Monday, May 26, 2008
rebuilding a fleet...
Small scale plastic galleon kits seem to have been more popular in the past. I don't think any of these kits are in production any longer. Nevertheless, I was lucky to find 8 kits, 7 already assembled, to augment my ever so slowly growing fleet.
After experimenting with the oven cleaner cum paint stripper, I tackled the repaints. I started out with one of the smaller ships which had only a minimal amount of damage. I had to replace the main top, main top mast and added the bow sprit and sprit sail, to this model. Though the style of the hull would have been a bit dated by the time of the Armada, I figured it was close enough for what I wanted. I suspect carracks were a bit old fashioned by 1588 but certainly the caravels were still in use. I'm not perfectly sure which I'd classify this model as.
I was happy with the results on the trial ship so I jumped in and started painting the two galleons. I'm pretty sure that these are old Pyro "Golden Hind"s. In fact, they had decals slapped across the sprit sails that read "Golden Hinde". Well, duh! They're not bad models at all. Though the figure head is of some kind of animal which bears a striking resemblance to the stuffed tiger in a Winnie-the-Pooh cartoon. I was able to pop the figurehead off one of the ships but not on the other. Consequently, the difficult model will be dubbed the Tigger... though it could be Hobbes, too. I've been trying to paint them somewhat generically so that they could be used for any combatant. Not too much gold and red... that would be a bit too Castile-ish.
I've also done a bit of painting on the galleys. These are turning out nicely. The sails that came with the models were fully shaken out lateen sails. But I strongly suspect that if the galleys were moving under oars, most likely the sails would be furled. A few years ago I was reading up on the reconstructed Trireme, Olympias, and how easy it was to 'catch a crab' when rowing if even the slightest breeze caught the sail and gave the ship a little leeway. The result was mass confusion in the rowing benches! Now that I think about it, I wonder if that's why when you see paintings of renaissance galleys moving under sail the oars are frequently sticking up in the air like legs of a dead centipede.
Now, this is a step in the right direction. But just to keep myself motivated and to keep from feeling complacent, here's a picture of the shipyard itself. Lots of work to be done!