Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Pirate Project - Sophie's Revenge - The disassembly part 1

As is pretty normal for me I have been distracted by yet another project that is likely to never be finished but its the thought that counts! I have been thinking a lot about what to do with this massive kit, which means its likely going to be displayed in the main part of the house which will require more than a game level paint job and build. We have plenty of guests that would appreciate it as a ship but would not understand what gaming terrain means.

I know that Talon did the design concept and Chris Lewis was the sculptor I see a lot of the Black Pearl and Queen Anne's Revenge in this ship and I'll use one of those two for the rigging. Yes, rigging. I know that its likely to be in the way as a game piece but I like the thought that players would have to maneuver around all the components that you might find on a ship and that means ropes, lots of ropes. 

Based on what I have been researching I think I can get away without the running rigging and just go with the standing rigging, except for perhaps the on the mizzen mast. What I'm thinking is adding a lateen sail as part of the mizzen and I think a sail there wouldn't be in the way to much, or maybe do all three lateen sails. The key to all that though is that the decks have to come away as a single piece to keep the rigging intact. I'm not sure I can even pull that off at this point, but I'll give it a try.

To even get to that point I need to figure out how to disassemble the ship and rebuild it so that any interior detail can be seen and appreciated. With that in mind I worked up my nerve and took a knife, a sculpting tool and acetone to the quarter and poop deck structure. I'm was fairly certain that they used super glue to assemble this at the factory hence the acetone which would serve to soften the CA joint. So using a brush I started running beads of acetone into the joints and gently trying to pry it apart.

I managed to separate the deck from the bulwarks and I think I'm in business. I broke the deck in a couple of places in the slots but it wasn't awful and I'm going to leave those "breaks" in place it will help make sure everything fits back into the right place. I want to be able to remove the decks, including the mast, and leave the bulwark in place so that I can detail the cabins in this area. Still not quite sure where I'll be making those cut lines but now that its in a couple of pieces it will certainly be easier to figure out.

Painting will probably be an ongoing process rather than something done at the end of the project. Will just wing it as I move along.

Let's take a look at the damage I managed to do!

And this is where it starts. If you really take the time to examine this its made up of 7 or 8 pieces.

Under the gentle ministrations of a hobby knife, a sculpting tool and a lot of acetone. I managed to separate the deck from the bulwarks

You can see a couple of the rough edges on this side. I actually broke the plastic here instead of it neatly separating. I'm going to leave the broken pieces in place, it gives a nice reference to glue everything back to.

Here is a look at the underneath of the deck. The circular bit is were the magnets for the mizzen mast are located. I'll need to run some deck  beams across the "ceiling" to make sure the deck remains stiff and not flexible when I take the deck off (if I can pull that off). Techincally I think there should be another cabin underneath that top deck, but there isn't a door and I'm not sure I want to go to that much work.

You can see the edge of the deck that I broke off. I was more careful after this and did much better after this. Just below this is the point where I need to start cutting the deck and top edge of the bulwarks away. Although I'm having some second thoughts on this because of the way the rest of the ship goes together. I'll avoid rushing in with a knife at this point.

And a look at the inside of the stern. This is another spot where I broke a portion of the deck that fits into the slot.

When I start to reassemble this I'll glue the gun deck down to a base that should help keep everything aligned. But the afterdeck cabin sits on the main deck which is the biggest issue for adding the standing rigging, if I try and make the quarter and poop decks removable.

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