Monday, 29 June 2020

All at Sea - Spanish Fleet Box Build

After a short break, painting and rigging a couple of ships for my friend Bob and featuring them in the recent series of rigging tutorial videos, work continues on my own collection of model ships and JJs Royal Shipyard carries on the work started with the launch of Santisima Trinidad to build my Armada Espanola.

As seen below, the core of the collection is to be built around the Warlord Spanish navy box set with my big three-decker to represent the 112-gun Santa Anna as featured at the head of this post.

All the hulls constructed and parts primed ready to start painting

The last week saw the hulls put together and primed in my normal light grey primer paint, with the various fittings such as masts, anchors and boats primed separately either on the sprues or, as you can see, held by clothes pegs in the case of metal parts.

I tend to paint these parts separately and then bring them together at the end thus leaving work on the hulls much easier to do without having to paint in between already affixed mast and boats.

All the painting done and fitted out with masts and boats, it’s time to start rigging.

As you will also see I am only concentrating on the rated ships at present and so this initial batch of models includes the three frigates, Diana, Ninfa and Ceres, the three third rates, Montanes, Neptuno and San Juan Nepomuceno and my first rate Santa Anna.

My generic first rate has been finished to look like the 112-gun Santa Anna

As always, these models give plenty of detail to work with and the opportunity to try and capture the look of the ships the models will represent, all be it that these are not historical replicas of the originals and were not designed to be, but instead wargaming models that to my eye really capture the look of the ships of this period and will grace any table when gathered for battle.

With those caveats in mind painting and modelling these kits has to acknowledge those variations from the actual historical ship, such as the occasional variation of figurehead and the over accentuated name plates, below stern galleries.

The Spanish frigate Ninfa (Nymph) displays her angelic figurehead with spread wings

I personally like the way Warlord have designed these models to be easy on the eye and very functional wargaming models and with a carefully applied paint job can be made to look the part which a full set of rigging will do.

Lots of added detail complete these kits with specific figureheads and stern galleries

So this week will be spent fitting these models out with their rigs and then I will start work on my three Spanish third rates of renown, Monarca, Argonauta and San Justo, thanks to Robin at Warlord Games who sorted out my particular box not having its metal deck and figurehead/gallery parts.

Following those I will return back to the similar boxes for the Royal Navy box with HMS Bellerophon, Revenge and Tonnant and the French box, Indomptable, Formidable and Argonaute.

Once these models are finished it might be time to do a bit of a fleet review.

So lots of work in the dockyard to look forward to, alongside more book reviews and game reports and perhaps a bit of outside reporting on a little local waking trip Carolyn and I have planned.


  1. These never fail to impress me.
    This is one of those projects I could go for in a big way BUT there's only so much time to play and paint so I continue to resist.
    Have you guys played a big fleet action yet? Maybe I missed a report...
    Hope you're safe & well, best wishes,

    1. Hi Jeremy,
      Thank you and trust me you wouldn't be the first to have told me how tempted they are to get stuck into this range of models, and quite a few have succumbed and are now beavering away at their own collections.

      No you haven't missed anything on the gaming front as I had just started to post some early games using War by Sail just before the lock-down kicked in and brought an end to the fun.

      Since then I have focused on building the collection towards a big battle objective and am looking forward to running a large scenario to try things out as I happen to think that the spectacle of a lot of these kits gathered on a single table will create will be over and above what the smaller scales can achieve.

      Until I can start playing again I intend to journal the building up of the collection and am thinking of doing some solo games with just a few ships using an interesting device that can determine what the opposing ship will do in response to my moves - more anon.

      Regards to you and yours, we're all ok here thanks, and looking forward to happier times ahead.


  2. They are coming along nicely and a fleet review sounds like a grand plan to end the project? Cheers Greg

    1. Thanks Greg, its getting there, but still a long way to go with what I have in mind, but I thought a fleet review after the current project plans are done will give an idea of the spectacle I think these models will create en masse.


  3. I always liked the Spanish fleet. If only they had been well handled.