Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Old Glory Brigantine sets Sail

Earlier this year at the Tactica convention I purchased the Old Glory Brigantine from MiniaturicuM. I had been looking for wargames ships for my Legends of the High Seas pirate crews and it came down to this one or none at all, because the alternative (ie. larger) models from Old Glory are too expensive, Stronghold Miniatures is currently pausing business and Games of War hadn't released their medium ship then. So I decided to give this one a try.

Bits and Pieces
Included in delivery are the following parts:

1x ship/hull
1x quarterdeck
1x wall for quaterdeck
10x cannons (6 larger ones, 4 smaller ones)
10x muzzles (6 larger ones, 4 smaller ones)
2x ladders
2x fighting tops
4x mast fixes/connectors(?)
2x large masts (wood, 0.7mm Ø)
1x large mast (remains of the original stick?)
3x small masts (0.5mm Ø)
1x 25mm Pirate miniature with ship wheel

To give you an idea of the ship's size, I placed a couple of members of my pirates Redbeard's Sea Dogs in the ship. It is surely somewhat unfair to use 30mm models with 25mm bases to judge the size of a ship that is explicitly meant for 25mm scale. If you're using 20mm round bases instead (yes, they do exist!), you do get more out of the ship, of course. But 25mm bases are common for most modern pirate miniatures (e.g. Black Scorpion, Black Cat Bases, even Foundry, ... see here for a list of pirate miniatures manufacturers).

As you can see, it gets crowded on deck rather quickly. Considering that you are allowed up to 30 sailors in your Crew, it gets crowded way too quickly. Sure, you will rarely have a warband that exceeds about 20 men. Still, the deck is very small - especially if you want to play a 'Boarding Action' scenario, where enemy models need to be placed as well.

I have played a few games of LotHS with this model already and it became obvious that it is too small. I am considering writing a few rules for having Crew members below deck and still letting them fire cannons. I think it is possible to remedy the limited size of most wargames model ships by using such rules.

The quality of the resin is somewhere around average - worse than many other products I have encountered recently (like the superb Forge World scenery).

I had to fill a number of bubbles with Green Stuff, which didn't particularly increase my satisfaction with the vessel. I totally understand that it's near impossible to completely avoid bubbles in resin, but when I see a large yellow resin model before me, I don't want to be reminded of holey cheese. Below you can see the fixed hull - now looking like mould cheese.

Assembly & Enhancing the Model
The Old Glory website shows the Brigantine in a slightly different version than it is shown on the Old Glory 25's site. I "pimped" the model a little...

I added a few wooden strips to the bottom of the quarterdeck and the inner hull so that the piece wouldn't move around freely during gameplay.

I bought gunports from a local modelling shop. They fit perfectly into the existing holes and only required little additional filing. I think they are great and improve the overall appearance of the ship a lot.

Then I added a forecastle, made of wooden stirring staffs and shashlik sticks as well as stanchions (decorative turned pillars), which I had bought together with the gunports.

I also expanded the masts slightly and added a flagpole to the quarterdeck. Here is a photo of the full model. As you can see, I was a little impatient and painted the cannons before the rest :)

My last additions were some bits from Games of War: a ship's wheel (because the Brigantine's wheel comes with a 25mm pirate attached, see above), ship bell, anchors and swivel guns.

Painting the Brigantine
WARNING: Properly wash this model! Unfortunately I wasn't careful enough, so the undercoat was chipping off. I hate it when that happens. Sigh!

After cleaning the model it painted up really nicely. The wood has a great structure that is perfect for drybrushing.

No big deal about the colours used (Citadel paints): Scorched brown, Bestial Brown with increasing mixes of White.

The last thing I did was to create a special flag for Captain Redbeard and his pirate crew to go with the ship. The red beard is inspired by the red components of the flags of Edward Teach, Edward Low and John Quelch (see Wikipedia).

Redbeard's pirate flag

The Finished Model

Quarterdeck with ship's wheel and swivel gun

The swivel guns

Forecastle with ship's bell and swivel gun, and the anchor

The biggest downside to the Brigantine is definately the size; its breadth, to be precise. You can barely place your own Crew on the ship, let alone boarding enemy models. The many bubbles in the resin are also somewhat disappointing. I definately wouldn't buy this model again - especially since Games of War have released the Sea Prince in the meantime and I am very happy with the ships I already have from them. Nevertheless, it is a nice model, now that I see it here in front of me with the modifications and enhancements I made. And I can always add the Sea Prince to my shipyard later. :)


  1. Wow... now that is a hell of a work you done here... Looking really cool! I have to sent this to Robert as he is fighting on building a ship recently, haha... thanks for sharing! Regards Roman

  2. Lebst du in Übersee? Wenn nein, wo bekommt man in Dtld OldGlory-Zeugs?

  3. Hi, Friedel! I habe mein Schiff bei Miniaturicum gekauft: Old Glory Schiffe sind ebenfalls Battlefield Berlin erhältlich: bei Europäer können aber auch bei Old Glory UK bestellen: Ich hoffe das hilft dir weiter.

  4. That is a nice model and you have finished it very well.
    I have used Playmobil ships and converted them as I wanted more deck space for our games.
    You should have a go, I would like to see how you would convert one.

    This is my effort:


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