My own favourite moment of Lark in this period is the capture of the American Slaver Sally, and rescue of 23 Slaves from the furious Americans. When Lark capsized in the middle of a Caribbean hurricane Loring managed to right her, and jury rig a sail that brought her into Dominica. He was so efficient and swift to repair the wrecked Brig that the station Admiral promoted him to Captain a mutinous frigate.
Lark is a name that had been used before for such smaller class ships, and would be honourably used again. It has a certain ring to it. Since I'm building my Lark for an earlier period than the Napoleonic I'm only going with 6 guns (it's a wargaming model so less is more) but I will keep the raised poop instead of a single deck.
The Commander will of course be that salty sea dog Josias Farthingdale RN.
For Blood and Plunder I wanted to give my crew two distinct areas to fight in. I was quite pleased with the result once I assembled it.
I started with my printed plan, altered for this particular model with doors under the aft deck. My feeling is that 15mm is about as large as I can go with this type of model, so once again this ship is a little experimental.
Lark will be 18 cm or just about 7+ inches in length, and 6.5 cm or two and a half inches in the beam. At the scale for conversion I use she would be 75ft gun deck length by 26ft. beam. That makes her smaller than a Cormorant class brig, but perfectly useable as an earlier version.
|With 15mm Minifigs RN Crew.|
|A Peter Pig light ships cannon.|
The stern has not yet been added here and I clipped the bows whilst the glue dries. Also a really effective way to hold the model whilst I work on it.
The sides are double thickness and come out at a hefty 4mm thick. That means I need to cap the rail, just for neatness. This is a sturdy model!
Bearing in mind the height difference between the two decks I also need ladders and a rail across the poop, with swivel guns mounted on the posts at either side.
My boat building alter ego, Tobias Farthingdale has distinct ideas about how ships should look, and that stern needs more decoration and gold paint.
To neaten those thick sides I capped them with thin card. This will be painted black- brown to blend in. The rail has also been added here. Lark has some weight about her already.
Next I wanted to detail the ladders, basically balsa scraps here. This is all for the look but clearly needs to be painted, as does the lower part of the hull.
The ships wheel as a particularly fiddly bit.
The two masts, bowsprit and spars were next. I use a variety of tricks to enable these to dismantle for storage. Loops and thread to thicken the masts at the holding point, wooden traps to hold the spars in place. The masts here were all bamboo skewers. Eventually I will use milliput to create some sails furled around the spars.
I will have to get the sail set sorted out, but prior to that there is one last job, getting the armament aboard.
These are Peter Pig light guns. Lark carries six, but has two more ports below the poop, making five guns on each side.. In action the Captains cabin becomes just another part of the gun deck. The Brig also has swivel guns mounted above the waist, to fire down into boarders or a mutinous crew! The HM Brig of War Lark is a tough proposition for the Pirates she will be hunting.
|The finished Lark|
|The bow and waist|
|And the albatross eye view.|