Paper Shipwrights 1/250 #10 Mortar Barge
|DECALS:||None - Prepainted|
This is a model
of the Federal Navy Mortar barge No. 10 that was anchored in the
While seeking a model (of the HMVS Cerberus – but that is another story) by trolling the Internet, I discovered the Paper Shipwright website, operated by David Hathaway. David sells sheets of paper with parts printed (in colour) on them that can be cut-out with scissors or a knife, and assembled onto a model using paper glue. Some parts are to be folded-over to create a thicker, more-robust part, while others are to be rolled to form tubes (aka masts, gun barrels etc). But this was a free download, so I grabbed a copy. I started this kit because this is the sort of modelling I did when I was a boy, it looked like an easy build of an unusual subject.
The waterlined model consisted of a hull/deck/platform supported by an internal spine-and-ribs structure surrounded by a narrow strip - the free-board. On top of this went a round dais that mounted the short-barrelled mortar, and the weapon was surrounded by a thick open-topped 6-sided superstructure.
I failed in the construction of the hull because of the fragility of the ribs and spine, and because they lacked tabs to attach to the underside of the deck. So I replaced it with a plate of balsa-wood that was stiffened with a brass rod (to stop it warping). But I did use the surrounding narrow strip and deck piece. The walls of the superstructure were thickened by sandwiching a piece of cardboard between the kit parts, which made bending the angles difficult. This was solved by sanding and dry-fitting. OK – I had to paint the tops of the wall where the cardboard showed through.
I also thickened the dais and the small parts for the gun cradle, using thinner cardboard. The parts were manageable, but the parts for the trunions and barrel were even smaller. I found it neigh impossible to roll them into tubes, let alone to join them. Quickly, I surrendered and turned one from a length of thick styrene chucked into my power-drill. OK – I had to paint this. By drilling a hole through the barrel, I was able to replace the trunions with a piece of rod – not that I wanted the mortar to be capable of elevating or anything.
And that was it. There was no masking or decaling, and only a little self-inflicted painting was required.
This is a great little model – cost was nothing and it was only a little challenging. It was a little difficult because of the small size and complexity of some of the parts that I chose to replace. For those 350-scale fanatics, or 700-scale phreaks, you can always photo-reduce the original sheet (good luck with the building). But it is unusual, and I’m happy to recommend it, and others of David’s products (especially his lighthouses).
Just the instructions.
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