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Even if the railings were wood I would be concerned about waterproofing them, but since they are cardboard -- albeit sturdy cardboard -- it's especially important. I don't want humidity or a Coke spill or something to make them swell up.

 

The best option I have on hand, I think, is acrylic gloss soft gel. It's used as an isolation coat between acrylic paintings and final varnishes, so I hope it will be enough of a moisture barrier for the cardboard.

 

It is very shiny, as most really protective acrylic coats are. A couple of thin but not thinned down coats, especially on the cut edges of the cardboard, should protect them. The priming will go over this.

 

Oh, and people may remember how boggled I was by the minuscule size of bottles of miniatures paint.

 

Here's why:

post-8022-0-34892200-1370897102.jpg

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I've found that acrylic house paint works pretty nice as a "sealer" for foam, MDF, mat board, hydrostone, and various other materials as well, though not when there's any REALLY fine detail that I'm worried about losing. I can have it custom-mixed at the paint store to whatever crazy color I want (usually something very dark so I can use it as a shadow/base coat, and then dry-brush my way upwards from there, for terrain.)

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...

I have not done the mast or sails yet. I am thinking perhaps I might want to do two different sets of sails: One the simple square sail of the medieval cog, and one the fancier cutter-style sail setup that TGP identified from the photo on the model box.

 

I am planning to paint the sails. This is not going to be a historical model.

...[snip]...

 

I believe it's ready for painting to begin. I'm still considering the mast, and I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with the bowsprit. It's too low for a traditional figurehead to show well, but I feel there ought to be something interesting there.

 

The dowels that came with the model were untapered, but I have a chopstick that does taper that may fit for the bowsprit. I will have to drill out a little of the hole for it regardless.

 

The model photo shows a little flag at the back, and I would need to drill a place for that too.

 

The railings are looking good. ::): Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the painted sails. One thing to keep in mind: the reason sails often have vertical lines depicted on them or sometimes you see vertical stripes of alternating, contrasting colors is that sails are built of long pieces of sailcloth, joined together edge-to-edge along vertical seams. Max width of the cloth = width of the loom that made it. Nobody ever built a sail with horizontal seams twice. Sails did sometimes rip (burst under too much air pressure) along a seam and it is less of a disaster if the seams run vertical.

 

Bowsprit is the pole (and that chopstick sounds like a very good idea). The little item projecting from the forward end of the hull is the stem. Your model has the style of stem that existed on 15th century oar galleys and galleases. Those were not massively decorated like later ships from the time of Nelson.

 

Here are a links to a couple of pictures: http://www.qualityhobbyshop.com/images/GREV05897.jpg http://www.modelshipmaster.com/products/ancient/argo/venetian%20galley%20%283%29.JPG

 

Pretty much a plain stem. But, I have seen models of ships from this period with a decorative metal boss, like an end cap, right on the forward tip. A lion's face, Neptune's head, or a dragon face, that sort of thing. Maybe there is something in your bitz box that would work. The 15th century galleys used that feature for boarding opposing vessels. It evolved from a ram (originally located just below the waterline) but by 1480 or so the tactic was to punch into the foe above the water line, run across, and engage hand-to-hand. Having an iron-shod beak decorative or not was useful.

 

Back to the bowsprit. Don't be afraid to angle it up fairly steeply. If you do that hanging a small square sail from it is an option.

 

This is a fun little blog post with a lot of brightly painted vessels similar to this one. It may be a battle report. http://smalescaledistractions.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html Might be some inspiration there.

 

One last picture of a galley. It has good, clearly drawn, rigging detail; a stern flag like you are contemplating and a longer but similar stem. http://allsailingvessela.devhub.com/img/upload/1720rusgalleys.jpg

 

Even if the railings were wood I would be concerned about waterproofing them, but since they are cardboard -- albeit sturdy cardboard -- it's especially important. I don't want humidity or a Coke spill or something to make them swell up.

 

The best option I have on hand, I think, is acrylic gloss soft gel. It's used as an isolation coat between acrylic paintings and final varnishes, so I hope it will be enough of a moisture barrier for the cardboard.

Yes, that is a very good idea. The terrain builders I hang out with often use similar cardboard of lower quality and they will use PVA (i.e. Elmers) glue to seal it. You should get the same effect from the acrylic gel.

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Finally! I find a picture of one of these low slung bow stems with a figure head.

 

RealeDetail01.jpg

 

http://www.stjohnsportofview.com/RealeDetail01.jpg This is the Realle a galley that belonged to the King of France. Which is why it was a bit fancier than an ordinary fighting galley. But it is a good example of a figure head on a bow stem of this type. It is analogous to a head on a battering ram.

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I realized I didn't make this clear in my initial post. The ship is going to be a fantasy ship, at least in its decoration.

 

I love historical replicas, but my husband got me this model in part because of some events in a D&D game we're playing. So I'm going to decorate it as an artistic interpretation of a spelljammer, kind of. Well, you'll see. I have ideas.

 

Anyhow, here's my latest update.

 

The last thing to do before priming was patch a few holes and cracks and bubbles. I used acrylic molding paste, which I have reason to believe is close to what is sold as "liquid green stuff" out there. But I haven't experience with the latter yet so can't be sure.

 

This particular acrylic molding paste looks and feels a little like white glue and dries to a matte translucent white.

post-8022-0-50781200-1370954933.jpg

 

You can see where I fixed some cracks and softened the transitions between railing pieces.

post-8022-0-12712300-1370954975.jpg

 

Once the paste dried the ship was ready to be primed. I prefer brush-on primer, or rather the paint I usually use, as it works on everything and is compatible with any paint. This is my favorite brand, and I recommend if anyone is priming anything huge (cough Kaladrax) that maybe this might be more economical than little bottles of brush-on stuff.

post-8022-0-14238500-1370955108.jpg

 

Here's the whole ship primed with white paint.

post-8022-0-39179200-1370955218.jpg

 

With minis I like to wash the primer with thinned down burnt umber to bring out the details before painting. This time I accidentally grabbed raw umber, which is a cooler, slightly gungier looking dark brown than the rich, warm burnt umber. On the other hand it works well for an old ship. I missed a spot or two, but since this is an underpainting that's okay. I left the windows unwashed in case I decide to paint them glowing bright.

post-8022-0-67825400-1370955326.jpg post-8022-0-03979900-1370955334.jpg post-8022-0-99636900-1370955340.jpg

 

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Nice grungy wood look! :D If you hadn't said you were going to turn this into a Spelljammer ship, I would've suggested that you try dry-brushing a bit of dark green along the bottom to suggest a moldy waterline (presumably set for when the ship is fully laden), and to further enhance that aged look.

 

Instead, I'm imagining you'll be doing a bunch with wooden chopsticks or dowels and such to add some wings/spines and fanciful sails?

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Very nice start on this ship. I will mention that there are significant chemical differences between titanium white paint and primer, though. It might well matter less on resin, but on metal, I'd strongly recommend using actual primer instead of paint.

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Very nice start on this ship. I will mention that there are significant chemical differences between titanium white paint and primer, though. It might well matter less on resin, but on metal, I'd strongly recommend using actual primer instead of paint.

Oh no you din't just lecture Pingo on paint!

 

:bday:

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Very nice start on this ship. I will mention that there are significant chemical differences between titanium white paint and primer, though. It might well matter less on resin, but on metal, I'd strongly recommend using actual primer instead of paint.

Oh no you din't just lecture Pingo on paint!

 

:bday:

 

I'm fairly sure she knows the difference between primer and paint, but that's not a universal. (It would seem that GW is unclear on the concept, for instance.) The comment was more for lurkers, since the issue comes up all the time.

 

Plus, target of opportunity, you know?

 

^_^

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Today I started painting. The ship is now in the "Augh it looks terrible!" state, which is perfectly normal for art projects but is not comfortable.

 

The ship is meant to evoke a spelljammer from D&D. The captain is a githyanki, so there will be silver and gem motifs. I was planning to shade from oceanic-looking at the front to space-like at the back, with creatures and objects depicted.

 

I am, of course, making this up as I go along, so things may change. They usually do when I paint.

 

The railings I was planning to make metallic silver, so I put a black underlayer on them. The balusters I plan to make look more like wood -- probably -- with inset gems (to be painted later).

post-8022-0-94801600-1370988445.jpg

 

The hull I shaded from milky sea green at the front through blue to deep violet at the back. These are going to be the undertones and background behind whatever I end up painting there.

post-8022-0-26292300-1370988464.jpg post-8022-0-91412900-1370988473.jpg

 

The deck is probably going to look like the cosmos, but I don't know yet. The hatch is hopefully going to look like one is looking down through it over a sunlit forest. Eventually. If serendipity doesn't cosh me first.

post-8022-0-94820100-1370988498.jpg

 

The railings have some very rough shading on them at the moment.

post-8022-0-26078100-1370988519.jpg

 

Aaaand ... I have no idea what I'm doing. My friends and family usually nod wisely at this stage.

 

I have family stuff to take care of tomorrow, so it may be a bit before I paint and post again.

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Hmm. At the moment, I would say its less evoking of Spelljammer but more so of Skittles. :;):

 

I have much faith in your abilities Pingo. Eagerly watching your progress with this.

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...I realized I didn't make this clear in my initial post.  The ship is going to be a fantasy ship, at least in its decoration.

 

 

...

 

I didn't mean to be pushing a historical build. I had realized that since the model combines: an 18th century cutter rig, 15th century prow, 12th century cog general appearance, 15th or 16th century balustraded rails that it is a fantasy ship. But I'll try to aim more high-fantasy with subsequent suggestions. Speaking of which, you don't have a little dragon head [?] in a bitz box by any chance:

 

200408_large.jpg

 

This is a model of a dugout from Malaysia (but check out the figurehead).

______

 

JP, reminded me of something:

 

...Instead, I'm imagining you'll be doing a bunch with wooden chopsticks or dowels and such to add some wings/spines and fanciful sails?

 

This goes to a picture of a scratch-built fantasy viking ship: http://www.terragenesis.co.uk/gallery/pix/2011/04/02193555.jpg

 [edit: This link died sometime around the end of 2014, sorry. -TGP]

 

The build thread for the ship starts here: http://www.terragenesis.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7121 

[edit: This link died sometime around the end of 2014, sorry. -TGP]

 

Jump to the second page of posts for the sail building steps.

 

Bamboo cocktail skewers (50ct for $.99 typically) are an inexpensive, sturdy and unbelievably useful raw material if you decide to do something like wingsails or such.

Edited by TGP
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Thank you for the fascinating resources, TGP. I did not think you were pushing historicity, but I was concerned that I hadn't made myself clear about my intentions and so there was a risk we might have been talking slightly past each other.

 

We use bamboo skewers in the kitchen all the time. That's one in the photo above applying the molding paste. Between those and the chopsticks I think there's a reasonable amount of raw material for sails and the like.

 

I'm not sure how elaborately I'm going to construct the sails. My inclinations tend to run towards simple, sturdy construction with elaboration supplied by painting.

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Well, until you painted it like a technicolour dream boat ::D: I was going to suggest you shellac it to keep moisture out. But that would give it a brown tint.

 

I love the technicolour dream boat Pingo! :wub:

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