Deck Finishing
The finish is simply three different household stains. Each was used to give a complementary appearance. I used brushes for most of the application. Care must be taken when you apply stain at the joints. If you plan on having two different stains next to each other you must use the stain sparingly and allow for the fact that the wood will soak up and draw in more stain. If too much stain is used the opposite side of the seam may suffer from overflow. I used a small tipped brush and small amounts of stain to make sure this didn’t happen.

The desk stain was a ‘gel’ style. This goes on with the texture and thickness of PVA glue. I applied a basic coat with a brush and then rubbed off the excess with a QTip. I needed the control and size of a QTip vs. a small rag (towel) because of the scale and area.

Deck Details
The details added to the deck are mostly scratch built with a few leftovers from the spare bin.
The canon rigging is made from a combination of scratch made pulley wheels, simple string, and a connector ‘bit’ purchased from the local craft store in the jewelry section.

All the pulleys were made with the same technique, just different size rolls. I used Skulpy (baking clay). I rolled out a nice sized ‘snake’ of clay making sure I had a good section of evenly sized material. I baked it and let it cure. Then I cut little disks for each pulley. I drilled a hole in the middle to thread a rope through. The outside pulley groove was a three step process. First, I marked the center line with a pencil. Then I etched in a guide groove with a dental tool. This guide groove was a very small etch line that will help guide the next bigger gouging tool. I next used a different style dental tool with a wider broader ‘shovel’ tip to gouge out a deep trough for the rope to run through. A final ‘once over’ was done with a file.

Tip: Oversize pieces One of the ‘construction styles’ that I worked in was to cut each piece a bit larger than necessary. This was done with the realization that I would have to sand this down later. This is a pure style point and you may like cutting exactly to size right from the start. I have grown into the style of over-cutting almost everything and adjusting later. I feel that it gives me more control over the assembly processes and over the finished product. You can see from the photos that I over-cut the ends of the decks. This allows me to sand them all down at one time and make them uniform.

Tip: Magnetic Clamp One of my favorite ‘hand’ made tools is my magnet clamp; you can build one of these for very little money. Go to your DIY or Craft store and get a few magnets. Mine came square so there was not cutting to shape. If you need to cut the magnets use a heavy duty pair of scissors or a hobby knife. The most common angle is 90 degrees. Once you have magnets of the desired shape you simply find a metal surface. I use an old decorative ‘tin’ lid. The tin was a container that cookies came in. Anything flat and metallic will work.
I use them to hold pieces together at right angles while glue dries.

The railings were made from a combination of wood, styrene, and metal jewelry details. I found the ornamental detail pieces at my local craft stores jewelry section. They were cheap and very functional in this and other projects. I had some round styrene stock and decided to use it vs. wooden stock simply because of availability. I didn’t want to buy wooden dowels so I used what I had.
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About the Author

About Scott Lodder (slodder)

I modeled when I was a teenager. College, family and work stopped me for a while. Then I picked it back up after about 12 years off. My main focus is dioramas. I like the complete artistic method of story telling. Dioramas involve so many aspects of modeling and I enjoy getting involved in the ...


Excellent article Scott.
OCT 07, 2006 - 08:09 PM
GREAT article Scott!! And great subject/model too! well, 14 pages is a lot for my english skills and i will have to start all over again but you prove that dioramas is the king of modelism genres because here you can really DARE, you are only limited by your imagination!
OCT 07, 2006 - 08:21 PM
Arrrrr!!! Nice work matey! It's got a great sense of action/motion. Excellent job documenting the build too! Cheers, Jim PS: About those links... try putting them back in. I need to see them in action to figure out why they are failing.
OCT 07, 2006 - 11:55 PM
Thanks for the complements It was a blast to build and I hope some people can learn a tip or trick. PS - the links are on page 14
OCT 08, 2006 - 12:46 AM
Hi scott, As somebody who has an interest in the subject of the time of the Pirates and often enjoy playing a variety of games, I have really enjoyed both the review and the pictures that accompany the text. I have often looked at the Pirates series by Verlinden and may well look again with an intention to buy as I feel a little inspired by the work that you have done. Many thanks, and this is my first visit to Model Geek, so I may now visit again. John
OCT 08, 2006 - 02:13 AM
Great article Scott, well written ,easy to follow with and great photography. I always wanted to do something with water and waves and I had read many others on how to achieve such, but your has a bit more since to it. You put in a ton of time and effort into this article feature, you deserve a round of applause. Joe
OCT 08, 2006 - 09:28 AM
Thanks Joe - the encouragement makes the work worth it Hopefully you jump in and try some water - just ask any questions, I'd be happy to help. John - pirates are Great, a bit of color, a bit of 'fantasy', total creativity, and you keep a bit of military base too. Hope to see you around MG more often - it's a fun place
OCT 08, 2006 - 04:12 PM
Great article and well executed dio. It's well worth reading and learning a few new tricks and also getting a reminder of a lot of features already showed on Modelgeek. Well done Scott Cheers Claude
OCT 08, 2006 - 06:03 PM