Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Row, row, row your boat...

Another special built for the "Malta" game is lean, green and, with luck, mean.

How could anyone have pretensions to stage a game on an island in the Med in the 16th Century without having at least one galley in evidence?

So a galley had to be there somewhere.

The hull was carved from Styrofoam, the deck is 3mm MDF, most of the superstructure card, the oars are cocktail sticks, the sea white filler with the blue blended in whilst the filler was still wet, the base is more MDF. The single, centreline cannon is just a length of plastic tube.

This as yet unnamed craft is 15 inches long and the same high, the mast detachable so she can be packed away as flat as possible. Believe it or not, 15 inches is a little short for such a craft against 28mm figures! The furled sail is a triangle of calico, the same material I use for a lot of my flags.

She is not a scale model, just a representation of such craft, but I hope she looks the part. I was going to add rowers from Perry plastic Mahdists and other suitable figures, but decided not to on the grounds of time. I might just be able to squeeze some in at some point. I could also go to town on banners, lanterns, rigging, etc.

On her inaugural voyage at the Wargamer Show, she sat proudly outside the harbour boom whilst the Turks and North Africans tried to take the boom towers, lower the boom and let her into the harbour. With this task eventually accomplished, she rowed her way into port, taking pot shots at one of the sailing ships in the harbour, which she subsequently rammed, delivering her crew of North African marines onto the harbour side, but too late to affect the fight at the nearby wall. I would love the time to make a sister ship...


A gull's eye view. She looks like she has ventured into the North Sea rather than the Med...

The cannon. True to form, I could not hit a barn door with this at the Wargamer show...

Close up of some of the hand painted decoration. I just went with a few Arab/ Moorish-type images.

The stern, with the large canopy so prominent on the real ships made from a rectangle of calico draped over a frame made from matchsticks. It is surprisingly strong.

Just to show the symmetry of the two sides.

And another gull's eye view. She will hold twenty or so 28mm figures on her deck, so she has a punch in more ways than one.


  1. Excellent piece of scratch building and a very nice paint job.

  2. Cheers Matt. Shame my photography is not quite up to it...

  3. Thanks Phil, much appreciated. I have sort of promised myself I will build one or two more in the distant future for some Renaissance naval action in 28mm, simply because I have not seen such a game done before. Whether or not I ever will remains to be seen...