Pirate First Step (AM600/01) Scale: 1:135 Length: 28 cm Width: 10 cm Height: 26 cm
What Was a Pirate Ship?
In one sense, there was no such thing as a “pirate” ship. There was no shipyard where pirates could go and commission and pay for a pirate ship to their specifications. A pirate ship is defined as any vessel whose sailors and crew are engaged in piracy. Thus, anything from a raft or canoe to a massive frigate or man of war could be considered a pirate vessel. Pirates could and did use very small boats, even canoes when nothing else was at hand.
Where Did Pirates Get Their Ships?
Since no one was making ships exclusively for piracy, pirates had to somehow capture existing ships. Some pirates were crewmen on board naval or merchant vessels who took over by mutiny: George Lowther and Henry Avery were two well-known pirate captains who did so. Most pirates simply traded ships when they captured one that was more seaworthy than the one they had been using.
Sometimes brave pirates could steal ships: “Calico Jack” Rackham was cornered by Spanish gunships one night when he and his men rowed over to a sloop the Spanish had captured. In the morning, he sailed away in the sloop while the Spanish warships shot up his old ship, still anchored in the harbor.
What Would Pirates Do With a New Ship?
When pirates got a new ship, by stealing one or by swapping their existing ship out for a better one belonging to their victims, they usually made some changes. They would mount as many cannons on the new ship as they could without significantly slowing her down. Six cannons or so was the minimum that pirates liked to have on board.
The pirates usually changed the rigging or ship’s structure so that the ship would sail faster. Cargo spaces were converted into living or sleeping quarters, as pirate ships usually had more men (and less cargo) onboard than merchant’s vessels.
What Did Pirates Look for in a Ship?
A good pirate ship needed three things: it needed to be seaworthy, fast, and well-armed. Seaworthy ships were especially necessary for the Caribbean, where devastating hurricanes are a yearly occurrence. Since the best ports and harbors were usually off-limits to pirates, they often had to ride out storms at sea. Speed was very important: if they could not run down their prey, they would never capture anything. It was also necessary to outrun pirate hunters and navy ships. They needed to be well-armed in order to win fights.
To build the Pirate First Step model you do not need any special tools, you just need some glue for wood. You can enrich your model with many accessories from the Amati line, much like the pirates of old did.
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