From the painting desk #76 – Brig ahoy!

February 13, 2021

Much as I enjoy a quiet life indoors, I have to say that especially now that spring is slowly creeping in, COVID stuff is getting to me. Usually around this time of the year, I would be making travel plans for London and Salute – much like I did last year (“I’m pretty sure this corona thing will be over by April”, good call, Nostradamus). It’s not a huge thing in the grand scheme of things, I haven’t had loved ones fall ill or anything like that, but I do miss normal life: travel, walking into shops and cafés without wearing a mask and worrying about safe distances, not flinching every time someone coughs nearby, hugging loved ones and so on and so on. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. At least it’s bright and sunny here in Finland, and we’ve had a lovely, snowy winter out here!

Anyway, onto nicer things. I’ve finally finished a ship! It’s been a good long while since I bought and printed the brig produced by Printable Scenery, and I finally managed to complete work on it. It was actually progressing at a decent rate, until I hit the dreariest part: putting together the masts and rigging. The ship sat for months and months in a mostly finished state, but I just couldn’t be bothered.

Click for a larger version

Mast and rigging work isn’t even all that awful, it’s just something I’ve developed an almost irrational dislike for. It took a few empty weekends to finally get myself around to doing the work, and even then it was bit by bit. As often happens, however, the better it started to look, the more it motivated me to keep going in a cycle of positive feedback! Now that it’s done, I must say I’m really, really happy with how it looks. Much as I would’ve liked to photograph it with some sort of lovely background, I had to settle for a beautiful sheet of blue foam. Emmi has been doing a lot of watercolour painting lately, and has promised to paint me a backdrop, I’m really looking forward to it!

Click for a larger version

Now, some people go for really accurate and realistic rigging. I didn’t. The approach I adopted was built on looks (“does it look like a ship’s rigging?”) and functionality (“can I place and move minis easily?”), and the end result reflects both. Minis can be moved, the setup is pretty sturdy, and to my eye it looks like, well, a ship.

Click for a larger version

The model is great, I think, but I could have maybe scaled it up a little. It’s that size where it would be pretty accurate with 28mm minis if they did not have bases and if 28mm didn’t mean 32mm. Still, these are the compromises we always make with buildings and terrain too, and there are only so many ships you can store in an apartment. If it doesn’t fit on a shelf, it’s going on the floor, and if it’s on the floor, it’s free game for dust, cats, and the occasional kick, so not really what you want for something you’ve spent hours and hours on.

Click for a larger version

With my previously finished Sea Dog by Games of War, I now have a very small pirate fleet! The brig packs plenty of firepower with 8 cannon and 8 swivel guns, while the Sea Dog sports four cannon. They also allow for a bit of ship to ship action. I have plenty more ships to make, including a second Sea Dog, and a xebec and some larger ships from the Pirates vs. Cthulhu kickstarter. Now what did I just say about space…


  1. Looks great, I would have thought it was a plastic kit rather than a 3D print if you hadn’t told me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Dave! Those Printable Scenery models are really nice. You can tell if you look closely enough, but especially once painted, you can’t really tell the difference at a glance.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Superb mate, and yeah, here’s looking forward to being able to travel again!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Outstanding Mikko. You made a great call on the rigging balance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mark! It’s nice to have a piece that can realistically find gaming use yet still looks nice enough 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I applaud your use of the plural “cannon”.

    As much as I look forward to seeing a suitable backdrop from Emmi, don’t you have a pirate town and marina or jetty etc? If you have time and inclination, then that would look good, surely.

    The ship is fantastic. In looking forward to some swashbuckling across its decks at a future point. As Mark mentioned, to the nautically uninitiated at least, the rigging looks perfectly plausible, and really adds hugely to the look.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Paul! I have plenty of suitable terrain for backdrops, but the height of the ships makes it really tricky if you want to take photos that aren’t from a really high perspective. It could be worked around with…work, but it’s work 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amateur terrain photography is demanding for sure.

        Bits of ship in narrower shots in future is the way to go I think.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Impressive! 🙂 I think you’ve got the right balance with the rigging – the last thing you need is minis getting snagged up in it every time there’s a boarding action!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John! There’s always that risk with rigging, and then again, making it too sparse it just looks like a few pieces of string. Glad the effect works!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely looking model.



    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very nice indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent mate. I have a few shops tucked away in my Fungeon and, similar to you, I’ve been out off doing anything with them because of an “irrational” dislike for doing the rigging haha. I’d go the same approach as you and make sure it looks good rather than 100% accurate. Now, after seeing yours, I’m thinking I should give them a go but alas I have another project lined up after my treehouse for fembruary. We’ve just hit lockdown number 3 here but hopefully it’ll only be for a week but yeah I’m over it. I miss the old world haha. I sort of feel like enough is enough but at the same time I’m extremely grateful I haven’t lost anyone or have had anyone get sick. I did lose a client to Covid back in October and that was sad as he was a good bloke but he was also 89. Stay the course mate. Things will get better. Can’t wait to see more Pirates awesomeness from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Luke! Rigging can be a pain, but it’s one of those things in which expectations are often worse than reality. Sorry to hear about your client, although 89 is a fair few years!

      We’ll get through this I’m sure, and hopefully one day we’ll look back on all this and just be glad it’s in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. […] I finished the brig’s rigging, finally bringing this project to a close. Seeing as this was the model that prompted the […]


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