Lepanto big and chunky and in 1:300 scale.. just the way I like it

Recent developments in pre-cut, laser etched designs have created a new niche market in wargaming.  I recently built a Viking ship in 28mm scale from just such a kit, and was impressed with how quickly it came together and how well it represented the historical ship.  There are other vendors popping up here and there on a small scale, vending historical products– such as 4Ground Ltd‘s building and terrain bits.  Another niche company is a small outfit called Skull and Crown.  They are mostly specialized in doing spectacular flats of soldiers from various periods called “Wooden Wars”, but they recently branched out to create a product called Galleys, Guns and Glory!, a set of rules for fighting in the Renaissance era, with an emphasis on Galley combat, a la Lepanto.

More importantly, Skull and Crown has also produced a line of wooden punch out and build kits for several types of Mediterranean galleys of the period. You can see the Venetian Galley above (and at 25 USD, it’s a little higher than average price for a single ship).

I can’t attest to it yet but construction appears easy from a blogpost I read.  The player takes the template, which is precut, and punches the pieces out and build them from the ground up. I built the Viking ship in exactly the same way.

I have no idea what the build time on this might be, but I’d have to include paint time in there as well, and probably pre-build painting and sanding too. So maybe a little under an hour per ship. Maybe more to paint some fiddly little details.

The end result is quite colorful and spectacular.

Credit: Jay’s Wargaming Madness. Read the exciting AAR of his first big battle of GGG! by clicking this picture.

As for the rules? Well, I don’t know squat about them. They appear to be simple and elegant, and that’s what I want out of a naval system. Jay (of the blog mentioned above) seems to have a high opinion of them. I’d be inclined to go with the published rules instead of making my own or using something I have in my collection, as they clearly have a long “tail” of support from Skull and Crown.. lots of neat odd little markers and bits that seem tailor made for the game. I can’t help myself, I love the little fiddly bits.

Will I invest in this? Probably not until after I get done with the Taranto game (what’s that?? you ask? Stay tuned for another post this week on that subject). I at least want to get one galley to put together and see if I like the results.

Realistically, at an average of about 15 dollars a ship, and most fleets looking like this:

A thumbnail guess, that’s probably just a little under 300 bucks there for a fleet.. multiply by two to get an order of magnitude..
Credit: Skull and Crown GGG Blog

Note, I’m not begrudging Skull and Crown their prices, they aren’t that shockingly high for a ship model.  I’m just bemoaning the cost of jumping into a very narrow niche period where I know there won’t be any cheaper options in this scale. I won’t have any other models that I can swap in to save money, so it’s these models or not at all.  So I’m rubbing my chin and saying “Hmmmm” for now.

Stay tuned!


6 responses to “Lepanto big and chunky and in 1:300 scale.. just the way I like it

  1. I’ve always been interested in galleys and, in my teens, had a couple of renaissance fleets mostly built out of match sticks.

    I’ve always wanted to get back into this period but I think these models are a bit big for my tastes. Like for you, it would be a ‘filler period’. Your point about needing deep pockets for side line periods is very well made – not to mention finding the time to paint them.

    I have a couple of ancient galley fleets by xyston (1:600) and these are ‘chunky’ enough for me, and as they are only half the size of the above models means it means I can field twice as many in the same space.

    I think for this period, I’d probably go for Langton Minis (1:1200) with etched brass oars and sails: A galleas or large galley is £9.50, so the price would be a third (exchange rate?) or so less. Much smaller, but very, very pretty.

    Thanks for posting.

    Best Regards,

    James Roach (Olicanalad)

  2. Looking forward to hearing about Taranto. The whole war in the Med between the british and Italians would be a lot of fun. (Unless, of course, you were a sailor on Zara and Fiume under Admiral Iachino.)

  3. The Venetian ship pictured is a Galleas, a rather specialized type of ship with a substantial broadside, used at Lepanto, and not a Galley per se. Never mind, it looks great!

    Old Glory does a line of Resin ships in 15mm, which look to be similar size, if not style. . I have a number of them, plus some similar size ships that Bill Abrams scratch built decades ago. I also have 15mm crew for them. At this scale, you’re talking about each person probably playing 1-4 ships, and you probably want to get into things like gun fire, critical hits, small arms fire, boarding, ramming and all that. I’ve run Renaissance galley games of that natures 4-5 times and they’ve all been a lot of fun. I was thinking that it was time to bring the ships back to the table for Historicon 2016, perhaps!



  4. Peter: I’m a big fan of the Merrimack Miniatures/Old Glory Shipyard line in 15mm. If you check out posts that mention “Big Danged Boats” on here you’ll see how extensively I used them for that project, and for similar reasons– the visual spectacle and the boarding actions.

  5. Walt–

    Yeah, I hear you on devoting a lot of coin on a niche period. Especially since it’s not as if I have nothing else to work on already. I’ve been using plastic figs, or in the case of naval games, paper models from Junior General or the like. These models surely are dandy, though…