Sunday, 7 February 2016

Tutorial: Boats and Ships - Updated

How to create boats for your RPG out of Hirst Arts blocks!



Ships are something I certainly have an interest in obtaining and judging on some of the discussions i follow I believe I'm not the only one.

I wanted to do this as an experiment. Could a boat be made out of Hirst Art Blocks and look ok?

I believe the answer to now be yes :)

I started by downloading the floor-plan of a ship. There are plenty of these available. I found mine on DriveThruRPG. If your even slightly ok with free-hand you can likely just skip this step but I just wanted something to base the build on.

I printed out the plans on A4 paper and stuck them all together.


I cut the boat out and traced it onto High Density Foam Core Board. 


This gave me a basic shape to work with. 


Using the grid on the original print out as a guide I glued down some Hirst Art wooden floor pieces (Inn Floor Mold #221) in place where a whole tile would fit. This gives you the base to continue. 


Now for the hard bit. Using a small saw you need to cut each individual tile so that it fits in an outstanding spot on the layout. This is a painful process but this is ultimately how to make squares into a boat. 



Once you have the complete layout you should process to cut the shape out with a craft knife / Stanley knife. 


Once the basic shape is cut out head out-side with some sand-paper. This next step gets messy. Sand the foam core into the shape of a ship hull. 

Once you are happy with the basic shape you can proceed to glue lots of pop-sticks to the hull. I use a thinner variety as i feel it is more to scale but standard should work fine. You will need to cut small pieces in order to get pieces to cover the curved section of the hull. Do this one layer at a time by putting the hull upside down on a flat surface and building your way up.



Now its time to make the boat look pretty.
Inn Building Accessories Mold #57 is great for the boat railings and posts.

The little round table / wheel on Common Inn Accessories Mold #58 is great for the ships helm. I've also used some of the stair railings to mount the wheel. 

I also use the stair railings to help secure the mast that should secure the jib at the front of the boat. 

I use the trapdoor for hatches(Common Inn Accessories Mold #58). The loading section of the boat uses the 2" planks from Inn Building Accessories Mold #57.

The mast is secured in a lower pillar from Gothic Arena Accessories Mold #42. Glue the two halves together and let them dry completely. Drill a hole in the middle of the piece for a mast to slide in. 

Use dowel for the mast. I used zip-ties to secure the lower mast onto the main mast. It worked quite well surprisingly. 

Lastly ensure you have a cool figurehead to go at the front of your boat!

Paint and play!


You can make any size or shape ship with variations of this process. Here i made a dinghy but i didn't use pop-sticks on the hull due to size restrictions.