Sunday, February 28, 2016

'Nautical' from PeterD - '28mm Riverboat Hesperus'

Capt.  puts the crew to work on the foredeck.
This is the stern wheeler Hesperus which has been over 15 years in construction and is/was  intended for my Colonial North West Frontier campaign (aka Wascanastan).  II suspect that she can serve equally well in Pulp/Cthulu games.  She is roughly 28mm scale and it unapologetically intended as a flat out toy soldier bodge of a generic river/lake steamer, not a scale model of any particular vessel.   The dorky home made look is all part of the plan and hopefully the charm.



Construction details are spotty since it has sat in a 75% finished state in my basement(s) for over 15 years.  The superstructure appears to be foam core board with the main deck and sea base from sturdy corrugated card board.  The gunwales, upper decks and wheel look to be artist board and light card.   The vessel survived it's dormancy intact except for damage to the blades of the paddle wheel.

Major Campbell puts the Seaforths through rifle drill.
Full speed ahead to  the kitchen!

Over the last two weeks I have added the following


  • replaced the missing paddle blades with card (from Perry plastics boxes)
  • added light armour cladding to the superstructure and pilot from light card.  Gun slits and a window for the pilot house were cut out with an Xacto.
  • The funnel was created from a penny roller with a plain white paper to hide the spiral seam.
  • The single mast is a bamboo skewers mounted in a plastic tube from a paint brush.  The mast can be removed for safer travel.
  • I then painted the beast in the classic white all over scheme that appears in just about every picture I can find of a Victorian paddle wheeler.
  • I attempted to make bow and quarter waves with white paint and acrylic gel but don't think this was especially successful.
  • I added a Red Ensign and name boards printed on the home PC.
Some officers have a gentleman's wager over target shooting with pistols.
Meanwhile the "Civilian" passengers are in an animated conversation.




FYI the figures are from my Wascanastan collection and are mostly Rafm, with at least one Minifig for good measure.  These were painted in the last millennium for the most part so don't count for the challenge!


Good shot old boy!
Hesperus is the evening planet Venus in Greek mythology, and a ship named Hesperus is the subject of a well known Longfellow poem.  I know about the poem not because of a fine classic liberal arts education or because I come from a very literary family.  Rather my knowledge comes from two sources.  First my retired Navy Office dad teasing an old ship mate would have served as an officer on HMS Hesperus during WW2.  And also because an image of the Wreck of the Hesperus apparently appears prominently on the anatomy of Lydia the Tattooed Lady.  As the song say, you can learn a lot from Lydia!

32 comments:

  1. You've created a beauty there Peter, well done.

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  2. Well done, Peter! She will definitely play a good part in pulpy games and is a good size for traveling deep into the Heart of Darkness! ;)

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    1. Thanks David. I figure she could serve from Loch Ness to the Zambezi to the Mekong

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  3. Funky! I can't wait to see what kind of scenario you will come up with to have her on the table.

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    1. Thanks Sylvain. I have a couple u my sleeve!

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  4. It's taken her a long time to pull out of port, but you got her there. What a nice backstory Peter and well done!

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    1. Thanks Anne. I am glad to have her finished.

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  5. She's held up well for 15 years - this may be the longest start to completion date this year!

    Excellent looking river boat and +1 for all the recycled materials - somewhere Al Gore is smiling.

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    1. Thanks Miles. Recycled cardboard is like gold in my eyes. Al and my daughter should both approve

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  6. Well done Peter. I've been contemplating one of these myself for some time and dreading the stern paddle wheel. Nice work!

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    1. Thanks Millsy. She's nothing next to your tramp steamer but I am pleased with her. The wheel proved stronger than I suspected, even if a couple of blades came loose over the years.

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  7. Great work Pete. I love the paddlewheel!

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  8. I love how the challenge gives us that impetus to finish off these old projects!

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  9. What splendid Victorianness! Makes me wish that I had done more in this bonus round.

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  10. Very cool Peter - perfect for Colonial mayhem!

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    1. Colonial mayhem is our goal! Thanks Greg.

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  11. Everyone needs a paddle-steamer like this, great work Peter!

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  12. there is a real charm to this one, as you say. Very nicely done and it looks like a great piece to game on.

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