Spaceship build day one

Went to the hardware store and bought quite a bit of stuff.  Got supplies for both the traveller ship and the pod.  Unlike this guy I decided to spend a little money, so this isn’t the cheapest of projects, but I think it will pay off. List of items for the traveller ship only:

1 inch wooden dowel rod — $4.99

2 Black 12″ planters (Ariana model) — $8.99 each

Plastic 6″ planter dish — $1.99

PVC Flange — $5.99

2 packs black rubber tips — $3.99 each

Gray spray paint (primer) — $3.99

White spray paint — $3.99

Mini hot glue gun — $9.99

Mini hot glue sticks — $6.99

Then I went next door to the hobby shop and got a few things:

Model battleship — $17.95

X-acto knife and cutting mat — $7.99

Plastic cement — $1.69

2 sheets of 1 mm styrene sheets — $3.90 each

Total (not including tax): $91.43

I already had a supply of wood screws, small nuts and bolts, and washers, but that’s probably about $10-$15 more, so I’m right around $100 for this model. I realize that’s a bit more than a lot of people would want to spend.

Anyway, on with the build:

First step was to cut the lip off the planters to make them fit together a little less awkwardly.


I must admit I didn’t do such a great job at first, so I had to go back and clean up my cut. They still didn’t fit together all that well. I knew that simply gluing the two halves together wouldn’t work, so I took a cue from this guy and decided to use the dowel rod to hold them together. First I had to measure the inner height of one of the pots:


Then I doubled the distance and cut the dowel rod to be that height. Then I decided to use washers and wood screws to hold the assembly together.


I pre-drilled the hole in the dowel rod.


Now I had a shape.


Not very pretty join. However, I figure I’ll sand that later and address it.  Could be a little gritty detail here would be fine.


I decided to use a complex bit for the top of the model. This is the PVC flange I used. I’ve used these before, and I think they’re pretty great.  Lots of detail.






However, I knew I was going to glue it, and glue doesn’t stick too well to that glossy PVC surface, so I sanded it down with sandpaper to rough up the surface.

I was excited to do the engine section, because it looked like it could be very complicated and add a lot of detail.  The intense model makers create theirs from scratch, on a lathe. But there are many other parts you can find that are conical that can do a good job of standing in for an engine. I liked the look of these rubber tips, partially because they had good lines on the inside.


I got out one of my plastic plant holders


As well as this strange thing, which actually came in the bottom of the planters.  I just popped it out. Has great texture.


I decided to put these two things together to make the engine platform, and put my four engines on top.


The rubber stoppers are a little heavy, so I decided to assemble them with some nuts and bolts and lock washers.  These are #10 size.






Obviously, I’ll have to go in and cover up those nuts and bolts.  Shouldn’t be a problem.

After I did this, I decided I should paint everything with the gray primer before I actually assembled them. So I went outside and lightly dusted everything with gray, making sure to avoid any drips. I waited 30 min, then assembled.



Ah, looking much better. Next up, I started doing the detailing, which of course is the fun part.  I broke open the battleship model and started getting pieces and gluing them on. I had read online that a really nice bonus to those models is the plastic piping that holds the real pieces together. Using those is very convincing for tubes, pipes, structure, etc. So, I just started gluing things on.  This is called greebling, where you add lots of small detail to effectively create the illusion of size and complexity.  I wanted to make this model large (it will be nearly 2 feet long) so that small details can really come across.










This is where really pro modelers shine.  They actually come up with technology (“here’s where the auxiliary engine fuel line leaves the external coolant tank”) but … come on. Only so much you can think about here. I am going for complexity and what I hope looks good. In this shot I’ve added several bits, and also did what this guy recommended (and what lots of modelers do): adding score lines to indicate plates or panels in the model. I did this with the X-acto knife. It’s tough to try to get straight lines on these curved surfaces.


Here’s the more or less finished build:



I realize one of the rubber engines looks a little warped. So, I will probably be able to straighten that out, or hey, maybe it’s a little warped because it’s a used ship.

I think that’s enough for one post – next time I’ll be back to the main part of the model.



~ by claytonbrown2 on March 25, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: