Sunday 5 April 2015

Lions to Port!

Hi, All!

The port-side mid-deck is completed!

Over the last two weeks I have been slogging away at the port-side mid-deck galleries of the engine room section of Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile. And what a slog it has been!

As with the starboard side, the entire support structure is cut out, to be replaced.

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to try building this part as a single piece, in order to keep things looking consistent, straight, coherent and so on... What I hadn't accounted for was the massive amount of work this would entail.

The for'ard section is design with an arch to echo the bulkhead-buttresses of the main deck.

Checking the construction against the model,

Somehow during the last two weeks, I have been unable to find it in me to embark upon another fouteen hour stint of rivetting, soldering, painting and muttering to myself, hence the lack of a progress report until now.

I think I may return to a schedule of bite-sized pieces!

A blank ceiling is cut to act as a guide when aligning the mid-deck to the deck above. A ladder will descend from above, all the way to the lower deck.

Anyway, somewhat later than I had hoped, I have now completed this stage of the model, and more significantly, I have almost finished the engine section. I will soon be moving on to the mansion!

The shaft starts to take shape.

When I designed this section I wanted to keep it similar to the starboard side, but to add a couple of new elements. There were also game-play considerations such as access to all areas from the main deck. I thought it might be nice to see light coming up from below through a shaft with a ladder, so I set myself the task of dropping a ladder from the top deck all the way down, with visible floorboards and a hidden light source at the bottom. Another ladder will eventually link to the rear area from above.

A large array of pieces had to be constructed, detailed and riveted before piecing together the whole 'kit'.

The rear port mid-deck gallery, ready for assembly.

It was very handy to work with a lot of pieces at once, in that I could constantly check that everything was going to fit properly, but it was a lot of work! When it came to the rivetting stage, I really had to push myself to keep going!

The for'ard section, pre-rivetting...

...and after painting. Ceiling, hand rails, lamp post and ladder have yet to be added.

Then there were the lights... This piece added thirteen concealed LEDs and three working lamp posts, and I really hate soldering! There is now a huge amount of wiring hidden in this model. If it ever breaks down, I will not be able to fix it.

The finished ceiling. The holes for the ladders had to be precisely checked against the deck above.

The whole assembly was unified by building the ceiling as a single piece, to which I glued the finished components, working upside-down. When all the wiring was done, the finished section was put into place and the ladder was dropped in. Finally, a frame and hand rail were added around the top of the ladder.

The finished deck, in place.

And there you go. Simple, innit?
The ladder drops away through the decks.
A gas-lamp glow illuminates the depths of the vessel.
Which brings me to the Rivet Count:

In this section, I added a total of  891 rivets to the model, bringing the total so far to:

13,569 !

Not bad. Looking forward to the twenty-thousand mark now!

The for'ard gallery by lamp light.

The main deck is starting to look quite busy now!

The rear section, still waiting for a ladder.

The ladder casts pleasing shadows against the bulkheads, while yet another hand-made lantern cheerfully flickers.

"But why Lions?" I hear you think...

Well, calm down and I shall tell you.

A Nefarious-looking armoured vehicle joins the ranks of the Wutha-F'Kahwi tribe...
I got a bit distracted during the last couple of weeks, possibly out of the need to do something relatively quick, simple, silly and entertaining. And it's been quite a while since The Nefarious Doctor Nefarious and his Wutha-F'Kahwi allies caused any trouble...

Lions: They look like cannons really, don't they?

I had found in a local crap shop a soft orange plastic lion's head that looked like fun. With cheerful abandon, I shoved a length of tube down its throat, punched a hole in its cranium and proceeded to turn it into mobile artillery.

An eccentric-looking tribesman with looted and decorated pith helmet, goggles and telescope.

Why not?

The heavily riveted vehice.

Boiler and copper chimney complete the archaic look.
Sadly, somewhere along the way, I have managed to delete all of the build-progress photos I took, but here are the results. The chassis was made from plastic board off-cuts, around a wild west pencil sharpener wagon.

The cheap plastic lion's head turned out rather well, I think!

This little beast is the latest creation of The Nefarious Doctor Nefarious: given by him to a local Wutha-F'Kahwi chieftain in order to further destabilise British rule on the Lost Continent. Or that's my excuse, anyway.

Boasting only 391 rivets, it's just a little fellow - but I hope you like it.

The Wutha-F'Kahwi advance.

Anyway, that's all for now!

All the Best!


  1. I've said it before and I'll say it again...mind-boggling! the effort you put in is astounding but it surely shows in the results. It looks incredible! And love the armoured vehicle, too! Inspired!

    1. Thank you, Gordon! I shall endeavour to keep your mind well and truly boggled as this project develops. It may be a while...

      Glad you like the Lion Tank - I really wasn't sure how people were going to respond to that one!

  2. That is quite an impressive piece of work, especially all the lighting! My hat's off to you and you should be really proud of all that work. Looking forward to seeing how this continues to progress.

    1. Mr. Foolery, thank you. But you should keep your hat on, or else your thinking parts may cool rather too much.

      I think I'll do a few little bits and bobs on this project before getting back into the complicated stuff!

  3. Well here's a treat! It's a leisurely Easter Sunday morning, I have a mug of coffee in hand, and I'm perusing your latest creations. Well done, Colonel!

    I don't blame you for going off on a side project. I often do the same when model-making or writing. It keeps the jolly old sanity in place, and avoids any need for the dried frog pills. ;)

    1. A J !

      I too have a coffee in hand and it's ridiculously early... but... It's Monday!

      We really need to iron out those bugs in the Time Machine, old boy!

      I agree. Side projects are essential - and not just for me! This blog might become rather repetitive and dull if I only concentrate on the walker for the next two years!

  4. The lion vehicle looks amazing! Great stuff.

    1. Why thank you, mein Herr!

      It always surprises me how good a piece of cheap rubbish can look after a bit of trickery and paint have been applied.

      And it's fun, too!

      Glad you like it!

  5. I am starting to think you have a Time Machine stashed away someplace that's taking your mind on far flung adventures to come up with these contraptions. Well done!

    1. Drat! You've discovered my secret!

      Now I'm going to have to go back in time and do away with your ancestors!

  6. incredible work !!
    it looks so realistic !
    and I love the Lion!

    1. Thanks Sam!

      I'm pleased with the lion - thinking about doing something with meerkats next...

  7. Impressed as'll need a rule added about top heavy vehicles cornering? I wouldn't turn that at any speed if I was in it....but it looks fun from a pedestrian standpoint! Lions, panthers and Dragons (as I'm sure you know) were used as muzzle-mouthpieces on artillery in the past so it's very apt.

    The best thing for meercats is to feed them to lions!

    For lost images try 'Recuva' or 'iCare Data Recovery' I've used them both with varying efficacy, but got things back off a corrupted data-stick, and from the laptop after a deep clean/defrag/registry cleaning session, so worth a try?

    1. Thank you Hugh.

      Yes - the Lion Tank did get rather tall. I think also it may flip over backwards if it fires its gun. But what the heck - it's fun!

      You noticed the disappearing photograph issues! Most perplexing! Thanks for the advice.

  8. I completely get where you're coming from here Colonel, you're walking down the street minding your own business when you spy a cheap toy lion and 'Whammo!!' the idea comes into your head to shove a whopping great cannon in it's gob, attach it to a steam-tank and stick some heathen chappie with a funny head dress on top to drive the thing. Frankly I find it incomprehensible there are people out there who don't think like this....??

    1. We think alike, my old friend!

      I tend to get rather tongue tied and confused when people ask where my ideas come from. Isn't it ovious?! Doesn't everyone look at a lemon juicer and think "Middle-Eastern steam boat with ornate canopy!"?!

      Hmmm... must get around to that one...

  9. Just a word to wise old fruit, I strongly advise you to stay away from Meerkats, I knew a chappie in the Guards, whose name shall remain unspoken to protect his family name,who did something with Meerkats....most unpleasant for the Meerkat if you know what I mean.

    1. My sincere thanks for the advice. In future, I shall work only with guinea pigs.

  10. Truly spectacular!
    Add me to the list of those boggled by your wondrous productivity and imagination!

    1. Thank you, Mr O'G!

      If I had a Boggle list, I would add you to it. But I only count rivets these days!

      Much appreciated!

  11. A lions head on a tank? Who'd have thought it? Just goes to show your imagination is the only limit in VSF!

    1. Very true!

      I think VSF / Steampulp / Anachronistic Creativism (I just made that up, but I think it fits nicely!) is easily as flexible and limitless as even fantasy wargaming can be - if not more so!

      Catch up for a game soon, I hope?