Monday 27 June 2011

A Rivetting Experience!

Hi, All.

...and the rivet-count keeps climbing...
Ever had one of those projects that just seems to go on and on, taking up your time, materials and patience, while never seeming to progress? Well, guess what...?

It's been over a week since my last post and things are progressing on the HMSW Gargantua project very, very S L O W L Y...

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy with the results so far, but I have rarely undertaken a project that required so much forward planning. This week's efforts have been concentrated on the head of the beast - a part which I had previously thought I might leave until much later. Meanwhile, the legs remain on the drawing board - I won't know exactly how I want them to look until the boday and head are complete...

Internal bulkheads, doors, ladder and trapdoor had to be completed early.

The internal elements of the head had to be designed, built, painted and glued in place before the head itself could be constructed. Details such as navigational equipment will be added much later, but structural elements such as trapdoors, doors and ladders had to be finished first. This took a lot of designing, building and rebuilding. Much time was spent just staring at little bits of plastic and forcing myself to keep going...

The rear of the head, as seen from the body, with a view through to the 'mouth'...

I won't continue to ramble on about how long this is all taking, but if you've ever inflicted this kind of thing on yourself, well - you understand...
Four mighty pistons link the head to the body. Steps from the main deck will eventually link to the rear door of the head via a swing-bridge...

The pistons which link the body to the head are firmly anchored far back inside the body, so that they can take a lot of weight. A lot of strength is essential - there may be the added weight of three or four miniatures inside the head, not to mention getting the occasional knock, and damage may be impossible to repair once the body is closed in. For this reason, I have taken my time and made sure things are well supported inside. As with any project, it is not worth taking short-cuts during the initial stages. Everything else could fall apart if the foundations are weak...

So there you have it for now. I suppose the Victorians didn't work very fast when they were building steam-powered monsters, either.
Rivet-count so far: 865! And I haven't even detailed the outside of the head yet, let alone the body or legs! 

In other news:

Cute, isn't he.
 Mid-week, I received a welcome distraction from plastic rivets and the smell of poly-cement. A package arrived from The War Store with some new crocs to add to my HOTT lizard army. As a means of keeping myself sane, I have decided to do just one at a time, in between working on the walker.

First up: the Blackhide Wrastler from Hordes Mercenaries/Privateer Press. This dude is BIG! And so cool...
Too cool, in fact. He'd be wasted if I just kept him for HOTT - let's face it. I mean, wouldn't he just be perfect as the creation of a mad Victorian scientist? I've decided to base him on a small  (only 50mm square!) base, then insert that into a larger base for HOTT. More bang for my buck! Let's see what those intrepid explorers make of this wee beastie!

Anyway, hope you like the paint-job.

More soon - I'm going back to my rivets and a nice glass of pinot noir!

All the Best!


  1. I feel your Pain. I built three 28mm scale Plague Tower super heavy war machines for use with Warhammer 40k and they were not near as complicated as HMSW Gargantua, they were just big. You are doing much better than me, it took a few years working in stages to finish them.


  2. Hey Colonel, great to see more progress, and I like the WIP shots with stuff unpainted - it lets us see the process.
    I understand your pain, and that pinot noir will help, I find rum helps too, (especialy when hot glue gunning endless plastic aquarium plants to mdf bases...!)
    I think the good thing for you, is maintaining this blog, it will keep you keen to finish and on track, so don't give up, we are all waiting for each installment!
    The croc is a nice interlude piece too. Good for the sanity ;-)

  3. Col KG: A FEW YEARS!!!? Please don't say things like that! I have a delicate heart!

    Scott - Yep! The pinot noir aways helps - I've done the hot-glue/aquarium plant marathon a couple of times myself!

    Thanks, guys. Glad I'm keeping you entertained.

  4. Your machine is looking really great. The croc is pretty good too. Good work.

  5. Excellent work!

    Is this machine going to have quite a friendly pooch-ish sort of look?

  6. "Pooch-ish"?!

    Does that comment even deserve a response...?

    We could discuss this like gentlemen, Roly. Pistols at dawn?

    Rodger - Thanks! More to come...

  7. freaking awesome paint job on the beastie

  8. Thanks! A lot more to do yet - the red outlines are slow work! Glad you like it!