Thursday, October 6, 2022

Fritz's Boat Yard & Works


The new boat is on the right.
Compare to the existing boat on the left.

After acquiring one Nile River steam boat I decided that I need another one. My plan is to use my first boat as a template for the second boat, using similar dimensions and measurements, but tweaking the look so that both boats do not look exactly the same.

I constructed the hull using a sandwich of bass wood with a foam core center. The hull is 24-inches in length and six-inches wide. Then a Balsa wood deck was laid on top of the hull. I used the tip of a shish kabob skewer and a metal ruler to score the Balsa wood to create the appearance of deck planks. Then I stained the deck with Walnut stain.

Boat deck made from Balsa wood and scored to create deck planks.

The new model on the left compared to the original model on the right.

I have created a mock up of the new boat to give me an idea of what the model will look like when it is finished. Using white foam core board, I cut out rectangular box walls and pinned them together for a look see.

This morning I placed the two boats side by side to see if the dimensions were all right. I can immediately see that the height of the lower deck cabins is too high relative to the original boat model. The same problem is evident on the second deck cabins. They are too high and they give the model a top heavy look. The obvious solution is to cut down the height of all of the cabins on both decks. This is why it is good to compare the models while they are in the work-in-progress stage of the build.

In retrospect, the height of the new model is due to my use of Britains War On The Nile figures which are a bit taller than the Armies In Plastic and Trophy Miniatures figures. When I placed some Trophy figures on the new boat, the height problem became immediately apparent.

Building the paddle wheel is going to be a bit of a challenge for my average modeling skills.
This picture shows how top heavy the new model looks at this stage.

Side by side you can see that the boats are the same length, however the new model has a pointed bow compared to a more rounded bow on the old model. I will need to set the first deck cabins back far enough to allow space for a deck gun or machine gun.

So this is where I am in the construction process. Stay tuned for more work-in-progress reports of this boat on my blog.

A view of the Nile River fleet of steam boats: 5 vessels in all.


  1. Typical wargamer Jim. We always want more. The reality is you need a bigger room with perhaps a boating lake. Lovely set up by the way.

  2. Super work, the flotilla is coming along nicely