Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Saturday 19 November 2016

Billy Ruffian

HMS Bellerophon was an Arrogant class (and doesn't that just everything you need to know about the Royal Navy?) 74 gun ship of the line.

It was affectionately known as the 'Billy Ruffian' by the crew and was noted for being tough, fast and very maneuverable. The Bellerophon fought at all the major actions of the Napoleonic period, from the Glorious first to the Battle of the Nile to Trafalgar. In the last battle, the Billy Ruffian's captain was killed but the ship fought on, accounting for a number of French and Spanish opponents. After Waterloo, Napoleon intended to escape to America but found his way blocked by the Bellerophon. It was aboard the Billy Ruffian that the man who once bestrode Europe like a colossus was forced to surrender.

The Bellerophon may have been small, and the title may be technically correct, but you can't really call the Billy Ruffian a Third Rate Ship.

This was the last of the 1/1200 ships I bought and as soon as I realised it was a third rater there was no doubt how she would be painted; the only ship of the period I love more is the Surprise and that's not real.

This one suffered from a fairly serious miscast down one side; as you can see my painting wasn't quite enough to even up the gunports.

Rigging was done the same as the others except by now I've got it down to a single piece of thread.

So that marks the end of another project. I've completed the four ships I picked up and I have to say I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished. I've turned them from this:

Into this:

I've learnt a few new techniques into the bargain which came in useful in some other projects. Next up:

Think positive, baby.


  1. I'm a landlubber, but you did a great job bringing those up to shipshape and Bristol fashion, I'd say!

    "Crazy! I mean like so many positive waves maybe we can't lose!"

    1. WOOF! Wanna hear my other dog impression?

      Thanks for the kind words

  2. You probably know this but there is a very good book about the Billy Ruffian.

    1. This one? I've heard of it but never tried it.

    2. Yes, that is it. A good a history of the ship and its various crews.
      If I recall correctly she ended up as a hulk on the Medway just by Frinsbury.

    3. Yes, renamed and used as a prison ship.

  3. Another lovely ship, the end of the project? Surely not. I have to admit to being tempted by oddballs sherman but I have manfully resisted as I have no army to fit in to and I can not start another! Be interested to see how yours turns out I think I prefer Artzans kellys heroes to warlords, not that I've been looking!
    Best Iain

    1. I'm not a big fan of the warlord Kelly's Heroes figures but I've been intending to convert a Sherman for years so this was a no brainer.