Thursday, 19 March 2015

Ancient Naval - Roll Call

Today I finished painting the last of my ancient galleys. They are 1:600 Xyston models and conversions. I have been collecting these ships for years. The collection started with a good sized purchase from Wargames World in Ilkley when, as a promotion, they were being sold on a 'buy one get one free' and Chris A. also threw in 'mates discount'. Since then I have scoured ebay for bargains. At first they came up quite often at good prices but, over the years, they have become much more scarce and I haven't bought one for at least twelve months. As this is only a 'filler period', or at least that is how it started, I think I have enough now - more than enough.

My 'galleys to do' box is now empty. I have a few strips of crew to do and I'll knock these off this week to finish the new arrivals - including a second ten that I converted from a seven (sevens are the largest vessel Xyston does so larger vessels need to be conversions). So, it's time for a..................Roll Call!

The fleet was not collected to fight any particular battle - I pretty much just bought what came up. Unlike any of my other collections it is not all painted by me. A dozen or so, mainly triremes, were painted by Wargames Illustrated's painter for a photo shoot for an article here a couple of years ago; I was given the ships at the end of the shoot.

The fleet comprises:

Biremes x 8 
Triremes x 20 
Cataphracted Triremes x 11
Quadriremes and Quinquiremes x 46 (including 16 with corvus)
Severns x 7
Tens x 2
Cargo ships x 9
Wrecks x 15.

Two Decares (Tens) which have been lengthened, widened and made higher than the original model. It is not a perfect solution because the oars banks have not been lengthened, however, the effect is pronounced and makes them easily recognisable as significantly bigger ships.

The next battle here, in a couple of weeks because we are playing Commands and Colors Napoleonic at Graham's place, will be Actium 31 BC, a battle where the big ships can be used.

Before I'm jumped on for historical inaccuracy, I am fully aware that galleys fought without masts, often putting them ashore before battle, but I decided early on that the models looked better with a bit of height, and the masts were useful for measuring missilery ranges (mast to mast) and LOS accurately in crowded situations.

As requested by ncc1717 here is a closer look at my trading vessels
Here you can see two kinds. The ones with the white swan backs are by Xyston. The ones with the less detailed sterns are my efforts that I described here: Drop casting my own trading vessel. I recently re-rigged these with spare masts and sails from the triremes given to me by Dan Fauconbridge of WI.


Iván said...

impressive collection, a labour of love.

DeanM said...

Very impressive! That game will be stunning. BTW, historical or not, masts, furled or unfurled are too cool for miniatures and must be included!

Anonymous said...

Great looking fleet and table. I would like to see a closeup picture of the merchant ships in the back row.

Are you using the 'Fleet of Battle' rules mentioned in your 2010 post?



Yes, FoB rules.

I'll take a shot of those for you and add it to this post tomorrow.

Good night all.


Gonsalvo said...

Great looking ships, James. I look forward to seeing them in action again!

Simon Miller said...

They look wonderful, James. So many ships! I think the masts look good, too.

Bedford said...

A really fine array of ships!!

looking great.


Emilio said...

Awesome fleet!!

David Sullivan said...

Beautiful fleet!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding that photo. My 1:1200 scale merchants are very drab in comparison. Maybe they will get some detail painting.


Spiderweb of History said...

Lovely. Between you and A few other blogs I follow, I now really want to get into Naval Wargaming.........

Henry Rodriguez said...

Would you be so kind as to list the dimensions (length) of the 7 types of ships used here? The fleet looks mighty impressive.


Henry R.