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.

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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:

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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.

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I pre-drilled the hole in the dowel rod.

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Now I had a shape.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I got out one of my plastic plant holders

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Here’s the more or less finished build:

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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.

 

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~ by claytonbrown2 on March 25, 2014.

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