Custom Naval Cannon - Inspired by Horatio Hornblower, Master and Commander, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.
This was a joint project with Debbie, my housemate and best friend. Blame her for my interest in this era!
She did the research, then I coverted the figures she found into 1:6 scale. I cut a length of PVC pipe about a foot long, then she layered Sculpey over the pipe and sculpted the details that made it look like a cannon instead of just a tube. We boiled it to harden the Sculpey, since we were leery of putting the PVC pipe in the oven, even if it was covered by Sculpey. She didn't sculpt in the trunnions (the bars that stick out of the sides of the cannon) because they seemed a bit too complicated at the time.
To make the carriage, I cut lots of lengths of basswood plank. Debbie glued them together then used oak stain on them. There is a crosspiece glued inside the carriage to support the weight of the cannon. We can elevate or lower the cannon by removing or adding some of the planks stacked in the middle of the carriage.
I cut the axles from a dowel rod. The wheels are from the woodcrafting section of the hobby store. I had to drill a wider hole in the center of each wheel for the axles to fit through them. I also drilled holes so I could insert a cut down toothpick through each end of each axle. (I love power tools! I need more craft projects that require them!) Debbie painted all of these bits black first, then touched them up where paint had scraped off during assembly.
I had some aluminum bits left from a "build your own picture frame" kit from the hobby store. I used them to make the clamps to hold the axles and the trunnions in place. I cut them down to the lengths I needed, then bent them so they'd fit over the axles and the trunnions. I spray painted them black using Krylon primer, then glued them to the carriage using some "527 multi-purpose cement" I found in Wal-Mart's craft section. If we ever made a second cannon, I'd try to drill down a bit of the carriage so the trunnions would fit more snugly. I'd also convince debbie to sculpt the trunnions into the cannon itself, instead of having them be separate pieces!
I spray painted some eye screws from Home Depot using the same Krylon primer, then screwed them into the carriage. There are eye screws in front of and behind each trunnion, above each wheel, and at the back of the carriage.
To represent ship's ropes, I threaded cheap twine from Big Lots through some of the eye screws and through the hole Debbie sculpted on the back of the cannon - I think it's called the cascable.
Debbie assembled an impromptu gun crew and some officers using some of the figures we've set aside for our naval and pirate crews. Sideshow's Red Coat figure donated his coat and spats. I made the midshipman's and the lieutenant's shirts and the kershiefs. Other bits were kitbashed from various action figure sources I've long since forgotten.