After weeks without rain, the heavens opened early yesterday afternoon and we had a veritable deluge. It trailed off into steady rain that fell all afternoon and into the early evening. Since all outdoor activity was out of the question I happily settled to working on the gunboat.
The mast is now stepped, along with the smokestack. I reused the wheelhouse from the earlier gunboat with a few modifications. The glass panes looked far too large for the Victorian period (and would be dangerous when shot at!), so I divided them up with vertical bars. Shiny black iron bolts (Puffy Paint) decorate where the planks join the frame. A steam whistle (a length of dowel painted copper and the brass bit from an old ballpoint pen) rises from the roof to a good height. At the moment I'm not sure if I want the roof to be removable or not. There's a certain appeal to having figures inside, so the helmsman's face shows white through the wheelhouse windows.*
*Spike Milligan reference there. A Brownie Point to whomever knows which book of his memoirs it comes from.
Whilst everything was drying, I followed Paul's advice and set to work on a Hotchkiss 57mm revolving cannon. It's what I call a serious 'sod-off' weapon, although for simplicity's sake I made this version with three barrels and not the conventional five. It's a stubby little brute and should look effective once painted up.
|Hotchkiss & Nordenfeldt, two weapons of Empire.|
The last steps for the upper deck are coming up. I need to rig the mast and fit two ventilators either side of the smokestack. I'm thinking of making a small skylight for the center of the deck. With luck and a following wind I should finish it all this week!