Monday, May 10, 2010

A dirigible model for GASLIGHT - part 1

Being a tad weary of painting up figures I turned to a model-making project for a change of pace - a two-man dirigible for GASLIGHT VSF rules. Forming the basic shape is an empty vitamin tablet bottle, the two halves of a plastic Easter egg, and the small support "table" from a large pizza. The two figures at the fore are US cavalry riders from the Plains Wars era.

I began by stripping the label from the bottle. Not as easy as it sounds due to the impressively strong adhesive used by the bottling plant. I wasn't able to remove the whole of the adhesive but since the bottle will be covered over with PVA and tissue paper to form the hide of the airship it doesn't matter. The photo below shows the rough position of the components, with the pizza stand hot-glued in place over the bottle top to form the base of the fins.

I followed this up by hot-gluing the more pointed half of the egg into place on the base of the bottle, having first roughed the bottle with glass paper to give a better surface for the adhesive to grip. The rounder end of the egg has been left off for now so I can stand the bottle on an even keel while drilling holes in the side for the gondola struts.

The gondola itself was easy to make. I cut two matching rectangles with rounded end from cereal packet card for the base. The front and sides were formed of another strip of card which I bent around the curved end of the base to make a kind of bathtub shape. A square piece of card to close off the open end and a round piece to make a kind of foredeck finished off the basic construction. It was at about this stage I decided to replace one of the figures with another in a better pose.

Next up, adding a steam engine power plant to the gondola and shaping the fins for the lifting body.

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