Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Tiny Ships Paper Guns A Make Do Project by BB

A project you will not find on You Tube.

It began with a thought,and then a question that I asked myself,`How hard would it be to make a 1/72 scale Toy Gun for a scratch-built boat I`d recently viewed in a topic that was manned by Pirates but was completely void of guns'? In my imagination,it was a Pirate vessel sailing the sea`s around the Caribbean islands on the lookout for Spanish & Portuguese treasure ships to plunder. Finally the Penny Dropped. "Yes that might work",i said to myself. So looking for stuff that people the world over have in their homes.What I needed was 5 strips of paper cut from an A4 size sheet of paper,a cotton bud,a metal pin,a cocktail stick,some PVA Glue and a small size artists brush.A cheap brush with a thin tapered round handle.

Long ago I made chimney pots for my little cottages that I made,and I used a brush handle to wind the paper around to form what were painted up as clay pots. So likewise in order to help those who scratch build stuff, the plan was to produce a short barrelled 32 and a 36 pounder cannon for a well armed to the teeth Pirate boat. This is how it formulated itself for the first time ever,and from the cheapest materials too. Paper is the cheapest thing ever one could or would wish to use.

One long strip was marked out wider than the rest because this would produce the barrel of the gun. Three more smaller widths were also marked out one being wider than the other two. All were cut out.So the winding around the brush handle began.

First a dry run to form the curve around the handle,then glue was brushed on the edge just enough to make it stick to the paper and not the handle. If it goes on the handle it will not come off at all.

The light was very dull upon this winters day,and it saw me working up near a window that overlooked part of the garden.

Like rolling a rather wet fag!

Yes it was OK to proceed, with more glue and another few winds. I then checked it would move freely around the handle,and yes it did.

So gradually without a dire need to rush I carried on.
Snipping off time

Soon it was time to cut the waste off and the edge was stuck down. 

A light rolling on a flat surface  finished this part. How many of you can remember when you rolled out that little piece of dough when you were a young child? They certainly were Magical Days!

There it is off the brush the wider end needed a little snip off with the scissors. It kinda looks rough at this stage ,but after all one must have a before and after to show.

A few minutes later,the After!

The tube was placed back upon the brush handle and the three smaller strips were wound on and around the barrel in the same way as it was formed, and where can be viewed in the picture. A wider piece of paper strip was also added at the far end.___ It was now taken off again and reversed onto the brush handle again. With a good dip in the glue the cotton bud was then pushed into the wide open back end.                                                                                                                                         

Rethinking upon this matter I could use blu tac to create the back end or modelling air-drying clay. However I wanted to use the cheapest possible method and a tiny cotton bud does                                work.                                                                                                                                                           

Glue was brushed onto the cotton bud and cotton wool already pulled off the other end was wound around the stuck in end,and with wet finger and thumb  the bud was loosely gripped. and the whole piece turned around a few times using the other hand. Yes a little bit of spit was applied to smooth this stage of the work. The stem was cut off,and what was left of the cotton wool off the other end was glued into the wide open tiny hole and wet with glue it was push well into it and it also formed the nob.                                                                                                                              

Holding the formed nob in my palm while turning it flattened the nod slightly to form its finished planed design. It is now looking like a toy,a bronze cast ships Gun, but it needs pivots fixed to it in order to mount the thing.  All fell into place as I worked my way through this tiny build. When dry a pin was pushed into the side of the gun and then pushed right through it while keeping it level. I made sure the line formed at the cutting off point to each piece of paper would be on the underneath part of the gun. All cutting off was carried out on this same side to help give a tidy finish to this bronze cast gun.

The pin hole was slightly widend by using a craft knife with a sharp point,and then a cock-tail stick was pushed right through the barrel and out of the other side.So this problem of pivots  was simply solved. In the photograph above it shows the patterns that formed the gun mount all ready to cut out. What was now needed was a way to cut out the four caster wheels,which was a sort of mind bender. A puzzlement indeed,but solved simple by winding thin strips of paper around a cock-tail stick until the required wheel size was achieved. This also solved the problem of having the wheels fixed into place on an axial.

A simple mock-up to enliven imaginations. The pivots will be cut to size later when the width of the bottom work aligns up just fine.                                                                                                             

The Oak Gun Mount is in the early stage of development and four of the caster wheels are shown above.

With undercoat on it looks kind of old already as if salvaged from the parent ship.
But Bah! Humbug! There`s no Treasure to speak of.
The wooden sticks will be cut to correct size when all lines up with the bottom.

The awkward mistakes I made is the process of self teaching. The thing is to soldier on after learning from it. One must be prepared with a plan B,C,D or whatever. So I have shown the cronic mistakes in order to achieve a contrast with the end result.

I made two short barrelled bronze guns,but due to paper fluff on this first gun platform I dulled this picture to lesson the untidy distraction of it down. As new plans for a stronger gun platform is being drawn up with a stronger and simpler design pattern to it,so the mounted guns will be shown later. Before then I would like to mention a long lost mysterious ship.

                                                          The Lost Ship & Shipwright

The American Cival War Rages On and On,and for some Great Expectations are due to come.

The story of the bronze guns salvaged from the CSS YOBONAEB. A fast paddle steamer and according to her papers as having been French built,but then sailed to G Britain, and  fitted out with short barrelled 32 and 36 Pounders at the Tower of London. (Many a ship were likewise armed at this medieval place of power.) It being a well armed Blockade Runner,proved very successful running Official Mail, Gold, millions of firing caps,thousands of muskets and rifles to add the Southern Cause.  It was sunk off the coast of Normandy in the early Spring of 1863,by two US Federal Ships,that saw it burn,blow up and sink. ( Declared Pirate by the Federal Government.)  Those American frigates, were in turn chased by the British Navy halfway across the Atlantic. The YOBONAEB, was discovered in 1965,but the site was kept secret until it was salvaged in 1995, and its bronze guns were raised as indeed was 17 Million Pounds worth of Gold.

The name of the Mysterious Shipwright that built this blockade runner was recently discovered by simply reversing the ships  name.
 It was such a revelation causing quite a stir in the annals of English literature.

The Gun Mount

It needs a polish up and wheels but the it is possible now to mount the guns,and add a wedge to level each of the guns.

 The pivot point lugs have been cut to fit each  wooden mount.

More toy Guns are being made and I decided to down size the gun mount by 4mm in height,then fix the  wheels attached to the axial.

Enough Ammo for an  Armada

Steel Shotgun Ammo, a very large bag for £7.00 Perfect size for all my cannon.In Teddy Bear Shops,they weight  down playfull Bears with this stainless steel stuff.      

Perhaps I`ll see you guys again real soon with more results.Thanks for stopping by. BB                                                                                                                                                                                                         


  1. Stunning job Paul, no limit to your imagination!

    1. Thank you Phil,what would any of use be without imagination ? Limits are I`m afraid set out by individuals,as they say,"I could never do that!" And without even trying to do it whatever it might be. BB

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Michal,thank you for visit and unexpected expressive comment. BB

  3. Amazing technick and the result is beautiful!This post
    was the lesson of the day for me !Thank you!!

    1. The bright thing about imagination coupled with experimental work in the Craft, is it must remain active ,alert and more to the point alive. Yes one can learn much by just thinking and applying.
      Thank you for your kind comment. BB