Sea Ghost

The Sea Ghost is a pirate ship detailed in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons module U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. The ship plans in that module are quite detailed, and even include cross section and rigging diagrams.

I’ve built her from scratch out of 3/4″ polystyrene insulation board. The top two layers (main and cargo decks) are double stacked. The bottom layer (bilge) is single layer. It is scaled to the standard D&D scale of 1″ = 5′, so upper decks are each 7.5′ high. She is 90′ long, not counting the prow. After rough-cutting each deck’s shape, the layers were glue together, and the sanded down with a belt sander to the proper shape. Holding all the layers together, I then rounded the hull with the sander so that the layers all transitioned smoothly rather than stepping from layer to layer. Hull and decks were painted with acrylics (including a 1″ grid pattern) and then details added, including hatch, mast, rudder handle, prow, anchor winch, crow’s nest, mains deck doors, portholes, railings, and lanterns.

The details took a long time. The main shape of the boat and the bulk of the painting was completed with just a couple hours of work. All the little fiddley bits probably took another 10-15 hours.


2 thoughts on “Sea Ghost”

  1. Love the sea ghost that you made. Do you happen to have plans for making it. I would like to make one myself.

    1. Hi, Thanks for your comment. As for plans for the Sea Ghost, I went from the old Dungeons & Dragons adventure module “The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh” which has complete maps for each deck, and a neat isometric view of the whole ship. I just translated each floor on the maps to 1″ = 5′ scale, traced them onto 1″ foam insulation board, cut them out, and stacked them up. Then I pinned them together and used a belt sander to round the edges so the boat was smooth around the outside instead of stepped. I’ll photocopy or take photos of the images from the module and post them as a new post in this blog.

Comments are closed.