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Check the thread "Turkish sailors!" below...
You are right. Revell’s Spanish Galleon is Disney’s castle afloat. The new box art deceives the buyer. But there are just few plastic model kits available, if you want a vessel from the 16th century in nearly 1/72. (I tried to convert Revell’s Spanish Galleon by altering the masts, shortening the gallion (and the stem), reducing the superstructure (poop deck) by one storey and removing the upper balcony. But that still is more ease the pain rather than a cure. So I didn’t finish that major surgery yet.
On the other hand, some war gamers prefer straight out of the box gaming to extreme modeling (and use unpainted figures). In that case matching scale and easy assembly might be sufficient. Even then, there’s a very exclusive club of vessels available: the Airfix Golden Hind, the oop IMAI/ERTL Golden Hind, the big Revell/Heller Mayflower and the ‘ fictitious fantasy’ Revell Spanish Galleon/English Man O’War caricatures. IMAI’s chebec IMHO is rather 18th century.
Right again, all these are best guesses to reconstruct a generic ship, since no original, even plan did survive. Also most 16th/17th century artists were no sailors themselves and could misapprehend dimensions or details. (Some of the few seadogs was the Dutch artist Zeeman). Personally I visited some of the few survivers like the Vasa, the Victory and the Bremen cog. The latter BTW featured planks running from port to starboard, not lenghthwise as usual. (Zvezda hasn’t noticed that…)
Using the gun port sizes as a lead is a clever idea!
Another way may be scaling up paper craft models. I’ll try that soon. Shipyard does some very decent ones. Like the Revenge (1/96):
Here’s a work in progress pic which I found in a paper modeler’s forum: