Sunday, December 12, 2010

Renaissance Man

I've been working on getting the fleets ready for the DANG Lepanto project. I had ordered the 1/2400 scale Figurehead ships back at the end of October, but it took until the beginning of December for all the ships to actually arrive. I don't really blame the place I ordered the ships from, since I asked for five fleet packs plus some other packs to round out the mix(it works out to 81 ships) and I didn't really expect them to have all those ships on hand.

While I was waiting for the ships, I did some research to figure out how I wanted to paint the ships. I came up with some ideas, but I ended up throwing most of those out since the 1/2400 scale galleys are pretty small.
Figurehead Galleass (left) and Galley Flagship (right) with standard Galleys and pennies in the back
As you can see from the picture, even the larger Galleasses and Flagships are pretty small. So the size really limited what I could do with my limited painting skills. In general the ship bases are about 1/2 inch by 1 inch (approx 1.5 cm by 2.5 cm).

Note: I've included several photos of the 1/2400 galleys in this post, but I think focusing in on the smaller ships with the lighting I have is beyond the capability of my camera. Hopefully they are clear enough to give you an idea of what I've done.

Assembly: Putting the ships together was pretty easy. Like most of the Figurehead miniatures ships liken, most of the Renaissance line I got ships came with separate bases and masts. Only the smaller Fustas (FR13) were molded with the base. Most of the ships only had one mast (the Galleasses had three) and they were easy to add to the ships, although some of the Galleys (FR2) seemed to have a second hole for a mast at the aft end of the ship. I just ended up filling in the holes as best I could. Overall the ships and bases were flash-free (there were a couple here and there that had some extra flash, but it was easily remove) and fit together without any problems.

Painting the ships just took a lot of time (right now I've finished the Holy League fleet, while the Ottoman fleet is still in progress), but I am a relatively slow painter.

Holy League Squadron in Profile

Holy League Squadron from a different angle
I used a light brown for the hulls and masts of the Holy League (the Ottomans get a slightly darker color), but a few Holy League ships got red masts to fit with the historical colors. The only real color for the ships is the awning at the aft end of the ships and the flags. I added some color to the sides of the ships to represent the protective mantlets the Holy League mounted on their galleys.

The toughest part to paint turned out to be the oars. I was using the same blue for the water bases that I use with my other Figurehead ships, but it is just a little too dark to make the oars stand out well. I was planning on dry-brushing the oars with the same light brown and red I used for the hull/mast, but you just couldn't see it against the blue. So, I ended up using a light tan to get the oars to stand out (I also used a yellow color for some ships). On the base, I really tried to highlight the point where the oars meet the base to get them to stand out a bit more, but I'm not really happy with how they turned out.

Holy League Galleasses (left with 3 masts) and Galley Flagships (right)
Holy League Galleys

The Galleys from the oblique
I was originally going to just use the bases that came with the ships, but I wanted to give a better grip for players. So I decided to order some wooden 20mm by 40mm bases from Litko. I was thinking about going for the 40mm by 40mm bases (which is what the rules call for), but those are awfully big for the ships. I'm hoping that everyone will be happy with that choice. I will post more when the Ottoman Fleet is done.

The Fleet is ready to face the Turk!


  1. Hi Dave, they look great. Can't wait to see how this project turns out.

  2. Hi there, nice project.
    I would like to hear how you actually do the basing. I too have litko bases for my roman galleys, but I am unhappy about the end result.

  3. Hello:
    I play with the 1/2400 figurehead Napoleonic ships. The bases are small (usually 1.25 inches x 1/2 inch) but are stable. The biggest source of mis-handling" are the players shelves catching the masts as they reach over to move another ship - not really a big problem

    I like how your Galleys came out and look forward to seeing the Ottomans.

  4. Dave,
    I'm really looking forward to this game. We've been talking about Lepanto for years now, and here we are two weeks from game time.

    Ships look great.

  5. Thanks for all the comments.

    I'll probably have more to post next weekend and the big battle is set for the 27th.