Having finally fixed my hot wire cutter (it was the switch, it is always the switch that fails, again I just by-passed it) I was itching to try out an idea that I had; to make a table-saw equivalent using the wire-cutter. A little bit of blue-board, some super-glue and duct-tape and a few bar clamps and I was in business. The results can be seen below, mind you this is a primitive prototype and will be improved upon/replaced as time goes by (probably with stuff from these guys). This set-up allowed me to cut crisp ninety degree angles so I set out to try my hand, first on various bits of scrap that were lying about the shop and then on a couple of larger projects that I had been holding off on.
First I tried my hand at an ECW star fort (or "sconces", as they called them then) this turned out very well so I moved on to larger projects. For a long time I have been wanting to build another pre-dreadnought style ship for a VSF campaign but was not looking forward to the amount of work involved in the hull assembly. Cutting a hull (and superstructure) out of blue board would save me the bother and greatly speed things along so I sketched out a bow-profile on some board and set to work.
the technology is crude by it does work rather well,
a bar-clamp holds the frame of the wire-cutter firmly
duct-tape and another clamp hold the whole thing down on thew workbench
on the left you can see the star-fort sitting on a pile of off-cuts
the fence keeps the work and the wire in a steady position
and POOF! you have a hull; next to it on the table you can see the guilty party,
Conway's is the source of all my troubles, and a lot of creative ideas
the second layer, the rounded ends will become gun-sponsons
German cruisers had a pronounced front-heavy look
they also had very high superstructures
after the superstructure I added the con.....
....and a couple of turrets
the side-sponsons were cut free-hand, that took a few tries before I got it right
mounted on either side of the superstructure they will add to both broadside and end-on firepower
not a product endorsement,
just an example of unusual sources of shapes
the three skinny funnels add to the unique profile
the Captain-to-be prowls the deck while the vessel is under construction
he seems well pleased with his new ship
This is my first big experiment with using blue-board to build up a boats hull. I like how things are going and I am getting the hang of using the hot-wire table to cut items at a predictable angle. This method provides a light and sturdy three-dimensional shape to mount details on and is rather quicker than my old method of building up layers of foam-core or wood.
This could well be the beginnings of a really large convention game!