I lengthened the hull cut-and-shut fashion by inserting a 2" length of foamcore, which I then clad with card and painted. The model is now some eleven inches long overall. Originally, I followed Major General Tremorden Rederring's thinking in keeping the model small, in this case 9", but further thought showed this gives too small a deck area for use on the table. Not enough figures can be carried to be worthwhile. The insert solves the problem, although, if I make another steamboat, I'll make it an inch wider.
The idea behind the upgrade is to make the model so it can be used for civilian and military purposes by swapping out components. The upper deck is more or less finished. I've yet to decide whether to install a 5-barrel Nordenfelt or a Hotchkiss 37mm revolving cannon here. The mast will need supporting stays for added security, and I'm thinking of adding a whistle to the smokestack.
All the mealie bags are made of Sculpey. Those on the lower deck need to be baked, and are shown to give the idea of siting. I put a stack on either side of the boiler (another addition to the original model) to protect it. The 12 pounder gun in the naval mounting is attached to a steel nut, which stands on a square of magnetic card glued to the deck. This allows me to swivel the gun, and remove it easily when turning the steamboat to civilian use.
The as-yet unnamed steamboat, looking rather lean and rakish. A veritable greyhound of the river!
I'll post some more photos once everything's complete, showing before, after and both civilian and military versions.