Principe de Asturias - Skytrex of the UK have a superb range of 1:700 scale ships which you can buy off their website, and following my friends example, and impressive builds, I have bought a
number of kits from their Trafalgar Range lists. The single ship which I decided to complete first is the Spanish rig and sail flagship
Principe de Asturias, a 112 gun ship of the line which featured at
Trafalgar. Skytrex write : The
Principe de Asturias was the last ship to be built out of a programme to augment the power of the Spanish fleet by building a series of large and heavily gunned first rates,
begun in the 1770’s and finishing in 1794. Ten ships of 112guns were built between 1779, and 1794 mostly in Havana and one 94 gun ship, the
San Carlos of 1765, upgraded to 112 guns. The Principe
de Asturias
fought at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, and was the Spanish flagship at Trafalgar.

Dimensions and armament :

2,456 tons and measuring 194ft 3 in. x 54ft 3in. x 24ft 3in.

112 guns –
gun deck : 32 x 36 pounders.
middle deck : 32 x 24 pounders.
upper deck : 32 x 18 pounders.
quarter deck : 12 x 8 pounders.
forecastle 6 x 8 ponders.

Other ships of the class :
San Carlos 1765.
Purisima Concepcion 1779.
Santa Ana 1794.
San Jose 1783 (taken at St Vincent).
Conde de Regla 1786.
Mejicano 1786.
Salvador del Mundo 1786 (taken at St. Vincent).
Real Carlos 1787 (blew up 1801).
Hermengildo 1789.

The model itself is white metal which is very workable notwithstanding that you have to be careful with the masts and cross trees as they bend very easily. Extra details include the ratlines and futtocks
together with the sails, all in brass. The modeller may wish to swap these off as I have done using
Atlantic Models ratlines, and GMM merchant ship ratlines and then Rizla blue cigarette paper for the
sails using the brass sails provided as a template. The rigging is Caenis fishing line at 20 denier, and I have also included
GMM crew figures to underline the scale, and create a bit of “animation”. The sea
base and effect is my usual method which I shall describe in the future. The most daunting task of the build is always going to be the rigging for me, however, Skytrex have included in the instructions
an easy step by step guide that even I can follow but in my case, I did need to use magnifying enhancement to see the fine lines of the Caenis fishing line as I placed it between crosstrees, masts, and
catheads! The Trafalgar Range of 1:700 sale ship models has been designed to produce as accurate a reproduction of the ships of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars as possible. The models are all
built using original plans in the National Maritime Museum in London, the Musee de la Marine in Paris, the Museo Maritimo in Madrid and the National Archives in the USA. The scale of 1:700 was
chosen as being small enough for realistic war gaming and large enough to show the level of detail wanted by the ship model collector, combined with the casting technique at Skytrex to bring you the
best ship models on the market.

My conclusion :  A well thought out range of ships and well worth a try if you are interested in the period or just like something different other than another “grey ship”. The rigging took time but the
overall satisfaction at the end of the build concluded for me that it was a worthwhile exercise. Email sales@skytrex, and website www.skytrex.com. Finally, I have received HMS Victory, the Santissima
Trinidad, and the East Indiaman Walmer Castle for my birthday, (thank you Mrs F) so, model on………….
Peter Fulgoney
United Kingdom
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