Sunday 19 June 2011

Full Steam Ahead!

Hi, All.

I never, ever want to do this again!
As you can see from the above picture, the engine for HMSW Gargantua is now complete!

It has taken me many hours of work today (about twelve, I think - I lost track!) to complete the detailing and painting, but I think it's worth it...

Front and rear shots, without the flywheel.

Close-ups of the furnace and boiler. Intimidating, huh?

The design hasn't changed much since I posted my first pictures. the biggest changes have been to make the smoke-stack slightly shorter and bulkier, and the addition of a much more impressive furnace.

Calligraphy not being my strong-suit, I haven't summoned the courage to do this bit yet...

The boiler now has a brass scrollwork-plate, onto which I plan to inscribe the name of the greatest industrial city of the Victorian Era... A place very close to my heart. After all, Sheffield made 90% of the world's steel at this time... But hand-painting "Sheffield" might be a bit much - we'll have to see. If I can't do it justice, I'll have to come up with something else.

Engine and flywheel, together at last!

Lieutenant Boddington tries to keep his excitement firmly in check behind his stiff upper lip.

I decided to change the plans from the original long-and-sleek 'battleship' configuration to something a bit more bulky and brutish. So, the flywheel will now be mounted next to the engine, rather than behind it. This will reduce the length of the model considerably, but she'll still be huge!

Big, isn't it?

So far, so good. Now, for those of you who are wondering, there are One-Hundred and Thirty-Four rivets on the engine assembly, all cut and glued by hand. Combined with the flywheel, that makes Four-Hundred and Seventy so far!

Anyway, I can't stay here, blogging away! I've got LEGS to build!

More soon.

All the best!


  1. Very nice piece, well detailed. You did a great job! Not too sure what you want to do with it but it'll be great for Steampunk scenery for sure.

  2. "Do with it," Sir? Why, take over the world, of course!

  3. Well that's just about cool as heck!


  4. Excellent work Colonel! You must I am sure spend a lot of time looking at images of victorian era steam engines to get this all looking authentic. It certainly looks the part, especially the colour scheme too - the red pin striping is exquisite. So I presume the flywheel will be connected by some kind of drive belt to something lower down? I am fascinated to see how this progresses.
    As for the 'Sheffield'engraving, perhaps a printout using Photoshop might work, and glue into place & paint a blackline around it to conceal paper edge?
    I love the Boddington name for the officer, another Yorkshire link if ever there was one, although I must confess it was a beer I didnt like! Odd 'antiseptic' taste I thought?
    Keep up the good work.

  5. Thanks, Scott!
    Actually, a great deal of this design pays homage to the River Don Steam Engine at Kelham Island Industrial Museum, Sheffield. I love this machine! 12000 horsepower! When that flywheel gets going, you feel so small!

    It's Europe's biggest working steam angine and was used for making armour plate - appropriate.

    The flywheel and colour scheme are an attempt to capture the 'flavour' of the Don Engine.

    As for Boddington's, it's actually from Lancashire - but it's the North, innit? I hope to get a white rose motif onto the walker somewhere, just to avoid confusion!

  6. Amazing work Colonel. Very impressive with all those rivets, 470 good reasons to like it.

  7. Thanks, Rodger.

    I've been working on the walker's head today. So far, another 80 rivets - and a very long way to go!

    I'm keeping count...

  8. You Sir, are an Inspiration. Keep up with the good work.


  9. Nice links Joe, impressive stuff. Reminds of the time I saw a whole bunch of steam engines at the Durham Show Grounds down by the river when I was a young 'un. As you say, makes you feel very small...

    Ah, Boddington's from Lancashire? I must admit once you get south of Middlesbrough, for me all those dang Shire things get a bit confusing as for where one ends and another starts. ;-)

    I was from way up North you know! It's grim there apparently ;-)

    What I do remember about Boddingtons (If I've got the right beer and advert), was a tasty bit of crumpet for their adverts. Melanie Sykes I think her name was...?

    Keep up the great work, can't wait to see her finished.

  10. ColKG - Thanks! It's particularly nice to receive such praise at the end of a day like the one I have just had...

    Scott - That would be the, "By 'eck! You smell gorgeous tonight, Petal!" lass? Ahh... fond memories!

  11. Fond memories indeed!

    What are the bent metal tubing pieces made from? I would have guessed regular wire at first, but they have a 'notched' effect going on...?


  12. The bent metal tubes (as with my other walker) are actually pieces of bronze-wound guitar strings. (.042" gauge in this case, I think - they're old ones my guitar has finished with!)

    And people tell me guitars are just for making noise with...

    Having fun designing/building the walker's had at the mo! Arrrrgh!

  13. Oh crickey! That's a heap of work in itself just winding all that wire. You Sir, deserve a medal!

    Keep up the good work.