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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Hangin' Out Around The Back

Hi, All!

Finally! A nice, safe balcony!

I've finally got around to finishing a few more of the bits of Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile that I've been putting off.

There are gaps! Gaps, I tell you!

For some time now, the unfinished rear wall of the engine room has been bothering me. Because of the way I constructed it, with the engine protruding out of the back, closing everything in neatly and making it all straight and tidy was going to be a bit fiddly.

So I did other stuff for a bit. Well, over a year, actually!

Brass rod is detailed to anchor the wall against the engine.

The unpainted brass assembly is tried in place - the wall straightens out nicely!


As you can see, the wall needed to be straightened, anchored against the engine, balconies attached, and a capping placed along the top. The capping serves to disguise the still slightly wiggly wall, and also provides a straight edge for the removable barrel vault roof to line up against.

The painted anchor pieces fit beautifully! Now for the rest...

In order to anchor the wall to the engine, I needed something strong and rigid, so I decided to use square brass tube, to which I added plastic details, shaped to fit against the engine details.

And gaps on the inside, too!
Simple strips of plastic are dotted with rivets and fixed in place to hide the gaps. Note that these do not match - my engine is a whole millimeter off-centre!

Once the wall sections were nicely (mostly) straightened out, the capping was added, and the balconies were constructed. This was all pretty simple stuff really, if a little time-consuming.

The capping (unpainted) in place above the wood-effect balcony. The wood grain is visible from below as well as above.

The capping runs the full width of the engine room. Both balcony floors are now in place.

The balconies were 'floored' with plastic rather than the balsa I've used for the other deck areas. This enabled me to keep the floors thin, without losing strength or making them fragile. The wood grain effect was achieved by dragging coarse-grade sandpaper in one direction only along the plastic. Planks were then outlined by scoring with the side of a sharp knife.

Edges are constructed and detailed to fit around the balcony floors.

With the edges in place, the hand rail is built. Note the now painted capping, complete with rivets!

Once the flooring was in place, edge pieces were build and painted separately before gluing them in place - ensuring that the distinction between wood and iron remained nice and clean. A hand rail was then added as with so many other parts of the model!

This stage of the model required a few rivets to be removed, but overall the count increased by 198...

Bringing today's Rivet Count to...

13,767!

Not bad, if I say so myself.

So there you go. The engine section is very nearly done - just a few ladders and bits and bobs to add before I move on to the chassis for the entire machine! Exciting!

Stay tuned, folks, as I shall also soon be bringing you a steam powered rocket ship!

My rear end. A sight to make my mother proud!

All the Best!

 
 


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Steaming Up Me Cranium!

Hi, All!

The Nefarious Doktor Nefarious with his Battle Tri-Skull...

Yes... I know I said I'd do more on Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile in time for this post, and I have... But it's not particularly exciting stuff to talk about as yet, and I wanted to mess about with my skull for a while.

A perfectly ordinary skull.

I picked up this resin skull as part of a ghoulish tic-tac-toe set being sold off cheap, and immediately recognised its potential as yet another Nefarious Machination of the Nefarious Doktor Nefarious!
 
Well, it's obvious. Innit?

(Left) The components are selected. (Right) A wooden bead is split in half to become the front wheel. Styrene discs punched out during other projects are glued to buttons to create wheels. Tubing is used to shape a chimney atop a pink 'boiler' bead.

Racing home with an enthusiasm to put the finest of pigeons to shame, I set about a-rummaging. And in moments I had a useful pile of beads, buttons, bits and bobs before me.

The holes in the buttons are filled and sliced clean before an axle is added, followed by square-cut tubing and finally beads as cylinders and boiler.

As you can probably tell, this project was a quick one. I usually intend my side projects to be fast builds, but often get carried away. It was nice to see something come to completion with so little effort.

The brass nut from a guitar string makes a pretty creepy mechanical eye.

1.2mm round rod and a slice of 3.2mm tubing are used to create a Gatling gun.

The Gatling gun is added, as is thechimney - and the model is almost complete.

Of course, rivets had to be added - fifty of them. "Fifty, Colonel?" I hear you exclaim, "Piffle! A mere trifle!" Well, yes... but I'll make up for it, I promise.

The finished Tri-Skull. Scary, huh?

Finally, I opted for a nice rusty-looking ink finish, contrasting with gunmetal and brass...

...But then...

Junior Skull, Senior Skull and General Skull-Duggery. (sorry!)

I thought I ought to do a few more...

...With Officers...

Senior Skull - His spikes are the ends of toothpicks, mounted in pieces of narrow plastic tube. A multi-facetted bead is used for his eye.

The fearsome General Skull-Duggery! I used greenstuff to sculpt the tusks, a piece of guitar string for the conduit, bits of plastic rod and tube for the bolts, half a small plastic press-stud for the monocle and beads and plastic tube for the blaster.

...After all, ten heads are better than one!

General Skull-Duggery, The Nefarious Doktor Nefarious and Slovenly Bob inspect the troops.

I can't wait to watch these wreak havoc on the battlefield!

Tri-Skulls... Chaaarge!

So that's it for this little quicky. More on Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile soon! I promise!

...and there's another side project on the way...

All the Best!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I Spy With My Beady Eye...

Hi, All!

The Nefarious Doktor Nefarious surveys the ruins of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps with his towering automated bodyguard.

Coming from a long and proud military heritage as I possibly do, I often find it impossible to resist the urge to rummage through boxes of brightly coloured plastic beads.

If any of you are Sandhurst men, I'm sure you understand...

Beads, Sir. Dozens of 'em.

Anyway, I was cheerfully rummaging away the other day, intermittently humming 'Rule Britannia' and having a delightful conversation with myself about the shocking price of cheese these days (as one does) when I gasped in astonishment!

"Gasp! I'm astonished!" I gasped astonishedly, "That there pink beady-thingy looks exactly like the torso of one of those late nineteenth-century steam-driven self-motorvating legionnaries what gave our lads such a hard time!"

And of course, I was right. Keep reading - I can prove it.

The 'torso' beads are trimmed into shape to create a neck line, and abdomen and hip beads are attached. Neck pins are shoved into heads...

And so, I present to you another of The Nefarious Machinations of the Nefarious Doktor Nefarious...

The Legion of Steam-Driven War-tomata!

(not to be confused with your salad.)

3.2mm square tube is cut to create leg sections, jointed with tiny round beads.

This little gang was a nice distraction from Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile (more on that very soon) and were also super cheap to create.

Trangular sections are cut from square tube to create the feet. The squad is glued to washers, with packing under some feet to support action poses.

As you can see, I used little round beads for all of the joints. By so doing, I gave myself limitless options for poses. I wanted the unit to look dynamic and active - not your typical rigid robot-soldier poses.

Rivets and rods are added to 'flesh out' the legs. The same detailing will be added to the arms. The hips are armoured with plastic tube.

Arms are added, and shoulder armour is cut from round plastic tube.

These were fast and fun to build, although making ten of them for the sake of fielding a full squad was almost a drag at times.The lengths of plastic rod lining the arms and legs were the trickiest and most time-consuming part but they really bulk up the models.

Ray guns are put together from 1mm plastic rod, diamond-shaped beads and tiny rouns ones. Model-making doesn't get simpler than this!

'Hands' in place. The models are almost finished.

I wondered about hands, and decided to go for a simple claw on one arm and ray gun on the other. After all, these are supposed to be Victorianised Retro-Robots... Whatever those might be!

A finished War-tomaton, ready for painting. The crest on his head is a slice of plastic tube, cut open and stretched into place.

Centurion (note ribbed shoulder and diamond-emblem on his head); NCO (round emblem on head); and Legionary. The chimneys (and boilers) were made from plastic tube and a tubular bead.

I think these do rather well as 1960s-style robots with a VSF twist anyway.

The Centurion.

NCO (left) and Legionary (right)

The finished unit was given a simple paint job of copper with gold details, green eyes and red ray guns. Easy!

The completed unit, ready to smash all who stand in their way!

So there you go: Fast, Cheap, Simple and Dangerous!

The Nefarious Doktor Nefarious leads his warriors to assured victory.

Next post: More on Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile (... I'm really getting bored of typing that...) and TWO more super-duper-secret side projects coming soon!

All the Best!



Sunday, 5 April 2015

Lions to Port!

Hi, All!

The port-side mid-deck is completed!

Over the last two weeks I have been slogging away at the port-side mid-deck galleries of the engine room section of Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile. And what a slog it has been!

As with the starboard side, the entire support structure is cut out, to be replaced.

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to try building this part as a single piece, in order to keep things looking consistent, straight, coherent and so on... What I hadn't accounted for was the massive amount of work this would entail.

The for'ard section is design with an arch to echo the bulkhead-buttresses of the main deck.

Checking the construction against the model,

Somehow during the last two weeks, I have been unable to find it in me to embark upon another fouteen hour stint of rivetting, soldering, painting and muttering to myself, hence the lack of a progress report until now.

I think I may return to a schedule of bite-sized pieces!

A blank ceiling is cut to act as a guide when aligning the mid-deck to the deck above. A ladder will descend from above, all the way to the lower deck.

Anyway, somewhat later than I had hoped, I have now completed this stage of the model, and more significantly, I have almost finished the engine section. I will soon be moving on to the mansion!

The shaft starts to take shape.

When I designed this section I wanted to keep it similar to the starboard side, but to add a couple of new elements. There were also game-play considerations such as access to all areas from the main deck. I thought it might be nice to see light coming up from below through a shaft with a ladder, so I set myself the task of dropping a ladder from the top deck all the way down, with visible floorboards and a hidden light source at the bottom. Another ladder will eventually link to the rear area from above.

A large array of pieces had to be constructed, detailed and riveted before piecing together the whole 'kit'.

The rear port mid-deck gallery, ready for assembly.

It was very handy to work with a lot of pieces at once, in that I could constantly check that everything was going to fit properly, but it was a lot of work! When it came to the rivetting stage, I really had to push myself to keep going!

The for'ard section, pre-rivetting...

...and after painting. Ceiling, hand rails, lamp post and ladder have yet to be added.

Then there were the lights... This piece added thirteen concealed LEDs and three working lamp posts, and I really hate soldering! There is now a huge amount of wiring hidden in this model. If it ever breaks down, I will not be able to fix it.

The finished ceiling. The holes for the ladders had to be precisely checked against the deck above.


The whole assembly was unified by building the ceiling as a single piece, to which I glued the finished components, working upside-down. When all the wiring was done, the finished section was put into place and the ladder was dropped in. Finally, a frame and hand rail were added around the top of the ladder.


The finished deck, in place.

And there you go. Simple, innit?
The ladder drops away through the decks.
A gas-lamp glow illuminates the depths of the vessel.
Which brings me to the Rivet Count:

In this section, I added a total of  891 rivets to the model, bringing the total so far to:

13,569 !

Not bad. Looking forward to the twenty-thousand mark now!

The for'ard gallery by lamp light.

The main deck is starting to look quite busy now!

The rear section, still waiting for a ladder.

The ladder casts pleasing shadows against the bulkheads, while yet another hand-made lantern cheerfully flickers.

"But why Lions?" I hear you think...

Well, calm down and I shall tell you.

A Nefarious-looking armoured vehicle joins the ranks of the Wutha-F'Kahwi tribe...
I got a bit distracted during the last couple of weeks, possibly out of the need to do something relatively quick, simple, silly and entertaining. And it's been quite a while since The Nefarious Doctor Nefarious and his Wutha-F'Kahwi allies caused any trouble...

Lions: They look like cannons really, don't they?

I had found in a local crap shop a soft orange plastic lion's head that looked like fun. With cheerful abandon, I shoved a length of tube down its throat, punched a hole in its cranium and proceeded to turn it into mobile artillery.

An eccentric-looking tribesman with looted and decorated pith helmet, goggles and telescope.

Why not?

The heavily riveted vehice.

Boiler and copper chimney complete the archaic look.
 
Sadly, somewhere along the way, I have managed to delete all of the build-progress photos I took, but here are the results. The chassis was made from plastic board off-cuts, around a wild west pencil sharpener wagon.

The cheap plastic lion's head turned out rather well, I think!

This little beast is the latest creation of The Nefarious Doctor Nefarious: given by him to a local Wutha-F'Kahwi chieftain in order to further destabilise British rule on the Lost Continent. Or that's my excuse, anyway.

Boasting only 391 rivets, it's just a little fellow - but I hope you like it.

The Wutha-F'Kahwi advance.

Anyway, that's all for now!

All the Best!