Thursday, 16 February 2012

This is too warm work, Hardy, to last long...

As Nelson was supposed to have remarked to Hardy after a splinter from a near miss tore the buckle from his shoe, during the heavy fire Victory endured in its approach towards the Franco-Spanish fleet.

Getting this diorama finished for my 60th was certainly warm work in another sense for me - having thought three weeks would be enough, it was a bit of a sprint to the finishing line to get it done in time!

So what possessed me to undertake such a thing? My Dad is currently researching our illustrious ancestor, Captain Charles Mansfield, who captained the 74 gun Minotaur at various engagements including the Battle of the Nile and Trafalgar. Having made something a bit smaller in scale, in a bigger scale, last year -

 - I foolishly joked that I would have to do something a bit more impressive for the big 60!

Anyway - here's the pics of what kept me busy for most of January!

I managed to pick a copy of Wooden Ships and Iron Men for a song on Ebay - happily the integral bases of the Forged in Battle ships from Westwind were the same size as the cardboard ship counters from the game.

Which gave me the idea of magnetising the bases so they could be detached from the sea bases I made - I just now need to collar my Dad for a weekend and see if I can pressgang him into re-fighting Trafalgar!

As the whole thing threatened to get so big that it would be tricky to display, and as I didn't fancy having to paint up large tracts of sea to mount the ships on I came up with the idea of smaller strips for each column of ships. They in turn could either sit on the card base that I'd made a collage of various cartoons, paintings, letters and other documents related to the battle, or the collage could be stood up and provide a kind of backdrop. 

 The Victory heads up the Weather column heading for Villeneuve's flagship Bucentaure.

Collingwood's 100 gun Royal Sovereign heads up the Lee column, driving for the Spanish admiral Alava's flagship Santa Anna.

The next distraction that threatens a slight delay in finally finishing off Orc's Drift is this year's Lead Painters League - a great painting competition on the Lead Adventure Forum. I'm currently working on painting a few teams of minis up to enter - so a small break from the writing! However, as the competition was somewhat over-subscribed with more than 70 entrants last time there has been a limit of 50 set this year -  if I'm not one of the first 50 to email their entries in I'll suddenly have a lot of time on my hands!


  1. So good for you we were commanded by a French fop :P

    Great diorama anyway ;)

  2. Thanks Endakil - it's quite amazing to think that Villeneuve left Cadiz in order to try and save his career, having heard that his replacement was on the way!

    Some of his other decisions were a little questionable too - I don't think history has been too kind to the poor chap!