Ship Ahoy!!!

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Hey folks. LONG time since I’ve posted here. Been a busy, busy summer with all the cons and monthly comic. Seems like Fall and Winter is the time of year where I can settled in on those long nights and get some building and sculpting done during writing breaks. So I’ve been feeling that itch as of late.

For a LONG TIME now I’ve been wanting to do a really large ship. Something over two feet in length that dominates the table and all the other ships around it. One of those 3 masted bastards loaded when armed marines and a cargo hold filled to the brim with exotic beasts destined for the arenas and precious rare commodities. I’ve had this idea in my head of a ship that could be broken apart to reveal each deck. Not only that but the GM could lay each level of she ship side by side during a game so melee and action on all 3+ levels can be played out at the same time. Massive fore and aft castles… sigh. You get the idea.

Well — I finally decided to set about building such a beast. I have no detailed blue prints. Only a picture in my head. I have no time table. I just plan on attacking it and problem solving as I go during little breaks here and there and a LOT of Sunday afternoons.  I’ve posted a few pics of my progress so far on Facebook and the interest it has generated convinced me I should do a journal on my journey and do some work-in-progress updates here.

So this is part one.

Anyone who’s been reading here knows I’ve been using 3D printers a tool to aide in building table top terrain and items. Not as a replacement to sculpting – but as a tool. And that’s exactly what I’m doing with the new ship.

Here’s the keel I came up with. Almost 25″ tip to tip. With bowsprit and aft castle overhang I expect it to urpace 28″ when done.

 

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I know, right? It’s a monster. And a bit intimidating as far as tackling this project. That’s my largest ship to date that I’ve sculpted in back.

Now the keel is printed in 3 interlocking pieces that come apart and my plan is to mold and cast the finished ship so it comes apart and can safely travel and be stowed..

I am committed to doing this ship but after seeing it on the table and realizing the material costs and time it’s going to take it occurred to me I should first do another ship that falls somewhere between the two ships seen here in size as a learning piece. I’m attempting a lot of new things with this build and some of the ideas I have may or may not work (which simply means I’ll have to find solutions). So a smaller ship first sounds like a good idea to me. And it’s also a piece I can sell to help pay for the mold materials for the larger ship down the road.

So — I took the 25″ ship and scaled things down to 15″. A little more manageable and it should come together much quicker.

Here’s the rear section of the new ship next to the 25″ version (lower right).

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I haven’t made much progress yet. As I right this the framework for the middle section on the 15″ keel is printing out and I just finished sculpting the floor planks on the rear section and ready to bake it. Keep in mind the plastic is just there to serve as the skeleton for the ship – none of it will show when I’m done sculpting. The vertical posts/ribs will support the second deck above it when the times comes by the way.

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So there’s the plan. I’ll post more WIP pics and updates in the coming days/weeks as I’m able to work on it.

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