Operation: Wooden Battleship

My son's letter to Santa this year, which was all pictures of what he wanted (yeah, I am totally keeping the letter) included a battleship. How cool a challenge is that for a present!  I went to work in the wee hours as he found my blue prints and a research book in my office; questions asked and attention drawn away with ginger bread, the close call meant I had to work in the garage, under cover.

For design, I wanted something Iconic, not worrying so much about accuracy. It had to be big, cool, and have turrets that moved!  My end choices fell between a WWI (?) British ship the Princess, and a WWI Russian battle ship- the round turrets for the win!

The Princess, the inspiration for the hull and stacks.

The Hatsuse, Clean and cool. Curiosly, I thought she had round turrets...

My new choice of sustainable wood with which to work is poplar. It has a great weight, stronger than pine, comes in various colors - seriously you can get it in a light green- sands well, and is cheap. This thing should "feel" like a mighty battleship when picked up by a 3 year old.

 The hull measures 18 inches long and she is just shy of 5 inches wide, and tall.

The business end. My drill caught on  the wooden toy wheels I used for turrets,
so a bit of magic sculpt puttysaved the day.  Maybe next year for christmas I'll get a vise or a drill press!

I painted the ship with a mix of Reaper Rainy grey and GW space wolves grey acrylic paints, added in some cannon holes and the stack hole, plus the anchors for a bit of detail.  I toyed with making the deck wooden, but time constraints left me little time for experimentation. Maybe on the next one.

Top down next to my key board for scale.

U.S.S. Battley. The lettering isn't bad considering I had a squirmy 3 year old on my lap, who helped with it.

The busines end!

The  Pay off!  Nolan carried the battleship, named the U.S.S. Battley, number 20,( his current favorite number) for the greater part of the day.  I am thinking a Destroyer escort, and maybe a sub next... then a carrier... I had better come up with a rules set for these to be sure!


  1. Love it!

    You can see in his picture he is thinking, "Dad used some putty there!"

  2. Elijah, when you do, I'd love to see some pictures.