The 1/200 Dauntless project is coming to it's close. I am currently deciding whether to add portholes and doorways. My inclination is against it, but then, I look at all that empty hull side.....
But, before I descend into that madness, it occurred to me that I would likely take my chances with the Shore Patrol before I went to sea in a warship that lacked lifeboats and/or life-rafts. That settled my next task. Those items would help fill up that empty deck.
First up was Carley Floats, those rectangular donuts filled with webbing hung all round ships in WW2. Not a boat by any means but a sort of gigantic life preserver. Made to float either side up and to be deployed simply by chucking them over the side they fit the emergency launching requirements far better than a boat on davits did. Making them in 1/200 scale was another matter.
Carley Floats on the HMS Rodney
I tried a couple of alternatives before I struck on the idea of using window screen for the webbing floor, after that it was off to the races....
tools and equipment for today's projects
not required but I prefer it to superglue
start off with a strip of window screen about 1/2" wide and 5" long
cut into rectangles 1/2" x 3/4" and find some air-dry clay
roll the clay into a cylinder about 3/32" wide
then stick one of your rectangles into the damp clay
bend the soft clay to embed the other edges in the cay as well
once you have gone all the way around cut away the excess clay with an X-Acto knife
smooth over the joint in the strip of clay with a moistened fingertip to hide the joint
our source of lifeboats/ ships gigs
cut it at just over one inch long
trim the corners in a bit to save on sanding
sand with 60 grit until it looks like a small boat
I like to smooth over the surface with clay wet down with my fingertip
life-saving equipment ready for paint
the lifeboats need canvas tarps over the tops but otherwise these are ready to go
next is searchlights, this is where the supplies come into play
take a wooden plug and a short bit of wire
drill a small hole into the plug
and glue the bit of wire into the hole
the light-activated glue is quick and fast but won't instantly glue your finger to something
next bend some wire into a U shape,
these will form the support arms of the searchlight
glue in place and add some glue to the downward wire to form the base for the searchlight
the blob on the downward wire will be trimmed to make the support for the searchlight
I love the "Disco Glow" as the glue sets, reminds me of BITD at Harpo's
and there they are glued in place
and even better with a coat of paint
Now all I have to do is add the four triple-barrel torpedo launchers and mount the guns and all will be well.
OK, I got tired of waiting so I finished it up entirely scratchbuilt. The 6" gun was made using a block of balsa for the gunshield and a bit of wire for the cannon. It isn't the acme of accuracy but it will do until The Housemartin gets the real guns delivered to me.
actually I only made one gun mount
but, via the magic of photo-editing, I added it to all of the locations