Work has all but dried up and I am still waiting for my first jab, so I have been reviewing my things to do at home list. Some of my projects are waiting for specialised shops to open again.
Some say that if you do the tasks you enjoy most first, that less pleasant tasks will be that much easier. Or maybe you'll just say fuck the rest I'll do as I please!
Top of my list now is to build a 'galleon'.......Ok "It's only a model"........"Ssshh!"
At 1 to 70 scale (it sort of looks about right) it will be around 15 inches long and 20 inches high. I am making it out of card strips and glue, with the help of a few Stanley knife blades, so it shouldn't tax the limited finances. I used to scratch build card models when pre prepared kits of things I liked were unobtainable.
I have laid a keel built up from layers of card strip and have fitted hull frames and cross beams with the aid of formers. The shapes and scaling of the card 'timbers' is getting quite complex.
The plan is to build the entire frame then plank out the interior before the outer hull....obviously. The masts will be from sections of dowel rods and larger old paintbrushes. Full rigging and cotton sails will also feature. I have also been collecting coffee stirrers from Costa for over a year, which should come in handy. I might even paint the hull with car underseal to get an authentic patina!
When I say galleon, I mean a sort of missing link between a carrack and a galleon, which must have occured sometime in the mid to late 1500s. I want it to be slightly gothic and quirky, but not as wacky as the 'Durmstrang' (Harry Potter), and essentially made up as I go along rather than to drawings. Whatever I make, someone is bound to ask if it's supposed to be the 'Mary Rose' or 'The Black Pearl'.
When you start looking into such old ships you discover cogs, kraikes, carracks, carravels as well as galleons. My research delved into early voyages of exploration, Portugese 'black ships', Dutch seafaring and eventually to William Adams who was the inspiration for the James Clavel novel 'Shogun'. Remember the classic TV series with Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune; "Anjin San!"
The story of William Adams is even more remarkable. As well as being a veteran of the battle with the Spanish Amada, Adams became a pilot for Dutch traders and then led an expedition to expand trade most of the way around the world. Starting with 5 ships and 500 men, his expedition was reduced to only 2 ships as they crossed the Pacific. After nearly two years he arrived at Japan with only one ship and 23 men remaining out of 100, only 9 of which were fit enough to stand. The rest is history!
...but hey I don't want to spoil it. I might have to read Shogun again to compete the story even if it isn't strictly accurate.