During my ongoing clear out I recently dug up something unexpected. Or rather I should say, it was something I didn't expect to 'light my fire' so easily. Some time ago, in an impulse well known to any wargamer out there, I purchased a couple of 1:2400 scale sailers.
At least since my first encounter with "Lucky" Jack Aubrey and Steve Maturin (as told by the late Patrick O'Brien and one of the best historical movies ever produced, "Master & Commander"), I've been fascinated by naval warfare in the so-called Age of Sail. However, to an unskilled modeller like me the prospect of assembling, let alone rigging, those fabulously detailed 1:1200 vessels (which seem a wargaming standard for this period) was just too intimidating. So it wasn't until I came across these tiny yet beautiful models by Tumbling Dice that I finally gave in.
Given my background of "frigate action" novels I have actually little interest in formal battles and large formations of ships of the line. Individual ships or squadrons of smaller vessels chasing each other, running a blockade or taking part in landing operations does rather flow my boat (no pun intended). Thus I settled for a couple of generic minor vessels, which may also be usable from the 18th to the early 19th century.
Although the models have good detail I went for quite basic paintjobs. Others may achieve better looking results. But for me this is a fun project, a side quest, which may never get to the table (there's very little interest around, so I've settled for solo-gaming). Surprisingly to me, the most fun part was basing. Filler was applied quite liberally, then painted, washed and drybrushed in various tones of blue and finished with a few white highlights. Perhaps I've overdone the waves; but it's my first attempt, and I actually like a bit of exaggeration.
The labels shown here are an afterthought. I don't like permanent labels, especially since I have yet no specific ruleset in mind (Galleys & Galleons by Nicholas Wright looks promising so far). So I tried to make good use of the magnetic bases – which I cut to a standard size of 45x20mm from a few leftover sheets. Once printed the paper labels were glued onto metal foil, which will hold the pieces in place beneath the bases. This way the generic ships may easily 'change hands' as well. On second thought, though, I should've printed the labels upside down, but that's something learnt for next time.
There are a few more ships to come, and also some boats as seen here. Like said, it's a distraction, something I can do in-between and rather casually. So you may or might never see this again. ;-)