Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Someone's rockin' my steamboat - 3

Onwards and upwards with the steamboat project. While everything else dried or set, I began work on the upper deck. At this point I decided to deviate from the prototype which had a fixed upper deck configuration. As I want to place figures on the upper deck I opted instead for a removable canopy idea.

First off I cut the deck from basswood, making it five inches long by three wide. The underside edges were lined with basswood strip to form a shallow tray, open at what will be the bows end. Half-inch sections cut from plastic tube coffee stirrers served to make the receptacles for the canopy posts, and these I glued at set intervals of just over an inch apart. Since the middle post at the stern end isn't going to have an upright fitted I used a plain section of mini-dowel. While the glued dried I made up the basic frame for the canopy, again from mini-dowel with crossbars made from split bamboo kebob skewers. The photos below show the general idea, with a 25mm figure to scale.

Once the main deck was dry I returned to the paddlewheel. As mentioned earlier I only constructed a segment of the wheel itself as most of it would be hidden inside the paddle box. The next photo shows the wheel finished and painted.

I made the paddle box using two side sections of 3/16th" foamcore with a card back nearest the deckhouse and a basswood roof. Once this is done I'll panel the sides and part of the open rear with strips of wood. The photo below shows the general state of construction at this stage, with the upper deck held in place by the basswood sides.

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