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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Back On Board!

Hi, All!

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.
The engine room is flanked by long stretches of open deck, and it seemed to me that these were, quite frankly, rather boring. I needed to break them up a bit. I therefore decided to add some buttress-like bulkheads that would nicely combine the required naval style with some tasteful architectural elements that might have appealed to Victorian engineers.

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...
What you see here is about twelve hours' work from start to finish - not the speediest of projects. There was a lot of checking, double checking, remodelling and so on. But I have plenty of time. I don't expect to finish this model for at least another year...

Painted and in place!

A view along the deck - much more interesting now!
Once the two sides were constructed, painting them was the easy part. I used the same dirty blue-grey colour as the rest of the model, with brass handrails and porthole. All I had to do next was glue them in place. This was a little fiddly, as they had to line up precisely in several locations and due to the arches cut in the bulkheads, things moved as I worked.

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:

10,671!

And I haven't even finished 20%...

"...So what about that unfinished gantry, Sir?"

It's good to be back, folks!

All the Best!

38 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Colonel! The profundity of your profound propensity to paradigmatic projects is prodigious, sir!

    The modeling world is a better place now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why than you, Jay!

      It is good to have my fingers back in the ol' box o' bits!

      Delete
  2. It's really brightened my day to see you back and read about The Project again.

    All strength to your elbow Sir!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sir!

      I will endeavour to keep my elbow in full swing from now on!

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  3. This is FANTASTIC, Sir! I have no words ...
    I love to have you back in the aether again Sir!

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    1. Much appreciated, my friend!

      Big projects like this are made so much easier by such kind comments. It's nice to be back.

      Delete
  4. I quite glad you're back as well. These projects of yours inspire us all to try harder.

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    1. That's great to know! Thanks so much Mr Baconfat!

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  5. I love looking at your modelling/kitbashing work, quite inspirational.

    Just a quick question, that glue mix you mentioned; could you explain it a bit more? I'm a bit sick of glueing every other item together -except the item I want- with super glue, but the poly can take quite a while to dry & it doesn't always (in my experience) provide the strongest bond. So I'm all ears to someone who has a "secret" glueing technique.

    Do you mix it 50/50? What's the working time like? Is it only good for glueing balsa to plastic? Would it perform just the same as the "gel super glue"? I suppose it's a damn right cheaper mixing up your glue's than buying the gel type?

    Well, that "quick question" sure turned into a long one didn't it! :)

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      I shall attempt a quick answer...

      I found that liquid poly was very good for gluing styrene to balsa because (I assume) the melting plastic bonds into the fibrous surface of the wood. However, because it takes a while to fully set, I needed the superglue to hold everything in place.

      I coated all surfaces with liquid poly on both the plastic and the balsa, then put a line of superglue over the top, just on the balsa. After holding it in place for a few seconds, it was done.

      Does that explain?

      Good to hear from you!

      Delete
  6. Good to see construction commencing anew, Colonel!

    Those side-decks look just the place for sets of davits to suspend Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's walking launch on one side, and his flying cutter on the other.

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    Replies
    1. Way ahead of you, Roly! But I wasn't going to mention the emergency equipment just yet...

      I hope you're well. It's been a while!

      Delete
  7. Glad to see your back & full steam ahead! What a fantastic looking array of bulkheads, you've outdone yourself!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Terry! It's very gratifying to be welcomed back so generously by so many people!

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  8. Hurrah! What a wonderful return Sir, bravo!

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  9. Great to hear you are back charged with project enthusiasm and loving the new update. Good show, Sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! Plenty more to come...

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  10. Good to see you back. I look forward to seeing the details unfold,

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's good to be back, Joppy! I shall unfold the details toot-sweet!

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  11. Ah, excellent! It made my day to see you return, refreshed and full of modelling vim, to this prodigious project. The bulkheads and railings are an elegant touch.

    Thanks also for the tip on mixing glues. I've had a yen to build a Space:1889 aerial gunboat for a while now. A mix such as you describe will be handy for that.

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    Replies
    1. AJ! Good to hear from you, my friend! And thank you.

      Get building, that man!

      Delete
  12. Fabulous to have you back Colonel and what a return! The rivet count is up and the creative juices are clearly flowing again - bravo!

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    1. Hi Michael!

      As I write, the rivet count has passed the 11,000 mark - see my next post!

      Great to hear from you.

      Delete
  13. Good to see you back at it, Sir!. No doubt the lengthy break has given you the chance to get enthused again...?

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    1. Hi Scott!

      Yes, indeed! There was a long period that I simply felt no interest at all, but I am pleased to say that that has passed. I'm looking forward to making some real progress with this.

      Delete
  14. Excellent to have your very inspirational blog back once more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sir! I shall endeavour to keep you inspired!

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  15. I am glad to see you return to this amazing project and look forward to future posts. The side bulkheads on the deck look like excellent places to take cover from nefarious parties trying to ventilate one's hide.

    Elderac

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elderac!

      Good to hear from you again.

      The engineers have reported certain nefarious activities around my shipyard recently... So who knows?

      Delete
  16. Very impressive, sir, and very inspirational.

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  17. Good to have you back! Inspirational work! Keep the rivets coming!

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    1. And I shall!

      I've just passed the 11,000 mark - keep watching!

      Delete
  18. Magnificent.

    Great to see you back.

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  19. This tells me that you are off your meds again.

    Great to see the update.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Off 'em, Brian? I've never been on 'em! Maybe that's the problem!?

      Delete