At last the ship gets underway…ok ok there is a rational choice to make at this point about how many boat related jokes to make in a single post. With extreme restraint I shall try and contain (er) myself as I sail through this entry and not make any wav..ok I shall stop it.

I mentioned in my post about making the choice of ship plans that I had chosen the Wargames Foundry ship plans to make a start with. So with some balsa, basswood, plasticard and exciting foam glue, I set off.

The longest bit so far was choosing the materials and cutting everything out. I went for balsa for the main decks, basswood for the sides (not cardboard as recommended). I shall be cladding the thing with some planking for a more ‘shiplike’ appearance. It caused a suitable amount of desk disarray but this shows everything with gluing commenced. Looking at it makes me realise I am about as tidy as a whirling dervish in a paper shop, but that’s life.

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Anyway I managed to get the decks in place, here are a couple of shots with the quarterdeck and foredeck in place but not glued together, but they give a decent idea of scale.

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Obviously some way to go yet..but pretty pleasing so far. The plans are nice and easy to follow..easier than a Tamyia kit anyway!

Its not going to be a massive ship, but one to scale would be huge and I prefer to think of my pirates scooting round (pirates on scooters..now that would have made a diorama), in a speedy neat little vessel, not some big bloaty thing that is easy to out run. So..onwards!


Terrible that I did not update the blog last weekend, such neglect, in the spirit of my diorama I should walk the plank (luckily not built yet), but fortunately there are a few new things to indulge in this week, including some new pics and new modelling too.

I mentioned in my earlier entry that my new camera had arrived and also showed off some macro shots. Well I took the ‘new eyes’ off to the Zoo to try out some outdoor photography.

Results can be seen here on Flickr. (click on the images and then ‘all sizes’ to see them in a larger and uncompressed format). Requires some signing up (all free, never fear intrepid blog readers), but there is no harm in a Flickr account if you like photography.

I particularly enjoyed these three shots though;

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The sealion picture was taken ‘underwater’ through a glass viewing screen in a tunnel under the pool, affording a very interesting view! The Lemur was in the new ‘Lemur encounter’ area where you can get a very close look at these hairy looking beasties with impossibly long tails. Good day out all round, though as with all animal gazing one is never sure who is watching who. I suspect there are some very interesting conversations had between animals after the place closes.

Well more fun than is sensible with clothes on can be had with a macro lens. Attached to a camera and pointed at things people, keep mind on the job. Not that..ok onto the macro. Basically having this lens is like being Alice..everything normally tiny just got VERY BIG.

Obvious then that new Macro lens arrived this weekend and mighty nice it is too. Took a few test shots to try it out and learned a valuable lesson about needing a tripod, or less shaky hands. Or both.

This is Games Workshop’s bear from the Tsar Boris set, the head being about 1cm in real life. I cannot believe that tiny mould line on the jaw, must get that one and eliminate it. Shows the nice smooth undercoat you can get with a can of Halfords car primer though.

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And this is a wasp that landed on a blackberry while I was testing Macro on the drive (as you do). Not bad for a first go, though a tripod would have helped! Its a little on the soft side, but that will teach me to autofocus.

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Normal modelling service resumes shortly!

Another day, another not so witty pun, if there were licences for this I’d have mine revoked. How fortunate there is not.

I mentioned in my entry about my new Heresy miniatures, that my Hasslefree purchases had also arrived.

Of course before I could mess about with them, I needed to take photos of my ‘evidence’ for the diorama comp. So without further ado I present, CSI like, (play music while scrolling down and flash a light at your screen for the effect to work) said photos with minis and dates and all that jazz.

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As you can see, I purchased some nice little models, two pirates and an aquatic troll. And naturally when I had finished doing so they immediately declared a sale. Drat. If I was in a store I would walk out and the next person would be the millionth customer and be showered with money and fluffy rabbits (ok perhaps not the rabbits). Anyway, its important to repeat the mantra ‘Must resist the pull of minis on sale’..’must resist..must’. Ahem, so that’s working. Really it is.

On the subject of the minis, they are very nice sculpts indeed and well worth the price. First the pirate, a very nice mini and only £3.30. Currently lacking his arms but very nicely done. A little smaller than the Black Scorpion miniatures, but placing them tactically should prevent any problems.

As an aside I was also pretty pleased with the way the picture came out, given this guy is c28mm high in real life and this was just a quick shot on a stock lens.

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The troll and other pirate look very good as well and I was very impressed by the clean castings and lack of flash. There is almost no extra work beyond assembly to do. Quality! There is nothing worse than a casting that is all warped and flash covered. No fear of that here.

While I was at it, and at random, I took a couple more shots and have to say that even with a little bit of messing about, this camera really makes a difference. Witness random GW dwarf who was lurking innocently on my painting table. I notice I achieved a genuine CSI look by including a random hair in the shot. Time to talk to kitten about placement on painting table. Again.

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I also did all the prep work for the ship and cut all the parts out this evening. More evidence to follow! Now where was I with ..’Must resist the pull of minis on sale’..

I had previously posted about my new camera, well here she is.

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Its finally time to reveal the new eyes. The memory card arrived at last and it is a good one and worth the wait. Strangely enough, as I was moaning about it on email, the postman delivered it. Voodoo was clearly at work and I can only surmise that someone, somewhere, is missing a chicken, so sorry about that, it clucked off in a good cause.

A very hot Sandisk Extreme III CF 2GB card, a bit of a bargain at £18.99, including postage, from Play.com. Plopping on the mat from Jersey in its brown bag, it also came with a free licence for Capture One LE, which allows handy pre processing of RAW files.

I thus set about fashioning my new photo setup.
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But wait, it is so..sophisticated, I hear you cry, possibly in shock, possibly in adoration of my ‘l337 f0t0 FU’. Astonishing isn’t it? I think I may play about with a gradient card, or a black or grey background, but this is all I had and I didn’t want to use white. So, a piece of card, a clamp and a cardboard box it is, coupled with a great big shiny toy with a remote control..bring on le models!

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Finally, after pondering long and hard, I have made a decision about which ship to use. If it takes me this long to make a decision all I can say is thank the Gods of miniature making that we have 3 months to get this thing done!

The plans from Wargames Foundry seem to fit, though I shall probably make a few materials adjustments.

No other pictures, as I am determined to only use my new camera, which has arrived and which is a thing of loveliness (if a bit huge in comparison to my old 530), but due to the dratted postal strikes the CF memory card I ordered has not arrived. So it can do nothing but lurk beautifully about the place like a shiny accessory.

I shall hold out until it does. Honest.

I obtained the above plans in A3 size but they seem a tad undersized, so I shall have to do something about that.

I was also having some random thoughts about sea monsters. As one does. In fact lets face it that cannot be that common, so thank goodness for a competition to use as an excuse.

I doubt I can actually do justice to these in replica, but they provide some decent inspiration. One does look a bit pleasant and friendly, which is not precisely what I was thinking of.

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More later of this..later…and photos of course(come on Posties, back to work with thee!).

Sounds like we are either visting the dentist (in the vein of Dustin Hoffman), or having a diorama idea..lets go with the diorama.

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So ..the idea.

I thought it would be good to put the pirates in a setting where they have discovered more than they bargained for on a raiding party..perhaps they have dug down too deep, dived to the wrong wreck or just made things that go bump in the night emerge from some random cave.

After all, pirates shouldn’t just have conventional problems like getting sand in their shoes and in their pants (and in other unfortunate places, though that might actually account for some of those classic pirate facial expressions).

This might sound a bit Pirates of the Caribbean, but I have decided to go for it anyway as I think it would make a fun diorama – you can never have too many pirates and monsters in one place. In fact it’s a shame one cannot get away with ninjas as well. Mm..

So, moving swiftly past the ninjas and pirates thing, the idea is to have a ship in a cove being boarded by some unpleasant sea looking things, perhaps with a few other things pursuing our gallant (well unpleasant and cut throat, but, hey look, someone has to be the ‘good’ guy) heroes (or villains, this everyone is evil thing makes life complicated) along a little jetty. I had in mind a ships boat loaded with treasure being set on by something…yucky. I saw a terrain piece of a wrecked pirate ship on Tabletop Gaming News a while ago, shame that has already been done as it would have made a good concept.

Of course one of the main motivations here is the strange and inexplicable need, that most modellers will have at some point, to break out loads of balsa wood and build a gigantic pirate ship. The first question is..how complicated can I make my life in trying to achieve this? Looking around….the answer is very, very, very complicated, if I want to. For example there is the Maiden, which consists of a printed set of plans to download and mount on foamboard (or similar), that builds into the biggest ship in the 28mm world. Nice, but I fear it might be cheating as I wouldn’t need to paint much.

I also toyed momentarily with steampunk style Landships and Frigates and the slightly off the wall concept of an airship, which I still rather like and for which there was no sane source on how to build it (though one of those big styrofoam eggs from a craft shop might work).

But ‘classic’ ship wise there are also a few good choices. There are Colonial Ships which appear to be pretty simple to construct. There is a ship guide from Games Workshop which I like, though I would add more detail. There are always more boats everywhere you look. There is a small fast vessel in a set of plans from Wargames Foundry for example. Last and not least there is a big project sized ship, bizarrely on the Blue Peter website which might be a bit large but has all the detailing required

Decisions, decisions. On the one hand we do have three months, on the other I’d have to be mad as a mad thing labelled nuts and consigned to an asylum for loonies (no offence to anyone genuinely loony intended) to contemplate the larger ships. So I shall ponder on a little more. In the meantime I downloaded plans and stuck them onto paper to see what might look best and fit to a reasonable scale. Pictures to follow later.

I also bought this months GW magazine White Dwarf as there was a natty ship in it..sadly no plans. Drat.