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I present to you my modeling homage to the horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, in the form of a Ford Tri-motor from the ill-fated Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition of 1930 described in Lovecraft's novella, "At the Mountains of Madness". I readily admit that my inspiration for this project is due 100-percent to Greg "Thorfinn". I encourage everyone to check out his most excellent build, here: I am also indebted to Greg for graciously sending me the graphics he used for his decals. I have only made a few small additions and modifications. Thank you, Greg! Details of my build can be found in the WIP, here: On to the pics! First, some beauty shots: Next, selected details from my build: I replaced the kit's three engines with highly-detailed, resin items from Small Stuff. Each engine consists of 47 separate parts. I built the exhaust manifolds from scratch. I also had to reverse the props, as Airfix molded them with the concave side incorrectly facing forward: I completely re-built and detailed the engine pods beneath the wings: I removed all of the molded-in control horns and replaced them with new ones: Elevator and rudder horns on the nose: and the control horns on the ailerons, elevator, and rudder: Most of the tri-motor's control lines run external to the fuselage. Lines for the elevator & rudder run from control horns under the cockpit to the underside of the wing. They then exit the upper-rear of the wing and run down the fuselage to the empennage. Control line fairleads on the rear fuselage were constructed from thin tubing, using CA-reinforced paper for the mounting brackets. I separated and re-positioned the rudder and elevator for a more natural appearance: The wing trailing edge had to be thinned down from its original, 12-inch thick molding: The skis I borrowed stole from the Monogram/Revell Tri-motor kit: The rear ski is also from the Monogram kit, but I had to scratch build its mounting hardware: I re-built the landing lights on the leading edge of the wings. The main lens is constructed from UV-activated acrylic gel. The light behind the lens is a stick-on fingernail "jewel" from my local beauty shop: I also scratch built the navigation position lights on the wingtips and rudder. Like the main landing lights, the lenses for these lights were made using UV-activated acrylic: The decals, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, are mainly from Greg "Thorfinn" I did modify one of Greg's decals, changing the name of the airplane's owner to "Marsh Air Charters". In Lovecraft's world, Captain Obed Marsh owned a shipping line in the 1800s that traded with south Pacific islanders. I thought it reasonable that Obed's descendants would have expanded the family business to include air transport. I also created the decals beneath the cockpit, listing various cities and towns serviced by Marsh Air Charters. The names include both real and fictional destinations from Lovecraft's stories: Based on photos from an actual Tri-motor, I detailed the passenger door with a handle, pull-rope, wood paneling, and a lip around the door's outer edge. The name "Sumatra Queen", over the door, was one of Old Man Marsh's original sailing ships: I did a wee bit of engraving, for the nose engine access panels and the topside hatch behind the canopy. For a final touch, I added an Easter Egg, which can be found on the co-pilot's seat: Thanks for viewing! I'm currently building a suitable base/diorama for my Tri-motor, complete with giant mutant penguins and a shoggoth. If interested, I humbly invite you to follow that endeavor here:
After five months of work my Mountains of Madness diorama is finally complete. The basis of this project is the Airfix 1/72 scale Ford Tri-motor kit, done up as an aircraft the fictional Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition, described in H.P. Lovecraft's novella, "At the Mountains of Madness" My Tri-motor is presented in a separate RFI, which can be seen here: The WIP for this diorama is here: On with the show! First, here's the general layout: Some "Beauty Shots" Next, the details: The expedition's supplies, skis, and a scratch-built sledge: Petrol drums and a scratch-built hand pump: Unoccupied tent with a case of empty beer bottles: Footprints leading from the tent to the plane: A new case of beer in the passenger doorway, and more footprints leading back to the tent: The footprints come to an abrupt end, where a case of beer has been dropped: Nearby is an empty boot, within easy tentacle's reach of an angry Shoggoth: Meanwhile, on the other side of the camp, a pair of sled dogs have encountered some very strange intruders: Last, but not least, both the Shoggoth's lair and the tent are wired with LEDs: I hope you have enjoyed viewing my RFI. Many thanks to everyone who has followed along, and special thanks to Greg "Thorfinn" who not only inspired this project, but also graciously sent me the Miskatonic Antarctic Expedition decals for my Tri-motor. - Bill
I recently completed a build of the venerable Airfix Ford Tri-motor, made up for the fictional Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition described in H.P. Lovecraft's horror novella, At the Mountains of Madness. The Cliff's Notes plot-line is that, in 1930, a university in New England sponsors a geologic and paleontologic expedition to the unknown Antarctic. Using aircraft to cover the vast distances, they discover a range of mysterious mountains and, beyond that, the cyclopean ruins of an ancient city. On landing to explore the city, the scientists encounter monstrous beings that proceed to kill the explorers, etc. etc. The WIP for my Tri-motor build can be found here: and here are a few pics of the finished model: With the Tri-motor done, I need to build a suitable diorama around it. This will be my first attempt at building such a large/complex diorama. My goal is to show the aircraft after it has landed at the edge of the mysterious city. For inspiration, I plan to draw heavily from this artwork: my list of needed "props" include: Sledge Cargo & oil drums Fuel pump & hose Ladder Skis Rifles Tent(s) Furniture for tents Booze bottles Booze crates Boot Giant Albino Penguins Sled Dogs Shoggoth Let's get started! My first step was to decide on the general layout of the diorama: The biggest challenge will be the city wall, so that's where I will begin. I drew out the general dimensions on paper and transferred that to a piece of foamboard: The wall's buttresses and other 3-D features were cut from various thickness of foam, which will be mounted to the foamboard backing after detailing is finished: The base will, of course, be covered with snow and ice. I will be using for the first time AK Interactive's products: A quick trial run looks promising: That's as far as I've gotten as of today. I'll be posting regularly over the next few weeks, and expect to be asking lots of questions along the way. -Bill