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Monday, 31 December 2012

Core Blimey!

Hi, All!
 
Just look what Santa brought for Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe!

Well, the Silly Season is almost over and it's time to get on with some serious model making.

A rough sketch of the 'Core' room. This is about as precise and technical as my drawings get.

In my last post, I started to tell you about my plans for a giant walker, namely; Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile... and I am happy to announce that construction has begun at last!

The base for the Core room. Black foam-core and many, many rivets...

I had intended to start with the engine room of this massive vehicle, but then I discovered the amazing piece of kit you see above. This is the motor from an old electric drill I took apart just to see what lay within... Imagine my nerdy joy when I found this!

A piece of already-prepared balsa planking gives a beautiful contrast to the machine parts. At this stage, I start to get quite enthusiastic!

I had already planned to have a technical-looking room which could be viewed from above through a glass dome in the main deck of the vessel. Inspired by my find, I set about designing...

The Core will need a support. Holes are punched out of plastic board before cutting the main shape out. This helps to prevent splitting the plastic. The holes are sanded smooth after punching.

This room is actually two decks deep - it will have a gantry running along one side. Note that doors have been constructed halfway up the walls for this purpose. The Core is huge and is suspended well above head-height from the lower deck.

The aft-wall, detailed and rivetted, is checked against the Core and its support. The support is designed to emulate Victorian trusses such as those at many British railway stations that were built in the heyday of British steam-engineering. Also note that a chunky cog (and more rivets) has been added to the end. 
I had to design the end walls so that the machinery could pass through them into the rest of the vehicle. They also had to be strong, but thin enough that I could punch out portholes through which light will spill later on. For this purpose, I chose plastic board. The side walls will be foamcore, as it is far cheaper!

The forward end wall. Everything is starting to look pretty cool by this point! Note the black slot in the top of the big box. A drive-belt will run down into this.

Once the end walls were cut, with doors stamped out, it was a matter of adding details such as reinforcing, sockets for conduits (still to be added) and a great many rivets! I also built a heavy iron duct to run the length of the floor, and a large box-type gizmo which sits under the big cog. A drive-belt will feed into this from the shaft above. I added a couple of gauges and will add more conduits, levers and ducts before I am done...

Then the paint started to go on!

Lord S S-S casts a critical eye over a huge cog. It has been mounted on a selection of washers and studded with twenty-four rivets. But will they be enough?

I have opted for a very pale grey for most of the vessel, to emulate the feel of a cruise-liner or super-yacht. Machinery will incorprate iron and brass of course, with red and green details. As HMSW Gargantua is mostly green with red highlights, I am reversing this colour scheme here.

The painted Core. Nice and bright!

The Core itself was very quick to paint. In fact, I almost left big parts of it as I found thm. In the end, the only thing I did to the various copper bits was to highlight them with copper paint, brightening them up. The brass parts were painted brown, then gold, then washed with chestnut ink.

The painted parts, glued in place. The second cog has been added. Some detailing is still required before I add the side walls.

The brightness of this room is deliberate. Once it is built into the walker's body, very little natural light will get to it, so I have compensated by avoiding too many dark colours. It is also worth mentioning that many of the details I have added so far may never be seen again by the time the walker is finished. However, without including them now, should they be wanted later, I would be disappointed. I'm confident it's worth the effort!

Which brings me to the Rivet Count!!!!

(drum roll)... 562!

Bear in mind that HMSW Gargantua had 3,630 rivets when finished. I am up to a sixth of that already and I haven't even finished the first room! I may cry...

So there you are for now. I still have to do the side walls, gantry, ladder, conduits, ducts, LED lanterns, window-glass, levers and other gadgets... But not a bad start to what will be a massive project!

Hope you like!

The Core in its full glory. I can't wait to see this room finished!

All the Best and Happy New Year! 

 


30 comments:

  1. Great start. That's really looking cool.

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  2. Beautiful work, sir. It's a shame about the possibility of it being hidden once the full model is built... but against the possibility of it NOT being hidden, I'd say that making it look awesome is better than leaving it un-awesome. :)

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    1. Thank you, sir!

      And may I say, you have hit my head right on the nail! Better to know the details are there than to feel I only did half a job!

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  3. Col., you are on a building extravaganza! Rivets galore and machinery abounds everywhere. Well done!!

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    1. Jay, my friend! Good to hear from you again!

      I can promise you thousands more rivets and some serious machinery bits-and-bobs over the coming months!

      Keep watching!

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    2. My eyes are glued-open!

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    3. Might I suggest you avoid trying nail-varnish remover for that? It's a bit stingy.

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    1. A wonderful sentiment, Roly - but I'm avoiding carbohydrates!

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  5. The level of detail you put into your scratch building really is breathtaking.

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    1. Thank you, Smillie!

      It's really just a question of patience and continually telling yourself how good it's all going to look if you just add that extra bit...

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  6. An excellent beginning, sir! The gizmo is a serendipitous find, indeed. I love the idea of the glass dome over the engine room. A structure of ironwork and glass, like the Crystal Palace, is the epitome of Victorian architecture and engineering to me. I take it you'll place LED lanterns through the chamber?

    Anyways, a Happy New Year to you and yours, and thanks for a highly entertaining blog.

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    1. A J, Old Bean - you've got it all figured out!

      The architecture of Joseph Paxton (greenhouses at Chatsworth House, Crystal Palace, etc...) is the inspiration, of course. And the LED lanterns will soon be added...

      Happy New Year to you too - and keep watching!

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  7. Just a thought but have you considered some sort of connection arm contraption type thingies with cables linking them to the commutator, also known as brushes in the boring real world.
    Feel free to discard this worthless suggestion if you consider it too preposterous to contemplate.

    "Happy New year and Pax Britannica to you Old Thing".

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    1. Thanks for that, Ogilvie, Old Chap! Actually, I have been considering big cartoon-style magnets such as those I built into the Faraday Galvanic Field Gun... but not sure...

      Lots of details to follow anyway.

      Happy New Year, Sir!

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  8. Fantastic !
    Your are a Star on the Victorian Sky !
    I will love to follow this Great construct.

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    1. Thank you, my friend! I shall endeavour to keep you entertained!

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  9. I love your creations and look forward to following the progress of this latest one. Sir, you are an inspiration!

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    1. Many thanks, Elderac! It's a thrill to receive such compliments. I will try to live up to them!

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  10. Most awe inspiring Colonel! I am looking forward to watching the project as it develops.

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    1. Thank you, Pat!

      Great to hear from you!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Good start Joe. I foresee many nooks and crannies to hide a Prussian spy in as this project grows ;-)

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    2. You may well be right, Scott! I just opened a fresh box of nooks this morning. And I've been suffering from awful attacks of the crannies for weeks!

      You're a pharmacist! Help me!

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    3. I'm sure I've got a suitable potion or liniment to rub on your soft bits and make those crannies warm and fuzzy again ;-)!
      Though I must admit, and am beginning to have serious concern on the mental faculties of The Colonel, for embarking on such an immense project.
      The men in white coats are giving me a sharp prod, and hinting I should intervene!

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    4. Men in white coats?! Are they Russkies? Greeks? Italians? Austrians? Oh, the terrifying possibilities!

      As for my soft fuzzy bits, mind your own business!

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  12. I think I will buy shares in a plastic rod factory. I can see their sales going through the roof.

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    1. Nice to hear from You, Brian - hope you're well.

      You may be right about the plastic rod. I'm getting through it at a frightening rate!

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  13. My only regret is that it took me two weeks to notice this splendid new scratchbuild.

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