Messing About in Boats

For our recent Stargrave jaunt to the planet of Aqua Sulis, the five players were required to bring a boat. It could be anything that floated in, on or above the water, there were no design rules. Here we run over the various tubs, buckets and hulks that were served up.


Eric went for a laser-cut survey shuttle from Blotz that could obviously float on the surface of the sea. He should have done a little better with the security features, since it turned out to be very easy to break down the back door, shoot the pilot and steal the boat.


A few months ago, Stephen said he would run a Stargrave scenario based on a Waterworld location, and asked us to build some form of maritime transport.
I did a web search for 28mm boats, and amongst the hits was a Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R) from AnyScaleModels.

The main hull is around 7” long and 2.25” wide. Plenty of room for my crew I thought.
I needed to make it look a bit more Sci Fi than modern, so I asked Tony at Brigade if he had some suitable engine nacelles I could scrounge, he came up with some from their 15mm Perseus VTOL. I also had a few other bits and pieces from Brigade in the bits box: some Sensor turrets and some Heavy Laser guns from their Mercenary range.

Both the boat and engine nacelles had a few air bubbles that needed to be filled, I used some Humbrol Model filler for this. After drying and sanding down, the boat components and nacelles were washed in soapy water and allowed to dry.
The wings attached to the nacelles were quite thin, 2-3mm at most, this required that I drill and pin the short wings to the boat hull, as a glue only joint wouldn’t be sufficient.

I decided to mount the engine nacelles roughly amidships, in line with the pilot’s seat and control panel. I drilled a hole for the sensor turret in the front deck. On reflection I might have offset the pilot’s seat to one side rather than have it central.

Once the superglue had dried, I primed the boat with Halford’s grey primer, and then gave the boat a coat of Warpaint Soviet Green.

Once the Soviet Green had dried, I painted the sensor lens, engine intakes and exhaust matt black, I painted some of the boat’s hatches Gunmetal Grey.
I then painted the detail on the control panel, matt Black dials and Crystal Blue screens. The pilot’s seat was painted Khaki Grey. The final touch was silver on the wing leading edge lights and red and green navigation lights, touching up any errors with Russian Uniform WWII, which I found to be almost an exact match for the Warpaint Soviet Green spray paint
Once the model was dry, I gave it washes, Military shader on the green areas, Dark Tone on the metal hatches and engine nacelle grills and Strong Tone Wash on the seat.

I then had a hunt through my transfer box and found some very old decals from a couple of Airfix kits; some registration numbers from a Swedish Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight and name plates “Apollo” from a Churchill Tank kit. I also found a couple of DANGER decals from another helicopter kit.
I painted a layer of gloss varnish over the areas to which I intended to apply the transfers, which, considering their age, went on easily without breaking up.
Once the decals had dried, I gave the boat a couple of coats of matt varnish, and here she is, the Apollo, ready to venture forth in Waterworld.


When Stephen suggested the Waterworld game I thought that I would pass just because it involved building a boat and I really wasn’t sure I could be bothered. Then with a couple of weeks to go he asked me I was up for the game and I agreed.

Bum, now I needed to come up with a boat.

Fortunately this proved to be a fairly simple affair. Hidden away in a corner of my cellar were a few Games Workshop kits that I had been bought as presents many years ago. Combining bits from a couple of these gave a simple boat / skimmer that could fit my entire ship’s company.

The main part of the hull came from a 40K Tau Tidewall floaty thing. The exact model doesn’t seem to be available anymore but a couple of similar ones are still on the GW website. The dome at the back game from an Age of Sigmar Grundstock Gunhauler – another floaty thing. By chance the dome piece fitted precisely on a flat part at the back of the Tau model. Nice and easy.

Painting was also straight forward. A spray of GW Zandri dust and some complementary reds and browns from Wargames Foundry. And of course the obligatory GW washes to finish. It only took a day to make which was better than I expected.


Tim was the only one to go fully scratchbuilt, with a cross between a canal barge and a WW2 landing craft made from foam card. The cogs and wheels were ‘liberated’ from his wife’s craft supplies (we wonder if she knew ?). Looks like a bit of a pig to steer, but it was a cunning move to make it this long since the prow of Tim’s boat started 6″ further into the table than anyone else !


Finally, Tony went down the Don Johnson/Miami Vice route with a full-on speedboat. It started out as an accessory for a 6″ action figure – origin unknown. It was purchased from a bootfair for 50p, so who’s complaining ? I ripped out the existing cockpit, fitted a new plasticard floor, jump seats, engine and other bits and pieces from my spares box and gave it a quick respray complete with go-faster stripes. Only it didn’t go any faster since it spent most of the game being boarded by giant frogs or dragged down by a sea kraken.

Author: Brigadier Tony

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