Monday 29 March 2021

Back in the building and selling Groove

The work in progress - and a cautionary tale for the unwary!

  It has been a rather less fraught few days as what passes for peace and harmony descend once more on Chez Crook. Thus is quite normal in that after such an episode there is a period of relatively calm reflection by all concerned. At least now there is, dare I say it, a roadmap out of our particular situation so hopefully all will come good in time.

Needless to say little on the gaming front was achieved after the completion of U.S.S. Benton - the three timberclads sat patiently on my modelling desk waiting their turn for being built - but I have sorted a few bits and pieces out. Below are the pictures of the books that are to be disposed of - this is for two reasons really  as I need to raise some funds for some more immediate projects and also I am looking to reorganise the man cave at some point. Once this is done I shall have less storage space so I need to be far more efficient about what I have to hand

All the above are hardback and are in good condition with the dust jackets.

If anyone wants any details about any of the above then drop me a line at

I will be happy to combine postage and ‘do a deal’ for multiple purchases.

On to the building....

The picture at the head of this post needs little by the way of explanation - there are the three timberclads merely awaiting sealing, undercoating, painting, final assembly, ‘flagging’ and varnishing - but the two pieces of dowel rod at the bottom of the picture tell their own story....

At the beginning of last week I realised that I was coming to the end of my supply of what I thought was 6mm dowel rod. This is the size I have been using for funnels on a big chunk of the collection. Anyway, to cut a long story short I ordered a pack of ten x 30cm 6mm rods from Amazon (it cost £4.20) and these duly arrived quite promptly. It was only after I had cut 6 funnels, each of an inch in length, that I thought ‘Hang on, they look a little on the thick side!’ Sure enough they were thicker than the size I had been using. 

You can probably guess what had happened. The size I was using was in fact 5mm - NOT 6mm. That will teach me to measure stuff beforehand. I ordered the correct size vis my daughter’s Amazon Prime and so they arrived yesterday and work could resume.

The 6mm size will certainly get used - they seem a good size for cruiser types - but it was a tad frustrating!

Looking more closely at the cutting mat in the picture you can see three milk container tops. These have the two funnels and the pilot house for each model lightly glued on - I paint these off the model and glue them in place one the hull and decks are painted. The model on the left is in two parts (it will be the U.S.S. Lexington when completed) as I have to paint a very narrow strip of deck alongside of the superstructure so it was easier to tackle this separately.

All being well these three will be ready in a day or so and then it is on with what should be the final batch of side wheel paddle steamers.

It is getting there!


tradgardmastare said...

They are certainly getting there, great work.

Ray Rousell said...

Looking great Dave!

nundanket said...

Hi David, those oversized dowels, cut into appropriate lengths, make cheap gabions for 10/15mm figures. Don’t know if you do that scale.

If anyone is looking at those books, the Wild Goose book is a ‘must have’ if you’re into mid-18th century wargaming in my opinion. A classic. Redcoats and rebels is a very useful starter for the AWI, and the Snow book on Quebec is a cracking read.

David Crook said...

Hello there tradgardmastare,

The finish line is in sight and the six months have been well spent. Once I have finished the fleets and tackled some suitable terrain I shall look to put on a sizeable action on the 6ft by 4ft (once it is painted that is!).

Thank you for your kind comment - it is really appreciated.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello there Ray,

Thanks old chap! They are now under the brush and should be ready in a day or so - then it is on to the next four!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello there nundanket,

That is a good idea! That is worth bearing in mind for the 18mm ECW WoFun project when I get to it - I now have all the figure I need but I want to tackle the bases and edging first.

The books are all good but I need to focus and make some space.

All the best,


Bob The Old Painter said...

I note that as your confidence grows so the ship designs become more complex. The latest batch look like they are going to be lovely little models.

I enjoyed your account of the action around the 'Hellish Machine" too. All appears to be a lot of fun with a gaming board that is much more versatile too.

David Crook said...

Hello there Bob,

I have really enjoyed building these models (it is a long way from the dozen or so I originally intended!) and you are right that my confidence has grown in terms of the construction technique. If I have learned anything it is looking at a ship and breaking it down into bite sized pieces or layers - once you have done that building up a model is straightforward.

I am planning a game for when I have finished the models and I will be looking to get my board painted for it. I am pleased with how it has worked out - not only for the models and rules - but probably more pleased with the fact that I have seen it through!

Many thanks old chap.

All the best,