First part appeared on http://gardenrails.myfreeforum.org/about10722.html
About Nov 30, 2016, lemming moderators of the forum have maliciously destroyed all of my contributions.
My first attempt at a ship couple of years ago was an elongated nut bowl made of exotic wood. On top of the bowl, I glued a deck shaped from a piece of extruded styrofoam. It stuck out above water, the bowl visible under it, so I filled bow and stern outline down to waterline.
To hide the multiple deck joints and imperfections, I wound synthetic rope around the deck perimeter, cutting in the stern so each ring’s fried ends meet. For the top, largest perimeter rope, I used a dirtied piece: tar from dolphins, docking etc. 🙂
I attached the wheelhouse (cocoa plastic container, turned upside down, lid on top forms roof with a small overhang fore). It has two windows fore and a round one aft, framed plastic glazing, you can see the wheel inside.
From junk r-way cars, I took a ladder for the wheelhouse and grate walks. Onto the deck, I glued an elongated plastic lid, with a painted plastic packaging attached on top — the shapes and fits are just right.
I raised the bow with a layer or two of styro and covered the layers w. the upper part of a plastic plant pot, made into a V.
On top of the wheelhouse I made a radar from plastic junk and glued a little lamp from a toy (small switch, battery inside) — it’s the searchlight for MS Owl, a coaster collecting sewage and dangerous liquid cargo from coastal communities.
I took the lid from a watertight PVC electric box and shaped it to be wheelhouse door. I cut the gasket and attached it as “seal” around the door. Kids notice and say “Watertight!”
Because Owl sails close to shores, she has a forward-looking sonar on top of the mast fore (plastic honey stick). On the bow deck is a capstan (complete part of something plastic) with chain (to scale, from hobby store) holding an anchor (plastic toy) through a round hole in the portside.
Aft is a raised deck with porthole windows for the machinery below, A stack (copper pipe) comes up from below.
View from below bow shows stryrofoam added on top of wooden bowl. Draft is just over the underside of the styro stick-out. Bow is from plant pot, upper part bent into V shape, pinned to styrofoam deck:.
Wheelhouse of plastic cocoa container, its lid now a roof. Radar and searchlight on the roof, ladder and door on the sides, stack and whatnot aft.
Porthole for anchor chain, forward-looking sonar on top of the mast (honey stick):
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Next vessel project was a fire-fighting boat. I brought home a toy from 2nd hand store: a military boat about 1.5 ft. long (0.45 m) on 3 wheels, but good hull shape, cabin and deck. My wife frowned at the camouflage paint and military appendages.
Leaving the mast and searchlight, I stripped the military equipment, converted guns to water cannons rotating on pedestals (2 plastic caps fitting into each other, one screwed to the deck, the other to the cannon). After priming with well-covering gray, I painted the boat red and black:
Kids like to play with the cannons, place fire-men behind them and one in the serchlight manhole.
Because I made this boat before building a harbour management centre, the latter will house fire-fighting, customs, coast guard and port security offices along with harbour traffic management. All equipment (antennas, navigational lights, marine lantern, radars… s0me from the military boat ) are placed on the building’s upper roof level shaped like a ship deck.
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Ships are my illness now that I have two ponds on my layout. Am desperate to enlarge the fleet, also to build huts made of hulls, which should add to marine character near the lakes:
The first trial with hull huts is a Fish and Chips place for the fishing village. I curved wet wood for the ship board top beam, attached to a cut-out scrap from styrofoam arch viaduct project. For hull planking I use bamboo mat. The keel is fitted to be level astern. Then I fill-in a flat stern end by gluing bamboo planks to the arch — this is the fast take-out and kitchen delivery end of the restaurant, like the stern shape here:
Fore, I fit under the planks some tables, make a kitchen window in the stryrofoam, and enclose the front of the restaurant with plexi on a wood frame. The restaurant room behind the glass spills on the lake-shore, It is is planked all the way to the quay on wood piles. Some tables are placed there for customers to enjoy good weather and lake view along with their fare.
If this works, I can build a couple of fisherman hull huts, with tar felt or tarp roofing as shown on the photo above. Obviously, blunt stern is easier to emulate with bamboo or other wood than the bow. For that, I have an option to cut into 3 parts a natural rubber boat I have brought from Indonesia years ago. Her both ends narrow down; the middle section would be a hut with both ends flat:
The marks (photo below) from rubber legs of the hull delineate where I would cut it. The boat has ornaments that could be kept to enhance the model huts. Colour could be kept uniform (a group of huts on the lake) or individualized. Either way, it would be a unique build, celebration of human diversity, and saving a souvenir of days past, preserved in a new form under better maintenance.
Am not rushing into cutting the boat, as it has decent figurines, albeit out of my scale. They will deteriorate with time due to UV and oxidation, unless preserved regularly. Already, several ornaments fell off, so I’m inclined to strip the paddlers and cut the boat up. Restored, perhaps the figurines could form a half-abstract, waterfront sculpture (imaginary hull) in the city on my lake.
In the same department is a pirate sail ship hull that I acquired for a song at a modeller fair, here on a shelf of my new workshp:
But this one is definitely too good to cut up. Made of cedar strips, with beautiful sculptures on the bow and stern, it could be a vessel being built in a dry-dock or moored in the city waterfront for show. It’s out of my scale, but details (railing, portholes) revealing that could be stripped or hidden. For outdoors, I would cover the openings in her deck to prevent water getting inside.
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After preliminaries around vessel basics, I would like to acquire a scroll saw and build boat models of wood in 1:24 scale — small ones for 1-2 rowers/sailors, all the way to fishing trawlers of the fishermen’s co-op:
The blue trawler is steel hull, easily emulated from a polistyrene plastic toy which I already have (luxury yacht with a weird stanchion on the stern). I stripped the luxury part and hack-flattened the deck to fit a new deck, raised on the bow:
This brings me to the other, finished part of my fleet: ready made plastic toys. One is a coast guard patrol boat, the other a walk-on ferry, accessible with only a step over the stern. It docks at both terminals at floating docks,so everything clicks on the layout and with the quays from the times they stood on piles. Piles pulled out to make a rubber lining of the pond possible, the nicely weathered quays received stryrofoam inserts for floatation and are tied with chains to solid piers.
Similar w. floatplane terminals, but this is a plane department of RRRailway Co., to be treated in a separate article (if I live long enough :)))