Friday, 21 January 2022

All at Sea - On the Stocks in JJ's Dockyard (Bob's British Squadron)

It was nearly two years ago that I first started work on the Warlord Games Black Seas British Squadron box set of model 1:700th ships, which comes complete with a British first rate, three third rates Colossus, Ajax and Mars and three fifth rates, Euryalus, Naiad and Indefatigable plus some brigs and a set of gunboats.

However in 2022, JJ's Shipyard is contracted to build a squadron for a foreign power, and Bob has commissioned me to put together a British and French squadron to form the core of his own collection, which I plan to build in between projects of my own.

Naiad, nearest camera and partly sporting standing rigging sits next to Indefatigable and Euryalus, fully rigged and with the third and first rates behind awaiting their fitting out. 

Thus with the completion of my AWI Jaegers over the Xmas break, I immediately popped the box on the British squadron and had them primed before New Year to begin work on them in the January and this week the build moved into the fitting out yard where the models get rigged and have their colours attached.

Close up of the three British frigates getting rigged this week. Naiad awaits her shrouds before work on the running rigging can be done.

With regard to my own collection, I only have a few smaller models to add and am really 'treading water' on new builds until Warlord release their new models and while I work up playing the large battles that the current collection was designed for.

HMS Colossus - Austin Johnson
A reconstruction of HMS Colossus wrecked off the Scilly Isles in 1798 and the inspiration for the model seen below.

The big battle practice started this month with the Battle of Cape Finisterre scenario played at the Devon Wargames Group meeting and I am now in the process of putting the final touches to a 225th anniversary playing of the Battle of Cape St Vincent, also at the club using Kiss Me Hardy, alongside a campaign to run a series of games through this year.

Devon Wargames Group - An Opportunity Mist, Battle of Cape Ferrol

In the meantime, whilst looking to share some love with other collections of figures, I am keen to bring to the table, I thought the love could go a bit further by helping mates to complete their own collections of model ships, whilst allowing me to keep up my painting and modelling skills for these kits which I will need for the Dutch.

The mighty first rate in Revolutionary War trim stands proud next to the third rates, Ajax and Mars and with HMS Colossus, built in 1787, seen, back left, also in a similar trim, representing the vessel that was wrecked off the Scilly Isles in December 1798

So the next time I feature Bob's British Squadron it will be to cheer them down the slips with a jaunty rendition of God Save the King before getting the band to brush up on their version of La Marseillaise in preparation for a similar French Squadron build.

The All at Sea theme will also include a look at the planning and preparation that has gone into putting the Battle of Cape St Vincent project together which has included much fun sorting out which Spanish ships were actually there!

More anon



  1. Beautiful work as usual - Lucky Bob!
    Do you take commissions as a rule?
    My Danish fleet needs finishing...
    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Jeremy,
      Thank you, I hope Bob will enjoy seeing them on the table when he gets them into action, and no I don't take commissions normally, preferring to do occasional work on friends collections that I can plug into my own rather busy painting schedule, so I hope the tutorials will suffice to help with your Danes.

      All the best

    2. Thanks, keep up the good work. The tutorials have been helpful not least in giving me the confidence to start and finish what I have.
      Best wishes,