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The Tumblin' Dice by popeye the sailor - Artesania Latina - 1:80 - Mississippi riverboat

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I'm feel'in much better today.......the admiral thinks so too..........I'm eat'in everything in the house! :D     .......and I've been busy!  even with all the distractions,  I've managed to amass quite an update for ya folks!  it all started with having to recut the shaft for the paddle wheel......darned if I knew where it went.  ....and then I thought........is that the piece of dowel that the wheel frames are drying on?!?!  no matter......I have plenty of dowel ;)   one of the connector arms was cemented on the freshly cut shaft


still thinking of what to use the connect the two arms together........while I was pondering the matter,  all of the paddle blades were painted.


the smaller holes were all drilled out to 5/64 ths.........I used a brass rod to fit them......then cut and filed to length.



the longer arms were in the paint booth being painted flat black.  they were brought to the table and drilled out as well.


off to the paint booth went the shaft and the other connecting arm.  the signage was another aspect that was in the works.   these were painted white and later sanded around the edges.   I had some darker wood,  a 1/16 x 1/16 strip.......I think it's walnut........I started to build the frame around them.


the outer sides of the longer arms is indented...........I painted inside the indention with flat red,  and detailed them with gold


yea.......nice imperfection.....huh?!?!?!  oh well.....it's metal and I can't do anything about it.   turning back to the signage,  the frame was trimmed and sanded .......then I went over it with a clear lacquer.   Murphy had to get his dig in......there was some residual red paint still in the brush.......I'm sure you can guess the rest :(     even though the damage was minor,  they had to be repainted.   with a CLEAN brush :rolleyes: they were repainted.........and when they were dry,  the decal was applied.   sorry to say.......it wasn't the decal that everyone chose......ohhhh no........Murphy I guess got miffed because I thwarted his plans,  and decided to ruin one of the chosen decals........stain or some spatter of paint....not sure.   they still look good......I used the decals that didn't have the border around the dice.


the admiral saw them later.......she didn't even notice the difference :)   the bow fender had been sanded........I cemented it in place on the bow.


I think I'll better be able to gauge the fairlead holes with it in place.   with everything pretty much dry,  the paddle wheel was assembled.   the paddle boards cemented in place with CA {just the outside frames},  and then touched up.  I still need to touch up the black.......forgot to do that before assembly.





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the rudders were trimmed so they would fit closer to the hull.   I still need to give them a coat or two of clear lacquer.........I failed to snap a picture of them in place.   the signage is up........the Tumblin' Dice has it's name! :) 



the paddle wheel is in place too.........the connecting rods aren't in place yet though.   I wanted to give the gold plenty of time to dry.......it's one of the worst colors in relation to drying time.   any metallic is,  in fact....in some cases,  I'll give it a coat of lacquer,  so it will attain a hard finish.


I made sure that the other connecting arm was opposite of the other......


for most of the time being,  the model remained in the dry fit condition.........stacked up as you last saw it.   I was surprised to find that the admiral hadn't seen it........I said "really!?!?!?!"  so,  to remedy the situation,  I set the model back up for her to see.  as mentioned,  she never even noticed that I used different decals for the signage.


I do believe it looks like I made some progress  :)     I am pleased!   I'll see what I can come up with in the next update.  :) 

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Great work denis,   I know keeping busy with something to disstract you is a help,    and with the dentist  - "Oh boy do I know abit about teeth problems"   I have suffered all my life  if not tooth then  Abscess problems causing my whole side of my face to blow up  and the Pain  - "Throb throb".



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thanks OC....my only distraction of late has been work...........so many changes,  that I'm not sure if I'll still have a job down the road.   but I'm trying to change the way I look at it.......sometimes it makes me pretty angry.  actually,  I felt so good that I spent some decent time at the table :) ...tooth wise.

   I'm looking forward towards getting the rest of 'em removed.......it's going to help me overall.   high time I dealt with it ;)    hopefully,  I'll be able to get a lot more done!


thanks again............and thanks to all for the likes!

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  • 2 weeks later...

hey there.........got a bit of progress here to show you.   since I have about twenty or so windows to make {and this is just one type....there are two},  I figured I'd better gt busy on them.  using the metal window billets as a jig,  I set up two 1 x 3 mm strips in order to mass make the frames.  then the tedium of cementing them together.


I had made one of the engine room vents....there are two in all.  I made the other one today.  I used the grating that I made for the United States build.


then,  I was going to chicken out on making the doors for the second level,  and use the metal ones.   they fit OK.......I was just going to paint them.

    but come the moment of truth,  I find that I'm missing one of them.  they've never left the box they came in..........I looked all around the table,  because I did try to drill the squares out of one of them......figured I'd try and make them with windows.  that stuff is tougher than a marine drill Sargent!  when I finally came to grips that it was nowhere to be found,  I decided to make them.   turned out to be the easiest thing I've done all day  :) 


a little clean up and they'll work out just fine.    I'll likely do more on her tonight........I'll post again real soon  ;) 

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thanks Pat :)   they have no say in the matter :D :D    strange about the door......I hardly ever lose parts :blink:   no matter......I wasn't too keen on the metal bits anyway,  though I know I'll have to use some of them.  I forgot to mention that I also gave the three decks a coat of clear lacquer....they need a light sand now and the finish coat.  once I get the windows and doors in place,  then I can put all this together.   gotta start uping the bling factor too.


thanks for the good word........and thanks for all the likes too  :) 

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I made further progress with the doors,  windows,  and vents.   the doors were shaped and sanded..........then set on the sticky side of a piece of tape, marked with the position as to where they were fitted on the structure.  the vents were done the same way.....shaped,  sanded,  and marked where they will go.


all of the window frames have been jigged up as well.......now to set and dry.


I don't think I'll need this many for the second level,  but if I need 'em,  I got 'em.  there are a couple of odd windows that I will need to make...they should be fun.   I will have more soon  :) 

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thanks for the likes...I apologize for the slow pace of the updates.   I was a bit crowded at the table.........I keep say'in I need a longer table.   now that I moved the obstruction to it's own temporary table {of sorts},  I can get something done on the dice.  the doors and the vent covers were painted and cemented in place.  much as I didn't want to {'cuz they look corny},  I added the door knobs using those black beads supplied in the kit.


I gave them a backing,  so they would be recessed into the door openings.......I'll paint or stain the backing inside,  so they won't be seen through the windows.  I'm thinking of using that tinted cello,  so it may cut down on the visibility.   as for the fore and aft doors,  I couldn't recess them...the openings were a bit shallow.


I also added the actuator rods on the paddle wheel....finishes it off.



once the windows are ready and added to the structure,  the third level can be added.   still more to do on the first level too.   I'll get to more on that soon........perhaps even the next update.  ;)    thanks for look'in in......enjoy :) 

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Really nice update Pop. Hoping to get back to mine again soon once my hand has healed. With the door knobs, I find simple things like dressmakers pins are more to scale, or even old, bent used planking nails. That's what I used for my paddle wheel fake nails on my build.






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yea.......I like to use 10 mm brads.   I have a lot of them from all the Billing kits I've built.   they make great buttons and levers too.   my thing is those beads......but,  if that's what it calls for :rolleyes:   what happened to your hand mate?

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4 hours ago, popeye the sailor said:

yea.......I like to use 10 mm brads.   I have a lot of them from all the Billing kits I've built.   they make great buttons and levers too.   my thing is those beads......but,  if that's what it calls for :rolleyes:   what happened to your hand mate?

I had a fight with a carving knife and a leg of lamb! Nearly cut my thumb off! Its why I haven't updated for a while. Should be good to go again pretty soon though. You keep up the good work.






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no like button on that one Chris.......I hope your recovery is progressing well.   thanks for the good word.......


thanks pat.   I did more on her yesterday.......I didn't get any pictures though.   I'm also trying out something a little bit different for the first level railings.  I should have more soon  :)    

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I just caught up with/found this build thread and began looking through your latest progress photos. All I can say is wow...beautiful! 

Now I'll be going back to look through the entire thread. She's a beauty, Dennis.


My wife and I stayed a few days at the Rising Star casino in Indiana. Their casino is built upon one of these riverboats. Your model reminds me of our stay there. By the way, they had a gorgeous model of the Rising Star casino boat in their showcase. I thought I had taken photos of the model, but can't see to put my hands on it at this time.

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finally done with my work week :)  I can get back to what I was doing :ph34r:   I'll get back at the table tomorrow and see how my ideas for the first level railings have dried.......I've only done one section so far....will have pictures on this tomorrow.


hi there CDW!  I'm trying to do something a bit different.   if you come across those pictures....I'd love to see'um :)   thanks for the good word.....hope you follow along.......I'm probably at the half way point.


yes OC.......wouldn't wish that on anyone!  I hope your better Chris........really love to see more of your project.   superb looking model  :) 


thanks Kmart!  I wasn't too keen on the materials use to make it...but it did turn out well.   now to try and replace all that other metal junk.   Cathead did a great job on his paddle wheels.......the frames are made of wood too!  I would have liked to have done it too,  but I chickened out :unsure:

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thanks for the kind comments gents :)    I've been tinkering with her a little today.......beginning to get the feeling that the railings might be a bit too high.  you might have had that feeling from time to time........start something that looks cool in the start,  but reality sets in,  and you begin to think better of it.   I don't think it would be too hard to make an alteration :)    should have some pictures up soon.


that's good to hear Chris!   yours looks much better than mine,  but thanks for say'in so  ;)    


thanks Marc........and I have many projects to prove it!  :D   I'm glad you like the build......still more to go.  hope you follow along!


I'm in the same boat Kevin........if I'm look'in in here,  I'm not gett'in anything done..........if I'm at the table,  then all the logs I watch build up and it tough to catch up to 'em all.  compound that with not look'in in the scratch builds,  because I'm look'in through the kit builds.  as was said in the Monty Python sketch "Dennis Moore":  "my, this redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought?!?!?"


honestly....I can't think of a better predicament to be in  ;) 

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Ooh I do like that paddlewheel, Popeye.  Nice work!  All in all, you're showing yourself to be a master craftsman!
I've been watching your progress second-hand, via the email notifications I get.  Trouble is, I can't leave 'likes' for you unless I take the trouble to log in to MSW!  I've just popped in to put that right!

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you got that right Carl.........I get the shakes whenever the site is down :D !    appreciate the kind comment and the due diligence Brian....cripes......yours is even coming out better 'n mine!   I do feel good about 'er though,  since she's privately owned,  and not from a major shipping line company.   it gives me a bigger window....come to think of it,  I don't even recall if there really is a "king of the Mississippi".  anyway.......I have to show the admiral what you've done on yours............she'll probably run out and get me another kit :D :D    I do have the remains of the Robert E Lee in the closet,  given to me by a patron of the site.   I was going to make a ferry out of it,  but I may change my mind.  I have the paddle wheel frames,  but I saw how Cathead made his,  so if I need to alter them,  I can try.   but that's another story  ;)     OK..........it's update time  :) 

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I've been tinkering with her here and there.........ideas are spread all over the table.   I hardly have room to do anything with the Progress.......it's like I need another table {like a hole in the head}.  I started to assemble the benches.......there are only three in the kit.


as can be seen,  I've also been working on the smoke stacks.  the holes are drilled for the decoration that separates them.


....which leads to the railings in question.   I think they are too high.........shouldn't be a huge deal,  since other aspects of this model are out of scale,  but it is.


fitting them to the model........this is quite evident.


this is only part of the whole idea.   there is more to them......idea in progress :)     the decoration that separates the smoke stacks needed a real good cleaning up.......quite a bit of flash.  after all the mold lines were filed off,  it got a coat of gold paint.


the smoke stacks were taken to the booth and given a coat of flat black.   I used a spray can.....the paint was really thin.   with the stacks set up this way,  a few runs developed,  so I trimmed the runs off with a razor blade,  sanded them,  and gave them another coat.   I drilled holes in the base and fitted small diameter dowels in them,  setting them up in a different way to dry.


not liking how the railings were going,  excess wood was cut off the posts,  making them look a bit better.


a cap will be added to the railings before they are cemented in place....but before I reveal how I didn't listen to myself........here is the progress report on the stairs.  I know your all anxious to find out.   not that great,  I'm afraid........the first one still fits odd,  and the other side is looking to follow the same trend.   the outer banister broke in just about the same amount of places,  forcing me to cobble it together...........still the same bunching near the top of the staircase.   sad but true........I like Brian's outcome a lot better..........................I will still try,  but don't be surprised if I do an about face  ;) 



now I was told that it was the worker's day off..........but I caught one of them hang'in around.  very kind of 'em to let me take his picture :) 


.....and now to show you that I don't even follow my own directions :ph34r::angry:.........I cemented the starboard side railing in place without doing the cap rail first!


looks a lot better though,  than my first vision of them.    I need to make a pair for the fore end of the boat.  more on her soon  :) 

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