Thursday, May 13, 2010

A dirigible model for GASLIGHT - part 3

With the gasbag drying out and hardening, I turned my attention to completing the gondola. Two small tubes cut from a q-tip have been positioned across the gondola at the back and between the two figures. These tubes will take the wire struts connecting the gondola to the gasbag. The boiler has been glued in position, with the "smokestack" pointing out over the stern. Two more tubes have been glued at 45 degree angles from the boiler to provide support to the engine nacelles, the idea being that steam is fed from the boiler under high pressure to turn the propellers.

On to the painting stage. I decided on a coat of British racing green for the body of the gondola, as this will set off the copperwork of the boiler and nacelle supports. The wire struts have been threaded through the tubes and the ends bent, ready to insert in the holes drilled in the sides of the gasbag. With hindsight I would've left these off until later in the construction, since they tended to snag and hook anything and everything.

Shown in the photo below are the propeller nascelles and the propeller discs. The nascelles are short lengths of drinking straw, capped with small wooden plugs of the type used on the boiler then stuffed with air-drying clay for rigidity. The propeller discs are cut from plastic packaging. Although not quite visible these have been lightly scored in a circular pattern using glasspaper to give the effect of fast spinning blades. The bosses are two more plaster components from a Hirst Arts mold. Alongside are four sacks from the dungeon accessories molds, which will form the sandbag ballast attached to the sides of the gondola.

And on to the next stage. The photo suffers from a bit too much flash, but it shows the fins have been glued to the gasbag using hot glue then given additional support from basswood strips. At this stage, having glued the fins in place, I decided to leave the top fins the same length but to reduce the rudder by about a quarter-inch to enable the model to stand upright. Luckily I could cut it without trouble. This is a learning curve! The next step will be to paint the gasbag, attach nose and tail pieces and thin ribs along the upper half of the gasbag.



getting close - fast progress...


A J said...

Yes, I'm working on this project as fast as I can due to a lot of upcoming work this month. It's coming along.


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