Thursday 18 November 2010
ACW Casemate Ironclad - A Scratch Build
Pictured above is my first ever scratch built ACW casemate ironclad and is the first of a number of vessels I am planning to make. I have placed her on a single Hexon terrain tile so you can get an idea of the size of the completed model - Hexon terrain tiles are 4" across the flat sides - which is very slightly under 3" long and 1" wide. She is built of balsa wood throughout except for the casemate panels which began life as a double thickness ice lolly stick. I had purchased a pack of these craft sticks and they are made of a much harder wood than balsa and so would stand up to handling far better. I started with the flat hull and placed a central core to which the casemate panels were fixed. The detailing in respect of gun ports, the deck hatch and the small pilot house were cut from some thin sheet balsa and the funnel from a length of balsa dowel rod. The dark lines are not were the model is poorly fitted together - they are pencil marks from the cutting out process! Although the picture does not show it very well the edges of the casemate are in fact very smooth with the stark edges being due to the different colour of the wood from the side to the end grain. Detail wise I would equate this to being similar in style as Davco 1/3000th ships in that it is chunky with over sized features and thus is ideal for war games.
She is not intended to represent a specific vessel; rather a conglomerate of similar types. I plan to make probably another four or five of these - one identical to the above and the others smaller in size. In all I reckon that the construction of this took in the region of an evening's work spread over a few days so is fairly economic in terms of time. The next step will be to seal and prime the model prior to undercoating and painting. I will tackle this over the next few days although I am tempted to make her sister ships first and paint them en masse before moving on to opposition.
I really enjoyed making this model and am very pleased with the final result. I did have some trepidation about constructing the casemate but my process, whilst not perfect, seemed to work out well. I am now really looking forward to the next models and having been inspired additionally from the efforts of Steel on Sand on his blog in respect of forts etc I will have to give some thought as to how to construct some shore defences as well.