Friday 22 September 2023

More Spanish war galleys 1/1200 for MAD FOR WAR

 Hi guys,

These days I`ve been painting more little XVII c. ships. I have added 2 more galleys  to my Spanish Mediterranean fleet, now I have 3 painted, and several more oared ships waiting in the painting queue, including a 3D printed galley as a test.

In just a week, I received a parcel from the UK with all the goodies from Ark Royal miniatures' ships, my order was: 5 medium and small galleons,  4 fustas (small galleys) and 2 lanternas/galeras capitanas or big galleys.  Barry Hilton also gifted me with a bergantin (very small galley) and a fireship. All very well detailed with no flash and clean sculpts 👍

all this plus their ratlines and masts with sails.

Coming back to my recently finished galleys, I tried to introduce subtle variations in colors, trying to keep as historically accurate as possible. Again I combined hand painted flags with paper flags from Minairons miniatures, I am pleased with the end result, given its small size. More soon!

The full "squadron" of galleys so far...

I hope you like them!

Monday 11 September 2023

MAD FOR WAR: Ark Royal miniatures 1/1200 Ships

 Hello there!

After a loooong summer break, I have come back into painting minis again.

I have been reading a book about a naval battle right off the coast of my town, the battle of Cartagena-Cabo de Gata in 1643. 

During a relief operation during the Barbary/Algerian siege of Oran, then in Spanish hands, a French fleet appeared off Cartagena,  French tried to sent fireships to the narrow bay of the port, but were beaten after some hours of fire from the port's  batteries. Then the French headed south and found the Spanish unprepared for battle.

The French fleet, superior in number and with better quality ships, (41 vs 25) made the Spanish fleet take refuge in the port of Cartagena. The casualties are not exctaly known, but the Spanish probably lost 2 sunk ships and 2 captured. The French lost 1 sunk ship and 4 fireships. The galleys closed the port to the French, who could not enter it. 

So I have been in the mood of XVIIc. sailing ships lately. I have just finished my small model ships, and also I am working on a list of actions and scenerarios to play with, all of them historical.

The models are, obviously from Ark Royal miniatures, by Warfare Miniatures/The League of Augsburg brand. In a previous post about ships and scales, I was thinking about painting and wargaming naval warfare in 1/600 or in 1/1200 scale and I was not sure which of the two scales to choose for the project... I finally opted for 1/1200, I think it fits better my needs of squadrons of 6-12 ships per side.

This ships are; and advice jacht, a war galley and a small galleon/frigate of 26 guns.

Advice Jacht:

War Galley:


I use plastic bases, painted in blue, and most important,  with AK interactive water gel over it.

paper flags re scaled by Lluis from Minairons. In this scale sometimes it is better to paint the flags on the metal flags casts in the ships. For instance for Dutch or French, as their flags are super easy to paint. But other navies with more difficult patterns are more complicated, so I will mix paper and metal painted flags.

The modelling and painting stages were very simple, but the tricky part was adding the simple rigging to the ship, and the photo etch ratlines (from the same brand! ).

There were a huge number of actions and battles of 80 Years War/ Thirty Years War and Franco Spanish War,  involving Spanish fleet, all three were interconected and often simultaneously. I recently read that no other navy in the world up to that time (and maybe ever!) had fought for so long , against so many powerful enemies at once.

In the decade of 1660 the Spanish navy declined for 30 years because of the lack of funds, This coincided in time with the admirable rise of the English, Dutch and French navies. It would not be until the beginning of the 18th century when Spanish naval power grew again until it was in the "top 3" in the world until Trafalgar.

My main interest nowadays is wargaming mostly early to mid XVII actions in this scale. I placed an order yesterday to get more little ships!

I hope you like them!