|Bud Weiser and Stella Artois ponder the mystery of the Puzzle of the Ancients...|
This week I took a brief break from the immensity that is my huge walker project to play with some bits of rubbish.
|Rubik's Cube, bead and bits of foam. A simple pallette.|
I'd had a couple of silly ideas floating around my head for a while, and I decided to see just how quickly - and with how little effort - one could throw together a cool model. I set myself the challenge of using as little cutting and measuring as possible, by adopting what I like to think of as the 'playschool' technique... I'm sure you all fondly remember those happy days where you would glue toilet roll tubes, lollypop sticks and cotton bobbins to your fingers and proudly proclaim, "Look Mummy! It's a ephelant!"
Well, I remember, anyway...
|A bead is attached to the cube, a little greenstuff creates a 'cuff' and a pin is inserted to anchor it to its plinth.|
|Steps and plinth are sketched on green foam, roughly carved out and detailed with a pencil. A small slab is added to the top to mount the cube.|
I had the idea for the Puzzle of the Ancients at exactly the same instant that I threw my miniature Rubik's Cube across my office, shouting, "It's impossible! The damned thing must be broken!" Or words to that effect
|The cube assembly is glued in place. the cube has been 'fixed' with superglue so that it doesn't turn and crack its paint.|
|The paint starts to go on.|
Once this piece was built, the whole thing was painted as sandstone, then colours inked onto the cube's faces, which were further drybrushed as stone again, to make them look faded.
|Deep in the wilderness, the Puzzle of the Ancients has confounded the finest minds for centuries...|
Not bad. It's a very simple model, and took about half an hour to build and less than an hour to paint. But I think it works.
And so... On to the big one...
|Junk: contact lens cases, old vinyl record, twink dispenser, beads, deodorant, sewing machine parts, miniature candlestick, reflector (wasn't used in the end.)|
I've had a couple of old diffusers lying around for ages, and always intended to make some sort of flying saucer from them. So I grabbed a whole pile of bits and some really awesome glue and started sticking stuff together..
This was great fun. No cutting, no measuring, just sticking stuff down and watching the thing grow.
|Left: twink dispensers form a wing, while the lid of a deodorant stick forms the bridge. Right: contact lens cases become windows.|
|Beads, superglue lids, plastic stoppers and the insides of pens (butchered for lanterns in the walker project) form a strange spine-like array. Two plastic cufflinks become sensors.|
I also decided that there should be NO RIVETS AT ALL! After all, it wouldn't do for a crashed alien spacecraft to look like it could have been built by British engineers...
|A sewing machine foot becomes a landing gear. Random offcuts and bits of junk are glued all over the model.|
|A veritable plethora of rubbish!|
When the main structure was built, I set about sticking offcuts of plastic and card, bits of tube, beads and anything I could find in my bits box onto the hull. The trick here was to glue bits on top of bits on top of bits, to form complicated, odd and random shapes that didn't just look flat and uninteresting.
|The model is painted dark grey, then highlighted with light grey.|
This done, I sat back, looked at the clock, and was amazed to see that I had constructed the whole model in two hours!
|Tones of orange and yellow are drybrushed over the grey. The windows can be scraped clean after, leaving really cool milky white domes that conrast beautifully with the paint.|
Now it was time to add paint. I wanted something bright and colourful, but also solid looking. I decided to work from a dark grey undercoat and build up the colour with multiple heavy coats of drybrushed colours - this would be fast and easy, and require little drying time.
|The finished colour scheme: A simple yellow-ish body with touched of green and copper.|
Green ink was added to a few sticky-out bits, and copper paint added a nice contrast.
|The ground is built up with green foam and DAS clay.|
|Grit is added to the whole base, then painted brown.|
Now it was time to stick the ship to its record (opera! ugh!) and build up the ground of the 'crash site' around it. I used chunks of green foam, filled the gaps with DAS clay and coated the whole lot with grit. A quick coat of brown paint followed, which was then highlighted, and finally static grass was added.
|The finished ship.|
Hey, presto! A quick, easy and kind of cool spaceship!
|British troops search for a way in...|
I'd like to make this the objective of a game - British and Prussian troops race to seize the alien technology for the glory of their empires... or some such.
|"A hatch, sir!"|
|The rear view.|
Anyway, there you go. Now it's time to get back to work on Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile.
|The Sergeant poses for a lithograph...|
All the Best!