|Archibald Phunk enjoys a stroll on-deck, reassured by a sturdy new hand-rail.|
After something like a fourteen month break, I have finally returned to Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile...
I never intended to leave things so long but as it turns out this has been a very positive thing. I have come back to this sometimes somewhat overwhelming project with fresh eyes, and have been able to identify a number of areas where improvements and changes were necessary.
|Notes to self regarding the engine room...|
I was getting ahead of myself. Why had I started designing details for the Mansion Section, when the Engine Room was still not complete? I have resolved to finish off all the little bits and pieces for this section before moving forward. Hence the handrail in today's post...
|Mansion Section and Engine Room together (above) and the plain boards cut and shaped for the fuselage (below)|
Having designed and cut the fuselage during my break, it became obvious that the shape of the hull would have to change to take into account the added thickness of the wooden base. More about the fuselage and hull design alterations at a later date...
I also realised that I was skimping on details. I had planned to depict the mid-deck as a line of frosted portholes with lights behind them, which would look good in low light and viewed en-mass, but why settle for that when I can put detailed corridors and rooms behind clear portholes and light them from inside? I realise that this will increase my work load considerably, but the end result should be spectacular!
So... with these things in mind, I set about building the handrails and bulkheads you see here...
|Rear bulkhead with porthole is desgned and held against the model to check.|
|Bulkhead buttresses are drawn, with arches.|
|The plain bulkheads are lined up against the model.|
I had already conveniently spaced vertical strips on the engine room walls that would serve as nice anchors for these new pieces, but the rivetted strips with which I had lined the outer edges of the deck would have to go, to be replaced by new, more detailed edging.
|Jeeves regards a partially finished bulkhead with disapproval.|
|The rivetted strips are cut out (left) Plastic strips are cut to form the basis of the new structure (right)|
A lot of rivets had to be removed (GASP!) in order to add these details - and more destructive remodelling will be necessary as I progress. Having lined up the bulkheads, I cut out the thick cardboard strips from the edges of the deck and replaced them with balsa wood so that the new details could be built over the top, flush with the rest of the decking.
|Rear bulkhead with rivets, ready to be painted.|
|The edging is built up from thin strips of plastic and many rivets are added.|
As you can see, I elected to construct the entire handrail and bulkhead arrangement for each side of the vessel as a single complete piece before painting them and finally adding them to the model. When working in this way, styrene plastic is wonderful and although it can be costly, it has become by far my favourite material.
|A completed side.|
|The completed assembly, in place against the engine room. As you can see, I have also removed the sides of the hull.|
|Handrail details. The blank strip facing outwards from the vessel will form an achor line for the hull when I get to that part...|
|Painted and in place!|
|A view along the deck - much more interesting now!|
It may interest you to know that I did a couple of tests before gluing styrene to balsa and eventually chose to use Liquid Poly and Superglue combined.
|Viewed from the rear. I am very happy with the flowing outline. I'll be endeavouring to maintain this feel through the rest of the vessel.|
So there you go. Next up, I shall continue to finish this section of the vessel before progressing to Mansion, fuselage and hull.
All that remains today is the Rivet Count!
I had to remove 226 rivets during this part, but added a further 609, bringing the total so far to:
And I haven't even finished 20%...
|"...So what about that unfinished gantry, Sir?"|
It's good to be back, folks!
All the Best!