Black Seas – Schooners Squadron

We've seen the smallest of the ships from the Black Seas range and a third party company this week as well with Hagen Miniatures, so let's take a look at another small to medium sized vessel, the schooners who are offered by Warlord Games in a squadron of six.

Black Seas - Schooners Squadron Black Seas - Schooners Squadron

A schooner is a type of sailing vessel, that comes in different variants, for example as a two-masted schooner, and can be gaff or top-sailed. Warlord Games went with a top-sailed variant. The origins of the schooner is unclear, but the name appeared first on the eastcoast of North America in early 1700s, and became in the areas of New England and Atlantic Canada popular for coastal trade, as the ship required a smaller crew compared to other ships of its size and still was fast and versatile.

During the Napoleonic era, Schooners were used to communicate dispatches, rather than divert more important warships for this purpose. In fact their size and swiftness made them ideal for this purpose. Schooners count as small vessels in Black Seas, operating only a single broadside light cannon. Despite this, schooners make the ideal basis of a Privateer fleet.

The Schooners Squadron comes at a RRP of 24 GBP, covering 6 vessels with a lot of additional material. The models are kept in the 1:700th scale.

Black Seas - Schooners Squadron Black Seas - Schooners Squadron

As usual with the Black Seas kit, you get a bit more than just the miniatures. Beside the parts for 6 vessels, you get a paper sheet with the flags and pennants, a roll of black yarn for rigging, ratlines printed on clear plastic and wake markers (similar to those from Cruel Seas).

There are no instructions for assembly with this kit. As I have build a few of these, it is not that hard to understand where which pieces go. Still, as part of the customer service it would be easier for newer players to join. The vessels are made entirely from pewter, and unfortunately that is rather soft material in this case. So beside cleaning up the mould lines, bending the pieces (back) in shape. But beware not to break off any finer parts. Same goes for disconnecting the parts from the casting sprues.

I would have prefered it, if parts of this would have been casted in resin or the material from the SPQR range, especially the rather heavy combined mast and sails would benefit from a lighter material.

Black Seas - Schooners Squadron Black Seas - Schooners Squadron Black Seas - Schooners Squadron

Fit is not loose but not very snug either, so you'll need a bit of modelling putty beside super glue on some parts, for example to fit the masts into the hull. Model itself is nicely done.

Black Seas - Schooners Squadron

A comparison of the Schooner next to the Hagen Miniatures vessels and a brigg by Warlord Games. In the first picture on the left you can see two variants of the Schooner next to each other.

Black Seas - Schooners Squadron Black Seas - Schooners Squadron

Here's the assembled Schooner, incl. sails, just missing a bit of rigging. It might be better to put these on small bases and to grab the miniature here, to ease the pull on the mast and sails.

Black Seas - Schooners Squadron Black Seas - Schooners Squadron Black Seas - Schooners Squadron

I really like the packaging and that you get quite a few of them in the box. The design is well done, I can understand that they sculpted them with full sails, especially in pewter, as the masts and bows themself would be rather brittle and delicate. Yet, I think the model would benefit from being produced in a different material. The pewter is rather soft, you could easily bend them while assembling or playing, and that is rather annoying and a bit unnecessary. As I said above, I think these would have benefited from resin or spincast plastic.

The price of 24 GBP is appropiate, and converted into Euro more or less on the same level as the Schooner by other companies. But of course, with the Warlord kit you receive the additional gaming material.

To give you an idea on the value of these on the table, they are half the points a brig is and you easily can field 3 of them for the price of a 5th rate.

Black Seas Seas is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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