Completed Heavy Bark

I just recently finished my Brigantine alternate rig Sloop of War and I thought I’d keep my momentum going and reduce my pile of unpainted ship hulls by throwing together a Sloop with the Heavy Bark alternate rig found in No Peace Beyond the Line.


The picture in the rule book of this alternate rigging patter shows only one large square sail. I added a little beyond what that simple drawing shows, but it’s basically a square-rigged sloop.

As far as game rules, this version of the Sloop sacrifices some speed (it gains a -1 Windward penalty) and maneuverability (it loses the Fore-and-Aft trait which helps you Tack) in trade for a couple more points of durability. The Sloop is a great ship but if you want a little more lasting power when faced with those cannons on a Frigate or Brigantine, the Heavy Bark is there for you.

I picked up this Sloop kit on eBay as part of a small collection I got for a good price. I already have two Sloops but what can I say? This one picked me.

I primed the entire ship with Citadel Zandri Dust spray primer.

My ships have been kind of dark lately so I thought I would paint this one a little brighter with ochre and white being the primary colors.

I usually leave the top of the rails for the last basing step because I’m always hitting them with my palms or steadying my hand on the rail while painting all the other areas and the paint is constantly rubbing off.

This is almost all the paints on used on this project.

  • Primed with Zandri Dust, left that primer as the base color for the deck.
  • Tau Light Ochre for the outside of the hull, the grate and the inside walls.
  • Ivory for the lower portion of the hull.
  • German Grey for the highest rail portion of the hull.
  • Black for the rails and ribs.
  • Leather Brown for the two doors.
  • Averland Sunset and Yriel Yellow for the decorative bow.
  • Light Rust for the trim on the deck.
  • Rhinox Hide (spray can) for the masts.
  • Nuln Oil, Typhus Corrosion and Vallejo Brown Wash for weathering.

The main mast that comes with the Sloop is very tall and I ended up trimming it 4 different times before I was done. This would have been a very tall ship!

I picked up an extra Frigate rigging pack from my local Geeks & Games shop to cannibalize for these alternate rigs.

I used textured scrapbook paper sails for this ship. They aren’t as nice as the Rick Casler airbrushed foam sails, but they work just fine. They’re cheap and craft paper holds it’s shape really well after bending it.

I didn’t use straight edges for these sails. I tried to give them a billowing effect by cutting out curved pieces of the edges.

De Ruyter’s last voyage on my paint table before I ship him off to Dan

I trimmed the top of the sails as well to give it some sag between the ties.

I trimmed the length of the bowsprit and then added a narrower dowel to extend to give it some taper.

Dutch crew under a Spanish Flag. Must be the Ostend Privateers!

I intentionally left off the gunport hatches. I read that they were common on smaller ships like this, especially on an open deck. And I dislike dealing with those little metal bits!

I made a loop out of a piece of paperclip wire to secure the rigging line in the aft. Craft drill and superglue!

Got to show off these cool swivel guns that were given to me by my friend Kevin. I’m not sure were he picked them up but they actually swivel up and down!

I’m pretty sure this is more sail than is intended for a “Heavy Bark” but I couldn’t really find any info when I searched the internet for Heavy Bark so I just did what I thought looked cool. I found one picture of a square rigged Sloop, but it sounded like it was rare and usually used for travelling up rivers. But the one picture I found had that topsail so I added it to this ship.

I’m guessing this rig would sail really poorly. It should probably have a smaller mainsail and have at least 1 Jib sail out front.

I’m pretty sure the game would give this rigging pattern the “square rigged” trait so it would be harder to Tack!

I added a couple rigging lines to stabilize the main sail yard.

Sloop compared to this Heavy Bark. That Sloop rig looks much sleeker and dangerous while the Heavy Bark looks more substantial and… heavy.

I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to sail this ship in a game, but a friend of mine is using the Heavy Bark rigged Sloop all the way through a campaign we just started so I’ll see if he wants to use it.

I would love to hear any input from people who actually know how a “Heavy Bark” would actually look and how it would be rigged. It’s too late for me since this is done but I’m interested nonetheless.

Thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “Completed Heavy Bark

  1. Hi. Fell across your blog accidentally and glad I did. Very interesting and a lot of work for you. Not sure what Firelock is/does but I like (love) ship models and ships. From Galveston, TX… lots of ships. Not sure if this is model or what but very cool. I am following you to see what is next.

    • Thanks for reading! These are resin hills used for a 28mm miniature war game. The rigging, masts and sails all have to be created but it’s a fairly simple rig so you can use the ship as a game piece.

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