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Principe de Asturias

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Principe de Asturias...

Skytrex of the UK have a superb range of 700 scale ships which you can buy off their website, and following my friends example, and impressive builds, I have bought a number of kits from their Trafalgar Range lists.

The single ship which I decided to complete first is the Spanish rig and sail flagship Principe de Asturias, a 112 gun ship of the line which featured at Trafalgar. Skytrex write :

The Principe de Asturias was the last ship to be built out of a programme to augment the power of the Spanish fleet by building a series of large and heavily gunned first rates, begun in the 1770’s and finishing in 1794.

10 ships of 112guns were built between 1779, and 1794 mostly in Havana and one 94 gun ship, the San Carlos of 1765, upgraded to 112 guns. The Principe de Asturias fought at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, and was the Spanish flagship at Trafalgar.

Dimensions and armament...

2,456 tons and measuring 194ft 3 in. x 54ft 3in. x 24ft 3in.

112 guns –
gun deck : 32 x 36 pounders
middle deck : 32 x 24 pounders
upper deck : 32 x 18 pounders
quarter deck : 12 x 8 pounders
forecastle 6 x 8 ponders

Other ships of the class :
San Carlos 1765
Purisima Concepcion 1779
Santa Ana 1794
San Jose 1783 (taken at St Vincent)
Conde de Regla 1786
Mejicano 1786
Salvador del Mundo 1786 (taken at St. Vincent)
Real Carlos 1787 (blew up 1801)
Hermengildo 1789

The model itself is white metal which is very workable notwithstanding that you have to be careful with the masts and cross trees as they bend very easily. Extra details include the ratlines and futtocks together with the sails, all in brass. The modeller may wish to swap these off as I have done using Atlantic Models ratlines, and GMM merchant ship ratlines and then Rizla blue cigarette paper for the sails using the brass sails provided as a template.

The rigging is Caenis fishing line at 20 denier, and I have also included GMM crew figures to underline the scale, and create a bit of “animation”.

The sea base and effect is my usual method which I shall describe in the future.

The most daunting task of the build is always going to be the rigging for me, however, Skytrex have included in the instructions an easy step by step guide that even I can follow but in my case, I did need to use magnifying enhancement to see the fine lines of the Caenis fishing line as I placed it between cross trees, masts, and cat heads!

The Trafalgar Range of 1:700 sale ship models has been designed to produce as accurate a reproduction of the ships of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars as possible. The models are all built using original plans in the National Maritime Museum in London, the Musee de la Marine in Paris, the Museo Maritimo in Madrid and the National Archives in the USA. The scale of 1:700 was chosen as being small enough for realistic war gaming and large enough to show the level of detail wanted by the ship model collector, combined with the casting technique at Skytrex to bring yo the best ship models on the market.

My conclusion...

A well thought out range of ships and well worth a try if you are interested in the period or just like something different other than another “grey ship”. The rigging took time but the overall satisfaction at the end of the build concluded for me that it was a worthwhile exercise. Email [email protected], and website www.skytrex.com. Finally, I have just received HMS Victory, the Santissima Trinidad, and the East Indiaman Walmer Castle for my birthday, (thank you Mrs F) so, model on………….

Peter F March 2011.

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About the Author

About peter fulgoney (peterf)


Very nice, but isn't the flag flowing the wrong way, after all these are sail ships blown by the wind, so if the sails are being blown forward, wouldn't the flag also be facing the same way ?
MAY 13, 2011 - 02:21 AM
Actually, this looks like a situation called a 'leading wind' which comes from just abaft the beam then it 'hauls forward' as the wind direction changes to just forward of the beam. This causes the pennant and ensign, which are lighter, to move with the shifted wind direction before the fore sails have had a chance to spill their wind. You can also see that the main and mizzen sails are showing signs of 'luffing' or 'feathering' as the wind strikes them almost edge-on. The ship will either have to tack or wear depending on the desired direction of travel or adjust the yards to more effectively catch the new wind direction. Very well done, Peter! --Karl
MAY 13, 2011 - 08:55 AM
Thank you , Karl, a very knowledgeable comment. Taking the pictures down on the beach where it always seams to be windy, the air flow will actually dictate what the loose flags will do, and rotating the model to shoot the angles doesn't help. Even if there are problems, I will still continue with this method because of the lighting, real sky background, and sharpness of picture if you can imagine me holding the build with one hand and using the camera in the other! Cheers guys, Peter F
MAY 18, 2011 - 06:55 PM
Wow, Peter! Being in northern Europe, finding blue skies and moderate winds to shoot against must be a creative challenge! --Karl
MAY 19, 2011 - 06:20 AM