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"ARK ROYAL GALLEON"

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  • Member since
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"ARK ROYAL GALLEON"
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 9:41 AM
I want to ask if someone was paintings line drawings and any detailed images from this galleon witch was the flagship of the english fleet in 1588. I want to built her from scratch -if I manage- and the kit of Lindberg is awuful and it not help at all. I f anyone have any detailed image please post to me.
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A couple of Pictures "ARK ROYAL GALLEON"
Posted by CaptainBill03 on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:31 AM

http://www.sailingwarships.com/

 

 

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuExplore/ViewLargeImage.cfm?ID=BHC0264 

The English fleet is attacking from the right, with the 'Ark Royal' half into the canvas in the right foreground. The royal arms of Elizabeth I are visible on the foresail with the Royal Standard and St George's flag flying from the main- and foremasts respectively. 'Ark Royal', was the flagship of the English fleet during the Spanish Armada campaign of 1588, under the Lord Admiral, Charles Howard (Lord Howard of Effingham).

Captain Road Kill
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Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 6:18 PM

The first of those two pictures obviously is a modern line drawing by an artist who knew what he was doing; it looks believable (which is about the most that can be said about any such artwork). The second appears to be a nineteenth-century oil painting, and owes a great deal to artistic license. 

The first thing to bear in mind in a project like this is that nobody really has a clear idea of what the Ark Royal (or any other specific, named English ship of the sixteenth century) looked like.  Scholars have spent decades searching for contemporary plans of the ships that defeated the Armada (and, for that matter, plans of ships that sailed in the Armada itself).  They've never found any.  It seems likely, in fact, that ships of that era were built without reference to plans in the modern sense.

The nearest thing to a reliable set of contemporary plans is a set of pictures, usually referred to as the Matthew Baker Manuscript, which is in one of the libraries at Oxford University.  It contains several beautifully-drawn (and painted) views of (we think) English galleons from just about the time of the Armada.  None of the drawings can be linked with a named vessel (though some scholars think one of them may represent the Elizabeth Jonas).  Most good models of English galleons are based on the Baker manuscript.  I think the first of the two pictures in CaptainBill03's post is also based on them, at least to some extent.  (The artist in this case added an extra, covered gundeck to what's shown in the Baker ms, and made numerous other changes.  To my eye the hull form looks more like a ship of about fifty years later - but so little is known for sure about this period that I wouldn't want to assert that.)

Quite a few modern scholars have made their best efforts at reconstructing ships of the Armada period - with varying success in terms of believability.  Three books I recommend are The Galleon:  The Great Ships of the Armada Era, by Peter Kirsch; The Tudor Navy:  The Ships, Men and Organization, by Arthur Nelson; and the relevant volume in the Conway's History of the Ship series, Cogs, Caravels, and Galleons:  The Development of the Three-Masted Full-Rigged Ship, edited by Robert Gardiner.

The old Lindberg (ex-Pyro) kit is indeed hard to take seriously.  Several other plastic kit companies have tackled sixteenth-century ships, with varying results.  There are several good Golden Hinds and Mayflowers out there, but those vessels were too small to qualify as real "galleons."  I'm aware of one respectable plastic kit that represents a galleon from the fleet that defeated the Armada:  the Airfix Revenge.  It's an old kit, with pretty basic detail, but it's obviously based on the Baker ms. and could serve as the basis for an excellent scale model of any large Elizabethan galleon.

Building a model of any sixteenth-century ship is a challenge.  On the other hand, it also offers the modeler plenty of room for personal interpretation and taste.  If he sticks reasonably close to the Baker manuscript, nobody will be able to say for certain that anything he's done is "wrong."

Good luck.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 23, 2006 7:39 AM

 I think that this line drawing with the castle like superstructure of "Ark Royal" is completely wrong. I saw some pictures with 4 towers or "laternas" if is correct that terminology like the "Great Harry" witch received 8 of the after her modernization-rebuilt. Also I saw an engraving of someone C.J. Visscher without many detais but this engraving represent the Ark-Royal with 4 towers and without "castle". Please if is possible I want more pictures/images of Ark-Royal, and if is possible also from the "Triumph" and from Galleons of Spanish Armada. I adore the vessels og 1500-1600 era but I don't like the "rate ships" of 1600-1850s. 

 

http://www.boundingmain.com/images/seadogs/arkroyl2.gif

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Posted by jtilley on Thursday, November 23, 2006 9:48 AM

Remember that any picture or plan of the Ark Royal that anybody finds or draws is, by definition, a reconstruction based on a great deal of guesswork.  I'm inclined to agree that the drawing CaptainBill posted yesterday has some features that would be more at home in a ship of about 50 years later.  (The overall proportions look rather similar to those of the Sovereign of the Seas.)  But In view of the lack of hard information available, I'm not prepared to say that it's "wrong."

I've seen a couple of old engravings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that show those big, "lantern"- like contraptions on the aft parts of English galleons.  I have the impression that most modern scholars don't take them seriously.  The "castle" idea was indeed going out of fashion at the time of the Spanish Armada.  The newer English warships were, to use the terminology of the time, "race-built," in accordance with a design concept that apparently originated with John Hawkins.  It's thought that the "race-built" shape is the one shown in the Matthew Baker drawings.  Those drawings show ships whose "castles" are a good deal lower than those of the older galleons and carracks, but the stern of an English galleon of 1588, if we're to believe those drawings, was still extremely tall by later standards.

I'm not as good as lots of other Forum members at finding pictures on the Internet; the best I can do is refer to books.  The starting point for any project like this really should be the colored drawings in the Matthew Baker Manuscript.  (If you based a model of the Ark Royal on those drawings, nobody would be able to argue with you.)  They're reproduced in lots of books, including all the ones I mentioned in my last post.  Mr. Kirsch's book contains a remarkably complete set of plans for a reconstructed, generic Northern European galleon of the period.  If you used those plans for a model of the Ark Royal you'd be on equally sound ground.

Good luck.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

MJH
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  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Friday, November 24, 2006 9:14 PM

Found these two images but they're not much help are they?

The first merely purports to be Ark Royal, I'm not going to comment 'cos I'm not in Jtilley's league here.  Seems to have two bowsprits though....

The second is little more than a pretty picture, but a trifle more accurate than the earlier painting. 

Michael 

!

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Posted by jtilley on Friday, November 24, 2006 9:41 PM

The first picture in MJH's post appears to be more-or-less contemporary with the ship, and therefore is of some interest.  But, to use an American expression, it needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Artists of the late Renaissance were still working out the problems of perspective; the great ones had acquired a thorough understanding of it, but the lesser ones (including the guy who made this engraving) hadn't.  The proportions of this vessel obviously can't be taken literally.  People who drew ships frequently gave them more elaborate sail plans and rigging, and more guns, than the real ships had, presumably for the sake of making the picture more impressive. 

On the other hand, it looks like this artist had at least some idea of what a ship looked like.  Most of the rigging is reasonable, though some of it can only raise one's eyebrows.  (There's a big, rather elaborate tackle running from the port main yardarm, around behind the mizzenmast, to the bowsprit.  That obviously is irrational.  But the culprit may have been the engraver rather than the original artist.  If the line ran in front of the mizzenmast to the bowsprit, it could conceivably represent the port main bowline - which might possibly lead in that manner with the sail furled.)  The spar with the furled sail on it sticking out of the bow under the bowsprit appears to be the spritsail yard, with the spritsail attached to it.  That is in fact how the spritsail was handled during the sixteenth century.

Of the drawings we've seen so far in this post, that one is the most useful.  But I couldn't suggest that anybody base a model on it.  It can't be regarded as anything approaching a literal representation of the Ark Royal.  The Conway's History of the Ship volume that I mentioned earlier contains a most interesting chapter on interpreting old pictures like this; I highly recommend that book.

I agree with MJH's comment on the second picture.  It looks like it was painted in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, and represents what casual enthusiasts of that period thought an Elizabethan galleon looked like.

Most interesting stuff - but frustrating.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 25, 2006 3:33 PM

There are currently at least two active threads discussing the authenticity of plastic models.  I am not as experienced as some others are about the kits themselves, but I may be able to help with the rigging.  John (Jtilley) raised the issue in his reply to Michael (MJH).  The following books are excellent references to eighteenth-century rigging (I am not aware of any books that specifically deal with seventeenth-century rigging).

The Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1720 by R.C. Anderson

Galleon:  The Great Ships of the Armada Era by Peter Kirsch (Kirsch includes a rigging plan "of a four-masted galleon from 1610", which is not an armada era ship, but includes the rigging of the lanteen topsails shown in the pictures in this thread.)

Historic Ship Models by Wolfram zu Mondfeld

Eighteenth-Century Rigs & Rigging by Karl Heinz Marquardt

All of these books are available on-line (I got my copies from Amazon).  Don't be afraid to buy used books from a reputable dealer;  there are many that are in great condition.

If you embark on this project of building a plastic model from scratch, please keep the forum informed.  I have often thought of trying it, but simply haven't had the time.  I would be very interested in your methods and progress, as, I am sure, many more on this forum would.

Good luck.

Jay

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Posted by jtilley on Sunday, November 26, 2006 9:07 PM

Jay - Dr. Anderson published a book titled Seventeenth-Century Rigging.  It's a revised version of his Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast, the revisions consisting mainly of omitting all the material about non-English ships.  Anbody who has the earlier book has no reason to buy the later one.

The whole subject is covered thoroughly in James Lees's The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War, 1625-1860.  That book is about fifty years newer than either of Dr. Anderson's, but the latter knew what he was doing; the differences between Anderson and Lees, when it comes to the seventeenth century, are pretty minor.

All those works, of course, begin their coverage after the period of the Spanish Armada.  The most thorough coverage of rigging in the sixteenth century I've encountered is contained in Mr. Kirsch's The Galleon.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 27, 2006 9:59 AM

John,

I thought about Anderson's other book after I had posted.  I have a copy of both of his works.  The thing about The Rigging of Ships... is that there are only two references to Spain that I could find in the entire book.  I thought that was a bit odd.

I used Kirsch's book quite a bit as a reference, but, despite the excellent drawing of the 1610 galleon, I was a little disappointed in the written descriptions.  However, I understand that rigging was not the author's focus.

The Masting and Rigging...is on my wish list at Amazon.  I only recently got back into modeling after many years, and my collection of reference works is still rather small.

Thanks for the information on Lees.

Jay

MJH
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  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Monday, November 27, 2006 6:40 PM

While hunting for Imai kits on eBay I was reminded of the Galeass and recall reading somewhere that there were a few of them included in the Spanish Armada.  Is there any evidence of this?  It seems to me that such a labour-intensive vessel would be hard put to sail such distances without constant replenishment of food, water and perhaps even men.

I have read that galleys tended to sail only close to shore for this reason and were usually even pulled ashore at night, but of course this was in the Med. where things were relatively calm compared with the Bay of Biscay and North Sea.  (I've crossed the Bay of Biscay in a ship and I have never been so sick in all my life!  As a matter of interest the ship was the ex-USS Charger).

<>Is it even feasible that a Galeass would accompany the Armada?  Is there any written evidence of combat between the English fleet and such vessels?  A Galeass would obviously have an advantage in manoeuvrability but how would they fare in the open ocean? 

<> Here's a couple of pics of Imai's version in 1:160..... Michael

 

!

MJH
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Posted by MJH on Monday, November 27, 2006 7:16 PM

Oh yeah - another 'Ark'....    Different in detail from the other engraving.

 

!

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Posted by jtilley on Monday, November 27, 2006 9:54 PM

It's been a long time since I read a book about the Spanish Armada, but my recollection is that a handful of galleasses were indeed part of the fleet.  As I remember, they were included for the obvious reason that they could operate independently of the wind, but their slow, awkward progress when the wind was blowing impeded the Armada's progress as much as they helped.  A few minutes ago I looked up the term in the relevant Conway's History of the Ship volumes.  It seems the type originated, and was always most popular, in Venice; the English navy gave the idea a brief try during the reign of Henry VII, and the Spanish did build a few, but otherwise the only galleasses I've ever heard of were Venetian.  The Venetians apparently abandoned the concept in the mid-eighteenth century.

That Imai kit appears to be based on a Venetian design.  On the basis of my very limited familiarity with the type, it looks pretty reasonable; I've never encountered an Imai kit that wasn't at least pretty good.

That latest Ark Royal picture appears to be another contemporary (or near-contemporary) engraving.  I think quite a few such illustrations have been given names by the publishers or websites that have reprinted them; I wonder how certain the identity of either contemporary view we've seen in this thread actually is.  This one shows those odd "lantern-like" structures on both sides.  Similar things show up in a few other pictures of the period.  I can't recall seeing any such thing incorporated into a responsible modern model or set of reconstructed plans; no such features appear in the Baker manuscript drawings.  On the other hand, the guy who drew this picture certainly seems to have understood rigging.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

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  • From: istanbul/Turkey
Posted by kapudan_emir_effendi on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 3:42 PM

Good Day Professor!

Indeed, there were four galeazze from the viceroyality of Naples in the Spanish Armada. These were all carrying 50 guns and were under command of Don Hugo de Moncada.

San Lorenzo (Capitana)     368 crew, lost

Zuniga     298 crew, returned back

La Girona    349 crew, lost

Neapolitana, 321 crew, returned

All four were heavily engaged at the battle of Portland Bill and their effectiveness, contrary to the underestimation of later historians, was clearly noted by contempoary british accounts. Especially contemporary woodblocks and paintings by the british side puts them at the forefront nearly every time. The loss of Girona was particularly catastrophic: she foundered at Lacada point, county Antrim during the "divine storm" with survivors from two ships,Duquesa Santa Anna and La Rata Santa Maria Encoronada; 1300 men altogether on board. There were only five survivors. Her commander Don Alonso Martinez de Leiva was a favourite of King Philip II and his death caused a deep grief to the King.

As of technical details, those galeazze were all same with the Venetian ones concerning their hull and armament but as the contempoarary paintings show they were re-rigged with square sails in the fore and main masts; also carrying a square rigged bowspirit for the Atlantic campaign.

source: The Armada Campaign 1588, Osprey Publishing

Don't surrender the ship !
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Posted by honneamise on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 3:50 AM

The picture that MJH posted is indeed very interesting... I have got an old book named "All sorts of Ships" by Barbara and John Young, aimed at kids and published in 1972 - when I was a kid! There is an illustration of a galleon that is obviously and 100% based on this picture - and it is supposed to be a Spanish Armada ship!

The fun goes on - there is a model kit that is at least about 85% identical to the picture - it is the spanish "La Stella", made by Heller as a variatation of their "Galion" kit(spanish rowed galleon, itself based on an actual(?) vessel that was named "Corona Aurea").  Heller claim to have based their "Stella" on a plate found in the "Atlas van Stock, Rotterdam" - I´m by no means an expert so I have no idea if this does exist.... but maybe there is something like that "van Stock Atlas" (I googled the name but the only similarly named artist was a "van Stork" and his paintings depicted ships from the 1600s)and MJH´s picture might have its origin there.

So is this vessel Spanish or English? Is the Heller "Stella" in fact an "Ark Royal" with the wrong flags? I know there will be no definite answer for that and the Heller galleons are, well, questionable, but I´d really like to know some more facts about those references they claim to have used. 

Sorry for adding more confusion rather than shedding more light on the subject......   

 

 

MJH
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  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 4:50 AM

Wow, the plot thickens.  I posted those contemporary engraving pics only because they were 'said' to be Ark Royal.   Even with my limited knowledge of the subject I wouldn't have taken them at face value however.  As a long-time student of the Battle of Britain I have been pained at the frequency with which a Hawker Hurricane has been described as a 'Spitfire' in the modern press - and that happened only 60-odd years ago.  In the case of Ark Royal they've had 400+ years to get it wrong.

I understand shipbuilders often copied foreign design so perhaps the question of whether it is a Spanish or English ship in origin is simply unanswerable.  As far as I can tell the first engraving shows the Royal Standard and unquestionably identifies the owners (at least) as English, I'm less certain of the second picture.  If I recall correctly, Sir Walter Raleigh had the Ark Royal built and gifted her to the nation (I believe he had little choice as the state couldn't afford to pay him for it anyway!!!)

<>The information concerning the use of Galeasses in the Armada is fascinating (thank you, effendi), I have to admit I doubted the feasibility of sailing these vessels outside the Med. let alone right around the British Isles.  I suppose they may have had a greater chance than most of surviving the storms that drove many ships on to the rocks of Eire.

<> A recent documentary I saw suggested that the Spanish thought they were much further west when they turned south for the run home past Ireland but hadn't made allowance for the strong currents they were sailing against in that part of the world.  

On the other hand another doco attributes the wrecks washed up on the shores of Eire as introducing the potato to Ireland!  It's an ill wind....literally. 

<> Michael 

!

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Posted by kapudan_emir_effendi on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 11:43 AM

An interesting point to note that Imai Galeass is modeled on the drawing by Björn Landstörm in his all time classic The Ship and Landström himself, used a lavish and detailed contempoarary spanish painting of the battle of Azores, 1582. The galeass depicted there was none other than the San Lorenzo. Of course, the hull was all the same with the original venetian galeazze of Lepanto fame; but the superstructure was a little different: Lepanto galeasses had a forecastle of half circle shape as they were improvised from merchant great galleys but the following purpose built galeazze had a full round forecastle as depicted in the battle of Azores painting and thus in Landström's drawing. considering that, Imai kit comes out as more suitable to be built as an armada galeass rather than a Lepanto galeass Smile [:)] I bought that kit when it was limitedly reissued in 1998 before Imai's final bankruptcy. It is as neat as professor Tilley says and unique indeed.

Don't surrender the ship !
MJH
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  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Thursday, November 30, 2006 7:39 AM

So the Imai Galeass is not only modelled on an actual identifiable vessel but one which actually took part in the Spanish Armada?  That's extremely interesting.  If I understand correctly the sails were different from the lateen type depicted in the kit however.

<>I am puzzled only by the statement in an earlier post that the Galeasses (galeae? Just joking...) with the Armada each had 50 guns while the Imai kit certainly does not have that many, or indeed room for so many.

<>I can only assume, given my earlier doubts about their endurance, that the Galeass, unlike the galley, had increased stowage for supplies for the large crew. 

<> Michael

!

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Posted by Papillon on Thursday, November 30, 2006 9:01 AM

Be aware as there's a lot of crap on the market! For example the old Pyro kit, the galleon models of Heller (based on the same hull) and many wooden kits of galleons; all phantasy/ Disneyland products!! At a glance you see the hull shape and the height of the masts are very odd; too often you see a way to small underwater part, the ship would capsize within minutes due to it's height, exactly as the Wasa in 1628 did!!! But...... thanks to that disaster we now have a beautiful conserved ship amidst of us!!!

Max.

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Posted by honneamise on Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:30 AM

While I am aware that some Heller sailing ships have their problems with being "imaginative", I find their 3 galleons quite believable. They are meant to be of the slow, big, spanish type that was in use before the advent of Baker´s sleeker, faster and smaller Revenge-style galleons and IMO the hull lines and the rigging match these specifications. Even the fact that three (or even four if you count "Elizabethan" as a separate kit)ships share the same hull is nothing that bothers me too much - those ships are 16th century galleons so the similarities are ok, at least they are not trying to sell a Bounty as a Beagle! While I doubt certain things like "Corona"´s 1470-dated nameplate , the type of guns used, the number of guns on the "Stella" etc. I generally find the Heller galleons more believable than Revells big scale"Spanish Galleon" and "English Man o´War"!

And Heller´s "Stella" does look like the galleon in the picture above - be it an "Ark Royal" or not.

I agree with the wooden ships: many seem to be nothing more than overpriced renditions of earlier plastic kits and their designers oviously skipped any further research.

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  • From: istanbul/Turkey
Posted by kapudan_emir_effendi on Monday, April 30, 2007 12:44 PM
 MJH wrote:

So the Imai Galeass is not only modelled on an actual identifiable vessel but one which actually took part in the Spanish Armada?  That's extremely interesting.  If I understand correctly the sails were different from the lateen type depicted in the kit however.

<>I am puzzled only by the statement in an earlier post that the Galeasses (galeae? Just joking...) with the Armada each had 50 guns while the Imai kit certainly does not have that many, or indeed room for so many.

<>I can only assume, given my earlier doubts about their endurance, that the Galeass, unlike the galley, had increased stowage for supplies for the large crew. 

<> Michael

Hello Michael, Yep, the Imai galeass was modeled after a real and identifiable ship. For your doubts, I can tell that, descending from the great merchant galley, the galeass had a very respectable endurance. Merchant galleys had deep holds able to house pilgrims to holy land, cargo and provisions. The merchant hold was put to good use for a full cargo of provisions, providing roughly the triple timespan of endurance. For the armament, in reality only about a 12 guns were heavy and medium pieces, the rest being swiwel guns (murderers or pedreros

Don't surrender the ship !
MJH
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  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Monday, April 30, 2007 6:34 PM
I had forgotten ever entering into this discussion! 

Given the apparent identification of the Imai Galeass as a model of an actual vessel that took part in the Armada (albeit with different sails and rigging) I shall look on the kit even more fondly.  It's always good to know some of the history behind your models, it gives them some 'depth' so to speak.

Michael 

!

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Posted by Lepanto on Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:13 AM

The IMAI Galeass (Galleass) is loosely based on models in a maritime museo in Venice, which are themselves based on rather stylistic contemporary drawings and painting of the Battle of Lepanto.  But the old Imai kit fails in a couple of key areas.  Both problems basically have to do with relative size.  The round-fort forecastle is only one level high.  It should be at least two.  The five guns encased in it are jammed together so tightly they could not possibly recoil.  Nor is there any room for the guncrews serving them.  These five pieces would have been heavy and medium muzzle-loaders, so the diameter of the round forecastle would have needed to be twice what it is in the Imai model.  Secondly, the angled-pavis-shield (to protect the matchlock men and verso breech-loader gun crews) along the sides of the ship, has no operational footboard area to speak of.  The five large verso breech-loaders (probably 2 kilo shot) feature no support stands, nor is there any room for their gun crews, unless the rowing benches were to be emptied in the area of these guns.  Clearly, a running board of sufficient depth for two ranks of matchlock men, and the verso gun crews, would have been needed here.  Such an arrangement would have also required that they be positioned significently over the heads of the closest rowers.  Finally, there are absolutely no lifts for the ammunition flow to any of these side guns.  There is no way to even physically approach them.  So the model has its key operational details crammed together in a fit that makes no practical sense.  It needed to have a much larger forecastle fort and a serviceable side-defense platform, along its sides.  I haven't even considered the aft-castle, which by most accounts carried at least 4 heavy gun carriage pieces, internally.  None of these have been provided for here.  Paintings and drawings of the age, tend to show all the Armada galleasses with square-front forecastles, capable of fitting more guns.  Whether these were retrofitted (as per the Atlantic square-sail-rigging) in place of the original lanteens on the two forward-masts, is unknown. The four Armada gallesses were built in 1578-1582.  They were the biggest to date from the arsenal-shipyard there, believed to have been enlarged for this purpose by Don Juan, after he returned to Naples from Lepanto in late October, 1571.  From the beginning, it appears understood that the Spanish Navy did not see a practical answer in replicating the large unyielding merchant galleys that Venice had used with such great success in that battle.  Merging characteristics of the their galleon with a higher-sided, expanded gun-platform Lanterna galley, looks to have been the objective.  Building floating fortresses that needed to be pulled into position by three or four galleys, was not the kind of independent ship they envisioned.  Though nothing in the way of plans has come down to us, we can assume that the shipbuilders of the Spanish Kingdom of Naples were attempting to improve upon the Venetian Lepanto galleass from day-one.  Two generations of these ships probably took form before the 1578 and 1582 class were launched, and more characteristics of the Atlantic galleon and the Venetian galleass certainly merged in the process.  So the Atlantic-rigged Spanish Armada galleass of 6-700 displaced tonnes were probably quite different than what became of the Venetian galleass, as they are clearly documented in manuscripts, 75 years after Lepanto.

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Posted by Ghostphantom on Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:21 PM

Interesting stuff.  I've read this thread quite a few times over the years.

I was hoping Zvezda would do a new tool Ark Royal for their Armada game but nothing since.   They've done the Santa Maria which I thought wasn't in the Armada battle.

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Posted by Lepanto on Friday, March 24, 2017 3:01 AM

I've been following plastic kits of the Armada-era since the days of "Sir Francis Drake" on TV. Galleon models always appear to be the last thing on the mind of kit manufacturers.  Only ocean liners have fare worse.  A half-century later, we're still seeing reissues of old toolings by Pyro, Heller, Lindberg, Airfix, etc.  There appear to be many reasons for this.  "Age of Sail" modelers often want to build in wood, not plastic, so the serious high-end market is always split.  The numerous scales that have appeared in sailing ship models have also hurt the forming of an industry standard regarding them.  

Certainly, the frequent renaming of kits, which represent nothing but fantasy vessels without a history, and the fact that even historically-named galleons are based on nothing more than guesswork paintings by contemporary artists (who probably never laid eyes on the actual vessel) hurt the seriousness assigned to such endeavors.  Finally, there seems to have been no organized thought behind the selection of the current poor selling re-releases, so contemplating new tooling for kits, based on a total rethinking of stylistic old ones, is the last thing a kit manufacturer believes is worthy of their attention.  Too many "authorities" out there, promising to attack any new effort on its authenticity.  

At this point, for whatever there is left of the "Spanish Armada" market, breathing new life into it would require some special thinking.  Personally, I believe there would have to be an announced series of vessels in a large enough scale to attract the more experienced plastic-kit modelers.  Probably something in the $100. list-price range at 1/96 scale.  Forget smaller kits.  1/96 for Armada-sized vessels strikes me as comparable to 1/35 for WW2 armour.  It would be a good standard, allowing decent detail.  It isn't 1960, anymore.  These days, everyone demands finer and finer detail.  

The kits should feature fine quality oil-illustrations, commissioned just for the series boxes.  Something to rival Aurora-style paintings from the 1960s, with custom-designed series-logo and lettering, the type of packaging that'll be worth more than the model in 50 years.  Lastly, the tooling would have to reflect the latest thoughts on the period design of the particular vessel being re-attempted.  A series of say 4 such Armada ships would have to include the old historic staples and some fresh blood, too.  That almost certainly means -- Revenge, and Ark Royal, better than they've previously been issued, in representing the English Galleons.  On the Spanish-side, the two most famous and interesting vessels would be the flagship galleon, San Martin, and the galleass Girona.  Neither of which have been attempted with any real insight.  Of course, don't hold your breath in hopes of seeing any of this come to pass.                                                                            

  • Member since
    December, 2016
Posted by Ghostphantom on Saturday, March 25, 2017 1:55 AM

It would be nice to see some larger Armada ships especially Ark Royal  (with injection plastic sails as when done well like the Zvezda ships and the new 1/450th HMS Victory they're much better than vacform ones and billow unlike fabric sails) but whether we'll get larger ones who knows. 

The 1/350th ships Zvezda's produced are quite nice and I'd like to see the line continue but looks like it's stopped.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by Lepanto on Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:19 PM

Certainly, 1/350 is a good scale for WW1 and WW2 warships.  The industry needs a standard for them, that's a step-up from 1/600, and 1/350 appears to be it.  But for the "Age of Sail", with many vessels measuring 150-200 feet overall, the 1/96 scale is necessary.  

1/450 is fine for the small gaming models that Revell, Zvezda, and others, have produced, but you can't get serious about the detail possibilities they represent.  

  • Member since
    December, 2016
Posted by Ghostphantom on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 8:59 PM

Lepanto

Certainly, 1/350 is a good scale for WW1 and WW2 warships.  The industry needs a standard for them, that's a step-up from 1/600, and 1/350 appears to be it.  But for the "Age of Sail", with many vessels measuring 150-200 feet overall, the 1/96 scale is necessary.  

1/450 is fine for the small gaming models that Revell, Zvezda, and others, have produced, but you can't get serious about the detail possibilities they represent.  

 

 

Of course but I'd like to see both.  More smaller easier to build sailing ships and larger kits (like a new Ark Royal).

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by peter_1320 on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 7:45 AM

Hi,

I enjoyed your very interesting and detailed discussion about the IMAI Galleass. I received this kit as a present around 1983, but only recently got around to building it.  It is a fine model if rather unrealistic (as you point out). There is, however, one feature of the IMAI model which I have been unable to obtain any information about.  Associated with each rigging dead-eye there is a strange "dumbell" shaped piece (6.6 mm long) which must scale to being about 1 metre in length.  The IMAI instructions refer to "Dead eyes 39, 40".  "39" does indeed refer to dead eyes.  But part "40" (the dumbell) is a mystery to me.  I have only ever seen these "dumbells" on pictures/photos of the IMAI model.  They do not appear on any other images of galleasses.

So I'm wondering what they are. Have you any thoughts on this?

 

 

 

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