Thursday 7 February 2013

The Absolutely Enormous Engine That Probably Will

Hi, All!

The engine nears completion...

I am nearing completion of the engine for Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile, having added chimneys and two rather large Pole-Differential Potentialising Galvanetic Capacitors.

Bits of plastic tube, washers, castors and various bits and bobs will become the chimneys.

(Don't you just love technobabble?)

Two chimneys are very quickly thrown together and mounted on a simple box for added height.

Very soon, it will be time to construct the engine room around this enormous beast of a machine, and the gigantic walker will finally begin to take shape.

The box is edged with card strips and studded with rivets. And some of the rivets are studded with rivets! (This counts double for the rivet count, folks - my rivets, my rules!)

The chimneys were very easy to make, and I added a simple box of card for extra height. It is important that the chimneys tower over the finished vehicle, and I wasn't convinced that the engine was quite tall enough. Now, at approximately five storeys high, I'm happy that they'll be seen for miles around!

The box, painted and glued in place atop the engine.
The finished chimneys.

While working on the chimneys, I was also constructing the Pole-Differential Potentialising Galvanetic Capacitors. I wanted to 'bulk-up' the engine, to make it more than just a simple (if huge) steam engine. This is Victorian Science Fiction, after all... Spinny things, conduits, valves and techno-junk should abound! The capacitors are just the first of such gizmos. Keep watching!

Lampholders, washers, etc. form the basic shape.

The capacitors started life as two broken Edison-screw lampholders from the bin at work. I added washers, reels from the inside of a used Twink tape and the butt-end of a black marker to complete the shape. Push-pins and simple strips of plastic board and rod completed the detail. Oh yes, and many rivets!

Details are added (no rivets yet - be patient!) and the capacitors are mounted on squares of plastic board. Note the greenstuff repair work done to the right capacitor.

As yet, the capacitors have not been attached to the engine (neither has the furnace). They will have to wait until I have an engine-room floor to glue them to!

A completed Pole-Differential Potentialising Galvanetic Capacitor, before painting.
Left capacitor in place. Guitar-string conduit links it to the engine.

Right capacitor.

I have to admit, this engine has turned out even bigger than I had intended! Not that that's a bad thing in this case - I want Lord Smudginton Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile to serve as an entire gaming table, so bigger is better. This is usually not the rule in model-making of course, so I'm finding all this rather liberating!

Capacitor and chimneys.

So: now I have to get on with constructing the engine room. This will involve gantries, valves, LED lanterns, ladders, steps, gauges, pipes... you get the picture. All will finally be enclosed with a removable 'glass' roof, based on the work of Joseph Paxton, designer of the Crystal Palace, amongst other things.

Having added a further 298 rivets since my last post, today's Rivet Count is...

2,550 !

Not bad, eh?

Another shot of the capacitor in place. Coz I can.

So there you go. That's it for now. I can't hang around blogging all day, by crikey! I've got rivets to apply!

Big, isn't it?!

All the Best!


  1. Won't be long and you'll be building miniatures for a movie studio, Col. Great work. The paint color scheme is out-of-this-world!

    1. Hello again, Jay!

      Of course, I'd love to make models for movies - but I'll not give up my day job just yet!

      Very pleased you like it so far!

  2. You are most certainly the Rivet King! And I imagine will be buying shares in red and green paint! ;-)

    1. ... with so many more rivets still to come!

      Actually, I think I've done most of the red and green. Much of the rest of the model will be light blue.

      Contemplating adding a flywheel, as per Gargantua. What do you think?

    2. Ah yes , a large moving part! the flywheel must be done!

      Actually Ive just thought of another idea for this project... you clearly having lighting under way... but how about sound effects!? You clearly have room to conceal something clever underneath... the sound that immediately sprung to mind was the "Pish-tee-coo" sound from Ivor the Engine (remember that!?), but make it a bit more grunty - perhaps more "PISH TEE COO!!!!"

      I'll leave you that though to ponder!

      Yes I know, I'm mad!

    3. Flywheel on the way, my friend! I discovered some marvellous bits of stuff that are absolutey perfect!

      Sound effects? Me? With a recording studio in my bedroom? Whatever are you thinking, man?!

      I don't know if you're mad - I'd hardly be a reliable judge - but you may be a little PISSHHHT....

  3. Egads, Colonel! Just be sure the Phlogiston Pump is properly seated on the Galvanic Capacitor - you wouldn't want the capacitance fluid to leak. Ghastly corrosive stuff, you know. Remember what it did to that Italian chap? B----y awful way to go.

    Have I mentioned my personal admiration for your projects? Simply the best.

    1. Squire Womack! A pleasure to hear from you, as ever!

      I can assure you, my pump is properly seated and all phlogistons accounted for! Not a drop of capacitance fluid in sight!

      Yes - very sad about that Italian chappy. Still, that's what you get for getting carried away with hand-gestures when passionately discussing physics in an enclosed space. Far too animated, these Continental types! Of course he wasn't the first man to go all gooey just as the Admiral's neice entered the room, but she'll be having nightmares about him for years, poor girl!

      I believe you may have mentioned your appreciation of all this model-making nonsense - but it's always nice to hear! Thank you very much!

      Shame about those cookies...

  4. Double rivet-tastic model. Keep up the good work.


    1. Thank you, Matt. I am pleased to see you clearly appreciate the merit of keeping one's rivets in place with rivets!

      I shall endeavour to continue!

  5. I never cease to be amazed by the way this project is unfolding, Colonel! The extra height for the chimneys really does the business. One question about the LEDs - whereabouts on the model will you put the power source for them?

    1. A J! How are you, me old China?

      Yes - I'm particularly pleased wih the height of the chimneys. In most projects, one has to keep things small, but with this, I'm allowing myself to get carried away. God knows where I'm going to store this thing when I'm done!

      As far as a power supply is concerned, I will be building a battery pack into the model somewhere - probably under the engine room - with a removable section of hull to access it.

      (I've been to Hull, and could think of a couple of sections that might benefit from being removed...)

      Of course, if I get the LEDs wrong, I'll just blow the whole lot and never be able to do a thing about it...

  6. Wow! I love it, especially having been built from scratch.

    1. Thank you very much! Stay in touch for even more scratching!

  7. Superb model - very well done that man.....

    I'll keep checking back to review progress.


    1. Thanks, Tony! Please do. I try to post at least once a week, and there's certainly a lot on my table at the moment - no shortage of material to keep you entertained!

  8. As always your work is amazing, the scale of this project is daunting and you still maintain the minute attention to detail.

    P.S. I do like the new background for the blog. Nice touch, Good Man, nice touch indeed!

    1. Hello, Anton!

      Daunting is not the word! There's so much to do, I don't think I'd keep going if I tried to think too far ahead! But the end result will be well worth it.

      Glad you like the new look. I felt that Leadwood no longer truly represented what this blog is about. Whereas rivets...