Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jolly Jack Tars and a Bonny Brig

My crew for HMS Frolic are ready and the ship itself is nearing completion!

I'm very pleased with the officer conversion, though his facial features leave a bit to be desired. Well, all of their faces do really!

All of the sailors are variations on the basic cutlass and pistol armed figure from the HaT Marines and Sailors set. Most have had at least a head swap, but two have also had lower body swaps using legs from HaT British Peninsular Infantry figures.

One of the figures I've given a bare head with bandanna from one of the gun-crew figures from the same set and two others have heads from the marine figures painted to look like lacquered round hats with the ship's crest painted on the front of the hats. I painted the figure with the bandanna as a black sailor, as both the Royal Navy and the US Navy were not picky on the origins of their crew, especially later in the war when recruiting manpower was proving more and more tricky. According to a book I 'm currently reading, by the time of the War of 1812, at least 10-20% of ships' crews were black out of  a population of less than 5% of the total. It was one aspect of Regency life that was more or less integrated (at least below decks, anyway).

The scurvy crew!

The death-or-glory lieutenant

Basic figure from HaT Marines and Sailors set (image courtesy of PSR)

First variation: Head-swap and sword arm twisted

2nd conversion: head-swap and arm twisted

3rd conversion: Sword arm twisted, pistol arm lowered.

4th conversion: sword arm twisted and leg swapped

Same from rear

5th conversion: Head and leg swap 

Same from rear. His colour scheme seems more appropriate for a French matelot!

HMS Frolic nears completion. After consultation with experienced ship builder, Paul, I decided to experiment with rigging after all. I raided the girls' sewing basket and found some elastic which was surplus to requirement and rigged the spanker boom and gaff, the main and fore masts and the bowsprit together. Surprise, surprise it actually makes everything a lot more stable and manageable!

I've made a couple of tops'ls and a jib with thin card and replicated furled sails using rolled tissue paper secured with elastic offcuts.

I won't go to the extreme of making ratlines at the moment, but maybe at some time in the future I'll tackle that task, as I think it will make it really look the duck's guts (to borrow a phrase from Robin).

Still to come are the ship's guns, of which only 4 are required for the Lords of the High Seas campaign, but I'll eventually paint the whole compliment of 18!

HMS Frolic ready to sweep the piratical plague from the seas!

Action stations!


  1. Fantastic work! Great conversions too!

  2. Great looking figures and excellent conversion work!!!

  3. Excellent conversions! I guess you used the trick with boiling water!
    Nice looking ship!


  4. Are you planning a skirmish? A surprise landing in the Spanish beachs?

    1. Hi Rafa,

      Yes, I'm planning on getting Capitan's Gunboat rules as well as the Basic Capitan rules to run some sort of landing scenario. I've been thinking about reviewing the previous landing scenarion I've run, or a new one involving a Chappe semaphore telegraph tower which the british need to destroy...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Shelfari Bookshelf