Author Topic: The Science Pirates: Early operations  (Read 826 times)

Offline Dr. YoKai

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The Science Pirates: Early operations
« on: October 11, 2021, 01:41:46 AM »
  "When Mlle. Yo formed the Science Pirate Syndicate in 1875, the world little suspected that by the end of the decade, the
    naval powers of the great empires would be challenged as never before." - Bentford & Gojira,No Chains on the Waves: The Science Pirate Syndicate, 1870-1901

   I think I have written elsewhere of Aunt Sekrit's theft of the steam jet ram,Polyandrous (ex-USS Alarming) and the beginnings of the
SPS. With her rescue of the Rev. Ulrich Willmanarth of the Reformed Church of Hydra (Lovecraft's 'Deeper Ones') from his exile on Last Atlantis1, and his subsequent assistance in the Spanish ironclad Numancia in 1873, she created the beginnings of a force that
would ultimately, if briefly, cow the mightiest fleet on Earth.
   This was some years in the future, however, and the Science Pirate, as the New York Tribune dubbed her, struck first at South and Central American shipping interests, almost always seizing the ship and cargo, and either putting the crews ashore or in boats. While their relatively
bloodless successes endeared them to the common sailors of the world, near brushes with heavier French and British warships convinced Sekrit
that something heavier was required. And a lucky shot from the HMS Sultan wrecking the upper works of SPS Polyandrous off Bermuda in 1874
would give her a particular animus against the Royal Navy. It remains unclear who among Yo's colleagues first suggested raising the HMS Captain, though it was quickly embraced and acted upon, again with the invaluable assistance of a local colony of Homo Piscis, and the reconfigured Numancia, rechristened the SPS Burkend Hare. Towed to the harbor at Last Atlantis, the Captain entered service as the SPS Revenant in 1875, as the first flagship of the Science Pirate Syndicate, having added the captains Bangor Herring, Oolong Olafsdotter,
Senor Gomez2, and Juan Cero, the Spanish Difference Engine shortly after the raid on Havanna in late 1873.

(More back story as the build progresses. To start, this will be a full scratch build of something looking a bit like the ill-fated HMS Captain
 of 1870. This is a 'let's see what happens' kind of build' - I went looking for one of my two old CSS Virginia/USS Monitor kits, found a template
 I had cut for...some other project, and thought again about doing something with the HMS Captain design. This is where is stands right now -
 I had gotten so wrapped up in cutting plastic I was working largely from memories, and really can't tell you what the scale is...[I do have references, I just looked at them after I got to this point...] All Sheet plastic and strip so far.)
DSCF0542 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

I did the forecastle deck first to try and get the deck height about right-once everything is glued together solidly, I can sand the side supports
to a good vertical and add the upper hull walls, and then (shudder) start detailing.

DSCF0545 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

1. Easternmost of  Le Mystères, five 'sometimes' islands that could only be approached from a narrow avenue of reality west of Bermuda.
    Last Atlantis, a perfect square 1.3 kilometers on a side, with the center 2/3rds a circular harbor entered from the Northern edge. Abandoned
    during the exodus from the majority of the island's submergence, the majority of it's super-science and stockpiles of materials had remained
    unplundered over the centuries, due on no small part to the bloodthirsty giant crabs that populated the shores.

2. Either a demonically possessed feline, or an uplifted super cat from the future, Senor Gomez was instrumental in the capture of the Numancia, posing as the ship's cat.



 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 07:22:09 AM by Dr. YoKai »

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2021, 02:24:59 AM »
I love old ironclads! This is a good start. From the ruler and cutting mat, this is going to be a pretty big model. The turrets look like they're 0.75-1" high, so maybe between 1/160 and 1/144 scale?

The Numancia was a real Spanish ironclad with a somewhat unfortunate history.

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2021, 03:43:08 AM »
Excellent !!
Some of the best names for ships in a backstory yet.

Like Frank, I find that older Ironclads have a certain thing about them. Faint whiff of HMVS Cerberus, the Breastwork Monitor that served in the Colonial Victorian Navy. Probably why I like the shape so much already

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2021, 12:53:38 AM »
There's a free paper download of the HMVS Cerberus from Paper Shipwright. It's a complex model, but some of the parts (like the turrets) are relatively simple and can be copied to plastic.

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2021, 02:30:31 AM »
There's a free paper download of the HMVS Cerberus from Paper Shipwright. It's a complex model, but some of the parts (like the turrets) are relatively simple and can be copied to plastic.

 :smiley:
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Offline apophenia

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2021, 03:50:58 AM »
Looking good so far ... but loving your backstory!  :-*
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Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2021, 09:15:11 PM »
(Edited the initial post to add the footnotes. A bit more back story. Now, on with the show!)

 After actually looking at the drawings in Tony Gibbon's Battleships, I realized that the length was about right, but the beam
was about a third too great. Some figuring and a straight edge allowed me to shave off the sides to a more acceptable (and frankly more
elegant) profile, while it also showed me that I was building it at right about 1/350 scale (The original had a length OA of 320 feet and the build
at 11 inches worked out to 1/349...anyhoo.) I also lowered the height of the main deck, fabricated the upper deck, and started plating the sides.
And somewhere, while waiting for things to dry, I started a torpedo boat, the O Solo Mio.
DSCF0552 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr
 The original armament had tumbled all over the insides of the turrets, and as no one in the SPS had been particularly impressed by
the RN's muzzle loaders, it was decided to replace the weapons with something a bit more effective. Forward, the gun ports were cut
away to a single slot for a four-barreled 10 cm repeater designed by R.E Kylwell of Kylwell und Offenn (based on Gardner patents) which
fired the remarkable deformable dynamite round designed by Kylwell's wife and partner, the brilliant chemist Red Mischief Sue. The
effect of these 'squish-boom bombs' on the armor of the time was nothing less than horrific. The after turret used a pair of Ancient Atlantean weapons, a 'fire lance' and an 'audio pulse amplifier'. The former projected a thin beam or 'spear' of super-heated plasma, contained by
a powerful magnetic field, with a range/terminus of around half a kilometer. The APA projected pulsed soundwaves that at first simply bounced
off the target, to be analyzed by an Atlantean Difference Engine, which would then modify the pulse to the vibrational frequency of the
target, and "Shake them up a bit", as Aunt Sekrit was wont to say.

Below is the first version of the K&O mechanical cannon, which has since been replaced by a small scratchbuild that looks a lot better.
DSCF0559 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr
And the rear turret.
DSCF0561 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr
From here, it's mainly refinement and detailing - I started scribing the upper deck yesterday, and that will take a day or two... :icon_crap:

 

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2021, 04:58:34 AM »
OH !!! This is even better.

That is it. Time to finish out the MTB and get the Chen Yuen Ironclad happening. Doc, you are a genius

Offline finsrin

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2021, 09:51:15 AM »
OOOOH !     Most interesting, keep going....

Offline arkon

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2021, 11:37:48 PM »
👍this is so cool!
the paper gods demand sacrifice

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2021, 01:23:43 AM »
I love the turret placement in the hull! The torpedo boat looks good, although the smokestack looks a bit large. It may just be the picture angle.

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2021, 09:45:58 AM »
... the smokestack looks a bit large...

I agree ... but I kinda like it this way  :smiley:
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Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2021, 10:30:16 PM »
 Moving along - the deck scribing went ok, though my hands are never too steady at the best of times. I gave the whole thing a dusting of pastels
 to make the scribing stand out, because my eyes are even worse than my hands... :(
 DSCF0562 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr
 
 Like Buzzbomb, I sometimes find myself suddenly going "ok, what do I do NOW?", and in this case, it is deciding how much to alter
 the basic outline in the name of "SCIENCE!". Two or three options below, and I'm open to input. First is a built up forecastle-
 DSCF0564 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

 Next, an upper deck house which mirrors the central main deck housing -
 DSCF0563 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

 The third and fourth options would be both or neither. And the Torpedo boat is coming along.
 DSCF0567 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

 Hull needs a bit more work, and I will add a few more teeny bits just to dress it up, but
 I think it's mostly done. The Revenant needs some ladders and railings, so I will be making
 a road trip to the Hobby shop today, or mailing off for some PE in order to complete it, but
 I am very pleased with how quickly this has come together.
 Frank, I see what you're saying about the funnel on the O Solo Mio, but am rationalizing that the SPS would have used
 better and larger engines. (And it was the smallest piece of oval-section sprue I could find in my spares box.)

 And, like Buzz, my hands cannot wait, even though my minds are wandering... see 'Ernst at the Schneider Cup' elsewhere in this
 sub-forum. 

 

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2021, 03:52:28 AM »
With that nice scribing, It might look good as an aircraft carrier, like the early Lexington or some of the Japanese carriers.

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2021, 10:35:49 PM »
 Further progress. Despite being really tempted by the Carrier idea*, I decided to go with the 'both' option, adding the deck house and an abbreviated version of the raised forecastle.
DSCF0586 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

 I also added a pair of heavy boarding ramps (this is a pirate ship, after all.) fore and aft of the deck house. They need a small prop under
the near end of the ramp to make them sit right, but they will be able to track from port to starboard and rotate when finished.

DSCF0587 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

 And one of the central motifs of any kind of steampunk seems to be exposed machinery of uncertain purpose, so...
DSCF0590 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

* And since deck scribing turned out better, and proved simpler than anticipated, I will likely have to do something with the idea before too long.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2021, 02:35:22 AM »
The ship is looking good! You need to add some random gears before you can call it steampunk...

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2021, 03:04:58 AM »
The ship is looking good! You need to add some random gears before you can call it steampunk...

 ;D
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2021, 04:49:27 AM »
I like where you have taken this Craig. Big tick on the "both" option on superstructure. The idea of rotating boarding ramps works as well. Maybe some derrick arrangement so the boarding crew are not exhausted manhandling heavy ramps before they run screaming onto the the target deck. Maybe something like the corvus system used by the Romans maybe

Oh.. and grapple launchers.

Big smokestack could mean big engine of course

All in all like your work

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2021, 10:36:14 PM »
 Thought I'd throw in a couple of pics of the original for comparison.



More news in a bit. Thanks for the comments - replies anon.

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2021, 08:22:47 AM »
Some progress. Not Grapple launchers exactly, but...
DSCF0593 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

(I had been scheming a 'sea demon' scheme from the start -) Sekrit Yo had an
innate understanding of human psychology, and had studied the Nemo affair1intently for years. Thus among the earliest improvements to the
raised ship was a new bow, with a heavier ram2, and upswept 'horns' of
plate above the hurricane deck. Sent down by rail in discrete sections from Robur's North Carolina foundry (abandoned and reclaimed by the SPS in 1879.) the claw cranes were powerful enough to push the Revenant free if the ram became lodged in its target. They were also handy in crushing impertinent Gatlings and Gardeners on the enemies decks. Painted in a garish 'devil face' scheme, the sight of Satan himself rising from the waves as the ship charged its victim invariably instilled panic in the enemy crew and passengers.
                                                                   
DSCF0594 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

1. Arronax's 20,000 Leagues Below the Waves had been published some six years prior.

2. Mademoiselle Yo had an absolute passion for ramming. On the whole, it would
prove a successful tactic for the SPS, their ships having a speed advantage over the world's navies nearly the whole of it's career. By the early 1890's however, increasing gun ranges and improved accuracy in the French and German navies
largely negated its effectiveness. 

(I realized a couple of days ago the that I had not noticed the shape of the stern-there is a slight inward rake to about main deck height even at the water line, where I had it vertical to the water. I have set about reshaping it, and should have it corrected in a day or two. The weather here has been a bit cool and damp to paint, but there is a warming trend.)

And finally-
The ship is looking good! You need to add some random gears before you can call it steampunk...
Harumph. That may be the trendy fashion nowadays, but I consider as this vessel pretty much already has a mowhawk, (slides thumbs under suspenders) I reckon its
 Punk enough. ;)



Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2021, 05:58:31 AM »
Awesome  :D :D

The grabbers look great and fit right in with your look.
Excellent, really, really liking this

Offline finsrin

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2021, 08:37:04 AM »
Awesome  :D :D

The grabbers look great and fit right in with your look.
Excellent, really, really liking this

Agree, Agree, Agree.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2021, 10:04:26 AM »
Where's the grappler guy(s) located? They would need a good view of the action

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2021, 11:01:36 AM »
Where's the grappler guy(s) located? They would need a good view of the action

I did add a bridge structure to the upper deck house, but a single mast and crow's nest seem like a mighty good idea.

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Science Pirates: Early operations
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2021, 11:02:11 AM »
In at the wire, I present the Science Pirate Ship Revenant.
DSCF0613 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr
I think the bow came out ok - portraiture isn't really my forte. ;)
DSCF0616 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

I wanted to use Buzzbomb's crepe paper technique, but the local craft store didn't seem to carry it! I went with a small scrap of plexiglass, plastic strip in the sides, and a piece of blue foil card stock pressed up below. this was slathered over with some slightly tinted water effects paste, and then dry brushed with white.
DSCF0619 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

DSCF0617 by VileDr.Yo, on Flickr

Now to do this all over again for the completed thread! ;D