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Papier Mache Narrowboat

Papier Mache Narrowboat by Chris Shilling

Chris Shilling has successfully completed his papier mache narrowboat. Here you can follow the project from start to finish. [Updated 25/05/06]

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  • Date addedAdded: May 13, 2005
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Update - 25th May, 2006

So, the papier mache narrowboat stood collecting dust for many months, until Jackie said that I needed a boot to get me going! In that rash moment, I said... "If you make me a papier mache boot, then I'll finish the boat". Well, wouldn't you know... she called my bluff! With the "Shilbo Boot" staring at me accusingly from my desk, I had no choice but to continue building the boat.


Boot
Boot

Building the superstructure was a complete nightmare. The cardboard had two seams in it where it was folded in its previous life as a box of Cadbury's creme eggs. You can see the fold in this photo.


Fold in cardboard
Fold in cardboard

Round windows were made using a special type of compass which holds a knife blade instead of a pencil. Even so, there was blood sweat and tears in the building of the cabin.


Tool
Tool

Bracings had to be fitted transversely, and windows cut into the sides, avoiding the bracings. Even the chimney was a pain, and getting the superstructure to fit snugly onto the hull, after the papier mache had dried and warped into some quite complex (and worrying) wobbly lines, was a complete nightmare.


Bracings
Bracings

Having wet it, re-wet it and jigged it so that it dried straight(ish) and spent weeks getting it lined up, the superstructure eventually fit onto the hull.


Fitting structure to hull
Fitting structure to hull