Monday, December 10, 2012

DANG Gunboats

I usually spend November and December assembling and painting up miniatures for DANG (Dave’s Annual Naval Game). However, for this year’s game, Lord of the Lakes: The War of 1812 on Lake Ontario, Mark Waddington had already built all the required ships for the 1813 battles, so there really weren’t any ships for me to work on.

As mentioned in my previous post, I still wanted to do a little something for this year’s game, so I began working on some gunboats. Here are some photos and descriptions of my current progress. These gunboats probably won’t see any action at DANG, since I’m only planning on using them as the gunboats and bateaus used in convoys.

First off, I’ll show a picture of one of the gunboats Mark created. I’m using this (along with some drawings from a couple books) as the general design for my gunboats.
Mark's Gunboat, used as the ideal for my efforts
I started with some ¼” plastic sticks, cutting them to the correct length (I made them 1 ¼” long, which works out to around 60 feet) and then shaping them for siding.
Gunboat hulls being cut and shaped
Then I added some benches/platforms/walkways to the base hull and finally the gunboat sides. I made a couple types of gunboats, one with a rounded stern and the other is pointed on both ends.
Overview of completed hulls. The two on the left have rounded sterns, the middle two are double-ended, and the two on the right were partially completed gunboats Mark sent to me.
Another view of the rounded stern (forward) and double-ended (back) hulls
Next, I put together some cannons for the gunboats. I used a very small plastic I-beam for the carriage and a small rod for the gun. Because these were pretty small, I painted up the I-beam and rod before cutting them. That way I only had to touch-up the paint, instead of trying to hold the tiny gun and paint it.

Masts were the next part I need to work on. I decided to go with a mix of lateen and lugger rigs for the gunboats. The masts and spars were made out of small brass rods and then, following Mark’s example, I tried to solder them together. I haven’t soldered for many years and my lack of good tools and rustiness showed. You can see my handiwork in the photo below.
Lateen rigs on the left and luggers on the right. You can also see the guns (with red carriages) on the forward ends, with a few gunboats with cannon on the stern too.
I still need to clean up the masts, paint them, and add the sails. Then I will base the gunboats and add the oars. So, there is still a little work to do, but overall I think they are coming together pretty well.

1 comment:

  1. Dave: That is some impressive scratch-building both you and Mark have done. Happy Holidays, Dean