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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Some while ago, I found myself in the posession of the Generals Compendium, by far the greatest warhammer book out there (in my opinion). While it is quite old, early sixth edition i believe, it was written in the era that the hobby was more important than money. My eyes immediately fell upon the naval section, setting in motion my creativity, and inspiring me to build a navy.
While gargantuan clashes of fleets are something to aspire to, I decided to begin small at first. A few small ships can still make for an exciting scenario and spice up some otherwise ordinary battles. River raids, embarked reïnforcements, coastal warfare... just to name some ideas. To start things off I began construction on two longboats for my upcoming Chaos fleet.



Here you can see one of the boats still very much under construction, and one somewhat finished and filled up with marauders. They are two small vessels capable of holding 14 marauders.
I started with a foam base that I cut into a rough shape, sanding it to the correct shape afterwards. I cut up a lot of planks roughly 5mm wide and as long as possible. After gluing them down to make the deck, I got a square beam of wood that I managed to slightly bend to form the bow. For the right curvature however, I had to break the beam carefully and glue it back together. The hull was made by gently bending the planks around the foam and sticking them to the bow with glue. This process broke many planks (and many more sprung loose from the bow), so only the strongest remained to make up the hull. Where the hull stuck out above the deck I glued another layer of planks on the inside as reïnforcements. Some doweling and string made the mast.
I quite enjoy making these, however frustrating the curved planking may be. (Luckily, this is over now.)
I am busy making the sails and figureheads, after which they will be ready for painting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is some nice longboats! Great work so far. Would be cool to write some houserules for boarding actions and have some boats for another army aswell! Have catapult-ships and rams. Could be truly epic!
The Boats section in the Generals Compendium encompasses boarding actions as well. No house-ruling is necessary. Your other point however, I'm already working on:





This is a medium Dark Elf attack vessel capable of holding 17 men on the middeck, 12 on the aftcastle and a reaper bolt thrower on the forecastle. I'm building this as a surprise gift for a friend of mine, who has a quite nice dark elf force. I based the front on a classical Greek trireme, but the rear is much more modern. You can see further plans drawn on the cardboard. The pirate is just for scale. While I added some spikey dark-elf aesthetic, I tried to keep it modest. The hull will not be planks like the longships, but I will thicken the cardboard egdes and smooth it with paper. I imagine the Dark Elves sand down and paint the hull. I will do planking on the decks however.
It is no Black Ark, but I think it would still make for a formidable ship and fearsome opponent.
And yes, it has a ram.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the remarks guys, I really appreciate the support!

@Moriouce: Of course! When the 3 boats are finished I'll arrange a battle with my Dark Elf playing friend, that to his surprise will be on water instead of solid ground. As the longships lack any warmachines or missile troops aboard, I'm afraid it won't be a fair fight. I still think it will be a lot of fun however!

@neferhet: Yes and no. It is much simpler in respect to the materials used. The Chaos longboats are made with bend wood, which was a lot harder to do than the cardboard hull of the Dark elf ship. Additionally, the longboats are much more curved due to laying higher in the water, the dark elf ship is much heavier so lies much deeper in the water, thus I gave it less curvature.
The dark elf ship however, is larger and has an aftcastle and a small forecastle. Especially the curved stairs giving access to the aftcastle were not easy to make. The prow and ram of the dark elf ship are also more complex than the simple bow of the longboat.
To summarize: The Dark elf ship is more complex in design, but made with easier materials.

I'd be glad to answer any more questions you might have!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Dark Elf Ship is coming along quite nicely. Finished the woodwork on the decks and door and wrapped the hull in paper to smooth out any lines in the cardboard, but not before adding a second layer of cardboard to the railings. Finished it off by adding a cardboard strip atop all edges to hide the multiple layers of card and paper.


Hole's there for the mast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was thinking more about putting this mean man in command of my longboats:

If I get him to board the dark elves, they probably won't be happy :biggrin:. For some ranged capabilty, I thought about possibly arming my marauders with javelins, despite this not being in the army book.
Additionally I want to add some shallow areas and rocks to the table. My longships would be able to cross the shallows, while the Dark elf ship would probably get stuck on a sand bank. The longboats are more manouvrable as well, and can switch to oars should the wind be unfavourable.
So it'll be my job to lure the dark elves onto the rocks or sandbanks and board him, and his job to evade boarding attempts and sink Wulfrik's ship as soon as possible!
I guess this will probably make for an interesting battle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guys!
Some more information on the Dark Elf ship here.
Perhaps you'd like to know why there's these slits in the hull:

On the forecastle there is a rotating platform upon which the Bolt Thrower can be mounted. If this machine is anchored in place, it won't fall overboard during rough weather, yet is still able to pivot round to fire at enemy targets. The platform is moved by two crewmen belowdecks, turning the axle on which the platform rests. As they are effectively aiming the weapon, it is important for them to be able to see the enemy. These slits allow them to look outside and take aim. The crew op top reloads and adjusts the weapons trajectory for the right distance.



The platform does actually spin round on the model, if you move it with your fingers. It is a truly simple mechanism that works surprisingly well. It rotates quite easily, yet does not come loose. I cut the trim on the outside circle from masking tape, and made rivets from pvaglue. The trim around the central hatch is also made of masking tape. I think it's texture looks somewhat like cast and hammered metal.
I drybrushed the slits with black paint to see them beter. It was quite hard to make them evenly sized otherwise.

Once I've finished the rudder, we'll take a look at the backside of the ship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Why would seamonsters need to breathe? :wink:
I use both 6th ed. rules for naval combat and armies, though once I've got my hybrid 6th/7th ed. finished, I'll start designing my own armybooks in which I will add some more army-specific naval rules and units.
Should you ever come to the Netherlands, I would be happy to accept your challenge. If you're interested in art, history and museums, the Netherlands can be a quite nice destination for a holiday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
The primary reason I used cardboard for this ship is because of the curves. This is a very curvy ship and I have no experience on working with plastic on this rather large scale (larger than normal at least). Cardboard is really easy to bend and cut into shape, while plastic requires more work. Secondly I think cardboard is a much more forgiving material. It is less prone to scratches and slight mess ups are easily concealed. Just stick some paper over it and sand it down. The foam base provides a lot of stability and everything adheres much stronger than when I would have build it with plastic.
That it is cheaper is of course a nice bonus as well. If something isn't cut right you can just throw it away and try again, something I'd find a lot more wasteful when using plastic.
Perhaps some of the ships I'll be doing in the future are better suited to be made out of styrene sheets, but with this one I'm really happy with the result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Time to honour the title of this thread:



The sails are made from a cotton handkerchief, cut to size and soaked in watered down PVA. They were glued to a stick on one edge and left to dry overnight on a device that captures and stabilizes the wind: a balloon. This gives them the shape I was looking to achieve.
I've also been busy modeling the figureheads, but they're not yet good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks Swede! I'll look into that for my next ships.

Just something small this time. I made a boarding plank for the Dark elf ship. Should ever the opportunity arise for it to dock, the crew will be able to embark/disembark.


It hooks nicely inside the railing of the ship. This way, any movement will not cause the plank to fall into the sea between the quay and the ship, though any movement up or down is still possible without the plank breaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
Some wooden doweling cut up for the mast and crossbeams. The crossbeams where sanded to be slightly more narrow at the ends. These were then pinned to the mast with some steel wire. The sail is made from the same cotton handkerchief, again soaked in watered down PVA. Left to dry stuck to the crossbeams with the sails hanging down instead of draped over a balloon. The rope is again made from a woolen string and the bit at the end, where the 3 crossbeams come together is cardboard. The hook was taken from the marauder sprue.
The sail softening while painting was useful this time, because now I could very precisely streak out any bulges and folds. Gravity is not a very accurate substitute for wind. :p

I am thinking of painting the sail a dark reddish orange to contrast with the dark blue I have in mind for the ship. I'm not sure whether I will paint the decks a brown colour to complement the sail, or a grayish wood to make it more bleak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Yes, I have to admit the sail is probably too small for a ship this size, as are the sails of the longboats. I tried to make it as big as possible, but as I built it to be used, I kept ease of use in mind. I wanted it not to be a hassle when placing models on the decks (or removing them during play) and not get in the way when aligning ships hull to hull for boarding actions. It has to be transportable as well, and the bigger the sail, the clumsier that'll be. Besides, I want to prevent damage as much as possible.
I didn't want to post this picture due to the terrible lighting, but here you can see the sail compared to the ship:

I think it doesn't break suspension of disbelief too much.

Thanks for the comments, by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Thanks!
I'm also adding a small bit of loot and equipment in the front and back of the longships. To add some character and detail, and to hide some gaps in the woodwork as well.

I find it quite difficult to come up with a good composition with the small amount of bits and space I have at my disposal. I'll be making some sacks out of greenstuff to add a bit of variation.
 
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