Sunday 17 March 2013

Bunkers, Boards and Bulkheads

Hi, All!

Another one of those cool porthole-shots...

It's been about four weeks since my last post. Sorry about that! What with work and blah blah blah and wotsit...

Anyway, I finally managed to put in a few hours on Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile...

Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe and friend examine the new floorboards.

The engine room continues to take shape, with the addition of a coal bunker, floorboards, three walls and a few details. There is still a lot to do, but these things take time, don'cha know?

Walls are planned out on foamcore.

Bulkhead doors take shape from plastic board. Rivets, etc. soon to be added.

The finished walls, ready to be painted. note the rivet count as it stacks up...

The engine room will eventually occupy portions of two decks and can be entered from the main deck or the machine deck, one level down. At this stage, the walls you can see are the walls of the machine deck. More will be added higher up soon, along with a glass dome roof reminiscent of a Victorian greenhouse. Obviously, I will also add a back wall to the whole affair, but at this point, I am still undecided about the final design of this.
The basic coal bunker. Made from card, foamcore and a plastic girder.

A chunk of foam is used to bulk-out the coal supply.

The bunker is painted and gravel is added.

I wanted a coal bunker near the furnace, to be filled from the main deck via a large hatch.This will be visible from the engine room but not take up too much space in terms of gameplay. To add interest, I painted this red, in keeping with the various machine parts of the vessel, breaking up the blue-grey of the walls.

The coal bunker is added. the coal was painted jet black, with no highlighting at all.

As floorboards and walls are added, the engine room comes to life. 

The floorboards were simple to produce but really set off the colours of the engine beautifully. At last, I was able to glue down the engine and its various associated parts. I'll be adding a lot more details such as valves, gauges, pipes, walkways and ladders. I also have to make several lanterns, glaze the portholes in the doors and mount LEDs behind these to provide light later on.

Trim, handrail, ladder and shield, prior to painting.

The various bits are painted before being added to the engine room.

...and finally, the details are added to the model.

I decided that the pit in which the chain-drive sits looked a little dangerous, not to mention unfinished, so a trim was built from plastic board and rods, incorporating a red shield to partially obscure the cogs at one end. I also added a handrail and ladder.

Engine, chain-drive and pit. The walls have been glued in place. You can also see the beginnings of the upper level, to be accessed from the main deck of the vehicle.

Capacitor and chain-drive. A trim will have to be added to the rear edge of the pit, currently visible as unfinished wood.

Needless to say, all these walls and details were furnished with many rivets. Because I can. To be precise, I have added a total of 715 rivets since my last post, bringing the Rivet Count so far to:

3,899 !

I have now passed the count for HMSW Garganutua (3,630) with many months yet to go!

Indeed, I seriously doubt now that this project will be finished in time for my original target of August 2013, but I'll keep on plugging...

From above, before details were added. The main floor area measures approximately 30cm x 30cm (12" x 12"). The whole vehicle will eventually be about twice as wide and four times as long as this...

So there you go: not much exciting going on, but essential nonetheless. With the walls in place, I am now able to think about more cool details and clever bits, so watch this space!

Another shot of the almost-finished pit.

And I'll try not to take so long between posts next time!

The engine, from within the coal bunker.

All the Best!


  1. That just looks fantastic, Colonel. Clearly you achieved your rank by demonstrating true pluck and a willingness to overcome adversity. Wonderful stuff - I always enjoy seeing your updates.

    1. Actually, I achieved my rank by attacking my superiors with a rivet gun - but it amounts to the same, I suppose.

      Thank you. I enjoy updating my updates for you to enjoy 'em, for me to update 'em again... and the whole crazy cycle goes on and on and on...

  2. Certainly worth the wait.

    The Vacational Domicile is coming on impressively. His Lordship certainly likes to have an engine with oomph!


    1. He does indeed! And what with inflation, uppity engineers, and the disapproving glances one suffers at the club when one brings up the topic of slave labour, oomph is becoming increasingly difficult to procure in sufficient quantities!

      Still, we soldier on, what?

  3. Ooh, that really is lovely wood. Oo-er, as they say.

    1. Indeed it is, Sir! But I'll fight the urge to polish it!

  4. Just amazing!! Great use of "bits" - amazing!!


    1. Thanks, Frank!

      I like bits. I can see that you do too. Aren't bits great?

      Cheers to bits!

  5. Super job, Col. I should be paying admission to view your modeling work!
    BTW: I hear from sources that the super villain Rivet Man is headed your way. He has a penchant for plucking and munching on early-boiler rivets. Beware, Sir!

    1. Thanks, Jay - all contributions welcome!

      Rivet Man, eh? It's been a long time since anyone threatened to munch on my rivets... I may have to respond with pliers, superglue and a very long plastic rod...

  6. Great work Joe!

    Love the wood grain effect of the floor. Is that the sandpapered plasticard again?

    As for progress and deadlines, hopefully once you get the detail of the engine room finished, the rest of the structure should be easier and quicker, as other areas will be relatively 'empty' compared to this!?

    1. Thank you as ever, Scott.

      The wood is balsa in this case, prepared as per Leadwood and my Old West Tutorial... Plastic would have been far too expensive for such a big piece of floor.

      Hmmm... 'relatively empty areas'... I wonder if you and I are imagining somewhat different machines, my friend? The detail has hardly begun!

  7. A work of art, dear sir! The whole will be a thing of beauty once 'tis done.

  8. I am not sure whether I should applaud or ring the men in white coats. Either way, before you go completely ga-ga - please get it finished:)

    1. Well, if you do call them, ask them to bring more glue. I'm running out.

      Never fear - I wouldn't dare lose my last few remaining marbles without completing this monstrosity! All in good time, my friend!

  9. Awesome work as always, you have come a long way since the first ruined city you built and I inherited. How are you going to paint the walls in the pit now that it is all assembled? Or will it still all come apart?

    1. 'Ello, 'ello, Old Fella! Been a while!

      Yep - that old city was a bit of a practice for bigger and better things, I suppose. In fact, I recently found the slides of the Warhammer 3rd Ed. table I made for the twins even earlier than that! Oh, to be young again!

      (Sorry - turned forty this week!)

      For your info., the walls of the pit ARE painted! I see your powers of perception are mighty... It will all only come apart if I have an unexpected hammer incident...

    2. After writing about the ruined city I went on a random reminisce about the other stuff you built early on....The ones that stick in the mind are the gaming table we recreated various elements of Waterloo and the huge elven temple that sat half finished for so long!

    3. Ah, the old 12'x6' Napoleonics, eh?! Over a thousand miniatures on the table... Epic days, my friend - and twenty years ago!

      The elven temple was never finished, sadly. I left it behind with the rest of Sheffield... It was certainly huge, though - perhaps a hint of the scale of things to come?