Monday 31 December 2018

Boiler's In The Bag

Hi, All!

Since it's the holidays, I've had plenty of time to progress with my steam-powered stargate project.

Steam powered stargate, starting to take shape...

Having made reasonable progress on the gate itself, I shifted my attentions to the boiler and chimney. And, as I've been out of practice for a while, I referred back to my earlier HMSW Gargantua project from time to time...

The boiler from HMSW Gargantua.
The boiler is a real back-to-basics model, made from the old classics of a cardboard tube (from Christmas wrapping paper) the lid of a wine bottle and various scraps and off-cuts. It's important when working with rough materials such as these that you keep in mind the end result, as things can look pretty scrappy until the paint goes on. It's easy to get disheartened.

A base of scrap card, a piece of cardboard tube and a bottle top. Hi tech indeed!
A framework is quickly put together.

"Chin up, old chap," I said to myself, "See the shape - not the materials!" And sure enough, it started to come together.

The basic structure. A red button joins the furnace to the boiler.

Details start to be added. Another stone base is fashioned from card.

As I was basically making a modified version of the Gargantua boiler I'd already invented, this piece wasn't particularly taxing. Indeed, the danger was that I found myself rushing it - and I may yet add more details. Of course, there will be plenty of rivets!

The main boiler details in place. I may still make changes.

Additional details are added.

Finally, having reached an almost-done point, I set the boiler aside for a bit to come back to it later. I find that this is a very useful practice, as you tend to notice small errors and areas for improvement when you come back with fresh eyes.

So the chimneys got some attention...

Details are slowly added to one of the chimneys, which is mounted on a plastic board block and cardboard stone base.

Firstly, I decided that although the effect of two chimneys 'framing' the approach to the gate was quite cool, it wasn't right. The machine only needs one chimney. Also, the candlesticks were just a little too curvy in places.

Masking tape fills the curves...

So I ditched one candlestick, and carefully filled in some of the curves on the other, also adding some banding in places, using slim strips of masking tape wrapped around and around until the desired thickness was reached.

Starting to look much better!

I had also built blocks for mounting the chimneys. these are supposed to be iron, but the detailing I'd added so far wasn't right. So I needed to make a few changes. Simple 4mm strips of plastic easily changed the appearance to something more machiney.

Having fun with this one!

So there you go for now... Next up are the stairs and walkway that will lead into the stargate, more work on the gate itself, and of course, plenty of rivets!

All the Best!


  1. Rivets !!!! (giggling happily) Excellent work and a good tutorial - you made interesting thoughts about the London-style 1890s gaming table.
    Happy New Year!

  2. Ah-hah! You do "moonlight" at a Hollywood special effects modeling shop!

    Happy New Year, Colonel.

  3. It's all coming along nicely. I see it's already 2019 in NZ as I write this, so Happy New year, old chap!

    1. And a very Happy New Year to you too, A J my friend!

  4. Happy New Year Colonel. I am so excited to see you posting again. Your builds are always inspirational.

    1. And a Happy New Year to you too, my friend! Thank you very much. And thank you for sticking around - great to hear from you after such a long time away!