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Lately we have been talking boats in the shed.  By we I mean me and anyone that will listen.  It started with Coronasan’s epic ship build on the Loft Full Of Lead. I will never be as skilled, or take the time it needs, to create something like that but I have been bitten by the possibility that a boat (of some sort, any sort really) would add some missing aspect to the collection of scenery in the shed.

Pirate era ships are the main focus of this interest but the cost of these (if you purchase them in resin or ready made) appears prohibitively high.  The Playmobile option is an obvious choice to base a scratch building project on, but would require more work than I have time for at the moment. Also, if I’m honest, I haven’t played a pirate game for quite some time.

A friend then started talking about his desire to play more pulp style games and how great it would be to find, or make, a tramp steamer.  Picture some intrepid traders chugging down a jungle lined river whilst being attacked by native tribesmen who want to stop them from stealing the resources of the area…  I digress…  Anyway, as I was looking into finding said steamboat, I came across the Playmobile range again.  It turns out they have done a couple of rather large cargo ships over the years.

My further research led me, as always, to the vast hoard of info to be found on the lead adventures forum.  It was here that I found a really impressive modern ship convertion.  Far beyond my abilities to complete but an inspiration for my own, somewhat simpler, planned build.

Then, what should pop up on ebay, but a cheap auction for one of these huge plastic monsters. This beast turned out to measure almost 2 feet in length.

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Without any pause it was on a table and played a part in our most recent game of Fistful of Kung Fu.

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The overall scale of the ship is great. A 28mm AT-43 scientist is standing on the container deck plates. It is big enough to look right but not so huge as to be unusable or laughable.  The cargo hold opens to allow the transportation of  tanks, shipping containers and varied cargo.  In fact it is just big enough to be filled with a zombie horde or two…

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The cabin will need some work as the ships wheel is designed to be in scale with Playmobile figures but this should be a simple change.  The addition of a couple of cranes to load and unload the cargo hold would be a simple change, as the model has some deep screw holes in just the right places for this.

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Even the colour looks good with the red deck, black hull and white cabin looking pretty good from the start.  With only a few changes to be made, I can see us starting to think up games where it will either be an objective to capture, or a deployment area for one force to enter from. It should fit into any modern setting, from Later Pulp Adventures to World War Two (Dust or Bolt Action), all the way through to the modern era.  Maybe Somali pirates will attack it, or terrorists will use it to smuggle weapons and men into the country.  Who knows where this may lead…   Either way I think it will be one of my better buys for this year, and its only February…

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