Monday, November 16, 2020

Blazing Brushes - SLOOPS for 28mm Blood & Plunder

 A few years ago (!?!) I obtained a pair of sloops and a force of pirates for the Blood & Plunder system.

Painting the Pirates was not so much a challenge, and you can see them all here, having finished them in February this year.

I had not built, nor painted a ship model since my teens, and was initially intimidated by the prospect of rigging.  So I took my time and the extra precaution of obtaining extra cord, with which to re-do any rigging I messed up.

I also too the time to research many different approaches that more skilled model makers and sail makers have done, I have whole sections of my image files set aside with loads of pictures of other people's models and some real world sloops, brigs, 6th rates and a few flyte's and some galleons.

The best supporting blog I found was this by the 1000 foot general, many thanks to the author for his great documentation of his works.

So I began ...

first, a detail cleaning of all hulls
including opening the gunports
and cleaning them of excess 'flash'

these boats do not float, seen here the first hull
going down in a sink of lightly soapy water

a gentle brushing was done to remove all remaining
dust from the cleaning and any mold release agent(s)
that might not react well with spray primer

the details were carefully checked to ensure
that no trapped air bubbles would cause flaws in the
primer layer

then the second hull went under water

all were left to dry for a day or two

then a grey spray basecoat layer was done
(note the white object like a hull with
metal fender washers ... it will feature
in a future posting)

With the hulls thus prepared a process of painting was thus entered into, which would last a few weeks, this was done while other tabletop games were going on over the summer months of July and August.

each sloop was being done as a 'set' of matched
hull, rowboat and light cannon

here they are seen in their 'dark chocolate' layer
which comes after the basecoat

next came a lighter 'wet' or 'damp' (almost drybrush)

one sloop was to be a darker color than the other
it is at this stage that the 'differentiation' comes
about, by having one light layer in 'gray'
the other in light 'tan'

after allowing the light color layer to dry fully, came the color setting process

this sloop was to become the 'darker' color scheme

the 'lighter' color scheme

dry brushing then happened, as I wanted more of a mixed wood look

the two sloop hulls now showing more contrast

likewise for the rowboats

inking layers then go on
(the sloops pictures were all blurry)

then came a series of color layers

each layer being done slightly brighter, so as to keep
the amazing wood grain of these fantastic sculpts

the inks were also used on the wooden parts ...

each model comes with all the rigging parts
for this one I have used brown, black and red ink
to give the parts and masts a darker tone

same image as above, no flash used in photography

The hulls and rowboats and cannon all started to really come together, I was starting to get excited about the potential for games and images.  I haven't played much pirate stuff since 2004.

the 'dark' sloop, going to be a 'pirate' sloop

while the 'light' green sloop will take on privateer roles more

Now all the hulls were done and it was time to seal in things with a matte spray.

here they are still 'wet' from the fresh matte spray

the rigging parts, in the yellow wooden color,
can be seen between the gun ports

All looking good now, time to face the challenge of rigging ...

one last set of photos

just to prove they looked good up to this stage

Alright, really now, rigging ...


I admit it, I did more reading and more study of things on the 1000 foot general site and others.

It was a slow process for the first sloop and I was determined to 'cut' as little as possible and also decided to *not* go for the ratlines, because I am doing craft foam sails.

there it is, the first finished sloop

the other sloop also now in finish condition

by drawing on the sail details on the craft foam
it has brought to life the plain white of the foam to a
more believable simulation of the sails
(I used a brown sharpie on the light sloop and
a black sharpie on the dark sloop sails)

each rowboat got a similar colorful treatment

The next day was sunny in August ... time to get out the camera!

The 'sea' is a clear plastic sheet over a differentiated blue cloth that reflects light differently depending on the angle of the light and observer, with the threads going from a lighter to a darker blue.

The combination of the light and reflections of the sun made for a downright tropical feel to the images.

The games are going to be epic!

We can use the B&P system, or Pulp Alley, or Peter Pig, or any sort of homebrew we want and these miniatures look awesome!

I have already added to the collection with some European sailors, gun crews and a Brigantine ... the next painting challenge.

The future I see is at least a Tartana (or two) and likely a 6th Rate Frigate ... just so that the 'big ships' action can be brought to life.  How soon they get added to the collection, let alone painting queue, is as yet unknown.

Feel free to comment on the pirate fleet so far and what additions/changes you think/feel would look good?


caveadsum1471 said...

Wonderful looking sloops! Thanks for the step by steps, I'm going to have a go at converting something to a pirate ship and this will help a lot!
Best Iain

nundanket said...

Now that is a labour of love! Well worth the effort.

Codsticker said...

The boats look fantastic. I really like the trim colour choices; they really look good with the hull colours. Your sea look great too.