Ship Ahoy!

In spite of having a perfectly good modelling project to be getting on with I have a habit of trying to stay a step ahead of the game in terms of where my larger layout project is heading. So I took some time away from the modelling bench tonight to do some rearranging of the modules in the spare bedroom I use as a modelling space. I wanted to set up the third scenic module and the “river” module so I can work on them together. The difficulty is that the room is quite small and these two modules sit at right angles to each other so toghether they have an interesting footprint.

I’d been pondering how I was going to fit both modules together inside the house for a couple of weeks as I was working on the J Parker & Sons scene and it came to me the other night that they could be squeezed in if I shifted the scenic module around by 90 degrees and ran the flat “river” module along the wall where the module I’m working on at any one time normally sits.

After a bit of huffing and puffing and propping up at one end I managed to get both modules into my modelling room and bolted together.

After a bit of huffing and puffing and propping up at one end I managed to get both modules into my modelling room and bolted together.

I had to shift various large boxes, no less than two O-scale turntables and some photographic lighting out of the room to get both modules in but I managed it in the end. I couldn’t resist getting the ship model out of storage and plonking it down on the “river” module. It doesn’t look quite as large as I was expecting but I have a feeling this impression will recede once I commence work on the pier and start to lay in the ship’s deck and cabins. I’ve been waiting for about 5 years to build this model with a steadily rising sense of anticipation. I have a lot of prep work to do on the “water’s” surface before I can make a start on the ship and pier. I still haven’t settled on what I’m going to use to make the water but it’s unlikely to be a poured liquid. I’ll fill and sand the surface and then do some test pieces of river before I paint the surface and dollop on one of the many water products available. I’ve long hankered to make the ship model gently rock with the action of the water but I’m still considering whether this is feasible. I can certainly make the ship move up and down gently using a cam and motor system, the hard bit is going to be disguising the edge of the hole the ship will need to rock up and down in. That’s another pondering project.

This shot gives you a better idea of the way the pier, water and land approach interact. I need to cut the curved ply roadbed at the module break and build the scenery up around it so that it looks natural.

This shot gives you a better idea of the way the pier, water and land approach interact. I need to cut the curved ply roadbed at the module break and build the scenery up around it so that it looks natural. I need to cut three pieces of support timber very accurately to hold this roadbed at a constant height and the mitre saw I need to do this with is an hour and a half away at my partner’s home. I’m working on the logistics of getting it over to my place…

As you can see in the background, the mill is nowhere near being finished but it’s a relatively simple project compared to some of my previous buildings. As a plain sided, rendered building all it needs is some details and the application of a layer of plain white DAS. After that it needs colouring, a roof and some scenery around it. Also it only needs to be detailed on two sides as I won’t bother with covering the sides that are facing away from the viewer with DAS. It will still probably take me a month to complete but it’s simple treatment is the reason I decided to make a move on shifting the river module into my modelling room tonight. Before I know it I’ll be laying in a deck and painting the hull with anti-fouling paint.

Avast ye landlubbers and other nautical terms I leant watching old B&W Hollywood movies 🙂

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