I’ve finished building the major structures on my scratch built Pulp tramp steamer. I have a few concerns about the structural strength of the cabins considering their walls are mainly 2mm cardboard, but fortunately they don’t have to support that much, just themselves and a handful of figures.
I think the gentle curves on the front of the cabins and platforms works quite well, despite being something of a nightmare to create. Look carefully and you can see several pieces of plasti-card have been glued around the bottom wall of the main cabin, basically just as formers to hold the curve in place. The curve on the wheel house is held in place by the curve in the foam card roof, and all those dress makers pins you can see pretending to be rivets.
The wheelhouse is free standing and I think I’ll keep it that way because then at least you can move figures around the viewing platform easily as well as get them into the wheel house itself. The viewing platform is also removable for the same reason.
I have some basic finishing to do on the superstructure – really just gluing a few more pieces of card here and there to hide some of the uglier construction details. The smoke-stack is actually a cleaned and primed deodorant bottle. Jonathan pointed out it looks a little out of scale, but I don’t find it that bad. It may be a little tall vertically, so might get attacked with a dremel again. I plan to build simple cargo cranes fore and aft, so hopefully they’ll mask the vertical effect of that large smoke-stack.
In terms of detailing I need to master and resin cast two things: a round porthole cover and a dogged sea door which should be possible to do before the 15th of September deadline rolls around. Mind you at the moment it just seems to be myself and another British chap that are actually paying some attention to the rather informal competition! Ah well, it’s been a fun learning exercise at any rate.
Overall the vessel is passable and should be reasonable fun to game over. Painting it will be interesting though. Aaron was kind enough to give me half a spray can of satin white so I’ll probably be using that to prime the cardboard cabin areas before trying my hand at weathering them. My major concern is that the card will warp once it has some paint applied to it. I may go through the interior and apply a reasonable amount of balsa wood battens before breaking out the paint…