Thoroughly inspired by the recent fascinating post over on the always excellent 'Yours in a White Wine Sauce', concerning early Turkish submarines, I felt compelled to have a go at creating some VSF/AquaNef-type craft that might resemble those described.
As far as I am aware, as such, there are no actual submarine craft commercially available from Brigade Models or elsewhere that would fit the bill, (although there are some interesting ACW monitors/torpedo craft in the 1/1200th range from Navwar) so I found myself reaching for the bits box.
Now as a contact lense wearer, I make frequent use of the eye drops pipettes pictured above, and as regular readers of this Blog will know, they often find their way into various projects in one form or another:
Something about the bomb-like shape lends itself to the construction of weird and wonderful weapons of war, and they are fitted with various protrusions and ridges which can have the appearance of industrial-revolutionary mechanisation; so I knew these would be my starting point.
A length of rubber electrical connector, a paint brush-tip cover and a scrap of plastic fell into place, with some judicial cutting around the eye drop 'bomb', and something was already taking shape:
The neck and top of a another pipette added as a stern and rudder assembly and we were really getting somewhere:
A further neck section gave it a more 19th Century profile; not bad for a couple of minutes with some scrap plastic!
Then it occurred to me, if I was to proceed with the model as-is, and for the sake of argument, mount it on a classic 1" plastic flight stand, then in appearance, it would by default resemble more an AeroNef vehicle than a submarine craft; so why not have it based as if the hull was actually floating at the water's surface?
After all, in reality, most submarines fought on the surface until well into the First World War, merely using underwater travel when necessary for stealth or efficiency.
The helpful mould lines in the plastic pipette would make it relatively easy to cut in half, thereby providing an instant waterline model, as well as giving you two for the price of one!
Some inexpert hacking with a blunt craft knife, and this was looking the part alright, although somewhat as if it had been hit by an 16" shell....
A slightly tidier view from above should give a good idea of what the finished product should look like; mounted on a thin artist's card base with a watered surface, the Turkish AquaNef 'Osman Pasha' might just become the terror of the Black Sea after all....
At around 80mm long, she should scale in in terms of visual proportions at least, as a 1/1200th
vessel, so barring a Russian incursion from the port of Sevastapol, stay tuned for the finished article in a forthcoming post!