 Mar 2019 5:27 p.m. PST

I paint masts and yardarms black or brown, though the USS Constitution has white masts because of a painting. And I like the way it looks.


Pajaro Muerto01 Apr 2019 1:14 p.m. PST

@khanscom: So all warships drom all nations black, then?

@hindsTMP: All those beautiful works are a bit contrasty. It's hard to distinguish if a yard is black or justlight brown with high contrast, either against the sky, or for esthetics.

I'll look into more videos of Naval Action, nd have to trust in their research to be sound :)


khanscom01 Apr 2019 4:36 p.m. PST

"@khanscom: So all warships drom all nations black, then?"

Can't say for sure-- the writer is working with museum- quality ship models, so I assume he knows his subject. Undoubtedly there could be individual variation, but I'd be comfortable using his work as a reference.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2019 6:47 p.m. PST

It all depends on whether the gamer is looking for quick-and-dirty info, in which case he copies what other modelers have done, or if the gamer wants be individualistic and go deeper into the subject matter, in which case he does his own research. Nice thing about our hobby is we can do what we want. :-)

Quick and dirty: link

More individualistic: Look for images of models or paintings from museums, including museums from non-English-speaking countries such as France, Spain, and Denmark. Goggle Translate is helpful if you don't speak those languages.

I wouldn't advise consulting "videos" (Hollywood movies?), however.


SgtPrylo02 Apr 2019 6:16 a.m. PST

The guys who did Naval Action (game, not movie) did a pretty good job on their research for their models. But keep in mind they use specific ships (Constitution, Victory, etc.) which may have had schemes that were not common with the rest of a nation's fleet.

I stopped trying to get every ship exact when I found that the paint schemes could and would change from battle to battle based on the whim of a captain or admiral (think Nelson 'chequer'). I go with a general, 'historical' scheme for each nation and what I think looks good on the table.

In the end, it's not like Napoleonic ground forces were you can get details of each button, cuff and trouser stripe. Some basic research should work just fine for a game.

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