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VSF Vessels: The Cloud Cutter

The CloudCutter
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$75.98 USD


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Mardaddy writes:

Sails would be a VERY cool add-on, and not toooooo difficult, either…

Revision Log
23 September 2008page first published

Areas of Interest

19th Century
Science Fiction

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Mardaddy of Mardaddy Paints writes:

This ship was going to be almost all bare wood. And unlike the Ironclad, this is more of a transport, a Sky-Galley, so-to-speak. So I felt it had to look a little dirtier and lived in than the smart military vessel I had just completed.

The Cutter comes with two resin pieces (an upper and lower hull) and one metal piece (upper rudder). There was far less greenstuff work needed for bubbles on the Sky-Galley, so that part went quickly. Test fitting was a snap; again, brilliant work from The London War Room, no extra effort was needed at all. I then plotted for the eventual placement of the defensive weapons.

All the resin pieces were primed in Flat Black and given 24 hours to dry. Then the lower hull piece was sprayed down with Red Oxide Primer. Nice, uniform look and feel to it. The lower hull bracings were painted in my mixture of gunmetal, highlighted with Chainmail Silver. Scorched Brown was used for the "wings" and keel of the vessel.

It would not do for the galley wood to look the same as the smart Ironclad, so while I used the same two layers of 1:1 dilution Kommando Khaki as an undercoat, I not-so-generously stained the entire upper hull using two coats of sparing quantities of undiluted Brown Ink. It gave a darker wood feel. A certain amount of consistency was still needed, and it was more difficult to get results due to the smaller areas worked with (instead of the large expanse of decking like the warship, there were support beams and other details to compensate for).

Comparison shot showing the color differences of the decking of the two sky ships

I decided on Scab Red for the trim. It gave the whole ship an earthy feel to it, using all warm colors, and the coloration is non-specific enough that the vessel could be from anywhere. The lower steering rudder and all the upper support beams on the outside of the upper piece were given the Scab Red treatment. Each support beam had a reinforcing metal piece on the outside as well, so they were done the same as the lower hull support bracings: gunmetal, highlighted with Chainmail Silver.

WIP shot of the Cloud Cutter with some of the undercoat and what will be the final Scab Red color

Since this whole thing was eventually going to be sprayed down with Dullcote, I attached the upper and lower hull pieces at this point with greenstuff and CA glue, and attached the metal upper rudder (which was painted in Scab Red and my own gunmetal mix).

Cloud Cutter Final Details (Guns)

The Cutter, being a merchant and not a warship, I thought still needed some kind of weaponry (otherwise, it just would not be as much fun to game!). Instead of cannons like the purpose-built Ironclad, I went with three defensive, 2-barreled Gardener machine-guns. It is era-appropriate, and made sense for raking attackers who are naïve enough to think she may be a sitting duck.

I did away with the cone mount to have the guns sit at the right height. They are mounted on their traversing mechanism. The guns were painted in grey and gunmetal, drybrushed, and the rails were drilled with a Dremel and the guns pinned similar to the Ironclad side guns (they can pivot, and are removable).

The whole model was sealed with two coats of Dullcote, and let dry.

Cloud Cutter Kit Impressions

This was a very straightforward kit, very few bubbles requiring greenstuff, and it went together well. Large expanses to paint with that lower hull and the deck, so it took to the spray very nicely. Much quicker to get together than the Ironclad, with basically three pieces and only minor trimming. Most assembly time was actually spent working on the Gardener Gun and mounts… they required some file work, plus the posts the traversing mechanism were cast with to fit into the cone mount were of three different lengths. It was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears… One was too long, another too short, the third was "just right." I trimmed the one too long, drilled out and pinned the non-existent mount, and obviously left the last one alone.

Cloud Cutter with her teeth bared