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The Battle of Sole Bay, 28 May 1672 and 2017

By smacdowall, May 14 2017 10:53AM

On 28 May a group of us will be staging the Battle of Sole Bay which took place 28 May 1672 (old Julian calendar) off the coast of Southwold, Suffolk, England, near where I live. This will be my first foray into naval wargaming.


We have been busy painting up tiny ships to represent the nearly 200 Dutch, English and French ships which took part in the battle at a rough 1:4 ratio. The ships are 1:2400 scale from Tumbling Dice. It fell to me to paint up the French fleet which is being represented by one 2nd rate ship, two 3rd rate and 5 fourth rate ships.


The French Fleet Sails
The French Fleet Sails

It was incredibly fiddly to fit the sails to the masts. I think I must have superglued my fingers together more often than I succeeded in getting the sails firmly attached in the right place and at the right angle. It was a chore I do not really wish to repeat.



A Third Rate Ship of the Line
A Third Rate Ship of the Line

That said, I really enjoyed painting them. By using a series of washes and dry brush techniques they were a fairly quick and simple job and I think they look the business.



The game will take place on 28 May 2017 at the Sailor’s Reading Room in Southwold overlooking Sole Bay where the battle was fought 345 years ago between the Dutch on one side and an Anglo-French fleet on the other. The English fleet was commanded by James Duke of York, later King James II. This battle seems a fitting follow-on from his adventures at the Dunes (see previous blog posts)


It will be open to the public so if you are close by or fancy a bank holiday Sunday in beautiful Southwold then why not drop by. We will be running the action from 11am to 5pm. The Southwold museum will also be open. It has a good exhibition featuring the battle.



3 comments
May 19 2017 12:29PM by Richard Speedman

Your ships are looking v nice, Simon; however, are they sailing into the wind or have the dastardly French impressed oarsmen?

(Your ensigns are flying backwards!)

May 20 2017 01:42PM by smacdowall

Well as the Dutch ships flags are going forwards and the French were going in the opposite direction then I would argue they are in the right direction

May 26 2017 01:33PM by Richard Speedman

Mmm... perhaps a discussion to be had over a 'Broadside' or two, either in-game broadsides fired with dice or whilst drinking the Adnams variety ;-)

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