Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Whydah Gally - Pre-Bellamy

          Before becoming the flagship of Sam Bellamy's pirate fleet and ultimately wrecking off the coast of Cape Cod, the Whydah Gally was an English slave ship. I'm working on a second version of the Whydah, for Bellamy and his crew to hunt down.  The first model can be found here, for reference and comparison.


Commissioned in 1715 by MP/Sir Humphrey Morice, the Whydah was a fully-rigged-ship of 110 feet length, 300 tons, and capable of 13 knots. Whydah launched in 1716, bringing manufactured goods from the empire to West Africa, to purchase slaves.  Captain Lawrence Prince was in command.

In West Africa, the crew onboard 500 captive Africans which they transported to the West Indies to sell for raw materials like metals, sugar, and ginger.

The ship had a "slave barricade" across the top deck, which was used to separate the male and female captives when they were brought outside for fresh air. It would also have been used as a defensive structure for the slavers to put down slave revolts. 

Before the pirates captured and altered the ship, the Whyday had a few extra decks and a pilot's cabin, making it a taller and more top-heavy vessel.

After a year at sea, in February 1717 the Whydah became the target of Sam Bellamy's small but effective pirate fleet. After a 3-day chase, Prince gave up the ship without a fight.

When it fell victim to the pirates, the Whydah was carrying 18 cannon, though it had room for more. Theypirates ended up emplacing 10 more cannons, and storing many more in the lower decks.

The photos above are from my second layer of paint. I began with my usual brown spray-primer, and then made a lighter brown layer in oil paint.

Once fully painted, I used black thread and a needle to rig the ship.

For the rat lines, I find putting some gluey water on the thread lengths first and letting them dry hard makes them easier to work with.

Finally, I added the sails, cut from pillow cases, with thread tied off to the bottom corners.

Then I dipped the sails in gluey water, and held them in place on the arms to dry with clips.

As they dried, I tied off the threads to the arms below, and continued on with the next sails.

Here's some shots of the finished model:

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