Monday 31 December 2012

Core Blimey!

Hi, All!
Just look what Santa brought for Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe!

Well, the Silly Season is almost over and it's time to get on with some serious model making.

A rough sketch of the 'Core' room. This is about as precise and technical as my drawings get.

In my last post, I started to tell you about my plans for a giant walker, namely; Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile... and I am happy to announce that construction has begun at last!

The base for the Core room. Black foam-core and many, many rivets...

I had intended to start with the engine room of this massive vehicle, but then I discovered the amazing piece of kit you see above. This is the motor from an old electric drill I took apart just to see what lay within... Imagine my nerdy joy when I found this!

A piece of already-prepared balsa planking gives a beautiful contrast to the machine parts. At this stage, I start to get quite enthusiastic!

I had already planned to have a technical-looking room which could be viewed from above through a glass dome in the main deck of the vessel. Inspired by my find, I set about designing...

The Core will need a support. Holes are punched out of plastic board before cutting the main shape out. This helps to prevent splitting the plastic. The holes are sanded smooth after punching.

This room is actually two decks deep - it will have a gantry running along one side. Note that doors have been constructed halfway up the walls for this purpose. The Core is huge and is suspended well above head-height from the lower deck.

The aft-wall, detailed and rivetted, is checked against the Core and its support. The support is designed to emulate Victorian trusses such as those at many British railway stations that were built in the heyday of British steam-engineering. Also note that a chunky cog (and more rivets) has been added to the end. 
I had to design the end walls so that the machinery could pass through them into the rest of the vehicle. They also had to be strong, but thin enough that I could punch out portholes through which light will spill later on. For this purpose, I chose plastic board. The side walls will be foamcore, as it is far cheaper!

The forward end wall. Everything is starting to look pretty cool by this point! Note the black slot in the top of the big box. A drive-belt will run down into this.

Once the end walls were cut, with doors stamped out, it was a matter of adding details such as reinforcing, sockets for conduits (still to be added) and a great many rivets! I also built a heavy iron duct to run the length of the floor, and a large box-type gizmo which sits under the big cog. A drive-belt will feed into this from the shaft above. I added a couple of gauges and will add more conduits, levers and ducts before I am done...

Then the paint started to go on!

Lord S S-S casts a critical eye over a huge cog. It has been mounted on a selection of washers and studded with twenty-four rivets. But will they be enough?

I have opted for a very pale grey for most of the vessel, to emulate the feel of a cruise-liner or super-yacht. Machinery will incorprate iron and brass of course, with red and green details. As HMSW Gargantua is mostly green with red highlights, I am reversing this colour scheme here.

The painted Core. Nice and bright!

The Core itself was very quick to paint. In fact, I almost left big parts of it as I found thm. In the end, the only thing I did to the various copper bits was to highlight them with copper paint, brightening them up. The brass parts were painted brown, then gold, then washed with chestnut ink.

The painted parts, glued in place. The second cog has been added. Some detailing is still required before I add the side walls.

The brightness of this room is deliberate. Once it is built into the walker's body, very little natural light will get to it, so I have compensated by avoiding too many dark colours. It is also worth mentioning that many of the details I have added so far may never be seen again by the time the walker is finished. However, without including them now, should they be wanted later, I would be disappointed. I'm confident it's worth the effort!

Which brings me to the Rivet Count!!!!

(drum roll)... 562!

Bear in mind that HMSW Gargantua had 3,630 rivets when finished. I am up to a sixth of that already and I haven't even finished the first room! I may cry...

So there you are for now. I still have to do the side walls, gantry, ladder, conduits, ducts, LED lanterns, window-glass, levers and other gadgets... But not a bad start to what will be a massive project!

Hope you like!

The Core in its full glory. I can't wait to see this room finished!

All the Best and Happy New Year! 


Tuesday 18 December 2012

So It Begins..!

Hi, All!

Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe surveys just a few of the compenents we have been hoarding...
I've been disturbingly unproductive for the last few weeks. I think possibly some alcohol may have been to blame...

Anyway, here I am and here's the latest:

I've been sketching, thinking and gathering bits and bobs in preparation for the construction of my most ambitious machine to date - Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile...

A concept layout for the main deck of the walker. Galley, cabins, conservatory, billiard room - what more could be needed?

To be honest, there has been much procrastination thus far. I'm a little intimidated by the scale of the creation that is shaping itself in my head. Not to mention the time limits I have set myself.

Just one of several leg-concepts. This type of configuration recalls Pantagruel more than Gargantua.

The aim is to have this monstrosity ready to for next August's Call to Arms convention in Wellington... Very little time indeed...

A few of the 100 flickering flame LEDs I plan to turn into lanterns for the vessel. I've never built working lighting into a model before...

Nevertheless, Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe assures me that it can be done. Or he'll shoot my favourite Glopwump and mount its head above his mantel piece. So I'd better get on with it.

A very cool electro-magnet... Can't wait to find a use for this!

So there you go - nothing built as yet, but plenty of planning and preparation. It's time to begin!

More soon! I promise!

Some rather impressive cogs... The engine room of the walker is going to be singularly impressive! I think I'll start with the engine and build the vehicle around it - as I did with HMSW Gargantua.

All the Best!