Thursday, May 25, 2000

1/400th Scale Galleons (Home Casts)...

Being blind in one eye and near-sighted in the other, I decided that I wanted to play The Perfect Captain's Sail! in 1/400 scale. Being cheap, I found that if I wanted to do that, I'd have to make my own ships to avoid spending a fortune. Being lazy, I found that I could make a lot of ships if I made moulds and cast 'em by the dozen. Being egotistical I thought I'd show off the fruits of my labor. Being something of a perfectionist, I found that I'm not very happy with the paper sails. Suggestions, anyone? The final goal is to have 8 to 10 different ship types in this scale. Obviously, they'll be somewhat generic but a splash of paint can do wonders to break up the monotony.

This is my first attempt at a galleon. It's a small ship of around 100 tonnes based on the Golden Hinde. I started building a larger galleon first and was about half-way complete when I started the master for the small galleon. I want to experiment with different techniques for making the sails before adding the standing and running rigging. The paper sails look too flat and lifeless to me.

Another view of the small galleon with a few of her sister ships in the background. After getting the mould made it was a snap to cast a dozen hulls in one evening. Once I purchased the RTV (room temperatue vulcanizing rubber) for making the mould, I found that it was fairly expensive. So, I decided to mould the small galleon first in case I messed up the mould making process.

This is a view of the master model built up from balsa and styrene. It was a good idea to mould the small one first. The two-part mould that I had planned turned out the be a one-part. But that worked out OK. The RTV is flexible enough that I can still get the model out without risk of tearing the mould. But, I don't think I actually had enough RTV to make the mould for the large galleon. And, I'll have to work out a more reliable method of making a two part mould for the larger ships.

The masters of the small galleon and the large galleon. The large galleon is based on drawings of the Revenge. My first moulding attempt was with material bought from the local hobby shop. Going that route, each mould will cost around $30 US. In the background is a partially painted 1/600 scale galley that I purchased at Historicon many years ago. All in all, the difference in scale is not really noticable. Which is good since I've got three of the galleys!

Another view of the masters, this time from above to show the relative widths. Luckily, there are quite a few cheaper sources of RTV via the almighty internet so I think I can bring the cost per mould down to around $10 US each. Now, if I can just figure out how to make decent sails and two part moulds....

1 comment:

  1. Nice wish i could make stuff like you! how did you make the casts?