My Workbench

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Navwar Ottoman Empire Selimiye 122 Gun 1st Rate

I had just finished the scratch built masts for a Navwar Ship of the Line when my buddy in Arizona asked if I would mind doing another Sails of Glory ship for him. So I stopped the Navwar ship for a few days while I did the SOG ship. When I was done I asked what ensigns he wanted and was surprised when he requested Ottoman Empire flags. I thought about it and decided I needed some Ottoman ships. Although the Navwar ship was supposed to be HMS Union with 98 guns, there are actually 126 ports/guns on this model, no skid beams which all Royal Navy ships had, and generally did not conform to the lines of any British establishment SOL design. This is also true for most all Navwar British ship models. So, since there is little if any design information on Ottoman ships for the Napoleonic period, I have decided to make this ship and one other Navwar British SOL Ottoman ships of the line. I cannot find much information at all on these ships. What little I can find is on

Ottoman Imperial Navy ship Selimiye, 1797 - 1841, 1st Rate 122 guns, Crew 1200. Admiral's flagship in 1807 at the Battle of Dardanelles.

Original kit:

New masts made and mainmast sails cut away for modification. The rest of the sails will be cut away then reef points, clew lines and buntlines added to the larger sails.

Masts and sprit mounted. Starting rigging.

Comparrison shot with Davco 112 gun ship.


Ken Reilly said...

Great looking ship, I ditched all my Navwar stuff a long time ago for Langton. Its come up well, interesting choice of nationality as well. I do like a bit of Nap Naval now and again.

Regards, Ken

A Miniatures Hobby Room said...

Thanks Ken. I wish you still had your Navwars, I would offer to take them off your hands. We can't get them here in the states. There are several modified here on this blog. I enjoy modifying them to make them compatible with the better quality models like Langton and GHQ on the game table.

emir yener said...


My congratulations for your admirable work, it's so nice to see finally an Ottoman sailing warship built and painted for wargaming. I can add some more info about Selim III's new navy, for which Selimiye was the flagship. She was designed and constructed in the Istanbul Imperial Shipyard by Jacques Balthasard Brun de Saint-Catherine; head of the French naval mission to the Porte. Launched in 1798, broken up in 1841. Her lines were copied from the French 3-decker Royal Louis of 1759. She wasn't part of the ill fated fleet which fought at Lemnos in 1807 however; at that battle the Ottoman flagship was the 118 gun Mesudiye, a standard Sané designed 118 gun ship again built by Brun de Saint Catherine and launched in 1801. The Ottoman navy built a good number of standard Sané designed 74's, 80's, 18-pdr frigates and 12-pdr corvettes from 1793 to 1815, plans for which were brought by the French Naval Mission (active 1793-1798). I found all the original plans of these vessels during my research in the Russian Naval Archives, complete with Turkish notations and explanations in Ottoman script. They were smuggled out to Russia by M. J. le Brun, who had fled to this country upon Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. So if you like to play the Ottoman naval battles in the Napoleonic Wars, you can use the standard French warship models without second toughts (as I also do).

Best Regards, Emir Yener, PhD Candidate, Istanbul University, Faculty of Modern History

emir yener said...

You are very welcome, I'm glad if I could be of help. During that fateful summer of 1807 the Selimiye never left Istanbul dockyard at all, all through the flagship was the Mesudiye. Also, the so called "battle" of the Dardanelles itself wasn't a battle at all, just a long range sparring action when Senyavin probed the willingness and the preparadness of the Ottoman squadron in the process of assembling under the fortifications of the strait. In contrary to the outlandish and propagandistic claims of the Russian historiography, no side lost any ships and both the damage and casualties were minimal. The only real action was at Lemnos/Athos, where the Ottomans lost two battleships and two frigates.

You might be interested with my latest article also, about the Ottoman seapower in a slightly earlier era:

A Miniatures Hobby Room said...

Thank you, thank you! Wow! This is more information in one document than I was able to glean from several days of researching the internet.
Would you happen to know anything about the color schemes used on Ottoman vessels? Knowing the proper hull, strake, bulwarks, rail, mast, and spar colors would be of enormous help in modeling the Ottoman fleet.


emir yener said...

Hello Vol, yes I think I can help on that matter too. Before Nizam-ı Cedid, Ottoman ships were painted in lively colours, with dark blue and yellow predominating except for flagships. Flagships were painted overall red with dark green belts of gun rows. After the Nizam-ı Cedid and by the time of the battle of Lemnos/Athos, Ottoman Navy had accepted the usual English pattern of black and ochre, but the flagships like Selimiye continued to have dark green belts of gun rows instead of ochre.

L.R. said...

The Royal-Louis of 1759 was a very defectuous ship, hardly able to sail without sinking. Improvements were probably made.

A Miniatures Hobby Room said...

Yeah there was that!