My Workbench

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Black Seas? Already Disappointed

Recently I received my first Black Seas fleet pack. I chose the US fleet that comes with the USS President and USS United States named resin ships, three smaller generic 38 gun plastic frigates, and six plastic brigs. There is also a pack of metal sterns for Chesapeake, Constellation and Congress, along with the supposed figureheads for each, although there are four of those.

I decided to build one of the plastic frigates first and wanted to do the USS Chesapeake. The metal stern is bulky, more the size of  sterns in the Third Rates pack I also bought. Much larger than the three plastic sterns that are on the sprue. Even though it bothered me a bit, I still attached it to the hull. It wasn't until I painted it that it occurred to me to look at the scratch 1/1200 Chesapeake I did awhile back. That one was from the Humphrey plans and I did quite a bit of research on the ship back then. Definitely wrong!

The Black Seas supplied stern
So what gives with Warlord Games? They couldn't bother to do the tiniest bit of research to get the stern for this ship right? Holy Cow! It's not even close! More like a fantasy ship's stern. There are plenty of references to what the Chesapeak's stern looked like. It took me just a few minutes to find several.

This is Cesapeake's stern from Plate D of Mark Lardas' book American Light and Medium Frigates 1794-1836
To the left we see the bone model Chesapeake (courtesy of Manfred Stein), while on the right is a detail of a painting by American artist James E. Buttersworth, circa 1815, showing USS Chesapeake's stern during her battle with HMS Shannon on June 1, 1813
James E Butterworth's full painting done in 1815
Painting of the Leopard Affair, closeup of Chesapeake's stern to the left

Painting showing Chesapeake being towed into Halifax

Another painting of Shannon vs Chesapeake 

This painting has a nice closeup of Chesapeake's stern
So I was pretty hyped up about these models in the beginning, but if this first ship I picked is just an example of how inaccurate all of the named ship sterns are from Warlord Games, it will be the last I throw my money away on. It would have been so easy for them to get it right!

One more thing....the figurehead for Chesapeake....they appear to have gotten that right. Winged angel with left arm over right exposed breast. I found it among the four figureheads supplied. I have no idea yet about the other three. There are only two more frigates, Congress and Constellation. Hopefully the right ones are there.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Langton 2 Gun Sloop

I haven't been able to get to the shipyard for several days now to finish this little Great Lakes sloop I started. Both our dogs are 15 years old this year and the little Aussie is on his last legs, literally. so the wife and I have been on watch, sitting with him constantly for the last four days. I haven't been able to get anything done.

She is on duty now so I rushed down to the shipyard to finished the sloop and post this.

This is Langton's two gun sloop, part of their Great Lakes War of 1812 line.
Unfortunately I am not sure what ship this could be. On Lake Erie there was a sloop on both the US and British sides. But the USS Trippe carried just one 24 pounder long gun and the HMS Little Belt had three guns, one 12 pounder long gun and two 6 pounder long guns.
I couldn't find record of any sloops on Lake Ontario at all.

With the 15 star US ensign:

With the Royal Navy red ensign:

I started working on one of the Warlord Games Black Seas frigates....but I was really getting into these little Great Lakes ships that I have had stored for so long.......No promises what the next post will be 😎

April 20 Update:

Brian W. wants me to explain how I swap out the flags so easily. Pretty simple really. I used to mat and frame art prints for a hobby. One of the tools I used was a mat adhesive gun to attach the cut mat to acid free foam core backing.

Adhesive gun, worth its weight in gold!

Adhesive tape cartridge

The tape has sticky adhesive on one side and when it is rolled against something it comes off of the tape and lays smooth on the surface you rolled it on. anything you press onto that surface will stick to it. But it is easily removed with some pressure and the adhesive can be removed by rolling it up with a thumb or finger. This sticky stuff is what I use to swap out flags. It almost never loses its adhesiveness unless it gets dirty. I just lifted a sliver of it and attached it to the line against the sail, then I gently press the flag edge to it and it is done. To remove just a gentle tug downward or upward and the flag comes away. The adhesive stays on the first surface it is applied to, the sail.

Sliver of rolled up sticky stuff to be removed

Flag on

Flag off showing sticky stuff

Flag back on
 So that's how I do it. I have dropped ships and not had the flags fall off, although I only do this to a few ships.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

First Black Seas Fleet Pack Arrived

I have been drooling over the fantastic work being done by some of my blogger buds on the Black Seas 1/700 scale ship models being issued by Warlord Games.
So I broke down and ordered a couple of fleet packs. The first one arrived and my wife brought it home today from the Post Office.

I can't wait to get into it, but I have to finish the little Langton Great Lakes sloop I started first!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Langton 11 gun Galley Washington

The next build during my pandemic incarceration is the Langton Continental galley Washington. This was a really nice model to build, as all Langtons are.

Model of Washington in the National Museum of the US Navy

The lateen rigged row galley was built by soldiers on Lake Champlain at Skenesboro, New York in the autumn of 1776. On October 6 Washington joined the small fleet put together and commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Washington was commanded by Arnold's second in command, Brigadier General David Waterbury. She was anchored with the other small vessels in the lee of Valcour Island to await the expected British move.

Captain Thomas Pringle, of the Royal Navy, led a 25 ship fleet past Valcour Island on October 11. Pringle sighted the American fleet when he passed the island and attacked from leeward. In the ensuing action Washington suffered the most damage of any vessel in Arnold's fleet.

Arnold regrouped his shattered fleet and slipped past the British on October 12 with muffled oars in a desperate attempt at escape. However the British caught up the following day at Split Rock near Crown Point.

Arnold managed to beech and destroy four of the galleys and his own flagship, Congress, while most of the remaining ships escaped upriver. Only Washington, at the rear of the van, was captured by the enemy. According to Arnold, she struck her colors after receiving a couple of broadsides.

Washington was eventually taken into Royal service, retaining her name. She was re-rigged as a brig. Her fate is unknown.

Length 72' 4"; Breadth 19' 7"; draft of 6' 2"; displacement 123 long tons; Crew 80
Armament: 2 x 18 pounder long guns, 2 x 12 pounder long guns, 2 x 9 pounders, 4 x 4 pounders, 1 x 2 pounder, 8 x swivel guns

Information is from