Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Colonial Steam River Launch

I think that it would be fair to say that my challenge did not go exactly as I planned insomuch that larger* units of historical miniatures were been overlooked in favour of smaller, more interesting items. I am squaring this away as a direct result of my inability to focus on one thing at any one time and although initially frustrating I decided to embrace it wholeheartedly and enjoy the ride - so to speak! 
*larger for me anyway
To that end let me present to you one of my last offerings to the challenge in the shape of a 'Sarissa Precision' Colonial Steam River Launch.  Whilst I know that not everyone is a fan of the seemingly relentless march of MDF in our most wholesome of hobbies, I have to confess that I am a bit of a fan.  I really enjoy putting these kits together and in the case of the 'Sarissa Precision' models there is plenty of scope to add your own personal touches.  
Having said that when it came to mine, I shamelessly cribbed much of the colour palette and additional extras that I had seen on the Sarissa display stand when I last visited 'Salute'.  The Coal Sacks were sourced from 'The Battle Forge' and I affixed some rivets to the boiler before swapping out the somewhat angular funnel for a more cylindrical piece of tube.  
As with all MDF models, priming is essential as the nature of the material means it will absorb great quantities of paint if you do not.  That said a liberal spray with 'Games Workshop' black undercoat seemed to do the trick, followed by a couple of passes with the trusty airbrush before the details were picked out with a brush.  
Once completed, I set about looking for a suitable skipper and felt that a 'Wargames Foundry' Stouthearted Brit, enjoying his cup of Earl Grey was perfect for the job, but wait, what was that breaking the surface of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River?
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I am often misdirected by the smallest of things and in this case it was the notion that there might be something lurking beneath the waves, ready to ensnare this humble craft. Perhaps lured by the rhythmic thumping of the steam pump, something long forgotten has been stirred from its slumber. In this case some plastic tentacles from my 'Rum & Bones' Kickstarter sufficed and they seemed perfectly responsive to paint. Not content with paint alone, I used a little Vallejo water effects to give the impression of them breaking the surface.
So this was another entry for the challenge completed, but perhaps more importantly another itch scratched.  Maybe the launch will resurface in a 'Congo' scenario, or be seen ferrying troops ashore along the Irrawaddy, but either way it has proved another hugely enjoyable distraction for yours truly.

77 comments:

  1. What a cracking piece - great for scenery or for playing a more active role in a scenario. Sounds like you had the opposite challenge to me - I ended up painting nothing but large units and left all the smaller interesting stuff! Plenty of time for me to get on with that now though.

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    1. Thank you Jamie, as you say lots of possibilities which is just as well given my track record. He's to a more focussed challenge next year.

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  2. Oh wow Michael. I really like that.
    That is an impressive boat. Great job!

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    1. Thank you so much Mike, it is a lovely little kit.

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  3. Splendid launch and the tentacles are menacing indeed!

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  4. And didn't you do a cracking job with it :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, it was a lovely little project.

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  5. Thats excellent. I like the little extras you added in. The rivets and the tube make it look less like an mdf kit with those pieces added.

    The skipper looks perfect and I love the little tentacles very thematic and amusing.

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    1. Thank you Simon, this was one of those projects where everything went together and was thorough;y enjoyable to do too.

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  6. Splendid ol' bean, just splendid!

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    1. You are very kind Clint, thank you.

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  7. Very good. What a great idea! Love the tentacles.

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  8. Cracking bit of kit. I'm still undecided about mdf, as there are some excellent bits out there.

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    1. Thank you Joe, I know what you mean about MDF, but there are certainly some very clever designs that help to provide exciting terrain solutions.

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  9. To your usual high standard mate, lovely

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  10. Great work on the launch, and you can never go wrong with tentacles!

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    1. Thank you Brian and I couldn't agree more. ;)

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  11. Fab, WWHBD - what would humphrey bogart do

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    1. What indeed? Definitely channelling the African Queen with this one.

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  12. Lovely little launch Michael. The tentacles and cup of tea make it.

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    1. Thank you Peter, there is always time for tea and tentacles.

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  13. Creative and excellent as always Michael, a wonderful ship outbound for epic, and dangerous, trips...

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  14. Another 1st place winning modeling project.

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  15. Neat. Here´s me hoping to get the painting desk cleared as I´m wanting to scratch build another boat (for Bodstonia or along the lines of the one in ...??..secret ;-) ) but to add a Motor to power it along...for fun.

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    1. Now that sounds interesting, I do like a secret project.

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  16. Very nice launch, scary looking tentacles and impressively looking tea drinking gentleman.

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  17. Good stuff Michael! One cannot resist the temptation of tentacles when it comes to waterborne craft!

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  18. A delightful little model. I like the additions you've made.

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  19. Almost expected to see Humphrey Bogard and Audrey Hebburn squabbling on deck!
    Very nice work Michael. Kind of makes me think they missed a great storytelling opportunity by not including the tentacled beast in The African Queen. :)

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    1. Thank you Dai, I would love a 28mm Charlie and Rose and I'm sure we could squeeze in a tentacle or two. :)

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  20. A lovely model and you've done a fantastic job on this little scene.

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  21. Lovely I need to start looking for some more boats for future battles😀

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    1. I'm pretty sure Sarissa do a barge which I would love to see you equip for defending the waterways!

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    2. Yes they do a german invasion landing barge, but it is a bit steep at £20 and is a bit limited in its usage....would be nice though 🙂

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  22. Superb work Michael. Lovely painting on a kit I wouldn't have guessed as mdf at first glance - excellent job all around. :)

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    1. Thank you that is very kind of you.

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  23. And a lovely little conveyance it is Michael, you've done a great job with her. She would also be great in Dinovember for "The Hunt for the great White Plesiosaur", which is a scenario I made up some years ago but never actually got to modelling for. I have the crew and Harpooner figures though!

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    1. Thank you Paul, now I have a Plesiosaur somewhere so I need to know where to find a suitable crew and Harpooner?

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  24. Terrific stuff Michael, and I love the "Rum & Bones" tentacles. I thought you had a terrific "AHPC" :-)

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    1. Thank you so much Simon, I certainly enjoyed what I produced, but felt that I didn't really do justice to the idea of it being a collaborative event.

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  25. Lovely little kit, Michael, and your 'extras' really made it stand out. Although I have no actual use for it, I do quite fancy one. Of course, if I do end up buying "Congo", I will need some transportation for bold sons of the Empire...

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    1. Thank you Jez, it was a lovely little kit and I was lucky enough to get the paddle steamer for Christmas so thinking about building a flotilla now!

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  26. Thats a Great looking boat, cool tentacles!

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  27. Looks great Michael! On that thing MDF works great! The seams don't matter as it just seems like planking which would be quite proper for a boat. However sometimes MDF is maybe used a bit too much. Things like cars from MDF just look silly most of the time... MDF has it's place though and it's definitely improved the availabilty of scenery and made better looking tables more accessible to everyone

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    1. Thank you Samuli, I know exactly what you mean about the 'boxy' nature of some of the MDF kits, I think part of the fun is adding little bits to make them truly unique.

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  28. Super model. There is something about river launch models I find attractive.Well done.

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    1. Thank you, I know exactly what you mean there is something rather romantic about the thought of them steaming up and down the river.

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  29. Wonderful stuff mate. Love the colour palette. Have you ever played Bog-a-Ten? You're halfway there already...

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    1. Thank you Millsy, I had Bog-a-Ten in the back of my mind as I know I have the rules somewhere, just need to remember where!

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  30. That's so cool...I hope he doesn't spill his Darjeeling.

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    1. Thank you, he looks like a safe pair of hands so I think the tea is safe for the time being.

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  31. Magnificent work Michael, the tentacles are particularly nice!

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  32. I thought you had a great challenge, playing to your strengths and producing lovely vignettes for the bonus rounds, I've said it before, it's a lovely boat!
    Best Iain

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  33. Great work, the boats look good in their bare MDF state you really have done the business with these.

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  34. Brilliant work Michael - the creepy tentacles vs. the calm enjoyment of some tea...love it!

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  35. Don't know how I missed this Michael, it's marvelous, well done.

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  36. Terrific job Michael ... I particularly love the bluish violet on the red tentacles. It made me do a double take as I taught the waters were reflecting its hues on the tentacles.

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