Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

25 May 2014

Ship ahoy! It's the Kapitein Kok!

Again, PK has deviated and built a non-space paper thingie.
And again, this build was meant as a birthday gift from the start.
In his younger years, a friend of mine worked on board of a river paddle steamer in the Amsterdam area. This ship was called the Kapitein Kok. (Do I hear you anglo's laughing? It just means 'cook' in dutchiespeak).

Built in the early years of the 20th century and looking quite pretty. In conversations this ship often was mentioned and when I saw that Zeist Bouwplaten offered a model of this very ship I decided it would be a nice idea to surprise this friend with a model of his beloved ship on his birthday.
Here's a photo of the finished product, the build will be shown after the jump. Prepare for a lot of photos again. (will this gazillion photos in posts be a new habit? I don't think so..)

The model arrived in the mail not long after and at first I was a little disappointed. The quality of the model itself was reasonable, albeit drawn instead of CAD- based. (I guess I am spoiled..) The air shafts were two dimensional (read: flat) but that too would be easy to correct. What I really found disturbing was that the A3 sheet that had the deck printed on was folded in the middle. How silly and how stupid. But since I was planning to downscale the model anyway this too was a lesser problem. I only had to touch up the scans somewhat afterwards.

I printed the A3 model in A4, so a 50 percent reduction. Everything still seemed very doable. Great.
There were only very rudimentary instructions coming with the model but that too was not a real obstacle. The photo on the cover and logic led me through it all quite easily.

However, for less experienced builders this might give some confusion here and there.

The hull came together in a whiffy. I must admit that due to the smaller scale, I used a lot of self made parts, thinner or otherwise deviant of the original parts. For instance, the struts underneath the deck were all scratch built pieces. I also used pictures of the Kapitein Kok I found online.

One thing which I redid entirely were the railings. The kit provided paper strips with the railings printed on but also the structure behind it. So even in the original size I found these much too crude. So I thought up something else.
In my stash of “this might be useful or come in handy some day” I grabbed the drywall tape, the mesh stuff you use to plaster up the seams between the drywall plates. I cut off a piece and glued (with CA) white sewing thread on it. A bit of a hard job, best done with good light and early on in the day when the old eyes still are sharp and focused. It looked better than the paper railings anyway, so I put them on.

Harder were the little benches on the deck. They were edge glued and placed but later on they were hardly visible due to the sunscreen placed over them. Also the paddles were a bit elaborate but since they would be in the water for the biggest part, I didn’t bother to cut them out entirely. They still look very nice anyway. And, they were able to rotate. More or less, that is. Completely unnecessary, actually. But hey, I had fun and I was on a roll. (-;

Meanwhile I chose a small oblong frame to place the ship on and painted the bottom a nice river blueish colour. Then I filled it with silicone kit and egalised its surface. I Left the frame to dry in a warm and ventilated room (it has quite an acidic, vinegarish smell, this silicone paste. Yuk.). When the top layer was dry to touch, I gave it a good dent in the middle, in which the ship’s hull would fit. This also caused the surrounding areas to bulge out a little which made a nice base for the ship's wake. Once cured, it stayed a nice hollowed out space.

The Kapitein Kok neared her completion with the addition of the numerous vent shafts, which I also scratch built from yellow paper. Mine are real tubes instead of the flat shapes the kit provides.
Anchor, mast, flag, vane, even mast lights were added (silicate balls). Time to put the boat in the drink.

I used a good clot of transparent acrylic paste to serve as glossy water top layer on the silicone kit base. Then I gently pushed the hull of the boat in the paste. After a little bit of shaping and moulding, the whole shebang was set aside to dry.
Two days later it was dried and nicely transparent. Although the surface was hard, the underlying layer wasn't. So I needed to handle the top layer carefully, I didn't want to crack it. The overall effect was gorgeous. The "water" really gained depth and kept a nice scaled transparency close or maybe even similar to a clean river. I painted white heads on the bow wake and the water stirred up by the paddles.

And that concluded the build more or less. I provided the frame with a perspex hood (which is something I still need to refine more...)

All in all I can conclude that the build was fun. A lot of fun. The model itself has its limitations in colouring and the way it was hand drawn but all that can not at all be considered a nuisance. The manual could have been a little more elaborate, more views and pictures on how to build the boat and a less large portion of text describing the ship's life.

Thanks for watching!

PS 1. Tonight the ship was handed to my friend. He was really surprised and right after that all kinds of stories of his life on this boat were reminisced. He really had a great time on board.

PS 2. As an extra bonus, some links to pictures and facts on the real thing (all Dutch!):
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