Theresa Marie Model Ship Project
Week 11: Stems and Shins (Nov. 5-11, 2012)
Nessie and Tessie. Since every mermaid needs a water guardian, I dressed up the ship's stemhead to look like an appropriate companion to "Tessie". The eye base was crafted from caramel apple sticks and the eyeball from a brass nail sunk into the stemhead to keep it secure. (I'm following Dan and Ray's experience-based advice: anything not pegged down WILL come off.)
Not sure about the color yet. I love the shades of wood color that the mermaid has (darker than the pictures show) so I'm trying to avoid painting her. Nessie's color scheme will need to somehow compliment or at least not distract from that look. A work in progress.
Gammoning slot, hawseholes, head rails. To get a better idea of what the figurehead will look like on the finished ship I started on the other details of the stem. First I drilled a half dozen holes and then filed them out to make the gammoning slot for tying down the future bowsprit.
Not being a fan of drilling large holes into my bow, I made a pair of custom blocks so I could simulate the hawseholes for the anchor ropes to stick through. I drilled a tiny hole above the opening for the anchor rope so I can insert a pin later for securing them in place.
Next I secured the plastic head rail pieces in place with small screws and epoxy. Curiously enough three of the four plastic pieces were black while one was mysteriously brown. Only Philip knows why...
Shin apocalypse. The 17% (or is it 20%?) too large scaling issue of having 1:20 scale figures on a 1:24 scale ship finally required action. Drastic action. Horrible, ghastly, unthinkable action that more appropriately should have been done on Halloween.
The two Papo figures that I deemed just too large to join the Theresa Maries, Lord Nelson and a French soldier, became the guinea pigs. Bloody hell. Feet cut off at the ankles. Shins cut off at the knee. Pegged and glued back together, minus the shins. Much to my surprise, it didn't look half bad. So the taller of the Theresa Maries underwent the "procedure". It gives a somewhat Hobbit look to a few of the crew, but that's much better than having seven foot giants towering over the guns and bulwarks.
(Btw you can buy 11 scale figures from SC&H for around $200, which you can see in other build logs. Since so many builders have gone down that route before I decided to try something different for the Theresa Marie. She may not be "museum quality" but she'll hopefully be a fun ship for the kids to gawk at.)
New recruits. Having already converted all the likely Papo figures available, I picked out seven more prospects from the Schleich brand of 1:20 figures from Happy Hen Toys. After going through their "procedure" (I'm starting to feel like a Civil War surgeon) the Theresa Marie muster list achieved a ready-to-sail 34 passengers and crew: Captain, 3 officers, 1 midshipman, 2 dignitaries with 1 attendant, 1 surgeon, 1 blacksmith and 24 seamen.
So we should be good-to-go for a colorful crew (unless I find a dozen or so Polynesian natives to have swarm the deck ;) Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to secure everyone to the ship. I'm not liking the idea of dozens of brass rods in the deck, so I'll probably position most of the crew holding onto something as if they were in rough seas. Most of them already have holes in their hands for holding weapons or tools.