Sunday, 19 February 2012

Mock-up lessons

Having drawn up a basic design for my 'Monopoly'-inspired battleship, I decided to make a rough mock-up to see what changes might need to be made before I began the build.

It turned out that was a very wise decision to have made.

I made the mock-up from a mixture of basswood and balsa that I had to hand ... and the result looked like this:


The first lesson that I learnt was that balsa wood was too fragile to use for the superstructure. It split along the grain when I drilled the holes for the funnels. I could have avoided this by drilling the holes farther apart, but the design had funnels that were very close together and I wanted to see what they looked like.

The second lesson was that the funnels looked very thin for their height, and might need to be shortened, whilst the third lesson was that the hull sides would have to be deeper if, as on the mock-up, the superstructure was high enough so that 15mm figures could be placed on the model without looking too ridiculous.

When I placed a 15mm figure onto the model it became apparent that the superstructure would have to be slightly higher than it currently is and that, once the turrets were fitted, there would be very little deck space for figures to be placed on it!


I then placed the recently built models of a coastal/river gunboat and a coastal/river passenger steamer alongside the mock-up ...


... and this showed me that the battleship – as currently designed – was far too small to look aesthetically correct if I was going to use all these models together.

This could have been very disheartening but ...

... thanks to some rather badly and hastily used photo-manipulation software I was able to see what the mock-up would look like alongside the models of the coastal/river gunboat and coastal/river passenger steamer if the battleship was built 50% larger than the mock-up ...


... and the results were very encouraging.

It would seem that I am not going to be able to build my 'Monopoly'-inspired battleship so that I can use it alongside my existing 15mm figures and model ships unless I accept that it will have to be closer to 15cm long rather than the 10cm length that I originally planned to use. This is a compromise that I am willing to make ... and as a result building the mock-up has proven to be a very worthwhile and sensible decision.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    That is certainly a good call especially in relation to the existing collection. I was looking at around 6" over two hexes as the base size and that will look far better - especially with the deeper superstructure and hull.

    All in all though, it is shaping up very nicely and I am looking forward to seeing the end result.

    All the best,

    DC

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  2. Looking good Bob!

    You might want to consider changing the size ratio between the mast and the funnels.

    Fatter funnels and slimmer masts would improve the appearance.

    Jim

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  3. The mock up, for all its short (sic) comings, certainly seems to have the "feel" that you described.

    If the model requires a 2 hex foot print, wouldn't that make the big battleship rather naturally less maneuverable than small gunboats and destroyers since it would have to turn in a larger arc?

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  4. Bob

    Full speed ahead and damn the torpedos. I like the upscaled Battleship. Can the original be salvaged and morphed into a river craft?

    PD

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  5. David Crook,

    A 6-inch long model makes far more sense than a 4-inch one ... and the end result should look a lot more aesthetically pleasing as well.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Jim Duncan,

    I will certainly be changing the thickness of both the funnels and the masts to improve the 'look' of the model.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Ross Mac,

    The mock-up certainly helped me to visualise what the end result should look like ... and you are right, it does have the right 'feel' to it.

    The point you make about battleships being less manoeuvrable than small vessels is well made and will be reflected in the rules for their use on the tabletop.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Conrad Kinch,

    I was very pleased with the result ... and it certainly helped me to visualise what the final design will look like.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Peter Douglas,

    I hope to get started on the model by the end of the week ... and the hull will certainly be utilised in some way.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Bob,

    So you see it too. The Admiral Ushakov was a very compact coast defense ship, but still recognizably a battleship, just smaller. Your test build is a monitor. I urge you, give it more freeboard, sir ! Much more.

    Regards,
    Steve

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  11. Corporal_Trim (Steve),

    As you say, they are small battleships with low freeboard.

    My first model will certainly be somewhat more seaworthy (I hope) with slightly higher sides, but will follow the same basic design.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete