Friday, May 14, 2010

A dirigible model for GASLIGHT - part 4

On with the motley. Cotton thread was glued lengthwise along the top and sides of the gasbag to represent various rigging lines and joins in the fabric. I painted the whole using a 400ml rattle can of The Army Painter color primer (bought for only $1 sale price in a local model store!) It's listed as Color Primer Necrotic flesh yet it makes for a decent canvas color.

Everything has now been glued in place and painted. Although I used a tripod to steady the camera, for some reason the images have still come out blurred. Huh! The nose and tail cones are made from air-dried modeling clay, painted with the excellent (and cheap!) Folk Art acrylic, in this case 664 Metallic copper. It covers well even in one coat and gives a nice rich lustre.

I added some scratch decals using a computer word processor program, which I printed off then cut to shape. The paper was treated with a thin coat of sepia ink to get the worn canvas appearance, and pasted into place when dry. To ensure the ink didn't run or smear I gave the paper a coat of Future/Pledge polish. The whole gasbag was then given a thin coat of sepia ink to get that weather worn appearance. I may paint the struts between the fins a different color, perhaps light or mid-gray.

The pennon came from , a useful free source of flags from combatants through the ages. The writing on the side of the gasbag reads US Aerial Cavalry, a Victorian ancestor of the famous Sky Cavalry. Underneath is the pennant number of 001. Just below the copper nose-cone (and barely visible) is the vehicle's name - Bird Dog. I figured it would be a good name for an aerial scout vessel designed to sniff out the enemy.

All that remains to do for the model itself is to paint the rudder in a variant of the pre-WW2 USAAC tail colors. I'm thinking in terms of a broad vertical stripe with alternating red-and-white stripes running horizontally to the edge of the rudder.

I've got various ideas for mounting this model. The choice is clear acrylic rod, bamboo kabob skewer or even a telescoping car aerial, all of which would be fixed to a weighted base. The two crew figures will be painted separately. At the moment I have some work coming up so they may have to wait for a while. When all is done, I'll post pictures.


Jiminho said...


What a cool model! Your gaslight stuff is really fun. I wonder if the focus problem is not movement but distance. My digital pictures are fuzzy when I am too close (less than about 5 feet). I have a macro setting which works well within that distance but I sometimes forget to set the macro... The photos are also fuzzy when I back up but forget to turn off the macro setting! There is such thing as an idiot-proof camera when I am on the scene...

In any case, I often find it hard to tell using the camera's monitor if the picture is well focussed. So, I try the macro for close shots, then a couple from a standard distance, zoomed in appropriately. I keep the picture that works best. Having lots of light helps my camera as well.

Good luck!


A J said...

Hi Jim, thanks for your comment! =) I think you may have hit the nail on the head regarding the camera. There's a function used for taking close-up pics of food which would probably work as well for models. I'll experiment and see.


This is looking terrific mate.



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