Author Topic: '70s starship scratchbuild  (Read 10513 times)

August 14, 2014, 05:24:28 AM
Read 10513 times

Will Vale

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Hi all,

This is a bit delayed since I was having trouble posting, but I've been working on a new thing this week. I'd been messing around assembling some GW stuff since I finished the Viper but haven't really got my teeth into anything. And then I spotted an interesting part in a kit, turned it upside down, and went and got my big Chris Foss book out...

I've wanted to build some '70s or '80s sci-fi for a while and this should scratch that itch. The part I found (can you spot what it is?) looks great when inverted as an under-slung bridge. I did a couple of designs around this - one as a tug or recovery vehicle, with a hexagonal body and arms sticking out the front, and one as a more conventional starship with a pyramidal body.


Bigger pictures

I taught myself to use Sketchup (very basically) at the weekend and worked out the dimensions, so I was able to cut some parts and tape them



The core is a plate of 2mm styrene, and the rest is 1mm. I laid it out with a ruler and dividers, taking the dimensions from the Sketchup model, and cut the parts out with a Tamiya scriber. Amazingly, it fits quite well despite the model not accounting for thickness. I did have to build a second version of the rear plate though since my first attempt had the angles very slightly out.

I braced the inside and made bulkheads to support the hull, and also cut out some holes which I can fill with recessed nurnies later. I think maybe the big one will house some kind of retractable comms dish?



And catching up with progress, I've put it all together. There should be enough access through the main plate to install some lights inside the hull. I don't want/need lots of tiny windows because the scale isn't right for that.



At the back I cut a recess in the plate for the engines, now I need to fill all the hull joints and figure out what to use for the thruster cones.



Cheers,

Will

August 15, 2014, 12:31:40 AM
Reply #1

Hunter Rose

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Cool project Will, I'll be following with interest, i really like the sleek look and overall shape
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

August 22, 2014, 02:22:58 AM
Reply #2

Will Vale

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Thanks mate! I suspect it will get grungier as things go on, but keeping the pointy bit :)

I put some primer on the hull to get a look at it. It appears I have a clean (ish) hull to work on. There are some pits in the outer edges which need filling with something a bit softer than CA, but they aren't really visible from this angle.


(Click for bigger)

The seam on the bottom is clearly not in line, I'll probably have to slice a bit off at the stern and make sure the outer skin pieces do line up and cover the mistake.



I also bought some more junk for possible engine parts - a hose coupler, some Japanese novelty sausage extruders, and the back bit of a suction cup hook.



I was thinking about two engines, but that's a terrible design - if either one fails I don't think the ship can fly. There'd be no way (assuming that the main engines are a lot more powerful than the maneuvering system) to thrust without spinning. If there were three engines you could have one fail and always get thrust through the CoG.

I some glue tests and got seriously fed up with things that didn't stick to other things. The best parts are the pipe coupler rings which appear to be ABS. I tried using a slice of ping-pong ball as an insert to make the engine bell, and it looked great but I don't like the idea that it's made of celluloid, so removed it again. Instead I used an internet tool for metalworkers to lay out a frustum touching the ID of the ring at the back and again at the narrow point. I extended this a bit further since I found a nice piece for the "flame holder" or whatever spacey equivalent it is:



The frustum (truncated cone, fact fans) insert is from 0.5mm styrene sheet, cut with a compass cutter and formed around a wooden spoon handle with boiling water. I didn't brace the back of the cone join except for the narrow end, since it would have fouled the ring. I think it would have been a lot easier to brace it and trim or file away the bracing where it touches the ring, since I had to do a fair bit of filling and sanding to remove a dip and seam where the edges wanted to pull apart.

Given the sanding, I thought I'd better fit some ribs to disguise the smoothness (or not!) of the inside.



The mounting is a 1/72 AFV part (AS-90 casemate IIRC.) I might raise the bell up a little bit with some tubes and such, not sure yet.

Cheers,

Will

August 25, 2014, 12:21:07 PM
Reply #3

Hunter Rose

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Really nice work Will, enjoying this a lot  8)
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

August 26, 2014, 05:25:28 AM
Reply #4

Will Vale

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Thanks, so am I! I finally got to do some nurnies, I'm surprised how difficult and time-consuming it is, but it's still quite entertaining seeing it go from small model to big thing as the finer detail appears;.

I did one of the jobs I'd been putting off and made a stand mount (of sorts) so I could close up the back of the inner hull. That was two lengths of K&S tube, I'm thinking the stand will either be a tuning fork shape, or just have two prongs? These are wired for power inside the ship.


(embiggen)

and here's the view from the inside. I've now sanded, filled, primed and sanded the hull so hopefully I can think more about the details and less about the shape from hereon in.



I also did a bit more on the engine mount - first of all it got a backing plate so I can get it glued nicely onto that, and then have a nice easy job to fit it to the hull later. Then I added various AFV bits including some track links as mounting points for the engine bell.



and some grab-handles because the bare rib ends were a bit unfinished-looking:



I boxed in the recess at the bottom where the gun would've been, in future it would be easier to do this before fitting all the details rather than afterward, oh well :)

Total number of different AFVs which have donated parts to this build so far: 4 (or maybe 5?)

Cheers,

Will

August 27, 2014, 01:05:44 AM
Reply #5

Sharkdog

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That's a lovely looking engine bell.

August 28, 2014, 11:56:34 AM
Reply #6

Hunter Rose

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I agree, nice greeblies, you've managed to capture the scale really well without over doing it
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

September 01, 2014, 04:38:03 AM
Reply #7

Will Vale

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Thanks for the kind comments, I have gone and added a load more so it may well now be overdone :)



Flickr link

Need to leave this bit alone now, and figure out how to build out the rest of the back end.

Will

September 02, 2014, 12:30:30 PM
Reply #8

Hunter Rose

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Ooo nice! Definitely not overdone mate  :-)
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

September 04, 2014, 06:50:34 PM
Reply #9

Will Vale

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Thanks! I'm a bit stuck (though making slow progress in my head) with the rest of the back end so I turned my attention to the underneath for a bit. I wasn't going to have much relief on the surface but couldn't resist using these excellent parts as low-profile intakes.


bigger pic[/img]

I still don't think this is an atmospheric ship, although I can feel myself being tempted to add some lift thrusters underneath, so at the moment these are labelled as cloudscoops for skimming fuel.

I have since pried off the two flat parts between the intakes since I thought they didn't agree with enough of the existing structural lines.

Cheers,

Will

September 14, 2014, 11:22:40 PM
Reply #10

Hunter Rose

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Yeah can see why you used them, very cool intakes
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite