On the Workbench: Turkish Galley with Firing Marker

 “The cannon constituted the war galley’s main battery. All were fixed to fire forward and could be trained in azimuth only by turning the ship…...”
- John F. Guilmarten
(Gunpowder and Galleys

Turkish style galley and reload marker- ready for production!
Turkish Style Galley
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been busy in Fossywick Shipyards carving away at various ship hulls, working out the best, sturdiest, cleanest way to produce wooden galleys with the most detail. I think I finally have all four ship types and variations good-t0-go and ready for production.

On today’s workbench we have the Turkish style galley cleared for action and showing off the new “reload” smoke marker.  In “Oar’d you glad you have guns!” (working title… ahem) after a ship has fired, upon it is placed a marker to reflect the guns are empty and needs to roll for reloading next turn. I needed a way to clearly show this on the table/ships but don’t want a lot of marker clutter. One night it hit me- smoke markers!  They fit the ships guns (and don’t fall off during movement) and are pleasing to my aesthetic. “Yay” for getting one right!


Book learning, Aesthetics and Iteration
I’m not sure which came first: designing a set of renaissance naval rules or the ships. Either way, once it started, I turned to my tomes, consulted learned naval historians, bought more tomes (Yay tomes) and started out on a ton of research and mock ups. I realized that one of the big things making me happy with this project was when I started making my ships in a scale I could see from a distance. You know, like when you look at the game tables at a convention from the door as you walk in.

The models also needed to have the greatest amount (or potential amount) of detail on them while retaining a sleek simplicity. Lastly they needed to be sturdy game pieces to be used in hundreds of battles. These things are a list on my shipyards wall as a reminder of my goals.

Vatican Mural or cover of an older Wargames Illustrated?

A Question of Scale
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Renaissance- period Venetian measurement of a “foot” was 16 fingers wide? A “pace” (our version of a yard) was three Venetian feet. If you were lucky, you got the tall guy with the big hands to build your galley!

After much iteration and some amazing failures I decided that 1/300th would be the gaming scale for my models as it hit all the right notes on my list. Large enough to be seen, detailed enough to be lovingly painted (or looking great just in the wood form) small enough field grand fleets on a gaming table, and, most importantly, I can make them on my Laser-inator!

Turkish crew are actually Irregular miniatures Highlanders!

Special Guest Galley of the Week!
To thank my play testers at the last club brouhaha, I gave them each a galley after the game. The other night one of my club mates (cum play tester) Charles Li dropped by to show me what he had done with his ship! Superb!!!  He even had 6mm (1/300th scale) Turkish crew. Charles is going to base them and use them as his boarding crew markers. Great work Mr. Li!



Ali Pasha approves!







  1. The galleys are beautiful little pieces and that smoke counter is ingenious.


  2. I will be your first customer when these hit the market.

  3. Thanks Gents, this is very encouraging! Baron- I need to do up a bunch of flags and banners and awnings for the ships (each model will come with a small sheet of them) - perhaps we could parlay?

  4. Glad to. Love doing flags and the like. You have my email?

    1. Baron- alas I do not- here's mine

  5. These look great! As one of the testers, I got one of these beauties. It looks awesome even in bare wood (still considering how to paint this up). Looking forward to seeing one of these dressed up with the final sales, sails, flags and awning. They should look incredible! Once you finish this up, I need to convince you to do some re-badged Pirates! ships in this scale. ;-)

  6. Very fine looking vessels, even in their 'rea' state. But thanks to you friend, who has shown the real display potential of these craft. Well done indeed.

  7. Wow! That is quite nice looking, and will look great en mass as well. So when are you fighting Lepanto in 1:1 scale? ;)

    I scratch built a similar galley in ~1/510 scale a few years back, but obviously using laser cut wood would be much faster than cutting and trimming popsicle sticks.

  8. Las-
    Looking to start off at 1:6 ish scale Lepanto first- about 60-80 ships per side. This should happen at Pacificon in the fall. I did my time with popcicle sticks :) Remember my first wooden soldiers were all hand cut with jewelers saws. It took over an hour per model.

    Archduke- he did do a wizbang job, didn;t he?

    Blckthrn- shhh- I'm working on pirate ships ( of a sort). Don't tell anyone!