Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I straightaway sent off an order to Tumbling Dice who again impressed me with their good customer service and very quick delivery times.
Left to right: 36-gun frigate and 28-gun frigates; 100-gun 1st rate; four 74s and a 64-gun two-decker.
Having experimented with 1/4800; I think 1/2400 is the best size for gaming. They are large enough to retain some detail and their 'rate' or class is easily discernable (as opposed to 1/4800 where frigates were both longer and bulkier than the 74-gun SOLs). There is a great variety of ship types including the merchants and specialist ships (bomb ketches, junks, dhows etc) missing in 1/4800. In addition, the ability to buy models for $3ea makes customising your force easy. You can also choose whether or not to rig it - in 1/1200 rigging is mandatory and assembling and rigging time would be greater by an order of magnitude. A single ship could take a few evenings.
There was modest flash (on mast tips etc) where you'd expect it and the sails glued on surprisingly easily. I think I took an hour to glue and prep the 8 ships pictured.
I'm not sold on the solid ratlines/shrouds and will paint them black to minimise their visual impact. The sailing ships I've seen in the flesh had rather unobtrusive ratlines, unlike the cheese-grater-cum-cargo-net monstrosities on these models. Hallmark has 1:2400 models without them; but at $4-50ea they are 50% more expensive than the TD models.
I don't think ratlines are so obvious in real life as to be worth casting solid on the models
I'm looking forward to doing some 1/2400 terrain. I'll probably make it a bit outsize - 1/1200 buildings are available from a range of manufacturers - I may even use Monopoly buildings - you can get 100-bags of them from PicoArmour for $7-60 (8c each).