The campaign covering a single calendar month in 1652 when a small Royalist squadron under Prince Rupert ventured into the Tropics in search of funding sources to continue the king's war to recover his throne, has lasted for several months of real time. We are in the closing few days and the climax is nigh.
I had no fixed plot line for this gaming journey and it has written itself through the decisions and actions of the players and the mechanics used to randomly generate events and encounters.
The legend of a partially submerged Spanish treasury galleon from Manila named Santiago, emerged in the plot during the early stages of the odyssey. Now, as we reach the end, the scenarios focus on Rupert's arrival at the fabled wreck and his struggle to possess it and find any hidden riches.
I started with modest intentions to represent the wreck using a few scraps from commercially available 3D print offers. Those did not meet the need and even though I incorporated tiny pieces from one in an initial attempt at building the bow section, I scrapped it and started again.
What I have ended up creating is completely built from scratch using balsa, dowel, foam core and odds and ends from the bits box. The figurehead has been paint in a representation of St James (San-Tiago). I had to paint this during the construction as I would not be able to gain brush-access on completion.
It is in three separate sections - fo'c'scle, waist and stern, as I wanted the ship to look as though it was submerged up to its waist and moving between each section will necessitate immersion in potentially hazardous waters for models undertaking this activity.
The whole model is of course a pastiche, but based as much as I possibly could manage on a Spanish style galleon of the period 1590-1650. Some features are slightly exaggerated and I wanted the deck areas to accommodate freestanding 28mm gaming figures. As much as possible, it should look strongly representative of a galleon/man o'war of the period.
As the construction was without plan and iterative, I modified and bodged as I went. At the stage reached now, we are pre-painting but almost finished the materials construction.
I already see the potential for other purposes beyond the gaming representation of Santiago.
I have in mind, the rescue of an admiral from a sinking battleship whilst his enemies attempt to capture him in the midst of a sea battle, a three way race by privateers to possess the wreck of a treasure ship in the Caribbean, the desperate defence of a grounded and partially sunk warship by its crew against enemy (possibly native warrior) attack or that of military forces or, Chinese, Omani, Mahratta or other, pirates.
I very much look forward to painting and rigging the model. There will be further updates.