The Apóstol Felipe was one of six galleons built by ship-wright, Martin de Arana, for King Philip IV of Spain sometime circa 1625AD.
de Arana personally financed construction of the fleet:- this practice may seem strange to modern ears; however, historians now believe this to have been common practice by Spanish royal Houses (and others) of the era - most certainly it earned the benefactors substantial royal favours.
These ships belonged to the treasure fleet known as the Silver Galleons ("Galeones de la Plata"), used to transport goods and treasures on the route between America and Spain, the so-called Race for the Indies, following the Spanish conquest of the native Aztecs by Hernan Cortez.
Apostol Felipe was launched late in 1628, and began her initial voyage as part of the treasure fleet in 1629. At that time, she transported gold and precious gems back to Spain.
Until 1633 she was the lead admirality ship of the Armada de la Guardia.
Later, the Apostol Felipe took part in the war to retake Pernambuco (Brazil), and also carried troops and cash to Flanders for the Battle of the Dunes on June 14, 1658.
This model was built from a kit produced by Occre. This was yet another spur-of-the-moment, "must-have" purchase by CaptainSteve. She took almost three years to complete, being finished in late 2012.
The kit comes with high regard from Our Hero and is supplied complete with a large number of cast-metal details, such as gun-port framings, a figurehead, gallery arches and a large, stern lantern which - with the aid of chemical-ageing techniques - give the model some some very pleasing highlights.
By this stage, CaptainSteve was becoming quite the budding "kit-basher" (although, at the time, he didst not know-eth of the term) and were to add other detailings of his own making; for example, in this build anti-boarding netting has been added, and is visible hanging from the inter-deck bridge - this was once common fly-screen netting which Our Hero was to retrieve and re-purpose.
Completed, this model stands almost 700mm high, is approx 800mm long from the fore flagstaff to the stern galleries, and has a beam of 110mm.
She sits today atop the piano in the dining-room, looking down upon and guarding against marauding long-haired labradors.
The Apostol Felipe is currently under the able command of my brother, CaptainPaul.
© Pictures CaptainPaul 2021