Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Oared Galley's of the 18th Century

It still seems very odd to me that the Spanish would be using oared galleys when they had much more modern craft at their disposal. It is likely that the Galleys, Galliot(Half-Galleys) and Fusta (Quarter-Galleys) used were locally made and not sailed over from Spain. Havana had a thriving ship yard that was fully capable to produce these as well as more modern vessels.

Either the governor of Havana wanted to hold on to his better craft or they just didn't have anything better to spare. Given the shortage of men (only raised 1900 of the 3000 ordered by the crown for this operation), it is likely that these were all that were left.

Whatever the reason, I need several of each for the scenarios. My first stop was to look to see who made these already. I came up with a couple of options. The first was Old Glory Shipyards. They have a few galleys in their 1/300th ships. However, they only had galleys and those only had one mast. I wanted to differentiate in the sizes of the ships by the number of masts as well as the size. The ships are rather nice but thin looking (which honestly may be more to scale) for my liking. The next stop was Skull and Crown. They produce all three types in MDF. They did have a two masted Galley. Their ships don't look to bad. I am extremely tempted to buy some as they would be quick to paint up. The fusta is the only disappointment. It is for their rules and is to be used as a dice holder and not a combat vessel. So I have held off on these as well for the time being.

Next up was what was availible for 3d printing. I had a hard time finding anything that would work. I attempted to build my own model and i was very unhappy with my results at the end of the day. Then I found a model on Thingiverse. It was uploaded by one Tosostefanots. It is a beautiful hull of a Genoan Galley. It was perfect... almost. The hull he produced was a complete hull and not a waterline model. Also, his model is from the 1600s and unarmed.

Well, the basic shape was perfect. The model was in 1/250th scale which was easy enough to resize to 1/300th. Over the course of a few days, I messed with the files in Thingiverse and produced three different models out of it. First was a simple waterline version of the original. That was easy enough in TinkerCard. The hard part was shrinking the 22 oar pair Galley to become a Galliot of 18 oar pairs. Then converting the Galliot into a Fusta of 12 oar pairs. I think I have done an adequate job of it but not a great one.

These are early prints of a Galliot and a Fusta. The Fusta has not had the supports removed yet. This is also before I did work on the bow of the vessel. You can see where I accidentally broke the bowsprit of the fusta. I had actually broken a bit of the Galliot's off as well while removing the supports.

With the three base models I then created two variants of each. One with a rear canopy and one without. The galleys would have cloth covered canopies on the bow and stern of the vessel. The original model came with the supports present for the forward canopy. The stern canopy was not present. I made the basic shape for it and added it to the hull. For the Fusta, I removed the supports for the bow canopy. The pictures that I saw on line did not show such a large area in the bow of the vessel. To this, I clipped off the corners of the bow area and lowered the overall superstructure there. To give some variation, I will print a couple of each (canopy/no canopy).

Next I added some guns to each of the vessels. The galley has four guns in the bow. The Galliot has two and the Fusta has a single bow gun. There are stylized representations of guns. I am not good enough yet with TinkerCad to do more than that. At 1/300 scale, the fusta comes in at 115mm in length. The guns are mighty small. For the Galley, the guns are just tubes poking through the superstructure at the bow. They will be covered by the canopy there and only the bit of the barrel will be visible.

This is getting me closer to having a complete and usable fleet for the scenarios. I have started to paint up one of the Piraguas for my Spanish fleet. I will be working on organizing what ships are needed for each scenario and posting that up next. I printed a review copy of the supplement and am starting the editing process now. I know one of the scenarios will be rewritten. It is too big to be practical.

I'll post more pictures when I have the newer galleys printed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


I have been working on making sure I have consistent dates through out the WOJE scenario supplement. A tedious job that I have broken up with more work on the Piragua and Scout Boat hulls. I have managed to get a good print from my model of the 1/300 piragua hull. I have been fooling with the settings.

In the picture above, you can see the progression. The hull closest to the camera is the best print thus far. The front post and the rudder are present. The holes for the masts are present and will hold the paperclip masts. There are no major flaws. The foremast hole is very close to the edge, but it isn't really an issue. The post for the tiller bar didn't show up in the print but given its tiny size, it isn't surprising.

While that one was printing, I decided to put masts and sails on one of the earlier prints. That one I had not printed with 80% infill and had some holes in the floor of the vessel. When primed, they won't even show up. The one printed on a raft also was not printed at a high enough infill. To the point where the print looks as if it survived a few terrible rounds of combat. I'll throw that print away. I was seeing if i could do something with it and gave up.

I will add masts to the good print then prime them both. Hopefully to paint this week.

The scout boat, on the other hand, continued to have failed prints. There is a consistent gap appearing in the port side to the aft end of the boat. i went back and zoomed in on the model in TinkerCad and found the issue. I added a small block into the area and saved the model. I will print that later today to see if it helped. I am currently printing a Fusta model. it is based on a fantastic Genoese Galley hull created by Tosostefanots on Thingiverse. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.