Taking Another Look: Navio Rayo Gun Section Kit

It was about 3-1/2 years ago that Ages of Sail first introduced this new line of Spanish wooden model kits to North America. Among the first batch of kits was an often overlooked wood model kit of a section of the 18th-century Spanish warship Rayo. The Rayo was an 80-gun ship-of-the-line built in 1746.  The ship was rebuilt in Cartagena in 1803, transforming her into a three-decked ship of 100 guns.

If you’re interested in getting the kit, you’ll find it on our website here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/navio-rayo-s.xviii-puesto-de-combate,-wooden-kit-by-disar,-20148.html

Soon after, the Rayo joined the coalition of French and Spanish ships sailing out of Cadiz on 18 October, 1805. Three days later the combine French and Spanish fleet encountered the British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson off Cape Trafalgar on the southwest coast of Spain.

In the heavy fighting of the battle fleets, the Rayo was dismasted, but survived the initial battle. A few days later, the ship sailed out in an attempt to recapture some of the ships taken by the British. In the effort, she was captured by the British, and a British prize crew was put aboard. However, in a heavy storm that followed the battle, the ship ran aground and the British prize crew set fire to her and abandoned her.

For more about the Battle of Trafalgar, check this Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Trafalgar


The Kit

The Rayo was a powerful warship in her time, and this kit from Spain’s Disar Model looks to do her justice. The model depicts a section of the hull near the mainmast, and includes all three gun decks. The scale is big, at 1/32, which is a popular model scale, and it should be possible to find figures that could be modified to display with it. The completed model measures about 8″ deep and 11″ wide, with a heigh of about 16″.

The box is nicely packaged, so the components are well protected. There’s not a lot of empty space, so things don’t have a chance to slosh around much.

There seems to be a good supply of wood, and the quality looks very good.

There are just a few laser-cut wood sheets, but the quality of the laser-cutting looks very good. The wrapping of these parts seemed a little unusual to me. Most of the time, I see laser-cut sheets either loose in a box, or in a clear plastic bag. These were stacked together and looked like they were covered in one sheet of thick plastic wrap. But, they were still well secured, and there were no loose pieces floating around.

The parts box included in the kit is kind of the hallmark of the Disar kits. This box isn’t just the basic storage tray needed to keep the parts separated during shipping. This is a real parts storage box. It’s good quality, with a hinged lid that locks into place, keeping your parts organized and secure. And, when the project is done, you’ve got a very nice parts box for your other projects.

And, of course, the parts are nicely pre-sorted into the box. And though there are no labels on the parts, they look pretty easy to identify.

Included parts are wood, brass, and cast metal and include rigging blocks, wriggols that fit above each gun port, a couple sizes of barrels (what’s a ship without barrels?), brass nails, rings and eyebolts, wooden belaying pins, some cast metal rail stanchion, steel nails, some brass wire, and a few other things. But, most notable are the five nicely turned brass cannon barrels that come in two sizes.

The one issue I noted is that some of the cannon balls are way undersized for the bores of these guns. Probably, nobody looking at the finished model will even notice.

The kit also includes clothe for the hammocks, netting for the hammock rails, spools of line for the various gun tackle ropes,

The instructions come in the form of a 32-page color booklet containing photos of each step of construction. There’s not a lot of text, but what is there is provided in Spanish, English, French, German, and Italian. So, any instructional info is kept pretty short and pretty general.

One really nice things about it, is that color printing is used to identify the languages. So, you don’t have to hunt around much to try to find the text your looking for. English is printed in blue, so you just have to read the blue text as you go, and you can pretty well ignore the rest.

Overall, this looks like it should be a very straight forward build. If you build it straight from the box, it looks like it shouldn’t take you that long to make something that looks very good. You’ll need some paints and maybe a couple stains and varnish if you want your model to look like the box art. And, if adding extra details is something you’re into, then the kits large scale should make that pretty easy to do.

That said, there seem to be enough details with all the buckets and gunnery tools, gun tackle, and such to make a nicely detailed model straight out of the box. It would be interesting to see what model builders do with this kit, as I think many will add their own touches to make their Navio Rayo kit unique.

If you’re interested in getting the kit, you’ll find it on our website here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/navio-rayo-s.xviii-puesto-de-combate,-wooden-kit-by-disar,-20148.html

If you build one, please send us a photo of your progress or your finished model. We’d love to see it and display it in our upcoming expanded Customer Gallery. Ω

2 thoughts on “Taking Another Look: Navio Rayo Gun Section Kit

  1. Reblogged this on Ship Modeler and commented:
    I wrote up this look at Disar Model’s Navio Rayo kit for Ages of Sail. This kit has been available for about three years, but the manufacture still seems to be somewhat obscure in the world of wooden ship modeling.

    Now, there are a lot of kits they make that I’m not very impressed with, but there are a few that look pretty interesting, and this is one of them.

    I don’t see a lot of this particular kit selling, but it seems to me that it should. It’s a large scale model kit of an interesting subject with plenty of interesting details.

    I considered building this model myself, but I have so many projects to complete. But, even with it’s details, it should be a relatively quick build. Diorama builders could probably do some really interesting work using this kit, and I’d really love to see some model builders, not even necessarily ship modelers, take on this build.


  2. Reblogged this on Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights and commented:
    This is a pretty nice looking kit. Ideal for beginning ship modelers, and anyone who wants something large scale to detail. The model takes up little space, has planking without the complicated curved surfaces to deal with, nicely detailed cannons and carriages, nice details like the gunnery tools, and no serious rigging to have to deal with except for gun tackles. I suspect it should also be a pretty quick build too. Would love to see someone in the club build it – would look nice in our display case, wouldn’t it?


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