Friday, 18 September 2009

AquaNefiness: Quick Scratch Build

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!


  1. Anything odd and Turkish will always get my vote! I love turning odd bits into models as well so this idea is a peach! Most of my Turkish Dirigibles started life as various bombs from aircraft kits with odd bits and pieces added. I am currently saving the orange covers from BIC disposable razors to use as Dirigible gondolas and gun emplacements. Great post and very inspiring!

  2. I've often looked at these things first thing in the morning (well, squinted would be a more accurate description) and thought that the snap-off part reminded me of a sub. Never made the link to actually turning one into a sub though!

  3. Hi guys, thanks as always for the comments; Ogrefencer, thought just such a Turkish 'delight' would be right up your street! - that's a good tip on the disposable razor covers too, now that you mention it, of course they're reminiscent of gondolas- maybe the Ottoman AquaNef fleet will need some air cover after all...!
    Coopdevil, I got round to building up a big stock of them because my partner won't let me throw any plastic away -"is that recyclable?" is the constant refrain; as to thinking of them as submarine hulls, probably got too much time on my hands.... :-).

  4. Bravo - Huzzah - Brilliant! I am most impressed by your spark of creativity and humbled that my post should have ignited it. Those eydrop pipettes are frabjous things, from aquanefs to dirigibles!

    My burgening Naval acquisitions budget permits me to bid for one of your experimental Aquanefs to add to my fleet of world domination; delivery before my next underwater offensive would be appreciated and I look forward to receiving an invitation to the Osman Pasha's commissioning ceremony!

    yours in a white wine sauce!

  5. Tas, yet again your intelligence services have foiled our Ottoman plan to surprise the World's navies, however his Grand Majesty the Sultan is honoured that you have turned your attention to the Turkish Navy's latest weapon, and will be most happy to share information and photographic transparencies with your good self once the preparations for sea are completed.

  6. We look forward to such exchanges and are most gratified and humbled by His Grand Majesty's attentions!

  7. Nice work, SoS. Can't wait to see the finished item.

  8. Thanks Mad, real life interfering a bit at the moment, but hopefully later this week, so stay tuned!