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Since I inadvertently derailed the PIRATE SHIP! for bones 5 kickstarter thread it makes sense to have a thread dedicated to building and modifying this massive piece of gaming terrain, a character in its own right. Feel free to jump in with your own ideas and dreams for this beauty.
Personally, I want to add a lot more detail to this kit. More deck furniture, rigging, sails, cabin and gun deck details and some hard core changes to how it comes apart for play. I tend to work from a more historical perspective because grounding everything in a little bit of fact will make it look better in the end. My first step was to find a "real" ship to base the rigging on. For this purpose I'm going to work from the rigging for the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's flagship. I'm also taking some inspiration from Jack Sparrow's Black Pearl just to get that Hollywood fantasy feel and not get to historically hard core.
Some of these goals are completely at odds with the way the Sophie's Revenge was molded and put together at the factory. Pretty much anything I want to do means that I need to actually disassemble the ship first and then revise how it goes back together. Step 1 is figuring out how to get it down to its component pieces. I threw a few questions at Reaper Jon mostly to confirm what I already suspected; 1) Super glue is going to be the only real choice for assembly (although contact cement for some areas might work as well), epoxy will likely make an appearance as well. However, straight from the factory I figured all they would have used is super glue. If they used CA then acetone should work to at least soften if not dissolve the glue used to put it together.
With some trepidation and equipped with a hobby knife, a sculpting tool and a can of acetone I started trying to take the aft cabin (which for Sophie's Revenge also constitutes the quarter and poop decks) apart. I was somewhat relieved to figure out that in most areas they really didn't use that much glue. I started at the stairs leading to the quarterdeck on the left (port) side. I flooded the joint, from the top and from the bottom, with acetone (its important to let it sit for a minute and go to work on the glue), then I started to flex the plastic to create an opening for my flat bladed sculpting tool to insert into the joint and start to pry things apart. I only used the knife in spots where there was so much CA that I cut into the CA with the knife to create a channel for the acetone. The plastic is very flexible and held up to my less than gentle flexing quite well. You can see stress fractures appear though, they will show up as white streaks. Most of these are between the deck planking where the plastic is pretty thin. You do need to proceed slowly and patiently. I did break the edge of the deck that fits into the slot in a couple of places. Not terrible and I'll leave those bits in place, it will get everything lined back up when I reassemble things.
It took about an hour but I managed to separate the decks from the side walls. The sidewalls are made up of another 5 or 6 pieces but I decided I didn't need to take those apart so those will remain intact, I should be able to add plenty of detail without completely disassembling them.
I will paint and create a Reptilian Army pure for fun.
It will consists of many different kind of Reptiles and Amphibians.
Mostly Snakemen, Lizardmen, Frogmen, Dragonmen, Turtlemen, Fishmen, Dinosaurs and Insects.
I will happily include any monster I think will fit.
A Tarrasque will be the centrepiece at some sort as the Living Lizard God.
I do not play any games, so this will be pure for my own and (I hope your) fun to create.
EDIT: The above was my original plan, over time and thanks to the comments made by other Forumites, this has developed into a story.
This resulted in more Factions I wanted to build and paint, so this Project now also includes Pirates, Conquistadores, Native Warriors based on Inca/Aztec/Maya cultures.
EDIT: And now it will also include Undead!
Captain Luigiano and his army had been travelling through the jungle for weeks now.
The sunlight was blocked by the dense canopy of trees.
Some of the men had contracted fever, and those darn mosquitos were a big nuisance!
He looked at the golden plaque he had obtained.
Gold, with a snakeman made out of gems on it.
With this he had convinced the men to follow him.
Somewhere in this accursed jungle there was a city made of gold, he was sure of it.
They would conquer this city and become rich beyond belief.
He looked at his army, they even had a few cannons.
Nothing would stop them!
Finally they reached a clearance.
The men were pleased, at least they could see the sun again.
They took a rest and a drink, tended to the sick.
Suddenly they heard a loud roar from the other side of the clearing.
Birds flew away, trees where falling!
Some poison darts flew and two soldiers fell, they died before they hit the ground.
A loud roar and an enormous terrifying Lizard appeared.
One soldier died out of fear from just looking at it.
Then the Reptilian Horde emerged from the Jungle.