Feb 4, 2012

Joining the navy, part 2

-or how to make small scale sailing ships! I've decided to make a commentary about the whole process of doing these little things. First of all, it's the cheapest of the cheapest, you can make a whole fleet of a piece of thick cardboard (the 3-layered, thick one used for postage deliveries), some paper sheets and matchsticks. Second, it's fun despite that you yell a lot when things don't go well (speaking for myself). On the left, this is the complete fleet of five first class warships.

 First, do the basics. This is a cardboard thingie, shaped after a paper template used for 'cloning' the same measures of the ships. After this is made, I glue a layer of this fibreboard-like thing on it (the side of an ikea storage box), then do the upper decks. If you're unfamiliar with the anatomy of a ship, it is always easy to look it up on the interwebs.

 I've made five ships for the first batch. This means fifteen masts. I've thinned the machsticks so they didn't look so out of scale. There are the sail templates on the left.
 Sails for each mast. The same templates will be used on second-class vessels, too. For 3rd and 4th class (74/64-gun ships of the line and frigates) I'll use the foremast template as the main mast and will produce new ones for the other two.
 The next thing is the hull planking of the ship and the base. I didn't use any template for the planking as each ship differed a little bit. You need a pair of sharp scissors and a good eye. Simply glue the prepared thing to the body.

 The bases are thin cardboard, came out to be a bad choice as they bend even when I put together two layers. I'll need something more like a pizza delivery box or that ikea box thingie again.

The aft plates and galleries are glued to the hull before the painting. I've decided to use thicker material again to create depth.
The nose is a real tricky part. First I shape the main part, and using two pieces of paper, glue them to the hull. At this time I had already painted the base.
Next I bend a small, triangular piece of paper and glue it to the upper part of the nose, like on the image. If you check up a real ship of the line, this solution is rather unrealistic, but it does well in such small scale. All five ships here got their basic color, which is apparently black, and the stripes would be painted soon.
Paint. By now you could have understood that painting is the least tricky part of the whole process, but it is not. Try to paint the portholes or even the linings around the gun decks! It requires a very stable hand, I had to correct the lines many times.
This is the aft of the would-be Antechaiton. First, after you gave it a basic color, draw bent lines, the windows are some metallic colors. Again, there are a lot of references about ornaments and styles.
Cut out the sails and mark them with some lines. It's easier to do the marking before you cut them out.
A small portion of plasticine to the bottom of the masts to fix them in place. First, fix the sails on the mast, then add plasticine. Put a bit of glue to the bottom of the mast and push it carefully against the ship's deck. When the glue dries it will be still enough.
Applying the masts, beginning with JRS Anqalturi.
Two masts on each ship here.
The finished 'product' looks like this. There are minor faults but you don't have to look very close, and it looks nice.

Here, the JRS Anqalturi.
JRS Drasecqh

JRS Dirongarten
JRS Chance II
JRS Antechaiton

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