Saturday 2 March 2019

Remember This?

Hi, All!

I'm finally getting to grips with Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile...

The monster is back!

When I last reported on this monstrosity, I had started work on the chassis for the entire machine. And that's more or less where I stopped for around three years!

Wooden struts are added after ripping away previous work,

Anyway, I'm glad I took the break because now that I have returned to it, I have so many great ideas, and a fresh enthusiasm - which is definitely required when contemplating rivets in their tens-of-thousands!

The underbelly is gradually constructed.

Upon digging the chassis out of my spare room, I found it was a little warped. I also realised that the foamcore structure I had constructed was going to be too bulky and, frankly, boring. So I opted for tearing the whole structure apart, reinforcing the MDF boards and starting again.

More shape is added...

It will be necessary to build, detail and paint the entire underside of the machine before continuing with the upper decks. So for now, I'm working 'upside down', which is challenging.

The brackets are in place and will eventually be used to secure the legs.

Steel brackets were screwed in place and glued with epoxy for permanent strength (I'm taking no chances on these ever working loose!) as they will be used to attach the six legs of the machine and will essentially be responsible for supporting the entire weight of what promises to be a pretty heavy model!

Curves from straight lines! Maths, innit!

An interesting little technique I hit upon was in the construction of large curves where the two sections (main section and engine section) meet at a hinge. I often draw my curves freehand, but these were too big and needed to be calculated more precisely. I remembered having fun at school as as kid, drawing curves across an X and Y axis with a ruler. With a little careful calculation, I was able to adapt this technique to get the desired shape. Clever, if I say so myself!

Nice curves, madam!

With the structure taking shape, it was time to add more flickery LED lighting so that I could start closing the lower decks in in preparation for detailing and painting. I ran brass rods through part of the machine as a main circuit and soldered wired LEDs to these as needed.

Portholes are drawn and punched.

The first LEDs and portholes in place. Remember - you're looking at this upside down!

For the outer hull, I have decided to work mainly with card rather than plastic - representing a huge cost saving! Portholes were punched out and backed with lightly sanded acetate as with the rest of the machine so far.

The inner workings...

The lowest deck starts to look, well, decky...

So there you are for now! As you can see, there is a tremendous amount to do but I feel enthused and inspired! Watch this space!

All the Best!