This is a model of an Italian style galley.
14th century, 1571 or mid. 18th century depending on weight on references or type.
In the Mediterranean in medieval times, the galley was almost synonymous with a warship.
These ships made up the principal warships of the major fleets in the area. Being high-speed vessels, they were also used to chase down pirates.
The type had a late revival in the Baltic were it was used primarily in the conflicts between Russia and Sweden.
It is in minifig-scale or 1:40’ish.
The model will have the dimension Length: 166 cm, Height: 113 cm (with stand), Width: 82 cm (with oars)
There is approx. 16200 bricks in the model.
The galley, true galley or gallee sottili was developed during the 13th and 14th century and the design remained the essentially the same until it was phased out in the early 19th century.
The main characteristics of the model are from La Capitana, a galley of Malta.
The lines, armament, oars and overall arrangement follows the drawings of this ship. These are indexed in Architectura novalis mercatoria (published by Fredrik Henrik af Chapmann in 1768) as: no.18 on plate LVIII
Details, such as color, not provided by Chapmann, are from Real, the flagship of Don John of Austria in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
In 1971, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the battle, a full size replica of La Real was built and displayed in the Barcelona Maritime Museum where it can be viewed today. This also gives an abundance of accurate picture material to work from.
The details from this Spanish Real compared to the French La Réale from 1694; however, this ship is not a main reference.
A sidenote on the names of the ships:
“Capitana” was the term used for the largest and most prestigious ship of a squadron carrying its commander.
“Real” or “Réale” just indicated these ships as being Royal, or as the main galley of the kingdom/fleet.
This made me wonder: Did these ships have other more common names? -at least among the sailors.
The doctrine of the galley was brutal. The ships would take position abreast and then get on the enemy as fast as possible to engage in melee combat.
This largely dictates the design of the ship. Sleek with 60 oars and some 300 oarsmen, this is a thing built for speed.
The main battery is at the bow, where the main battle would take place. This is also the only armament that is in the linedrawings. These guns were fixed and would only shoot once just before boarding.
This may seem strange, but a galley would cover the effective distance of artillery pieces much faster than the reload time.
I have placed the remaining guns, consisting of 2-pounders and pivot guns, along the side where I figured it made sense.
A boat is starboard. This feature is not on the Linedrawings, but is on the other references as well as on several other galleys, so I figured it to be a galley-thing.
The commander would have his place at the stern.
In front of the commanders quarter is a deck space where additional soldiers, delivered by support ships, were organized.