Friday, April 27, 2012

Just frigate about it.

...In which our protagonist shows off the miniscule Dutch 30-gun ship.

It's small. Tiny, even. And... bright blue?

I'm not particularly thrilled with the way this one turned out, mainly because of the colour. True, in the baroque days of the 17th century gaudiness was cool, so it's perfectly plausible that a warship would've been decked out in bright blue and red (that, after all, was my rationale for painting this thing the way I did). On the other hand, it isn't as if there were drive-thru wash-and-wax stations to keep these things sparkling, and one would tend to think all the salt spray and sun would make expensive blue an unsuitable candidate for the broadside of a Dutch frigate. Not to mention the fact that every time I look at this thing I'm invariably reminded of Thomas the Tank Engine. It just needs a big smile on the front.

Actually I based my paint scheme on Ludolf Backhuysen's painting of the frigate De Ploeg. No, the ship in the painting doesn't have a bright blue stripe-- in fact, it's probably just varnished wood and not paint at all on the side of that thing. It does have a faint blueish sheen to it, however, which got me thinking how a good dark blue upperworks would look... Needless to say, things didn't quite work out the way I expected! A dark blue wash did nothing to dim my bright blue undercoat, and attempts to use blue ink as a quick fix only threatened to ruin the rest of my paintwork. in the end, being too stubborn to simply start fresh, I just blundered through to the end, and now simply try to avoid showing this thing to people unless I have to (until now, that is).

Anyway, like it or not, this is Langton Miniatures' AD17: Dutch 30 gun. Despite possessing only 2/3 the armament of the 46-gun Stad Gouda, the two models are virtually identical in size, and may well have been based off the same master. In my own defense, another reason for the jarring paint scheme was the need to be able to differentiate between ships at a glance (and admittedly, it is good for this). The small size means a) it's less impressive than the bigger models, and b) it's a real female dog to rig. And since it costs the same as all the bigger, more spectacular, and easier to work with ships, I can only recommend it to people who desperately want one for gaming purposes.
The beautiful stern art of a plowman on the frigate Der Ploeg is pretty much indistinguishable at 1:1200!

So why would you want one, I hear you ask? The 30-gun ship does have its uses. In the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-54), the Dutch had few purpose-built warships, so small frigates and converted merchantmen of this class would have been frequently pressed into the battleline. Even in the later wars, secondary theatres, particularly the Mediterranean, were often contested by squadrons made up of smaller war vessels. This 30-gun ship could also double as a small Indiaman, strong enough to go toe to toe with anything in Asian waters.

Next time: a better looking ship. Or maybe something else; I'll have to sort through my pictures to see what I can do.


  1. I don't think its an uglu ship at all, I think its a masterpiece to be honest. Far better than I reckon I could manage for sure!

    (are we likely to see any new 6mm Napoleonics btw? Your stuff was quite the inspiration)


  2. thanks for the post dear. good blog.

  3. Damn, its giving me an urge to dig out the Anglo-Dutch Wars vessels I have ... as if I needed to start on yet another project!

    Nice work though mate and the blue is very becoming.

    Where do you get your ratlines from?

  4. Your stuff looks fantastic. Just got my first batch of ships for a small French fleet and starting on them this week. Thanks for all the pics!

  5. So creative work and thanks for this post

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  7. Wow. Although this portrait is very little but still, it looks like very real. I would like to appreciate your creativity. Thanks for sharing.

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