Thursday, December 10, 2015

Patache "Nuestra Señora del Socorro", 1588

My latest 1/350 scale model warship of the Spanish Armada is the Patache "Nuestra Señora del Socorro", 1588. This another excellent commission by master modeler Julián Fernández de Sevilla Campos of ModelJShip. 

The "Nuestra Señora del Socorro" was built in 1586 in Santander. She was a Patache, a light armed vessel similar to a caravel, of 50 tons with 14 guns, 15 crew and 20 troops. She served in the Squadron of Castilla during the battles of the Armada in 1588. The Patache is described as having an overall length of 85ft and a beam of 25ft.


The inspiration for this conversion was once again an excellent illustration by Joseph Wheatley in "Historic Sail" in which he portrays a patache, 1588.


The basis for the conversion was another 1/350 scale plastic warship from Zvezda, the "Santa María". Since she was a nau of about 58 ft, although heavier at about 108 tons, this little ship provides a nice foundation on which to construct a later Patache. However the extent of Julián's conversion can be seen from a comparison of the original Zvezda model:

Here are further images of Nuestra Señora del Socorro. The sea-base is custom made by Julián and I think this is his finest sea-scape so far. Additional parts and crew are by Langton.


  1. Your builder is skilled craftsman. Beautiful!

  2. Thanks Jonathan. This is a very unusual conversion but I'm very pleased with the results.

  3. This guy is superb, keep him close!
    Best wishes,

  4. Very nice model indeed !!
    However, being three-masted and square-rigged it is not a Patache but a ZABRA, of small size (typically zabras were in the range of 60 to 180 tons and 10 to 20 cannons).
    Pataches were 2-masted, with square sails on the foremast and lateen on the main mast :-)

    Kind regards.

    1. Hi Zenon, this boat I've built is a gunship Nao. The hull shape is rounded and there is one detail that differs markedly, the front of the boat. I used Santa Maria from ZVezda plastic kit. It is true that the sails are not square like those used by merchant ships, but the rigging and masts were changed whenever possible by other combat rigging. I also opened portholes.

      To do a Zabra I recomend to option:

      Option 1. It is the most expensive in terms of labor. Using the hull of a Nao and the hull of Golden Hind, he can make a Zabra. He only has to cut the front of the boat and change it to the English light galleon. In this way he would get a Zabra with a real dimensions.

      Option 2. Ussing a hull of Golden Hind. This light galleon are shaped much like a Zabra. He just have to cut the balustrades and the front of the galleon like the picture I send you. In this way he would get a big Zabra.

      Talking to Michael we have come wing conclusion that the concept of Petache and Zabra is a bit ambiguous. Some authors define the Zabra as a Petache.
      If you are interested, I can send you pictures about the works to do for change theese ships as a Zabra. My mail is:

      I hope this helps you.

      Best regards,

    2. Thank you Julián for making things clear. Zenon, I recommend Julián to you most highly.

  5. Sorry, me again :-)
    That would be an early XVI century Zabra (circa 1500-1550). In this link you may see a later and bigger model of a Zabra, with some influence from galleons.
    I wish you accept my comments :-)
    Actually I have been searching for years for a Zabra model like yours... and finally got it! ;-)