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28mm MoTM: La Belle

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28mm Model-of-the-Month for March is La Belle - a Medium 3-masted BarquaLonga

La Belle: A medium 3-masted BarquaLonga ship. Removable masts and upper deck. Real cloth sails.  Interchangeable name plates "La Belle" and "La Bete" (Beauty and the Beast!).

Includes a set of damaged sails that can be swapped out to indicate battle damage.

NOTE: For those who bought this kit during our Kickstarter.  This version is unpainted and does not include the kickstarter 'stretch goals' of cannons and swivel guns.

When removing parts from the plywood sheets, you'll find each part held in place with one, or perhaps two thin plywood "bridges". To remove the parts with out damaging them, cut through the 'bridge' on BOTH sides of the sheet using a sharp knife.

Lower Deck:

First, locate the hull sides and the lower deck:

The hull side parts have 'flexible plywood' sections. These are kinda amazing - and fun to play with - but BEWARE, they are relatively fragile. DO NOT attempt to bend them through more than 90 degrees!  If you should snap one, it'll be hard to finish the kit properly.

Next, locate the 14 small F-shaped brackets. Place a small dab of glue at the end of each of the fourteen rectangular slots in the gun deck. Working from the UNDERSIDE of the deck (the side that doesn't have the planking pattern etched into it), insert the thin end of each bracket in turn and slide it in toward the middle of the ship.


Next, apply a bead of glue along the underside of the deck, roughly along the line of the holes. Add a dab of glue to the end of outer edge of each bracket. Also run a bead around the curved edge of the front of the hull and a dab onto each of the small tabs at the front:

...Now take one of the hull side pieces, insert it onto the tab at the curved end of the deck:

Then press the tabs into the square holes along the underside of the deck. Sometimes these feel rather tight - but wiggle them a bit and they'll go in OK:

Here's how it should look from the top-side of the deck...


...and like this from beneath:

...Repeat for the other side of the hull:

Now, run glue into the "dovetails" at the bow of the ship and snap them together:

...Locate the small rectangular piece which goes across the underside of the stern and glue in place:

Next locate the two upper hull sections:

Apply a bead of glue along the top side of the deck AND onto the upper parts of the deck brackets:

...Press the tabs from the walls into the holes next to the support brackets

You may wish to clamp the parts in place - or place a heavy book on top of the assembly while the glue sets.  This is especially important if the deck piece has warped a little after painting or in transit.

When both sides are in place - it should look like this:

Add the name plate support at the stern - if you want to be able to use different name plates (two are provided then DO NOT GLUE this part!)

...When it's in place, apply glue to the outside face and laminate the ship's name plate onto it...repeat this for the two different name plates:


Next locate the upper deck and remove the center section:

Locate the 16 pointy brackets and carefully extract the two handrails:

Make sure you have plenty of time to complete this next have to get it done before the glue completely sets.

Apply a bead of glue along the outer edge of the row of holes on the upper side of the top deck, plus a small dab of glue on the inner edge of each of the rectangular holes:

Carefully press one handrail into the row of rectangular holes. The holes are about twice as big as the pegs - so this should be really easy:

Next, take one of the pointed brackets and apply glue to the straight edge next to the rounded top of the bracket

Press the bracket into one of the rectangular holes next to the peg of the handrail. This will push the handrail out to the outer edge of the ship.

Repeat for all 16 brackets, when you're done, it should look like this:

The Stern of the ship

Glue the three pieces that form the stern handrail into the locating holes in the deck:

Three parts make up the prow:

Glue the pegs in the triangular part into the square holes in the prow - don't forget to apply glue to the two side pieces where they meet at the front:

...BEFORE THE GLUE SETS...Apply glue to the inside of the prow and to the back edge of the triangular part - then connect it to the front of the ship with the two pegs sticking out of the hull locating into the remaining square holes in the prow. Prop it up with a pencil or something and let the glue set.

The Capstan and Rowboat davits:

Locate the six parts of the capstan:

Glue the two interlocking parts together, then glue into the '+' shape in the middle of the X-shaped part:

Glue the engraved circular top onto the X-shaped part, then glue the peg at the base into the circular part with the square hole in it...then glue that onto the square part to complete the capstan:

Locate the rowboat parts and the support davits and oars:

Glue the deck and 'seating' layers of the rowboat together, glue in the two small brackets into the bow and stern:

Tie some heavy thread or thin string to the two brackets and snip off the excess:

Glue the rowboats' handrail in place, glue in the two oars, glue the davits into the holes in the ships' rear deck and tie the ropes to the davits.

The ladder

Three parts make up the ladder down into the hold:


The Anchor:

There are two parts to the anchor - glue them together!

The Masts

Locate the six mast support parts, they interlock to make three supports:

Glue these into the holes in the lower deck:

...Locate the parts below:

...Glue the handrails to the main sail spar support plates:

...Glue the spar brackets into the top sail and main sail spar support plates:

Examine the mast and spars provided with the kit.

From longest to shortest:

  1. The main mast is the longest.
  2. The fore and aft masts are next.
  3. There are three main sail spars.
  4. One bowsprit.
  5. Three top-sail spars.
  6. The flag pole is the shortest.

Glue the flagpole to the hole in the stern of the ship:

The sails should be snipped out of the sheet of sails using scissors:

Apply a bead of glue to the end of the sail just above the slots:

Fold the sail over and rub the cloth to allow the glue to penetrate into the cloth. This forms a row of straps. Repeat for all six sails:

Aft Mast

Thread one of the small, square plates onto each of the masts, measure 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) from the base of the mast, apply a blob of glue and slide the square plate to that height. On top of that plate, add the main sail spar support (DO NOT GLUE), and 19.5 centimeters (7.7 inches) from the base of the mast, glue a second plate.

...Then slide the top sail spar support on top of that (DO NOT GLUE).

...Now you can thread the main sail spar and the top sail spar, through the sail loops on one side, through the spar support and then through the rest of the sail loops:

Finally, you can plug the entire mast into the mast support at the stern end of the gun deck (DO NOT GLUE).

Doing this allows you to turn the sails to face into the wind, remove a damaged sail or mast.

Repeat the procedure for the main mast - but don't assemble the fore-mast just yet.

Ship's Wheel

Identify the parts of the ship's wheel:


...Glue the small rectangular axle through the center of the wheel:

Glue the two supports into the holes in the base and thread the axle through the holes:

Glue the entire assembly onto the deck behind the rear mast:

Fore Mast and Bowsprit

Fold and glue the tabs for the triangular foresail,

Locate these two small parts - which are the bowsprit supports:

Follow the instructions (above) for the fore-mast - but slide the two loops of the foresail onto the fore mast above the main sail spar support. Then add the second square plate as before - but DO NOT GLUE it onto the mast.

See detail in this photo:



Reader Forum: 28mm MoTM: La Belle

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From: mands  Date: 2018-12-06 09:15:16  

m&s people system
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-04-27 13:28:56  

@RunningMan: I assure you that we are not giving people a "wall of silence" to anyone! We simply did not receive an email from you.

I'm not sure where the problem is - perhaps it's getting stuck in our spam filter or something.

I will investigate.

From: RunningMan  Date: 2018-04-26 21:11:52  

Is anyone else getting a wall of silence from Renaissance miniatures? I sent an email with my post KS order more than a week ago, and didn't hear anything back. I then sent another email yesterday evening, and I still haven't heard anything as of right now.
From: DavidTrease  Date: 2018-04-22 13:47:09  

La Belle in dock, centrepiece of my latest skirmish battle. Fantastic piece - thanks Renaissance! Keep it up!
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-03-10 08:28:37  

You don't need to velcro the sails - just don't glue the horizontal spar in place. Then you can slip the spar out through the sail loops and the sail comes right off and can easily be swapped out for a damaged sail.

I agree about the cannons - it's a shame we couldn't do them - but on a Model-of-the-Month, we probably won't get the quantity we need to get a cheap batch rate from our supplier - so it's better to let people buy their own.

From: Archon Shiva  Date: 2018-03-10 04:55:02  

This is still my most used piece from Renaissance Miniatures, it’s a great ship. Shame about the cannons, but they’re not that hard to find in 28mm, and you could get away with ballistas and so on.

Pro tip: If you don’t glue down the on-deck pieces (wheel, capstan, mast bases, etc.) and use velcro on the sails, you’ll have a very versatile ship, which can go from a flat barge to a pirate ship in seconds, or simply show combat damage.