Thursday, August 21, 2014

To Glory We Steer!

HMS Frolic now has masts!

After Fly challenged me last weekend to have my ship finished in time for NWA's Pirates in September events, I was spurred into action to at least get the masts ready for action. Progress up til now stalled as I was a bit stuck on whether or not to go the whole hog with the rigging, and if so, how? I'm a stickler for detail, usually, but in this case I want a compromise between detail and being able to be safely transported without turning into a tangled mess of spars and rigging!

I'm thinking of using fine metal wire to recreate rigging like the ratlines and some of the more prominent sheets etc., especially the one from the gaff to the spanker boom so I can have a nice big white ensign flying proudly to let those scurvy pirates know who they're dealing with!

Ultimately, I want to develop a scenario where the ship lands a party on an island to take out a Chappe Semaphore telegraph tower, defended by a couple of gun emplacements and a small detachment of French infantry. Still not sure what set of rules I'd use, but I'll keep my eyes open. Capitan is an early candidate, as there is also a set of rules for naval skirmishes, called Gunboat, by the same publisher. I may even come up with my own rules to suit the scenario.

Pirates in September uses a modified version of Legends of the High Seas, which I haven't played, so I can't say how they work, except to say that each ship has a crew of 12 crew; 1 captain, 2 officers, 3 musket armed crew (Royal Marines, in my case) and 6 pistol/cutlass armed crew. To that end, I have been scouring my collection for appropriate figures. The HaT British Marines and Sailors set has some useful figures for, well..., sailors and marines, but no officers. I've used a Kennington metal British infantry officer with a paint conversion as the captain, but he has no pistol, only a sword. I've also converted a Russian staff officer into a midshipman or master's mate by carving off his epaulets and sash, replacing his head and attaching a pared down sabre to resemble a dirk. While he'll make a serviceable junior officer figure, I'm still not convinced with his boots, but I couldn't be arsed trying to convert him any further. I'm currently converting another figure, who'll be the dashing lieutenant, leading the boarding party!

HMS Frolic, still laid up in the dockyard, but with masts installed

Captain and midshipman at the binnacle

Capt. Bertie Bugler on the quarterdeck

Royal Marine in the fighting top

Strelets Russian staff officer...

...and his alter ego as Royal Navy midshipman after conversion

Yaaaarrrrr, matey!


  1. Looking really nice there JR!

  2. That is one hell of a good looking sheep, erm boat, erm a ship! Hearts of Oak...

  3. Try Newline 20mm naval figures - they seem bigger than normal Newline, mine fit well ith HaT, officers, musket armed ratings, gun crews, boarders and some British Marines - try for a sample and see if thy will fit

  4. Shes looking jolly ship shape there mate!


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