Friday, June 1, 2012

Arming the Armored Cruiser

     Having plated the hull with armor it was now time to provide some offensive power to the vessel. At first I was tempted to just buy some gun barrels but the desire to stay as true to the "scratchbuilt" claim as possible I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and went to the "small wood things" aisle (not\, that is not what they call it, it IS what I call it however). I spotted some Tie Rack Pins which, to me at least, looked a lot like gun barrels so I grabbed them and a few other things that might be handy as well.

tie rack pins, just the ticket

sponsons fitted into place and their positions marked

ever so carefully marked

the tie rack pin has a handy ball on it, you force the ball into the gunport
and then squeeze the foam around the ball, it will hold the gun in place and allow it to pivot freely

a thin bead of glue around the edges and then press firmly into place,
be sure to mount the gun first, once these are glued down they will have little flexibility
 and it will be hard to get the gun through the port

Ta-Da!  we have armament! I test-fitted a deck plate over the top of the sponson
 to make it look more like armor and to hide the gap where it joined the superstructure

the usual glue mixture is applied

and the deck plate fitted and covered with another coat of glue mixture

the gunports in the ends of the superstructure posed a problem, I couldn't get then to "yawn" open and accept the ball of the tie rack pin, I had to trim the pin head to fit into the gunport, after it is in a quick ninety degree twist and the remaining part of the ball engages the foam and the gun stays in place

slip the gun into the port

and there we are, ready to go

all six secondary guns have been mounted

she is starting to look like she means business

now for the main guns, I fitted the turret into the base and drew the gunport

the paper-mache boxes that I use for turrets have this tag on the bottom
 (which in our case it the top of the turret)

removing it makes a mess of the top of our turret

so a new top must be made, I traced the box onto a bit of card and then cut it out,
the old photos show a good many turret tops made up of parts
 so I folded it to make creases to look like joins in the armor

and glued it down

I liked the results so much the I decided to armor the entire turret in card

turret number one finished

the second awaits the same treatment

this is a sort of important point, cut the curved parts at the top and bottom
 of the gunport first, it is much easier that way,
BTW make sure you have a sharp knife

so you don't suddenly slip and do this

the gunport ready to go

I rummaged around and found some scrap bits of
aluminum tube to use as the main guns
(yes, my water cup for my brushes in a Kool-Aid Man cup)

needing something to hold the gun barrels in the turret I decided
to fill the bulk of the turret with a chunk of blue board

pressing the turret firmly onto the blue board left an impression
 that I used as a guide while cutting out the parts

filler chunks ready to be installed

a sung fit and a bit of glue

the tube was simply forced into the foam and glued in place

a crude but affect way to make sure your guns are the same length

     I haven't decided on what sort of light weapons to fit, QF guns or maybe some Gatlings or Pom-Poms. I f I go with the latter two I will violate the scratchbuilt claim and just buy some as there are a lot of good looking models available at reasonable cost.


  1. Now that makes me want to play VSF.

    Well done, sir.

  2. I like the way this is coming along. Very nice work.