Monday, June 6, 2011

Off the slipway - 1

Here are some photos of the finished dhows, the ships that 'laid the Eastern Seas beneath their keel.' When it came to painting the hulls, I decided against painting them one solid color, be it a workaday brown or something brighter. Instead I added a strake by gluing a length of thin string along the hull, picking it out with red and green. The result is quite effective.
The sails are ordinary printing paper, painted with acrylic craft paint then weathered with a wash of sepia ink with a tiny quantity of India ink. The same wash went on the decks to dirty them up, giving them the appearance of a well-used vessel. I dry-brushed the hulls with two lighter shades of tan, finishing with an irregular line of dark green to simulate the marine growth found on all boat hulls of the era. 

The ensigns are tinfoil sandwiched in paper, painted with acrylics, inscribed with a vaguely Arabic script then varnished. They're mounted in the tubes glued to the taffrail, and can be removed and swapped for others at need. The cargoes are plaster casts from the Hirst Arts dungeon furnishings mold. 

One further note on the use of cereal box card. It pays to roughen the glossy faces with sandpaper, otherwise adhesives tend not to stick to them.  

Here's a group photo of the dhow crews, be they raiders, pirates, or merchantmen defending their own. All are Wargames Foundry Zanzibaris, mounted on one inch fender washers. In spite of appearances, they're not wading ashore after their dhows sank! I call the guy in the middle Ritchie, since he looks rather like Ritchie Blackmore. Swap the musket for a mandolin or electric guitar, and the resemblance would be even more striking...

These fellows will also make an appearance in shore-based games. I hope to add a light cannon to their force of some kind one of these days.   


Anonymous said...

Once again - they look great AJ.
Good tip about roughing up the shiny side of the card - I've not done that myself. I guess it depends what glue you're using. Evo-stick Wood Glue, Resin W is excellent for card, giving almost "instant grab" even on curved sections and even better if left to "age" for about 10 minutes before use.

all the best


A J said...

Hi Ian, I use QuickGrab contact adhesive (which stinks like a polecat) for some applications like the edges of the deck. For the most part I use white pva adhesives, either the ordinary craft kind or the stronger 'Gorilla' glue. In any cae, I find roughing the shiny surfaces does improve the grip of glues considerably.


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