Renaissance Galleys -
Warships of the Mediterranean 1500-1700 - Scale 1:1200
About the Series:
Although we have based our models on the period when guns were common on galleys, those wishing to use certain models for earlier conflicts, may do so simply by trimming off any gun barrels. Thus, for example, Chioggia (1378-81), Constantinople (1453) or many other large and small scale naval and amphibious battles of the earlier period may be re-fought.
The series will expand to include
models of some fortifications and buildings, so that the many sieges of
coastal cities that took place over the period may also be re-enacte.
A feature of vessels of this period, were the very decorative poop deck awnings and armings (protective screens covering waist and fo'castle rails, giving the galley's company some protection from missile fire). To this end,we also offer a variety of colour printed flags, awnings and armings.
With all of the above variants, many distinctive models can be made from a single type of kit.
Pirates often sold their services to major powers and took part in some of the huge actions that occurred over the period as one side or the other attempted to gain control of the sea and its trade routes.
It wasn't until towards the end of the 16th century that the supremacy of the galley was challenged. This was due to the rigs of the sailing ships becoming more sophisticated, coupled with their ability to carry broadside guns.
Although the galley was the dominant warship for millennia on the relatively calm waters of the Mediterranean, it suffered one crucial defect. Its major asset - speed - required a long, lean, fast hull, crammed with oarsmen who needed to be fed and watered regularly. However, a narrow, fast hull meant there was little room for food and more partiuclarly, water. This forced the galley fleets to operate close to a large fortified, friendly harbour or to be supported by a convoy of slow moving sailing ships. As there were never sufficient harbours large enough to accommodate a fleet and the sailing support ships were slow and subject to the vagaries of the wind, large galley operations were often restricted in their scope. Galleys were also very vulnerable to rough weather, so their season of operation was also confined to the warmer months of the year.