Saturday, 20 July 2013

Grand Manner Roman Galley 1: The main components

I got up in the loft today and managed to extract the Grand Manner Roman galley from my resin pile.  It was in a crate with the Grand Manner Greek Galley, the ruined Roman fort, a Bronze age house and some walls I can't even remember what they are for.  The hull is a really heavy lump of resin and measures over 18" long which works out at about 90 feet scale length; perhaps a bit shorter than the real thing.

Here are the main components to be attached to the deck: bow, foremast foot, castle, hatch, hatch railings, tent and stern.  There are a few other pieces too.  They will all need trimming, sanding, attaching and filling as the fit of the parts is not that great.  

These are what I call the linear components (except for the yard and furled sail).  Top we have the guardrails with attached shields.  Fortunately, Little Big Men do specially shaped transfers for these.  Next we have the side galleries (I need to get a book so I know what the proper names for all these bits are!).  The final pieces are rather curious representations of the sea into which you are supposed to insert sticks to represent the oars to then attach to the body of the ship.  It strikes me that this would be fiddly beyond belief!  Given that the scenario Big Red Bat is contemplating requires anchored vessels and that I bought the galley for use as a floating battery for actions such as the crossing of the Medway and, perhaps, supporting the legions in Scotland, then I think I can forget about oars. 

Concept painting for the Battle of Actium from Cleopatra (1963)

There is no doubt that I would love to have a wargame involving a clash between fleets of ancient galleys, as seen in Cleopatra, but it just isn't going to happen.  It's not just the cost (the Grand Manner ship is £82) it's all those fiddling oars!  Grand Manner actually make pretty all of the ship types you want, including sinking models.  I'm not interested in smaller scales either: I would want troops on the decks!  So I will confine myself to the one ship (well, maybe one more!).

First job is to clean up the hull, undercoat it and then glue on the main components.  I think that superglue may not be up to this so may have to go for something like Araldite.  Does anyone have any experience of gluing large bits of resin together?