Tuesday 23 August 2011

An hour or two fiddlin' with me dangly bits...

Hi, All.

Today I have begun construction of the chain bridge that will link HMSW Gargantua's head to her body.
The bridge will hang between the head and body, surrounded by pistons, cables, tubes...

This is fiddly work.
Chain and pins bought cheap by the hundred. Such things are invaluable for adding special little details. (see also the hoist on the Hooper's Lumbermill in Leadwood)

I'm working with cheap jewelery chain, bought from Spotlight (a craft store here in NZ). It's fairly soft and therefore the links are easy to open and close (and break!) but with each link being 2mm long, and my fingers being rather large, I'm finding it something of a challenge - hence my break right now to post this blog.
Left: four chains cut to length and added to anchor pins. These will form the horizontals. Right: parts laid out as an "exploded" diagram of the bridge construction.

What you see before you is about two hours' work so far. I imagine painting the bridge, applying the walk-boards and attaching it to the walker itself will be equally frustrating! Anyway, I'll keep you posted.
Chains and pins are suspended on small knitting needles for support as I'm not wearing my spare arms today. It took an hour to get this far.

This sort of detailing has to be completed before I start attaching the legs to the model, as otherwise I would risk damaging the whole thing - picking it up and turning it upside down, for example, will be very difficult once the legs are attached.
All chains and pins finally linked together. This will need to be painted and attached to the walker before further detailing can be applied.

Oh, well. Better get back to it!

All the Best! 


  1. OMG! I don't envy you doing this kind of fiddly work, but can only say bravo for attempting it, and hope success in the end, and patience to complete it.
    I can only assume you are doing the best with things like tweezers and needle nose pliers?
    Looking at the parts, I was wondering if it may be easier to open up the circular head of the 'pins' rather than all the chain links, at least for the joins with the pins?

  2. Scott - yes to all of the above, although I've lost my little pliers, so I'm working mostly with my fingernails.

    Opening the pins is the easy part - it's joining together the lengths of chain that's difficult.

    I have scored a private victory, though - in a moment of "AAAARRRGH!" I took a break and managed to paint "City Of Sheffield" on the brass boiler plate! I'd been fearing that job for weeks!

  3. Crikey, I dont think your pliers are the only thing you've lost old chap...I'm beginning to have grave concerns for your sanity.

    I can only marvel at your patience and ingenuity...as Kip was wont to say "you're a better man than thee Gunga Din"

    Press on.

  4. Actually, Old Boy, the last thing Kip said to me was, "Colonel! You've forgotten your trousers!" but you just couldn't trust old Rudyard. I hadn't forgotten 'em at all - I knew exactly where I'd left them!

    As for my pliers, who knows? They've been an invaluable aid to me in so many tricky situations - they could be anywhere! And probably need to disinfected by now anyway.

    And for God's sake, man: stop marvelling at my patients! They need their rest!

  5. Great work Colonel. Love the comments too.

  6. You are delightfully mad, sir! I can see where you're going with the chain bridge, and think it'll be a wonder to behold once complete. As for your lost pliers, I've found the quickest way to find a lost item is to replace it. =/