One of the really cool things Firelock Games has done as a Company is release new rules and material that adds value to product that players already own. When Firelock basically doubled the depth of the game with the free New Factions & Units pdf, I knew there was a great group of people running this company. Firelock has added value to existing ship models by giving us alternate versions of the Sloop, Brigantine, Frigate, and the Fluyt. The new stats for these alternate rigs can be found in No Peace Beyond the Line (NPBtL) and my understand is that a set of alternate cards for these ships should be available sometime soon.
These new ship variations are basically free new ships for people who already own the original model. Of the new variations provided in NPBtL, the Sloop of War variation on the Brigantine hull caught my eye, mostly for the 5″ top sail setting.
The Sloop of War is rigged slightly differently than the standard Brigantine but the difference is only visual and there’s no reason you couldn’t just use your standard Brigantine model as a Sloop of War. But somehow I found myself with a second Brigantine model so I thought I would paint it and rig it up as a Sloop of War.
My local group is gearing up for a new (heavily modified) campaign that will be all 200 point naval games. I’ve had this build on my to-do list for almost a year and this upcoming campaign gave me the push I needed to get it done.
I’m going to run the Pirate Hunter faction for this campaign so I wanted a fast ship ship with decent cannons that would function well at 200 points. This Sloop of War seemed to fit the bill!
Being someone official or at least sanctioned by some government power, I wanted to paint this ship to look closer to a Royal Navy vessel, even though I know uniform paint schemes weren’t around until later.
I used this image as a loose guide for my paint job.
I used primarily Vallejo paints for this model: Cavalry Brown, Black Green, German Grey, Black, and Citadel Zandri Dust and Averland Sunset for Base colors. I used mostly Vallejo washes as well which is a first for me. They were a little gentler than Citadel washes usually are. A little dry brushing and edge highlighting was all I did after the washes.
I did spend an inordinate amount of time on the yellow flourishes on the front and back rails. Basing is hard, then wash then highlight, but I like how they came out.
Rigging it with 4 square sails rather than 2 square and a gaff sail was a bit of a challenge (for me and my modest modeling skill). I used some additional dowels, pirated a few rigging components from a Bark ship kit and just bound some of the pieces with thread instead of using the standard wooden pieces provided by Firelock. I also incorporated a fighting top.
I just used thread (and glue) to tie on this very top piece of the mainmast.
After about 3 hours of painting and mast construction I started on the rigging.
I used sails created by Rick Casler who you can find making amazing ships and terrain on the main Blood & Plunder Facebook page. He makes batches of soaps regularly so feel free to reach out to him if you like the look of these sails and like the sound of not trying to crest them yourself!
I trimmed the provided bowsprit dowel and then extended with a smaller dowel just so it has some taper.
I kind of wish I added some staysails between the masts but this is very functional and looks fine!
I finished rigging it up around 2:00am but couldn’t resist loading it up with my Pirate Hunter crew.
The new assignment rules really encourage a ship to take at least one unassigned unit of sailors and I think I’ll be using my Zeelieden as my sailors and repair crew while the Sea Dogs man the guns.
Captain Thomas Clarke! He’s my commander for my upcoming campaign. He’ll start as a Inspiring commander with Broadside as he starts the hunt for the Nuestra Senora del Rosario, a fine Spanish prize separated from the treasure fleet.
The fighting top was an easy addition and looks great!
I know I’m going to be chipping models with this fighting top. They need a rail!
I would want a rail…
At 200 points you can fit an entire 4 man unit in the fighting top which simplifies the subsection rules during game play.
I don’t obsess over some details and I don’t add lots of extra bits and bling but I find this level of work a nice balance is eye candy and functionality right now. I respect those painters and modelers who are able to add all the extra rigging components and functional gun hatches and I want to take the time to do all that on a ship at some point. But this entire project took about 5-6 hours which is about the same time it takes me to paint a unit of 4 models! I primed it on Friday night and finished the rigging late Sunday night.
I have some final touches I want to finish including a lamp for the back, an anchor and a new set of medium cannons with red carriages for this new Pirate Hunter crew.
You’ll be seeing more of this Sloop of War if you keep up with this blog. I’ll be using it throughout this entire campaign so it will be showing up in plenty of battle reports.
I plan to rig up a Sloop model using the Heavy Bark rigging scheme soon so look for that coming here in the blog at some point as well. Thanks for reading!