Old Glory recently released this resin 2′ long 28mm scale Tramp Steamer for $195usd (excluding shipping). The price started a conversation over on the Back of Beyond Pulp Forum about scratch building your own tramp steamers for considerably less cost. That resulted in a friendly competition to scratch build our own tramp steamers, sponsored by Rattrap Productions. Of course I had to put my hand up to join in!
So this weekend I spent some time planning, cutting and gluing bits of foam card together. As well as examining my collection of Tintin books for inspiration as Tintin and Captain Haddock seem to spend a fair amount of time commandeering or being held prisoner on tramp steamers of various flavours.
In the end I decided to use the ‘Sirius’ from ‘Red Rackham’s Treasure’ as a pattern for my steamer. Mainly because it’s a small vessel and is simply rendered by Herge so I can concentrate on creating it in 28mm scale without worrying too much about the details. Plus it has a unique 30’s curved wheel house and walkway which I liked the look of, although up reflection it’ll probably be quite interesting to scratch build.
I’m trying to get the basic superstructure out of the way as soon as possible to keep me motivated. Then I’ll spend some time building the cabins/wheelhouse/cargo cranes and detailing the deck.
Here’s what I have constructed so far from 5mm foam board, 3mm balsa wood decking and 2mm card for the hull sides. Dress makers pins hold it all together while the PVA dries and have the added bonus of looking like rivets.
The bow and forecastle are going to be interesting to construct due to their reasonably complex shape and while I’ve created a hole down to the hold I’ll probably just build a cover over the top of that and be done with it.