Update - 6 Jan 2020
It makes the most sense to me that the Nurse would try to conceal the medical section of the boat in the cargo space in the back. The easiest way to do this would most likely be to have a large crate made that would house the area, while having the appearance of stacked crates on the outside. Real crates full of cargo, on one of the ends, to hopefully throw off any inspections.
An issue is how would you get into this compartment. I went through a few rough sketches, thinking of different mechanisms for the door. I thought of a door that folds down into a ramp, but depending on the hinges that could be problematic. I came to the conclusion that a simple sliding door would be the easiest option for the Nurse.
I also had a brief look at what I wanted for the interior. I know that I wanted patient beds with separators for privacy and a work area for the nurse. The real question was what order to put them in. I decided on the design with the workstation at the front of the boat, as it would give the most privacy to patients since the bed wouldn't be the first things you walk into.
I then considered the design of the cabin. I have never been inside of a canal boat, so I started looking at images and watching videos of canal boats. I eventually found a video that displayed the inside of a canal boat in the 1960's. While this was not the right time period, it was the closest I could find.
From this a made a few designs, so that if I needed to I could paint the inside of the boat.
The last step of my prep is to make some quick thumbnails. I decided to show the boat in action, the nurse helping a gang member, before leading them inside. I kept in mind that the boat is the focus of the image, so I am putting it front and centre. I also decided early on that it would be a night scene as it wouldn't be very subtle to pick a injured gang member in broad day light.
I also made some small decisions about the sign on the boat after getting some feedback about the sign being too busy. I am taking off the white embellishments in each corner and removing some writing, to accomplish this.
Update - 10 Dec 2019
After coming to a decision on which canal boat design i wanted to pursue, I started looking into the history of canal boat, a lot of boats were pulled by horses. I therefore decided to try out the idea. I looked up how working horses were saddled and tried out a few styles.
I then started looking at what colours I wanted to use. A lot of canal boat back then were fairly colourful. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate red into the design as the red cross was the symbol of a lot of the nurses in WW1.
I also added more floating rings on the side of the boat so that it has more stability. If the nurse is going to treat people on this boat, she will want it to be as stable as possible.
I settled on the bottom design due to the nicer contrast of the sign on the boat.
I then turned my attention to the sign on the boat. I needed something that wouldn't be looked at twice by a normal person, but a gang member could pick out in a crowd. Canal boats, tended to have the name of the company on the sign, so I looked up signs from the show and found a good example. There was the name of the boat in massive letters and then Shelby LTD underneath that. With this in mind I messed around with some different designs. The names of the boats referencing to ancient goddesses of medicine.
I ended up going with the middle Epione sign, the flowers and decoration eluding to the nurse that lives on the boat. I found a tutorial on how to paint canal flowers online.
I then had another look at the boat with the sign. I'm most likely going to go for the boat with the grey tarp as it would stand out less to the general public.
I am debating if I should get rid of the horse or not. On the one hand a petrol engine would make it easier to get to wounded gang members faster. On the other hand a horse adds more into the depravity of the nurse living on the boat.
I made a quick 3D model of the boat in Maya, so that I can use it for paint overs and get a better grasp on the perspective.
Update - 7 Dec 2019
Canal boat belonging to a nurse from the war who now works for the gang. At the moment just doing research on canal boats.
A few thumbnails to get the shape of the boat down.