Tuesday 5 May 2015

Hangin' Out Around The Back

Hi, All!

Finally! A nice, safe balcony!

I've finally got around to finishing a few more of the bits of Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile that I've been putting off.

There are gaps! Gaps, I tell you!

For some time now, the unfinished rear wall of the engine room has been bothering me. Because of the way I constructed it, with the engine protruding out of the back, closing everything in neatly and making it all straight and tidy was going to be a bit fiddly.

So I did other stuff for a bit. Well, over a year, actually!

Brass rod is detailed to anchor the wall against the engine.

The unpainted brass assembly is tried in place - the wall straightens out nicely!

As you can see, the wall needed to be straightened, anchored against the engine, balconies attached, and a capping placed along the top. The capping serves to disguise the still slightly wiggly wall, and also provides a straight edge for the removable barrel vault roof to line up against.

The painted anchor pieces fit beautifully! Now for the rest...

In order to anchor the wall to the engine, I needed something strong and rigid, so I decided to use square brass tube, to which I added plastic details, shaped to fit against the engine details.

And gaps on the inside, too!
Simple strips of plastic are dotted with rivets and fixed in place to hide the gaps. Note that these do not match - my engine is a whole millimeter off-centre!

Once the wall sections were nicely (mostly) straightened out, the capping was added, and the balconies were constructed. This was all pretty simple stuff really, if a little time-consuming.

The capping (unpainted) in place above the wood-effect balcony. The wood grain is visible from below as well as above.

The capping runs the full width of the engine room. Both balcony floors are now in place.

The balconies were 'floored' with plastic rather than the balsa I've used for the other deck areas. This enabled me to keep the floors thin, without losing strength or making them fragile. The wood grain effect was achieved by dragging coarse-grade sandpaper in one direction only along the plastic. Planks were then outlined by scoring with the side of a sharp knife.

Edges are constructed and detailed to fit around the balcony floors.

With the edges in place, the hand rail is built. Note the now painted capping, complete with rivets!

Once the flooring was in place, edge pieces were build and painted separately before gluing them in place - ensuring that the distinction between wood and iron remained nice and clean. A hand rail was then added as with so many other parts of the model!

This stage of the model required a few rivets to be removed, but overall the count increased by 198...

Bringing today's Rivet Count to...


Not bad, if I say so myself.

So there you go. The engine section is very nearly done - just a few ladders and bits and bobs to add before I move on to the chassis for the entire machine! Exciting!

Stay tuned, folks, as I shall also soon be bringing you a steam powered rocket ship!

My rear end. A sight to make my mother proud!

All the Best!



  1. Replies
    1. I'm glad you think so! I shall try to keep you entertained!

  2. Cor lummy! I never cease to be impressed by your skills, sir! The lighting effects are rather nice too.

  3. Very cool project to follow along too. I certainly don't have the patience for a project like this!

    1. It's easy - you just put on one rivet, then the next...

  4. Colonel, would you mind terribly if I included some of the details about your build in The Aethergraph?

    1. Squire Womack, I would be honoured!

      Your Aethergraphs are brilliant! Glad to hear you're at them again.

  5. A thing of beauty.


  6. I couldn't help but chuckle to myself when you said you were put off because it would be 'fiddly'... as if the rest of this mammoth undertaking hasn't been!??? ;-)

    1. Hi Scott.

      Well, you know... It's subjective, innit?

  7. Marvelous, love the modeling job and the photos!

  8. This is probably the most interesting and most professional scratch built err thing that I have ever come across in my 48 years on this planet! Absolutely amazing and very entertaining! Well done Sir!

    1. That's good to know, because it's by far the most hallenging err thing I've worked on!

      Thank you very much indeed - it's the feedback from fellow enthusiasts that keeps me going!

  9. Stunning work. Impressive, interesting, arresting and possibly bonkers! Great, great stuff. :)

    13,767? Wow. I am agog.

    1. Thanks a lot! And very good to hear from you, Mr. Agog!