About this Blog

This is about the combination of two interests, Radio Control vehicles and Science Fiction models. This blog documents my science fiction spaceship and radio controlled vehicle projects.

Friday 23 February 2024

Jan Buragay Spaceship part 2

I completed detailing the engine nozzles and gave them a spray of primer.

Although the Jan Buragay concept thumbnail has no indication of a cockpit I like to include one in my models as an interior with figures acts as a reference for scale and draws the viewer in.

I decided to make the model 1/35 scale as it seemed to sit well with the only other 1/35 scale spaceship I have made, the Kit bash Shuttlecraft.

I dug out some 1/35 scale seated figures that looked the part and arranged the cockpit to suit. It was then detailed in two sections for easier access.

I decided to have some porthole style windows on the sides so have included some over length pvc electrical conduit that will be sanded back to the correct profile once the external skin has gone on.

The lighting is a small 3 led length of 12 volt strip lighting in cool white.

The cockpit detailing is complete and will need to be painted and weathered and then sealed up permanently before the hull skinning process can begin.

Thanks for looking.

More soon...

Saturday 10 February 2024

Jan Buragay Spaceship part 1

I came across this thumbnail in my Pinterest feed. When I followed the link I ended up at a "missing page" error on Artstation so I have no idea who the artist is.


 I instantly thought this could be a future scratchbuild project and I was inspired to start the planning phase. I took this image into a computer modeling program to make a low poly study model. 

Modeling off any drawing can be a bit fiddly as you need to match the rough perspective of the drawing. I start by modeling the simplest known geometry in this case the engines as they are basically cylinders. I then  with a 50mm virtual camera lens rotate the camera about until I get the best fit. If it looks like the perspective lines are more convergent, or the drawn perspective is a bit more wide angle I will try a 35mm lens or if it seems like the perspective lines  are less convergent then I try a more telephoto lens such as 85mm.

As you build more parts you may have to keep adjusting the lens focal length and the position of the camera to get a better fit.

Because the image is drawn and not photographed the perspective may be all over the place and it can be really difficult to make everything fit logically.

Eventually I ended up with the view below where the model is slightly transparent over the thumbnail image and it lines up the best I can make it as well as being pleasing in proportions from all views.

The grid spacing in the images below is set so that each major square is 100mm and the small squares 10mm. From this I can use the side and top view to measure of the size of each component in model size. The thumbnail does not suggest any bridge as there are no windows in evidence. I will be departing from the thumbnail in that I want a set of bridge windows at the front.
As to the scale of the model I am still deciding on 1/24 or 1/35 haven't made up my mind yet. 

Side view

Top view

I then set up an orthographic camera looking straight onto the ship front on and set up clipping planes that only show a narrow slice of the model.  Moving the camera along and taking screen grabs I generate a series of bulkhead shapes that can then be used for the ribbing of the model.

 I had eight bulkhead stations in total that can be used to build the frame of the ship much like shipbuilding. The picture below shows one of the screen grabs.

The screen grabs were then processed in photoshop to enlarge them to model size and clean them up for printing onto paper. Note that there is a vertical and horizontal datum line printed on all the bulkheads so that they can all be correctly aligned. In this case its pretty simple as most of the stations top edge lines with the top deck.

These paper templates then get stuck onto 2mm styrene for cutting out. Where there are vertical recesses between some of the stations I made double bulkheads separated by an 8mm strip. 
I started with the top deck gluing it to a wooden mounting structure. The top pattern was derived by tracing over the top view low poly model in LibraCAD. It was then cut out of 2mm styrene. I am using 15mm water pipe flanges for mounting points as is my usual practice and you can most of the wiring has been installed including a switch for the engine lights inside a recessed PVC tube.

Eagle eyed viewers may spot sneaking into the background of the pictures above a centre section under construction for the Container spaceship project. I am endeavoring to get back to that project but this one proved too tempting not to start.

Next to tackle was the engines. I gathered together a number of  PVC plumbing parts into a pleasing arrangement and topped them off with the left over acrylic christmas themed wineglass ends cut from the engine bells of the Heavy Salvage Tug project.

One of the PVC reducers was machined in the mini lathe to extend the conical section which becomes the front of the engine. The piece I cut off was machined to fit inside another piece of tube to locate the difference in diameters between the PVC vent cap and the front reducer. I like to have a mechanical fit for strength rather than to rely on glued butt joints.

The rear PVC Reducer holds the LED downlights I am using for the engine lights. I machined a small lip in the end so the lights can be located in them and secured with a few drops of superglue.

The engines were test fitted to get an idea of how they might look. They turned out slightly longer than the cylinders in the low poly model but proportionally I think they will be fine.

To maintain the cylindrical nature of the engines in the thumbnail I added pipes coming out of the slots in the PVC vent and terminating on the 45 degree angle of the PVC reducer next in line. The 8mm solid ABS rod was cut to length and then the angled cut made on the mini chop saw.

The other end of the pipe needed a short flat cut into it to fit between the vent cap and an inner PVC tube. This was done on the drill press using a small dremel saw disc. A scrap wood jig was made to hold the angled end of the ABS rod in the correct orientation for machining of the flats. Two passes had to be made in each of the 40 rods to achieve the required depth of cut.

I then added a small length of tube to each pipe which helped to centre it correctly in the slots and gave it a bit more interest. There will be more engine detailing to come.

The engines were glued into position and the wiring finalised then tested.

A start has been made on detailing the engine nozzles. Behind the nozzle is another scrap wood jig to hold the t section evergreen strips vertically and a series of marked lines to align to for the next two strips. The black panels are 1mm styrene sheet with some evergreen textured sheet under them.

Thanks for looking.
More soon...

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