Cardboard and balsa G scale canal boats

by Forrest
(Somewhere along the Missouri River)

Bases of both hulls

Bases of both hulls

This is an introduction to building scale models of G Scale Canal Boats similar to the the narrow boats which operate in narrow canals

I Am working on a Gn15 model railway layout. Gn15 is G scale narrow gauge 15 inch gauge. It represents 15 to 18 inch gauge estate, farm, and industrial trams using 1:25, 1:24, 1:22.1, or 1:20.5, scale models on HO gauge (16.5mm gauge) track. Most typically 1:24 and 1:22 scales are used.

I'm using 1:24 because it's the easiest for me to work with as 1/2 inch is 1 foot.

My 30-year old drafting tools are coming in quite handy for this project - no CAD here! Much simpler to draw plans right on material after making a few sketches for guidance, but mostly so I'll remember what to do!

I also have this idea to do a canal-side factory tram on a 24 inch wide hollow core interior door panel with 1 or 2 inches of Styrofoam insulation board building up the ground surface.

Layout and industry itself will be freelanced, highly freelanced: this is being built for pure fun.

Layout of course requires something representing the industry and a canal boat or two. As a "matter of principle" as much cardstock, cardboard, fiberboard box, and balsa wood as possible will be employed. Buildings will have a core of sections cut from corrugated fiberboard box then soaked with thinned varnish for both humidity resistance and overall strengthening. I am going to try out some less toxic shellac for that too. Local hardware store stocked varnish but had to order shellac, so went ahead and got varnish until shellac comes in.

There will be various styrene bits employed as required too. I envision a lot of scratchbuilding from Evergreen or Midwest sheet and shapes.

Doing at least two waterline models of canal boats: one a UK 'narrowboat' style; the other more like something from here in US.

Using slightly different construction methods which will be illustrated in coming article.

Glues used will range from various super glues; to Testors Wood cement, tube plastic cement of non-toxic type, and liquid plastic glue in bottles from Testors or Plastruct; to Aleenes' Tacky white craft glue. Whichever works best (hopefully!) for what's needed will be chosen.

My health ain't the greatest so full article won't be arriving in the next 5 minutes or even tomorrow but it will come.

Maybe in bits and parts.


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