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"conversion project: a ship from a (ship-shaped) birdhouse" Topic

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Makhno191814 Feb 2023 3:41 p.m. PST

hi all.
I've been dreaming of one day being a skilled enough modeler to build true replica ships. I'm certainly not there yet, but I've been taking on small projects to work on some of those techniques and knowledge.

A 2 dollar wooden ship (birdhouse) in the discount rack at the art shop is just the sort of low-stakes project, and also a potential prop for my 1/72 pirates. Its a work in progress, but i made a blog post about it with the steps I took and a bunch of photos. Your suggestions are most welcomed.


I found a video someone made about how to make ships from cardboard, and I thought they did a pretty good job with it.
I figure I'll try my hand at building some small cardboard vessels, pariaguas and sloops, and work my way up. Has anyone else tried this method?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2023 4:13 p.m. PST

I think that's a great ship! You've really transformed itó and I like the platforms you put on the masts, which would be great in a boarding action game.
I've spotted similar things in craft stores and pondered the possibilities.
Well done!

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2023 4:50 p.m. PST

Shiver me timbers! A fine looking ship she be…..Arrrgh!

rustymusket14 Feb 2023 6:00 p.m. PST

Great idea and execution! Thanks for posting.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2023 6:16 p.m. PST

Great job.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2023 9:40 p.m. PST

Will you name her the "Sparrow?"


Bashytubits15 Feb 2023 9:50 a.m. PST

That is a nice project, I hope you post an AAR once she is ship shape. thumbs up

Makhno191815 Feb 2023 1:33 p.m. PST

Thanks, friends. I'll post again once it's finished, and if I ever get to put it on the table for a game, I'll share that too.

ColCampbell, that's not a bad idea. I was thinking of naming it either Red-Winged Black Bird, or (perhaps it's a Spanish ship) El Mirlo de Alas Rojas.

Legionarius15 Feb 2023 5:34 p.m. PST

Very nice. I love converting "stuff" to wargaming pieces. The ship is a little fat but that's OK. My own Playmobil conversions are also fat. The main thing is the fun of it.
Happy sailing! Aaaaegh!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2023 6:09 p.m. PST

Maybe it's a Dutch flute, like the Queen Anne's Revenge.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2023 12:41 a.m. PST


Makhno191816 Feb 2023 6:34 a.m. PST

thanks all. I appreciate the kind words. Does anyone have opinions on sails? Should I use thin canvas or paper with glue-water (like I would on flags)? Any other techniques you use?

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2023 2:44 p.m. PST

Tried to post a comment on your blog, not sure it went. Repeating it here, as best as I remember what I typed…

You could get a white, cotton, handkerchief: cut to size, soak in 50/50, Water/PVA Glue mixture, hang it by the corners, in an appropriate position, billowing down, and let it harden. When it is fully dry (24-72 hours), it will be quite hard. Then attach it to the masts, as billowing sails, full of the wind.

The fabric can be painted/stained, if desired, after it dries. The glue will harden it into whatever shape it was held in, while it dried. This technique is from DM Scotty's YouTube channel. It has been adapted and adopted by many crafters since he first discussed it; not sure he invented it, but that is the first I saw of it, 5+ years ago.

This technique can be used to create canvas tents, draping the glue-soaked fabric over an appropriate twig/dowel skeleton. Once the fabric dries and hardens, it can be painted, stained, whatever you need. The end result can be quite good.

I plan to use this to clothe a 100mm female mini, to be used as a Storm Giantess: the figure is a HeroClix Giganta, a very tall human woman; I am repainting her skin purple, but a leopard-skin bikini is not what a Storm Giantess would wear, so I need to give her a more modest dress. I will use an old cotton handkerchief, cut to size, soaked, and draped properly over her shoulders; I will create a waist belt for her, using some thicker thread/light cotton cording. When it dries, I will paint it all up, and have a really nice, custom, Storm Giantess for my AD&D and war games. Cheers!

Makhno191817 Feb 2023 6:04 a.m. PST

Thanks Sgt Slag! I need to approve comments on the blog, I've put it through, should be up there now. I really appreciate the tip, I'll find myself some white handkerchiefs and give that a try. Your Storm Giantess conversion sounds really cool too, I'll keep me eye out for your post when it's done?

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