Sunday 8 May 2011
At long last - 50 Not Out!
Pictured above are the final two models for the river phase of my ACW naval project. They are a pair of stern wheelers for the Union Ellet Ram Fleet and are model numbers 49 and 50. The hulls and fittings were very straightforward and the only challenge was the stern wheel itself - both the actual wheel and the brackets for mounting it. I opted to use the 1cm grooved dowel pins (see the picture above) and a single pin is enough for three models - considering I have used one from a bag of a hundred it means that I can quite easily make a whole lot more of this type of ship should I so wish (I will need to make few more in due course). The mounting bracket was fashioned not from plastic rod but from my supply of Mega Blocks plastic bricks. When cut up you can get a very nice right angle which saves a lot of bother. The wheels are not fixed to the models as these will be glued to the plastic base when they are painted.
It has taken me the best part of six months to build the collection and that includes refurbishment on at least ten models. In terms of cost it has been relatively inexpensive - I reckon I have probably spent around £40 on materials and given that I have generous amount of kit left over that is not bad at all. Certainly my next building project(s) will have benefited from the knowledge and experience I have gained during the construction process. My Balkans 1900 idea will be the most obvious beneficiary as I intend building the ships for the naval side and given some of the assorted scrap iron on display making masts and spars is definitely a skill worth having! Joking aside though, I have had enormous fun making these models and it has been extremely therapeutic. Through the research I have undertaken I have greatly expanded my knowledge of the period and so hope to take this into the games I fight with the models once they are painted - which is of course the next phase.
I should also offer my thanks and appreciation to all that have been following my efforts with this - as ever your comments and encouragement have been invaluable and have certainly helped me over the rockier patches!