Along with the recent work on the Resilient Cruiser, I have started to rebuild the front of my oldest unfinished spaceship project, started in around 1995.
For the background story on this model see this post from 2013
If you have read the original post you will know that I was never happy with the front end of this spaceship and so it was left abandoned for a very long time. In fact I always found the front end of a spaceship to be the most difficult area to complete to my satisfaction.
A few years ago a charity shop visit resulted in finding a baby's toy cement mixer with an interesting shaped mixing drum. This was found to have a similar radius to the plastic lampshade that comprises the mid section of this Old Unfinished Spaceship.
In a more recent charity shop visit I came across a strange toy that had an interesting form. What you did with the toy was a total mystery but the shape suggested a sort of half a UFO. I put it down to look at some other stuff and then left the store forgetting this mysterious toy completely. The shape however remained in my mind and I slowly realised it would make a perfect front for this project. The next weekend I returned to the charity shop and it was nowhere to be found. So I have been searching for many weeks to try and find something that would fit the bill. Then I noticed a cheap (only $3.00) plastic ( styrene or acrylic) salad bowl in the supermarket. It is supposed to be used once and discarded which seems a bit wasteful. But for my purposes I figured I might be able to cut off the bottom and then cut that part in half to make a shallow half saucer shape.
That half saucer shape is then mated to a 6mm foamed pvc structure, skinned with 1mm styrene sheet glued on with thick superglue after first roughing the styrene surface with coarse sandpaper. The saucer is press fitted so it can be removed to eventually install a simple cockpit interior that will be lit with leds. The scale looks like it will be 1/72 so I have dragged out some 1/72 German soldier figures from the Hasegawa Leopold kit.
The cement mixer drum was cut in half and glued to a 2mm styrene structure with pvc pipe halves added to the sides. This mates with the old mostly completed back section with a piece of PVC pipe and a box section.
The old back end was modified internally so that it now has a block of PVC tapped M12 for a support bolt from the top and bottom. 12 volt DC power connectors were added and wired up for the future cockpit lighting. Getting access to the engines for lighting is problematic so I may not bother. When I made the original model way back in 1995 I didn't consider adding lighting or a support rod.
|Underside Hole for support rod and power connector.|
|Top side hole for support rod and power connector.|
The engines are two ribbed acrylic cups with acrylic tap handles glued on the end. Forward of the engines the main hull is a plastic blender jug cut in half and separated by a styrene box structure. After the blender is a ribbed lampshade also cut in half and added to the box.
You used to be able to get lots of useful styrene, abs and acrylic plastic shapes but not any longer, they are increasingly harder to find. Most toys and domestic products these days use a safer form of plastic (without the more toxic plasticisers of old), poly-ethylene, poly-propylene and BPA free poly-carbonate which are all in my opinion useless to the serious found object modeller as they cannot be reliably glued, puttied, painted or sanded.