Sunday, February 28, 2016
'Nautical' from Millsy - 'Jennifer Dee, Steamy Tramp'
"Jennifer Dee", Steamy Tramp
Type: Coal burning tramp steamer
Weight: 750 deadweight grams
Max Speed: 10 knots
The "Jennifer Dee" is a 1:56 turn-of-the-20th-century tramp steamer. She's very much an interpretation of the marque and not a true scale model. She's designed for use in Pulp and VBCW games and as such has some accomodations to allow for gaming i.e. very small bridge to maximise space for miniatures outside.
From a design point of view she owes a great deal to Eric the Shed's wonderful rendition and also a number of similar efforts from the Lead Adventure forum. For all that she's very much my own creation and from about the time the hull proper was complete took on a life of her own. Many of my wargaming models and terrain pieces are like this, evolving as they go with me tweaking things to add character or simply what seems right as the model develops.
Most of her is put scratch built using a range of materials, most notably blue insulation foam, various thicknesses of card and foamcore, timber and plasticard. The only commercial components are the anchors, bollards, life preservers and ventilators. These are all difficult to model quickly because of the compound curves so I elected to spend my time elsewhere because I knew she'd be a bit effort anyway.
The hardest part was the hull, which was laid down by hot wire cutting blue insulation foam sandwiched between card templates to ensure a smooth shape. Three layers of laminated card were followed by a run of plastic-coated garden wire and masking tape along the top edge, before a final internal and external layer of plates for further solidity and some visual interest.
All up she took something like 20 hours, split into 5 for the hull, 10 for the superstructure and fittings and another 5 for painting and decoration. Possibly a few more but who's counting?
The boom crane and superstructure are removable for transport and storage. The cargo hold cover is also removable, however this is to allow for different cargoes (i.e. coal carrier) or a solid deck with weaponry.
The Jennifer Dee is named after my lovely, exoitc wife and *yes* I did ask before naming a "tramp" after her. I'm neither mad nor suicidal (don't start Docherty!) so it seemed the sensible thing to do. Speaking of Mr Docherty, I very much suspect there might be a squeaky cabin boy namesake sailing on her maiden voyage.
NB. The crew are not part of the entry, they are just to show scale. There'll be some lovely Bob Murch / Pulp Figures tramp steamer crew and weaponry appearing sooner rather than later.
I hope you like her. She's a workhorse no doubt but she has some lovely lines and will never let you down, not unlike her namesake. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a little light reading to do...