Project Planning
The kit planning was done now it’s on to the meat of the plan and actually put ideas on paper.
The box art and my desire to include rigging gave me the idea to set the project at the stairs near the rail at the back of the ship where the elevation changes from the main deck to the poop deck. Yes that is what they call it Poop Deck. Now it was off to research tall ships. The internet is a wonderful place and I found lots of images and write ups on sailing ships. Since I was going to scratch build everything I needed good solid foundations for the entire ship. Since I only had two figures as the main focus of the project I planned on scratching a section of the ship. This composition decision was made to keep the focus of the viewer on the main subject. This is a key component to any vignette or diorama. You don’t want to much ‘dead’ space distracting from the primary thesis. I had these elements I wanted to include in my project:
  1. The Figures,
  2. A Canon,
  3. A Poop Deck,
  4. A Portion of Rigging.

The figures are the primary focus, while the canon allows for a bit more size in the project giving balance and room for the other components. So through the use of a secondary focal point I was able to expand the project to include the other elements.

With a keyboard and Google, I set off to get detailed information on the construction of a tall ship. I needed information on things like scale, size, composition, and construction. I knew this project was going to include a bit of creative license on my part. Even with that in mind I feel you need some type of historically accurate reference point. If you go to far from reality it becomes a Sci-Fi/Fantasy project; not what I wanted.

I found a ton of information on the internet and did not have to resort to any hard bound library books. Some of the sites I found include
Admiralty Ship Models
Ship Rigging
Man of the Ocean
The Fram
J Christopher Galleries
Replica Guns and Swords
Pirate Weapons
The Guns of the Consitution
MN Historical Society

All of these sites helped me with one piece or another from the pullies to the rope color to the use of metal loops to hold the rigging blocks.

Armed with this picture and text background I have the necessary data to move forward.

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