Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Likely useful little ships

Some days ago, while e-mailing with another Imagi-Nationeer about chances of having some small ships for our 1713-1714 campaign, we had the idea of searching for little wooden ships, of that kind that usually can be found at coastal towns' touristic souvenirs shops, for these perhaps might be useful for our purposes by little money and work. Well, this afternoon my wife and I have gone to the town of Sitges for a walk, and I've taken some advantage to search and pick up a few samples. Here you have them:

First of all, those I believe the most useful ones. There are some three -maybe four- different ships in this range, all of them have 2 or 3 masts, they're made in balsa wood (very lightweighting, then) and sizes are approximately 15 cm long x 12 cm high. I guess that their current set of sails should be replaced by a more appropriate one. Besides, we should have their base removed and keels leveled somehow -to simulate flotation at water level (how?). And I believe that little else: some painting art, a few complements and a nice set of paper printed flags... Their prices range between 7.5 and 8.6 EUR.

Afterwards, this other range of pretty fishing boats, also made in balsa wood, they're about 7-8 cm long, and 8 cm high at most. These might require some supplementary work, for they're actually quite simple, and some show a too modern look. Inversely, their bottoms are completely flat. The left one is worth 3.5 EUR while the other is just 2 EUR.

And in the end, both kinds of boats compared side by side. What do you believe? Might they be profitable? What would you do to adapt them to a 18th century look?


Fitz-Badger said...

I don't really have any useful ideas on how to make them look suitably 18th century, except to look at pictures of ships from the time and borrow ideas from that. They do look like good little ships for gaming (once you've turned the ship with a keel into a "waterline" model - I guess you could try to cut it as flat and even as possible, sand the bottom as flat as you can after, and then maybe mount it on a flat base - cut to shape and/or with some space around for "terraining".)
We know you have the perfect flags/banners for them. :)

A J said...

The first fully-rigged vessel looks very nice, and I'm sure will be amenable for conversion to an early 18th century guise.

As for waterlining, one method I read of involves filling a shallow tray with water and a few drops of Indian ink. The hull was then dipped slowly into the fluid to where the waterline would be, held there for a few seconds then withdrawn, equally slowly, and allowed to dry. The resulting "tide mark" around the hull gave the line to cut for the full waterline effect. Hope this helps.

Soldadets said...

Thanks for your comments and suggestions, mates. I'm already in the process of transforming the first vessel into some kind of brig-like ship. Keel has already been removed and waterlining level sought for -although I suspect I'll have to 'refine' it by further filing. Besides, I've added square rigged sails to the mainmast, have the central longitudinal sail removed (sorry, don't know its nautical name), as well as rear sailing simplified. Finally, gunports have been drilled.

I'm to finish rigging yet. Afterwards, a little painting job to represent stern windows and mask eventual faults, and... ready for a photo session!

Kenneth Van Pelt said...


Here is what I did with the type of ships you mention. I find them decidedly useful and have gamed with them for some time now.

Drop by my blog and say hi!


Soldadets said...

An amazing set-up, Kenneth! My most sincere congratulations :)

Did you have to modify the models in any way? ...Or just sought for the waterline and little else?

However, I'm starting to suspect this kind of vessel models is more suitable for large scale games as yours, than for little scale ones as I was expecting for my campaign.

It is possible that we finally take the decision of alternating two types and scales of models: those simple and cheap wooden touristic models might be used for little engagements (maybe 1 vs 2 ships, for example), or as scenery pieces for land battles; while 1:600th scale metal models would be more suitable for slightly more complex scenarios...

Kenneth Van Pelt said...

Mine came just as yours appear on the little display stand wooden plaque. I just busted them off the stand and white glued them to blue card stock. I have thought of making a label of gun-ports to glue to the side to make them appear to have guns. I also may take off the deck house and glue in a small ship's boat. Thanks for looking at the Penny Whistle blog.