Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Arab dhow build #1

First in an occasional series, and just to show I'm not entirely idle at the moment....

I have always wanted an Arab Dhow to sail majestically upon the river sections of my Sudan wargames table, but being also an impecunious* type, I have baulked somewhat at paying the prices for some of the ready made articles. Being also of a generation that was bought up to make what wasn't available in our fledgling hobby, I decided to have a go myself and scratch build one....

(*not really, more "tight", "short arms, long pockets", "backwards in coming forwards in the wallet opening race", etc etc)

What swung the decision though was the gift of some preserved dates over Christmas, as having disposed of the dates, I was left with one of those ever so evocative trays  that are purpose made for the job in hand...

A bit of judicious carving so as to "sharpen" one end left me with the following....  figures in the background are 15mm for scale...


...and as my intent was to cast the hull in Plaster of Paris (how old school is that?!) I sealed the outside of the cuts with packing tape..


...and filled the cuts/voids inside the hull with blue tack (for real old school it should have been plasticine! )


...once it was smoothed out, I lightly scored the mould to represent hull planking, mixed up a batch of plaster and filled the mould.. and then you leave it to dry for some time (I left mine on a radiator for three days)


After taking it out of the mould, I smoothed off the edges slightly, and gave it a good spray of a polyurethane based paint to seal the plaster and give a painting surface suitable for acrylics...I also cut a stern bulkhead from thin plastic card and hot glued it to hull....

Last items to date are to score the "deck" to represent planking when it's dry brushed, and I've also set the mast (a barbecue bamboo skewer) in place and glued it...  this is where we are at the moment..  as before, figures are 15mm for scale...



To come in post #2 - the lateen sail - two barbecue skewers glued together with some PVA glued thread wrapped around the skewers for verisimilitude.. the "sail" will be printed paper.. once it's all together I'll then dress the hull with additional bits and pieces to represent cargo, hold covers, etc. and finally dry brush and paint...

 

13 comments:

  1. Great stuff Steve - will we be seeing it on the table soon? The Sudan is very attractive as a theatre. Will you not find the plaster a bit delicate?

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    1. CK - it can be fragile, but I've not found it to be an issue - if it chips I just dab some acrylic on the chip and it disappears... the other thing is that the build so far hasn't taken more than half an hour elapsed, and I still have the mould - so if it really goes pear shaped I can bin the current hull and transfer all the deck hardware to a new hull... As to a game, my problem at the moment is time - work is stupidly busy, and I just seem to have so many competing requirements on what time is left.... :o(

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  2. Very clever indeed Steve! Surely you'll need more than one? :-)

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    1. Hi Millsy - of course, but where's the room for them to come from??! :o) Maybe two though.. let's see how this one turns out...

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  3. I'm not sure which I admire more: your ship building (which is very good - that dhow's going to look great in a game) or your courage at actually eating the Christmas dates! I thought they were traditionally bought and left on the sideboard to be thrown away somewhere around the middle of February.

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    1. Gary - please don't make this publicly known, but like the Newberry Fruits we also get given, the dates are never eaten.. making the dhow out of the packaging is just my earnest effort to somehow correct the gaping hole in my carbon footprint that just chucking the things in the bin has made.. :o)

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    2. When we were very young, one Christmas after the chocolate ran out, my cousin and I demolished 2 spare boxes of dates - they were OK - sort of Moorish? - but we were confined to barracks for a day or two afterwards. Never touched the beggars since. I have a similar aversion to whisky, but that's a longer story.

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    3. Newberry Fruits! AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

      Moorish dates! :O/

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    4. Foy - I have a similar story about Milky Ways, but we won't go there....

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  4. I like Dates. I like the Dhow.

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  5. That is really rather clever Steve :)

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    1. Cheers Lee.. nothing new under the sun... when you've been in wargaming as long as I have you just store stuff you've read in the back of the grey matter and every now and again it drifts to the surface and you think, "I must have a go at that"...

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