Where to go from here? Build the deck, start rigging, build a canon? This was an easier decision than it seems. With my plan in place I knew that the base (deck and hull) would all be ‘scaled’ and sized around my canon. The height of the sides, the size and location of the stairs, the size and location of the barrel port, everything would be contingent on the size of the canon. Sometimes in a final product the subject shines because of the backdrop. You always have to consider the entire project and not skimp on certain things; the canon is one of those things in this project.

In all my research for products and information I have never seen a 54mm individual canon that would fit this project. My research did show me some nice drawings and gave me the confidence to scratch build an entire canon. This was a mini-project in itself because I decided to ‘create a kit’. I was going to create master parts and then make molds and pour resin. This was partly because I am not 100% sure that I will only use one canon. Also, I may do more pirate projects later. It never hurts to have resin extras sitting around. My fist matter of work was to design a canon loosely based on my research. I drew a few designs to get rough sizes and shapes. That expanded into some scale drawing so I could decide on raw materials. Forethought and planning again play a part. I knew the canon would revolve around the barrel so that’s where I started.

With my drawing in hand I went to the DIY store to get barrel material. I own a small hobby lathe and planned on turning a barrel. I opted for a round dowel rod as my raw material because it would require less work than making a square one and knocking down the rough edges. I measured a piece and made sure I had about ½ to ¾ of an inch extra on each end. This extra gives you some extra ‘space or room’ to work. You won’t find yourself with your chisel all bunched up against the turning ends. I made a couple of pieces just to experiment and try different techniques.

I loaded my blank dowel stock into the lathe used a small hobby chisel to create a basic shape. I used a bit of creative license on the barrel design knowing that each batch of canon was slightly different. Once the rough shape was chiseled in I used a piece of sand paper over the spinning piece to smooth it out. When making the master of the barrel I planned on adding some details to embellish the final look. I didn’t worry about these details during the ‘turning’ process. I knew I could add these later.

With the barrel master done I test fit the paper pieces with the wooden master to create master patterns for all the pieces. This included the sides, cross braces, and wheels. Once I was satisfied with the paper size and shape I transferred the pattern to wood. After I cut out the wooden masters I added some details to the side pieces with bits of wire (pulley loops) and a couple of bolts on the top edge.
  • 7_1_hobbylathe
  • 7_2_masterbarrel
  • 7_3_mastermoldresult
  • 7_4_masterendresult
  • 7_canondet1
  • 7_canondet2
  • 7_canondet3

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