Monday 10 September 2012

Wuppa Wuppa Wuppa... Choo Choo!

Hi, All!

Hydrothermicopters... Coming along nicely.

I've been having a go at  my British Hydrothermicopters this week.

The gutted toy. This will become a cockpit for a pilot and gunner.

Cogs and rods from the toy's pull-string motor are reattached as motor parts.

As followers of this blog will recall, these started life as cheap plastic toy helicopters which I gutted. Since then, I have mostly completed the rotor blade assemblies and added a few nice bits and pieces to the bodies.

Nose cone and rear rotor take shape with bits from my Big Box O' Junk.

View from the rear.

Of course, there will be many rivets to add... But I'm not quite there yet...

Bases made from heavy washers and clay.

The Hydrothermicopters have been mounted on brass rods. These may be cut to different lengths so that the Hydrothermicopters aren't at identical heights. I have also started building heavy bases from washers. If I get the weight right, I should be able to keep these fairly small without the models falling over. Fingers crossed...

Plastic redcoats from Warlord Games will become the crews...

The crew are being constructed from plastic british redcoats. Kneeling figures have been reshaped to be sitting. Each Hydrothermicopter will have two crewmen - a gunner in front and a pilot behind. I'll be selecting appropriate uniform colours, of course, to suggest Royal Victorian Airforce...

The beginnings of the rotors. A cog from the original toy, brass rod and a plastic wheel from a toy car (bereft of tyre).

The basic rotor assembly atop the vehicle.

Turning my attention to the rotor blades, I have opted for a bat-wing style. The blades were inscribed into brass sheet (from a tomato puree tube) and dotted with rivets. This was actually really quick and easy and I'm very happy with the result.

Above - a finished rotor blade. Below - almost done. The batwing shape is inscribed with a pencil before being cut out.

The first rotor blade, glued in place. Beads and copper wire add detail to the assembly.

I still have to add steam exhausts and landing gear - I'm thinking I'll d a reversed tripod thingy with two feet to the front and one to the rear...

The rotor assembly in place. Additional beads have also been added to the rear end.

I imagine these Weapons of Mass Delusion might take a while, as the detailing required for the cockpit could be tricky. There is also the question of the paint schme. I'll be posting more as they progress, of course.

In other news:

Bull Flunk. Looking good, I think.

The big bull flunk is coming along. I've coloured the blanket, straps and buckles and varnished the model. Now it's time to start on the howdah and crew.

Straps and buckles are done...

... and from the other side...

So there we are for now. More soon...

All the Best!


  1. Coming on well, I think Sir, on both counts.
    I like the bat wing style rotors on the 'copta, and clever use of cogs and bits an bobs...
    The decorative blanket on the Flunks back is a very nice touch.
    Well done.

    1. Thanks, Scott. Hope you're trembling in your wee little Prussian jackbooties!

    2. Certainly chewing the fingernails a bit ol' chap, I just can't hope to match your output! Too many other periods are vying for my attention, at the same time!

      I have been perusing through my model shelves just wondering if I can easily and quickly ally in reinforcements... with minimal work - and I am seriously looking at all my old 40k vehicles, if I can grab them from No.1 sons attentions, who typically has got interested in 40k...

    3. Sigh... Aren't kids a problem...

  2. Oh I say Sir, how wonderful! I have to confess that since stumbling across your tremendous blog I stop and have a rummage through the toy section of the local pound shop every time I'm in town, but sadly I never seem to find the same quality of cheap plastic toy that you do - I must ry harder!

    1. I have the same problem, and even if I did find something suitable I'd have to sneak it past the kids otherwise it would taken from me to be played with as a 'regular toy'... ;-)

    2. It's not too hard to find stuff with potential really. The biggest problem is looking cool while paying the pretty girl at the counter for your plastic farm animals/dinosaurs/toy cars/boats, etc...

  3. Shaping up nicely, sir. The rotor blades are inspired!

  4. You clearly have an uncanny ability to spot potential in the most mundane objects. I imagine its similar but probably nothing like how dogs can hear high frequency sound...

    Ah yes the embarrassment of paying for childish toys at the counter is somewhat akin to your first purchase of condoms at the chemist.

  5. You are quite right, my learned friend. My abilities are exactly unlike those of dogs.

    Except I can lick my...

    ...but I digress.

    Funny you should mention condoms. I have some amazing ideas concerning Zeppelins...

  6. Heavens Colonel! Condoms into Zeppelins!? How will I explain that one to my Nephew, pray tell?

    Well, after a little hiatus from perusing your site, I idly log on, innocently expecting to find bricks, roads, grass, the odd boulder here and there....and what am I faced with? Flunks! What a shock Siree! Into what strange jungle did you venture to capture one of these I have to ask!?

    It is truly fascinating how one thing can be transformed into something else with the simple process of rotation. A little lesson to all us would-be modellers, I'd say, to look at things from all angles and, for goodness' sake, use our imaginations! My nephew (Felix) thinks they are "sick" anyway so you may accept the honour of earning this prestigious teenage accolade.

    As usual, I am fascinated by your convoluted painting techniques, layering up and mixing paints and inks and so forth, layer upon layer - it makes me truly dizzy! Just as I think it's finished, you apply yet another colour or wash. But it must be said that the finished product does look terribly sophisticated, it's true. Plus I love the detailing. Buckles, for example. Well done for bothering! And the little Indian pattern on the blanket. This is a labour of love I can see!

    Praise also for granting these aesthetically disadvantaged creatures a good and solid biological fact-base for their own sense of validation. As usual, I see it is the male who has all the fun and he looks quite glorious with those coloured fans! I even rather fancy him myself, titter.

    Now as for those hydrothermicopters, Felix is rather skeptical that you can produce something to better the helicopter but is looking forward to seeing what you can do! He reluctantly admits to liking the bat-wings though. As for those Redcoats, can I whisper something to you? (Don't use the one on the right for crew. He looks legless.).

    Thanks again Colonel for such entertainment! We are certainly enjoying it over here in the northern hemisphere.

    1. Good gracious, Ms Bentley! I can only imagine the staggering number of typewriters your household must consume!

      If you're going to take a hiatus from my blog, well, what do you expect? Time and tide and buttered eggs wait for no man, after all. Ahem... Or woman.

      Felix clearly has good taste, but I can assure you (and Felix) that Flunks rarely succumb to illness, partly because they very often die in battle long before any of those newfangled germ-thingummies get to them and partly because they exist largely in the imagination of Yours Truly - and I challenge any man (ahem, or woman) to suggest that my imagination is "sick" - whether fashionably so or otherwise!

      As for my painting (inking?) techniques, I have become a great fan of washes rather than coats of paint over the last few years. While it is true that mistakes can be hard to correct, I like the subtleties of highlights and depths that one can achieve, and the way that such thin coats do not obscure the detail of the miniatures one is colouring - rather, they can bring out the craftsmanship of the designer in a very satisfying way.

      Also, inks are fast.

      Alas, I cannot hope to convince Felix that the Hydrothermicopters will be a thing of technological and scientific beauty until they are finished. Indeed (and as usual) I don't really have a clear idea of what they will end up like, myself. Time, glue and a lot of rivets will tell...

      Thank you for your observations regarding the airmen. They have been disciplined and doused in coffee.

      Only too happy to entertain, Madam! Thank you for your encouragement, enthusiasm and verbosity!

      All the Best!

  7. A pathetically short, but heartfelt nevertheless, expression of admiration is due to you, Colenel.

    As always, your work is lovely, and inspiring. I want to go buy some tubes of tomato puree for some reason. Haven't the foggiest idea what to do with it.

    1. Ah, Squire Womack!

      As ever, thank you for your kind words - however short, long, or in-between they are!

      Might I suggest lasagne? A good one uses lots of puree...(well, mine do!)