Thursday 31 January 2013

In All Furnace, That's A Lot of Rivets...

Hi, All!

Boiler and Furnace, together at last!

It's a gorgeous, hot, sunny day. I've been swimming in the sea, enjoying the weather, and I've just got enough time to post a bit of a blog thingummy before pub time!

The finished boiler, resplendent in red, green and gold! I'm very happy with how this is looking.

Since my last post, I've finished painting the boiler and have constructed and painted the furnace. Soon I'll be adding all sorts of other machine parts, completing the engine room and moving on to the next part of this gigantic project...

Paint pot evolution: Top left - the paint pot, before mutilation. Top right - troublesome writing on the reverse. Bottom left - the centre is cut from a spare lid. Bottom right - the writing is successfully covered.

The furnace started life as a paint pot exactly like the one whose lid formed the front of the boiler. I did try constructing a square furnace from card but it wasn't quirky enough. So I started again. A minor problem posed by the paint pot was that the back of it had loads of raised writing. Fortunately, these pots are designed to stack, so by cutting up a spare lid, I was able to cover the back. All it took was a sharp knife and a steady hand.

The furnace is lined with foil to reflect the LEDs I'll build in later. A stand is made from plastic. Stand and paint pot have holes cut in the bottom so I can push the LEDs up inside later.

I have decided to build lighting into the furnace, which will be tinted to be redder than the other LED lights around the rest of the vehicle. These will be inserted through holes in the bottom of the furnace later.

The furnace takes shape. This was built up using my patented 'stick bits on until it looks right' technique. I hereby give permission for you to adapt this method for your own projects.

Slots were cut into the front of the furnace, through which the engineers can view the interior. These were glassed over with acetate, then a face was constructed around them with plastic board and the inevitable rivets...

The finished furnace, pre-painting.

Push pins, thin card panels and other details were added as I thought of them. The four circular outlets will be used for something or other much later. Who knows at this stage? Not me!

Boiler and furnace are checked together.
During painting. It looks kind of Soviet at this point...

Painting was fast and simple. The whole thing started out black, but I added red, green and gold to tie it in with the boiler.

Painted and glorious! Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe looks on in admiration. I may add the date of the vehicle's commission to the gold plate.

So: I suppose I should mention the Rivet Count!

The furnace has 155 rivets, bringing the total for the Engine Room to  1322...

And... The total for the walker so far:

2,252 !

Not bad, eh? Of course, there's a very long way to go! Next up: Chimneys!

Furnace and boiler together. Big, red and powerful. Just like The Empire, eh what!

So that's it for now... I hear the pub calling to me!

All the Best!


  1. Excellent, dear Colonel! The stick-bits-on-until-it-looks-right method is the one I prefer, too. I like the lighting arrangements for the boiler as well as the color scheme. Looking forward to more. =)

    1. Thanks, A J, Old Chap!

      As a matter of fact, the aforementioned method is one which I apply to many aspects of my private life, too - although I won't go into details here!

      More soon, I promise!

  2. "This was built up using my patented 'stick bits on until it looks right' technique. I hereby give permission for you to adapt this method for your own projects." I nearly sprayed my morning coffee at the screen on this one.

    Your technique is certainly working brilliantly for your! I'm looking forward to seeing the coal hopper and the ingenious method you will, no doubt, develop to deliver the coal into the furnace : )


    1. Thank you, Dave!

      Always a pleasure to have one's tried and tested techniques finally bear fruit. As you may appreciate, such a precise method took many years of training, practice, painful and embarrassing errors and a lot of beer. Why, I recall that it took almost a decade to narrow my search to the one perfect brand of nachos I could munch on while gluing stuff together that wouldn't leave bright orange chemical burns on my machines! (A closely guarded secret... and I won't even mention the guacamole...)

      But I digress...

      Very glad you're enjoying this project - there are months of it still to come!

  3. That turned out tremendously well, a well-earned pint beckons!

    1. ...and it did...

      Several, actually. And a lot of port. And hotdogs at 3am. And many coffees this morning...

      Give me a moment to recover. I'll start on the chimneys soon...

  4. Another fine lesson from Col O.T's Miniature Engineering Academy of Machinery Building!

    1. Thanks Jay! Always good to hear from you!

      Of course, this one's not such a miniature miniature. And getting bigger all the time.

  5. Replies
    1. Much appreciated, Galdarbjelke!

      I'm mentally cutting hundreds more rivets right now. Just got to summon the willpower...

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mattblackgod. A lot more still to come!

  7. My sojourn to distant parts, has come to a conclusion today, and I find tremendous work continues apace here good Sir! Keep up the fine work...
    We are definitely due a catch up over a beer or two, though I feel my liver may be waving the white flag, after recent exertions in distant parts!

    1. 'Distant Parts' being Napier? My sympathies, Sir. The jet-lag is a killer on that three hour drive!

      Don't worry - I'm a charitable chap. For every pint you let me buy you, I'll allow you to buy me two in return - so that, comparitively speaking, you only have to drink half as much as me!

      What could be fairer than that?