It’s all gone a bit quiet on here from me lately. There are several reasons for this.
I’ve just finished up at work for 2014 – I had so much annual leave left to take that I’ve got three weeks off over Christmas and New Year. Unfortunately (and this isn’t a HUGE drawback, I’m the first to admit) it does mean an awful lot of panic working to make sure everything is done before the computer gets turned off.
Then, although I finished work officially last Thursday I have been a bit busy. Friday and Saturday were spent driving to and from Swansea to pick up the eldest boy from university. Sunday was spent with the kids and doing a significant amount of decorating and crap-clearance in the house. Monday I went to see The Cutty Sark (for the first time since she was levitated 3 metres higher in her dock than she had been previously – photos at the end of the post) and finished Far Cry 4. Then on Tuesday I popped down to work for the end of season buffet (which turned out to be a full on Christmas Dinner) and started playing Dragon Age Inquisition – and then carried on playing it for 11 hours and 55 minutes… Oops. Today I went to watch my little boy sing in his school’s carol concert, met up with my mum (and played a bit more Dragon Age…).
Anyway, obviously I still have to get ready for Cape St Vincent on 14th and 15th February next year. I think I’ve got my eye in on the ships now, although I might have to either re-rig or order a new HMS Victory as I’m not happy with the amount of “saggy rope” (which isn’t an STD I promise). I did learn a lot from finishing her – it was the first time I’d tried to do anything like it, but maybe I shouldn’t have tested things out on the British flagship… Some annonymous fifth rate hidden at the back would probably have been more sensible. They all certainly look more than the nominal £3 value that NAVWAR charge for the miniatures.
There’s sort of a mini production line going on at the moment. I can’t cope with having more than 5 or 6 on the go at once (because if I do I’ll end up either losing masts or sticking the wrong ones to the wrong hulls…) and right now I’m done with two, almost done with another one and have six more in various stages of completion.
The size variation in ships engaged in a fairly major fleet action might surprise people though.
Here’s a run through from the largest to (almost) the smallest.
From left to right you’ve got the 5000 ton, 140 gun Spanish first rate, Santisima Trinidad (or to give her her full name, Nuestra Senora de la Santisima Trinidad… It just trips off the tongue…) then a standard 112 gun Spanish first rate, HMS Victory the 100 (well, 104) gun first rate, a 74 gun British third rate and a Brig. There is a smaller vessel believe it or not, the Naval Cutter, Fox.
Santisima Trinidad needs to be rigged and then she’s done, and then the others obviously need to be masted and some more details painted, and the other couple I’ve got prepped are stuck to bases but haven’t been primed yet.
We decided we could show the different nationalities in a few ways (which is quite important, not just for us, but also to the casual observer). First they do have hand painted flags, but you can only see those up close (and only from one side as they lay alongside the mizzen gaff sail). The hulls are different colours, but again you cana only see that up close. The stern assemblies are generally white for the Spanish ships and gold for the British – but you can’t see that from the front. The gun carriages are red on the British ships, but you have to be REALLY close to see that…
So what we decided to do was have a slightly different colour for the canvas on the opposing fleets. The Spanish sails are painted a light grey and left like that. The British are initially painted in the same way, but then have a yellowish wash applied to make them a creamier colour. Hopefully you can see the difference in the image above, but if you can’t it is quite pronounced in reality.
Anyway, I promised photos of The Cutty Sark (which is well worth a visit if you haven’t seen it recently – or ever).