Saturday, 29 August 2020

All at Sea - On the Stocks in JJ's Dockyard, Spanish Builds Part Seven

HMS Terpsichore 32-guns captures the Mahonesa, 13th October 1796 - Thomas Whitcombe
The Spanish frigate gave its name to a class of frigate built in Port Mahon, Minorca where the Diana and Ninfa, to be featured in my next post, her sister ships were also built.

The Spanish frigate Diana was launched on the 10th March 1792 in Port Mahon, Minorca and was one of a series of frigates known as the Mahonesas Class, named in recognition of the the shipyard responsible for their construction.

The beautiful model of the 34-gun Diana as displayed in the Naval Museum of Madrid

The Diana gained a reputation in the Spanish navy as the fastest sailing Mahonessa class frigate and would spend her career operating with the Mediterranean fleet, convoying Spanish troops and performing other escort duties.

When Spain allied with France in 1796 Diana would see action at the Battle of Cape St Vincent under the command of Juan Jose Varela but as with the other four frigates attached to the Spanish fleet avoided any casualties.

The Diana figurehead complete with hunting bow completes the look

The Diana was a 34-gun 12-pdr frigate which formed the core of the Spanish frigate force in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, being somewhat under armed compared to the bigger 18-pdr frigates of the British and French navies.

The typical armament for the Mahonesas class 34-gun frigate would be 26 x 12-pounder long guns on the gun deck, 6 x 6-pdrs on the quarter deck and 2 x 6-pdrs on the forecastle.

My last Spanish frigate in this initial build will be another Mahonesas, the Ninfa. Then we are back to the big ships, namely the third rates of renown, oh and I have a couple of new corvettes to show you.


  1. Another excellent model Jonathan. Looking forward to seeing the Ninfa and the corvettes. If I may ask, what will be the size of your final fleets and are you building up to a massive fleet action? Cheers Greg

    1. Thanks Gregg. Good question and yes I do have a project in mind that will require a few more models yet to be added to the collection to be able to produce the kind of game I have in mind.

      I was planning to have run a largish game for our Clotted Lard show at the Devon Wargames Group which would have had twelve ships of the line, including two first rates and two frigates on the table recreating a part of a selected battle, but we had to cancel this year's show for obvious reasons, so I have more time now to create something else hopefully for next year.

      As you may have guessed it is yet to be revealed exactly where I am going with this collection and I plan to unveil things a bit nearer to its completion, more anon.