|The engine room continues to evolve...|
This week, I have been concentrating on a couple of the larger details for the engine room section of Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile.
First up: a nice big chunky gearbox...
|Big fat plastic cogs - who could ask for more?!|
As I mentioned last week, I feel that the large open areas of plain deck surrounding the engine room are rather boring. I dealt with the two sides in my last post, adding bulkheads and handrails, so now it is time to do something about the area to the front.
|The area to be modified. Behind the windows, you can just see the chain drive and engine.|
I've got quite a few impressive looking cogs lying around amongst my useful bits, so I decided to put a couple to good use as a gearbox, protruding from the deck as a continuation of the massive chain drive inside the engine room.
|The box is constructed and checked for fit. The cogs are mounted on axles which pass through the side walls to ensure everything sits nice and straight.|
This was a fairly simple piece to put together, being essentially just an open box with some cogs inside, but even though most of the finished piece is hidden, I did not allow myself to skimp on details - rivets abound!
|The various components, detailed, rivetted and ready for paint.|
Having quickly designed a box, I took my time ensuring that eveything lined up properly - this piece would look awful if the cogs didn't sit stright with the line of the vessel. Axles were inserted into the cogs and fitted into holes in the walls of the gearbox. When I was happy with this, it was time to add details and rivets, paying particular attention to the top piece, where a hand-rail would also be required.
|The painted components.|
|The finished gear-box, with hand-rail. Almost all of the interior details have become invisible - but we know they are there, don't we?!|
Now all that remained was to paint the components, glue them together and cut a blooming big hole in my nice balsa wood deck! As with fitting the gears to the box, this had to be precise, as a bad fit would look absolutely dreadful, to the detriment of the whole model.
|The gear-box in place. I'm happy with this!|
Finally, the gear box was glued in place. I am planning a different detail for the other side of this part of the deck - more about that soon.
|There are gaps in my design!|
The next thing to tackle was an item on my list that I have been putting off - the front gable end of the barrel vault roof.
|An arch is constructed on plastic board and checked against the barrel vault in front of a bright light.|
The front and rear edges of the roof were not previously completely finished, and I had intended to add arched details to disguise the overlapping edges of the various bits. As I mentioned last week, I have resolved to address all such outstanding issues before moving on to build the rest of the model. I will have to make a second gable for the rear of the roof - but I'm running short of materials and as you can see, I need a whole sheet of styrene just to cut out each arch.
|As detailing begins, the piece is repeatedly checked against the roof, to ensure it will all line up nicely.|
I took my time with this - it needed to fit precisely with the lines of the roof, and working with curves can be a pain in the proverbials!
|The front of the completed arch.|
By adding strips of plastic to the outer and inner edges of the arch, it became a curved girder, and was surprisingly sturdy. Little disks of plastic were added for decoration, stamped out of off-cuts of styrene, and rivets were generously applied!
|The finished arch is checked against the model again... You can also see the almost-completed gear-box in place.|
Now came the fiddly bit. Seven brackets were needed to attach gable to roof, and everything had to line up.
|Brackets, sir. Seven of 'em.|
The brackets were simple in principle, being cut from 4mm strips of styrene. A little bit of detailing with thinner strips and a few rivets made them look the part. Now to glue it all together...
|The painted brackets in place between gable and roof. Some adjustment was necessary as the glue took hold.|
I had already left space for the brackets when constructing the roof, so I had a good idea of what I was doing, but getting it all to stick together and stay put was still a bit of a pain.
Et voila! Done!
Which brings me to the rivet count...
I have now reached the somewhat silly figure of...
|Looking pretty good, I reckon!|
All the Best!