About this Blog

This is about the combination of two interests, Radio Control vehicles and Science Fiction models. Its also about vehicle design. The models have to satisfy two main precepts.

1. The vehicles have to work, ie be driveable, but not nescessarily win any races or rock crawling competitions.

2. The main thing is that they have to look cool.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Creeper 6x6 part4

Guess what?... I decided, in the end,  that the body I was making for this project didn't really look right on this chassis, it was too tall and proportionally too short. I also found that I had not captured the essence of the thumbnail in styrene, particularly with respect to the  cabin area which suggests an expansive area of glass. The one I ended up making has a small constricted windscreen which was not  what I had originally intended.
I have stored that version away for some future project and for a front end re-build and substututed a new design, making it the third and definitely final attempt at a body that suits this chassis. In fact it is similar in proportion to the first version but in my mind much better realised.

Here is the version 2 thumbnail for reference;

 And here is the version 3 thumbnail;

I further reduced the height of the body when doing a rough CG model.

I then cut up the CG model into thin strips at the points I wanted to make bulkheads and deleted the rest of the geometry. A screen captured front view is then used as a tracing guide for a 2d Cad drawing that is then printed out and stuck on 6mm foamed PVC sheet and cut out making frames and bulkheads for the real model.

Here are some pics of the frame construction which is then skinned in styrene sheet.

You can see I have attempted to make the frame as lightweight as possible, it will still turn out pretty heavy once all the styrene skinning and the detail parts go on. It is however a pretty strong structure.

Here is the old version 2 body on the chassis, showing to me at least, it just does not seem to fit followed by the new improved version 3 body on the chassis.

And here's the detailing so far;

Look carefully below and you may spot some keys from an old computer keyboard and some heat bent bits of green plastic knitting needles.

 I have also partly done the cockpit and re-assigned the 1/16 scale Bruder figures from the Moon Bus project. The seat padding is made from bits of 3mm Foamed PVC sheet and the headrests from 6mm. There is also a magnetic cupboard catch in there above the crew door holding a roof access panel down.

 I am in the process of making a wooden form to heat shape some perspex sheet to make the large area of curved front and side windows that will go in the gaping hole that's there at the moment.
I have also got a back end of a 1/35 scale tank kit which will become a centre control console which will house some LED lighting.

Hopefully more soon...

Container Ship part 2

I am once again astounded at how long it has been since my last post, nearly 10 months.
I started a new job in at the end of January this year after 6 months unemployment.
I am a now a mature age apprentice fitter/ machinist, operating and programming a CNC lathe making parts for industry. It is in an entirely new field for me and has taken all my energy and brain power learning all the new stuff.

I have still managed to squeeze a bit  of model making in and have done some detailing work on the front and rear of the Container spaceship project. The cockpit front has been cut horizontally and increased in height, leaving a detail channel and making the proportions just a little better.

The red pipes are some copper single core electrical wire and there is a number of bits from disposable cameras in the channel.

Here's the work on the rear engine pod.

I also was looking around for some container like shapes for the middle section and happened across these Index card holders which were on clearance at Officeworks for $3.00 each. I got 5 and they are just the right shape for hanging under the eventual truss work. I guess nobody uses index cards any more with their function taken up by computer software, hence they were getting rid of the remaining stock cheap.

I am still looking around for some way to make the truss. I figure it will probably be brass silver soldered together. I will have to make a jig to align all the pieces and find a cheap supply of brass tube the appropriate diameter.

More soon...

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Container spaceship part 1

I have been on a bit of a roll completing two projects in quick succession and have been endeavoring to continue on with that theme and complete some of the many unfinished projects that I have cluttering up my shed. Unfortunately, against my better intentions, a new project formed on the work bench in front of me. Actually it formed in my head first and then I couldn't stop myself.

I was looking through an old display book where I had put some inspirational spaceship pictures way back in the 90's and came across a tiny sketch that I had enlarged and printed out from a Japanese modeling magazine. I really liked the design of the container space ship which is like a giant version of an Eagle transporter and always wanted to make something like it. I have no idea where it is from or what show it belongs to, if anyone knows the source please let me know using the comment system.

I happened to have a couple of turrets from two Italeri M108 kits which I always thought would make a good spaceship front when put together on their side. So cutting these up and spacing the bits apart I could make something a bit larger keeping the 1/35 scale.

Of course the size of the windows makes the scale much smaller than the sketch would suggest but as in my usual way I am making my own ship with that sketch as inspiration, which means I can do what I like and more importantly with what I have on hand.
Currently the top is left open to get access to the cockpit area.
It's all still very experimental at this stage as I have no idea what I am going to use for the truss that connects the front to the engines and hold the containers in place. I am also unsure exactly what I will use for the containers, though at this point I am considering plastic index card boxes.

I decided to crack on with an engine section and finding some nozzle like PVC pipe fittings in my box of bits I arranged them in a formation I liked and built a box to support them.

The usual ceramic bi-pin connectors have been installed with a couple of led down lights I had left over from the Shuttlepod project. These are mounted in the two big nozzles, the two smaller nozzles I may use some garden lights like the Escape Pod Mk2 project unless I find something brighter and better. In the pictures below one of the side panels is still to be glued in place so that the interior construction can be seen. The triangular gussets are the scraps cut off the bulkheads, here being employed to hold the bulkheads perpendicular to the top and bottom panels before the side panels go on. It all helps to make for a rigid and square structure.

The holes in the side panels will be access hatches to help installing the lamps. Its pretty impossible to get the pins to line up otherwise.
It is very apparent that the engine module is of a similar design to my earlier Sony Spaceship and not at all like the tri cylinder design of the sketch. I happen to like the more vertical orientation which in any case is suggested by the cockpit of the sketch.
I intend to get back to the Bulk Cargo project but who knows what other distractions await...

Monday, 24 October 2016

Escape Pod Mk2 part4 Completed.

Part1  Part2  Part3

I set about coming up with a paint scheme for the Escape Pod Mk2 the same way I tackled the design of the paint scheme for the Kitbash Shuttle project, namely taking the side view image of the grey primer model and messing about in Photoshop overlaying colours till I had something I liked.
The other deciding factor was that I had to make use of the colours I had on hand. Below is the original grey photo side view I started with and then the two rough versions I came up with.

The two versions are the same colours but with the reciprocal placement.
Because the Shuttle pod was already orange and I liked the mostly blue version best I chose that for the model. I had a spray can of Blue metallic car paint on hand. I don't usually like metallic car paints on a model because the metal flake is way over scale but it is what I had to hand and as it turned out once the weathering took off a bit of the gloss, I think it turned out OK.

The white markings where sprayed on using white primer. The numeral 2 was done by printing out the computer font onto paper, sticking that paper onto the back of some wide masking tape and carefully cutting along the outline with a scalpel blade. The masking tape was then carefully peeled off the cutting mat and transferred to the model. In the photoshop mock up I had a couple of letters "EP" for Escape Pod but I found they were just too tiny to cut by hand and peel of the mat without ripping apart, so I abandoned them. The black lettering on the tail is some more of the old Letraset dry transfer lettering I recently re-discovered in a box at home and the red pinstripe at the rear is a bit of ancient Letraline found in the same stash.

The weathering was done as per my usual technique described previously.
I also painted up one of the cheap figures I found in Target for the cockpit occupant and added some control panels and a joystick mounted on the sides of the seat.

That brings this project finally to a close but there are plenty more on the way.
Thanks for looking, more soon...