Wednesday, 2 February 2022

All at Sea - Bob's British Squadron Launched and Ready for Sea Trials

This post is a follow up to my previous one looking at my building of the Warlord Games, Black Seas, Royal Navy Fleet starter box set of 1:700th model ships for a friend of mine Bob who wants to get his own collection of these very nice models going.

JJ's Wargames - All at Sea, On the Stocks in JJ's Dockyard

I built this starter box for my own collection about a couple of years ago as my 'Lockdown Project' and a search through the All at Sea post from back then will reveal the history behind the ships that are created with these models and so rather than repeat the exercise I will content myself with showing you the look of those I've just built which I've painted slightly differently to reflect an earlier Revolutionary War look to some of them

The Warlord Box Sets are a really great way to start a collection with a selection of models that will enable you to build a squadron of ships ready to start playing lots of smaller actions. If you check out my tutorials, I have put together a set of videos and downloads to show how I've gone about painting and rigging these kits.

For this project, started just before New Year, I just built the first-rate, the three named third-rates (Mars, Ajax and Colossus) and the three named fifth-rates (Naiad, Euryalus and Indefatigable).

British 100-Gun First-Rate

This powerful British first rate represents the largest ships in the British fleet weighing in over 2,100 tons, carrying one hundred plus guns and capable of consuming over 6,000 trees in their construction.

A typical armament would consist of 28-30 x 32 pounder long guns on the lower deck, 28 x 24-pdr guns on the middle deck, 28-30 x 12-pdr guns on the upper deck and 14 x 12-pdr guns, or occasionally 6-pdrs on older ships, on the forecastle and quarterdeck with HMS Victory carrying a couple of 68-pdr carronades on her forecastle to add to the mix.

HMS Colossus, 74-gun Middling Third-Rate

The HMS Colossus represented here is the ship launched at Gravesend in 1787 and wrecked off the Isles of Scilly on the 10th December 1798.

At 1,703 tons she was a larger middling class of 74-gun third rate and before her loss is credited with the battle honours Groix and Cape St Vincent.

HMS Colossus carried 28 x 32 pounder long guns on her gun deck, 28 x 18-pdrs on her upper deck, and 18 x 9-pdrs on her quarterdeck and forecastle.

HMS Ajax 74-gun Large Third-Rate

HMS Ajax was launched in 1798 at Rotherhithe on the River Thames and at 1943 tons was a large class of 74-gun third-rate.

She was a stalwart of the Mediterranean Squadron and is credited with the battle honours, Egypt 1801, Cape Finisterre 1805 and Trafalgar before her unfortunate loss by fire in 1807. 

HMS Ajax carried 28 x 32 pounder long guns on her gun deck, 30 x 24-pdrs on her upper deck and 16 x 9-pdr guns on her quarterdeck and forecastle.

HMS Mars 74-gun Third-Rate

HMS Mars was launched at Deptford in 1794 and at 1842 tons would also be classed as a large 74-gun third-rate.

Much of her service was with the Channel Squadron where she fought and won a single ship duel with the French 74-gun Hercule off the Pointe du Raz near Brest on 21st April 1798, later seeing action at Trafalgar and seeing out the rest of her career in the Channel, off Portugal and in the Baltic before being put in ordinary in 1813.

HMS Mars was armed with 28 x 32 pounder long guns on her gun deck, 30 x 24-pdrs on her upper deck and 16 x 9-pdr guns on her quarterdeck and forecastle.

HMS Euryalus 36-gun Fifth-Rate

HMS Euryalus was a 36-gun Apollo class frigate launched at Bucklers Hard in Hampshire in 1803.

Her battle honours include Trafalgar and The Potomac 1814.

HMS Euryalus carried 26 x 18 pounder long guns on her upper deck and 14 x 32pdr carronades along with 4 x 9-pdr guns on her forecastle and quarterdeck.

HMS Indefatigable 44-gun Razee Fifth-Rate

HMS Indefatigable was launched originally as an Ardent Class 64-gun third-rate at Bucklers Hard in 1784, but, with 64's being made redundant for service in the line of battle, was one of several of these ships razeed to a 44-gun fifth-rate between 1794-95.

In this role she was to prove one of the more successful conversions most notably under the command of Sir Edward Pellew, perhaps the greatest of frigate commanders of his era.

HMS Indefatigable as a fifth-rate was armed with 26 x 24 pounder long guns on her gun deck, 12 x 12-pdr guns and 6 x 42-pdr carronades on her forecastle and quarterdeck.

HMS Naiad 38-gun Fifth-Rate

HMS Naiad (pronounced 'Niad') was an Amazon Class frigate built and launched at Limehouse on the River Thames in 1797.

Naiad was very active throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic War attacking French and Spanish commerce raiders under her aggressive commander Captain William Pierrepoint, which reached a high point in October 1799 when in company with HMS Ethalion 38-guns, Alcemene 32-guns and Triton 32-guns she helped in the capture of the two 34-gun Spanish frigates Thetis and Santa Brigida off Vigo.

The two Spanish frigates were carrying spicie together with a rich cargo of sugar, cocoa, cochineal and other valuable commodities that produced a treasure worth more than £600,000 and included 877 boxes of Spanish dollars.

The division of prize monies saw the captains of the four British frigates receiving sums in excess of £40,000.

Later in the Napoleonic War, Naiad would also add Trafalgar to her laurels before her long years of service were ended with her breaking up in 1898.

HMS Naiad was armed with 28 x 18 pounder long guns on her upper deck and 4 x 32pdr carronades along with 2 x 9-pdr guns on her forecastle and quarterdeck.

Bob's British Squadron mustered and ready for action.

All packed and ready for delivery at club in February

Sources consulted:

Next up: Planning and Preparation has been a lot of fun putting the Cape St Vincent project together for the 12th February at the Devon Wargames Group and in the next posts I take a look at what I've done to create this game.


  1. JJ, what size bases to you recommend? Thanks

    1. Hi, the bases I use are from a company called Fluid 3D and if you follow the link to my post covering them and scroll down you will find them linked by size of ship.

      or, for future reference or for anyone else reading this later, you can use the link in the right hand column of this page under labels entitled 'All at Sea Ship Bases'