Friday, 18 February 2011

The Philosophy of (My) Designs....A Rationale

When I started out on the ACW ship project I had several goals in mind. I wanted to construct a pair of representative fleets for operations along the 'Great Father of Waters' i.e. the Mississippi. the models were to be scratch built and scaled to fit on a single Hexon terrain tile. the models are to be based, with a name label and a national ensign placed upon the card I shall be using. The models themselves were to be constructed using balsa wood and the copious supply of craft sticks, coffee stirrers and modelling match sticks I have stockpiled. I would not be going for scale model detail - these ships were to be first and foremost gaming pieces that happened to be a close approximation to their historical equivalent (or at least what we know of them!).

I am confident I have achieved this although I feel that I should acknowledge the shortcuts and deficiencies in the construction of the models I have built - if only because I am well aware of them!
  • None of my models follow any attempt at scaling - although I have tried to ensure that relative size differences can be seen.
  • Angles of armour etc has been based purely on what I can easily work with so that means 45 degrees - for everything!
  • Funnels are too thick and too short.
  • Gun ports are one size and design regardless of what they actually looked that - again for convenience.
  • There are no masts or ships boats present.
  • Much fine detail has been left off - anchors, ladders and such like.
  • Pilot houses are usually the wrong shape and in the wrong place.
  • Paddle boxes are all one size - again this is for convenience.
  • Many ships had 'flaring' to merge the paddle box into the line of the hull - I have not bothered - mainly for convenience.

There are probably a lot more points I could add but that will be sufficient for the purposes of this post.

The simple fact is that I have made these models in a basic fashion for ease and convenience (not to mention cost!). They are gaming pieces pure and simple and as such are purely representational and not examples of the fine scale modellers art.

I feel so much better for having gotten that off my chest....;-)


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


The models look great. They may not be super-detailed ... but who cares! You can feel pride in building them, and you will have even more fun when you use them because they are 100% of your making (I am not including the odd bits and pieces you bought from Peter Pig!).

Well done!

All the best,


SteelonSand said...

I see your list of shortcomings as actually mainly a list of positives - as you say, these were conceived as gaming pieces, and as such will be all the more enhanced by the approach you have taken, and be all the more playable for it -moreover, these are hand-built and hand crafted - that's a tremendous achievement, particularly given the amount of differing craft you've been working on - I say sail your fleets with pride!

David Crook said...

Hi Bob and SoS,

I am pleased with the way the models have turned out but I guess I had a momentary blip whilst looking through the various manufacturers lists for the period at some of the eye candy. My models have a very 'old school' feel about them and the value for me is not only in the representational aspect but also in the building which has been enormous fun. I suppose to an extent I have probably fallen foul of the fact that it is now seems almost unfashionable not to make your own wargaming kit which I think is a shame as for me I have rediscovered the sheer pleasure in working from scratch.

As ever many thnks for the continued support and kind comments - they are always a source of pleasure and inspiration.

Only 8 more to go then I can start painting!

All the best,