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Hi folks,

I've been messing around assembling some GW stuff since I finished the Viper but haven't really got my teeth into anything. And then I spotted an interesting part in a kit, turned it upside down, and went and got my big Chris Foss book out...

I've wanted to build some '70s or '80s sci-fi for a while and this should scratch that itch. The part I found (can you spot what it is?) looks great when inverted as an under-slung bridge. I did a couple of designs around this - one as a tug or recovery vehicle, with a hexagonal body and arms sticking out the front, and one as a more conventional starship with a pyramidal body.

14882509415_3547e58455_c.jpg

I taught myself to use Sketchup (very basically) at the weekend and worked out the dimensions, so last night I was able to cut some parts and tape them up:

14695835090_5063f1d07b_c.jpg

The core is a plate of 2mm styrene, and the rest is 1mm. I laid it out with a ruler and dividers, taking the dimensions from the Sketchup model, and cut the parts out with a Tamiya scriber. Amazingly, it fits quite well despite the model not accounting for thickness. I did have to build a second version of the rear plate though since my first attempt had the angles very slightly out.

The idea is to cover it in plating and nurnies (flat ones on the surface, dense ones in the notch around the bridge) and paint it with bold stripes! First of all though, I need to cut out various access hatches and internal access holes, then make the bulkheads to fix the angled plates to the core.

Cheers,

Will

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Chris Foss?

I'm in!

Me three!

Though I must say that when I hear Chris Foss I think more of RC Model Aircraft before I think space shps.

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I'm so looking forward to this one! I'm working on something vaguely related- I really could do with a few pointers! :pray::worthy::winkgrin:

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I'm working on something vaguely related

Ooh, do share! I'm not sure what I can offer in terms of pointers since I'm really finding my way around at the moment. I did start a kitbash a while ago but it didn't really go anywhere, I can still see it in my head though so hopefully I'll get back to it at some point.

This one has the advantage of being a really simple shape. I cut out some bulkheads last night and also removed the center section of the main plate using a scriber so I can make the interior deeper than the protruding kit part. Along the same lines, I cut a notch into the back for recessing the engines. Not wildly exciting! Will take some pictures when I have the bulkheads in place.

Cheers,

Will

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I had a committee meeting last night but I have managed to build up the skeleton of the upper hull:

14901523402_acc381f058_c.jpg

Sorry about the blurry foreground - I was racing against a dying camera battery and didn't have my glasses on! Hopefully you can see the bracing bits. I measured the transverse bulkheads from the Sketchup model, added 1/8" strip to create slots so they'd stand vertical, and did the rest by cutting and trimming bits to fit in between the bulkheads.

Unsurprisingly, the spine didn't end up perfectly straight but I didn't have to sand it too much to remedy that. The top plates now fit quite well. Speaking of which, these have had some misc bracing added to the insides and I also cut out some holes for potential nurnie pits. I think the big one will probably hold a fold-out antenna of some kind, not sure about the two little ones.

I've fitted the slots for the underside bulkheads too (this has now eaten nearly a whole packet of 1/8" strip) and might get the top half of the hull closed up tonight. The thing which is putting me off is that I'm not sure if I want to fit LEDs or fibre in the front part of the ship. It's not big enough for lots of tiny windows, but maybe it would have a strobe or something near the front as well as/instead of near the back?

The other thing which needs considering is how and where to mount it. At the moment I think I might fit a brass tube or two against the rear bulkheads, which will give rather an off-centre mount, but otherwise it'll be in the way of the details on the underbelly.

I guess I also need to think if I want to display it in space, or hovering over some planet surface. It sort of feels like it shouldn't be inside an atmosphere, but the planet surface would look prettier...

Cheers,

Will

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Looking good, Will.

I'd say that if you were on the bridge,

In the blackness of space, You wouldn't want

a strobe light in your field of vision.

How about a clear section either side of the

upper body angle with the strobe inside?

Nurnies? I know what you mean but I've never heard the term before.

Display. Docked to a building on an asteroid? (Thinking Foss paintings here!)

Or to a section of a space station (Giving scope for more Foss style paint schemes)

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Thanks Pete, some food for thought there. Asteroid or maybe a bit of skeletal wrecked hull would be cool - there are some awesome compositions in those paintings. I quite like the idea that I'm making a survey ship.

But I also like the idea of it hovering over blue water and sandbars on an unspoilt planet :)

I decided to press on and get the hull together, since indecision is usually the thing that paralyses my builds. I cleaned up the openings first and lined them with 3mm and 2mm strip, so that I can easily insert the insides from inside the hull later.

14719085569_3812e907f4_c.jpg

Then I applied Contacta to the bulkheads and spine, fitted it all together with a styrene rod between the two plates at the spine, and taped it up. Then removed the tape a bit at a time and ran Extra-Thin into the joins, and replaced the tape after a few seconds.

14905720285_2245e1cab4_c.jpg

I haven't glued the last few inches at the nose yet since I wanted to have something stable behind it first. That bit's not really got any support apart from the outer plates joining the central one.

I'm going to need to do a fair bit of CA-and-talc filling tomorrow, but it's quite exciting to see something which I was sketching on paper a few days ago turn into something I can hold.

Hopefully get the bottom half of the hull on tomorrow, so I can start doing something about the seams.

Edit: I forgot to say - I had a flash of inspiration yesterday and realised that what I'm building isn't exactly Foss-inspired, it's my subconscious trying to recreate the starship from the back pages of the Usborne Book of the Future. This was my bible as a kid, I probably haven't read it for 30 years, and yet what I have in mind for this build is spookily close to those pictures.

https://archive.org/stream/Usborne_Book_of_the_Future_1979_pointlessmuseum#page/n93/mode/2up

I even did some quick and dirty pixel art for a friend's game jam entry a couple of years ago which I realise now was channeling the same thing.

14890452245_f7be9ba729_o.jpg

My brain is weird...

Cheers,

Will

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My brain is weird...

Cheers,

Will

Weird brains are usually a good thing, and also very productive, as we can see here. Great work!

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Thanks folks, hope I can keep the momentum going.

I haven't done too much today, but I sealed up the nose, which required some fiddling to get the rod I'm using in the join to sit nicely between the two plates.

Then I fitted the lower bulkheads and laid out the lower hull. I discovered I'd just cut the central join between them off-centre. Or maybe I laid them out back to back? I forget. Anyway, one was wider than the other in the engine section. I trimmed a bit off and fitted them into place.

14912935141_c4778e2af8_c.jpg

It fits reasonably well but I think the lower stern seam (the short one) might be skew? It could be an optical illusion though, I guess I'll find out tomorrow. You can see in the pic below - I think one side of the cut-and-replaced strip is straight, and the other is skew?

14912936391_ce518d5479_c.jpg

I've been reinforcing the angled joints from the inside with 3mm tube. This only gives small contact surfaces, but does guarantee that they'll be tangent to the plates so the joins end up being pretty strong. And it's easier than trying to sand wedges of the kind of length that would be needed!

Filler next :)

Will

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I thought you were modelling a 'Type S Scout/Courier' there for a moment!

Will be watching with interest. :popcorn:

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I didn't know that existed! Looks really similar too - I was also thinking about two big round engines to make it look less like a Star Destroyer.

Will

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Traveller is probably the classic sci-fi RPG.....I've been playing it on and off since my mid teens. It's still one of the best sci-fi mileu around and it inspired an awful lot of more mainstream stuff.

Many, many moons ago I made a rather poor Type S from card in 15mm, I've always wanted a decent one, so I shall be following your work for clues. :coolio:

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This is awesome. You're doing the one thing I have yet to try: scratch building an entire model. I am quite envious about that :)

It does have that star destroyer look to it, but that's going to happen with most wedge shaped ships. If you make the engines as mechanical as you can to scale, it won't have that back end you're envisioning now. At least, that's what I think, but you will know better about its direction

Am watching with great interest!

Si

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Thanks Si, I think that the engines will make a big difference. I was thinking of deviating from the Foss style "glowy hole in flat plate" and doing something Nostromo-like, with thrust vectoring (or as our lead realtime artist used to call them, "botty") flaps.

I picked up some cheap plastic homeware stuff today which looked engine-like. I also filled and sanded the various seams, although there's a bit more work to do they came out quite well. My desk looks like a disaster area though!

I'll put a bit of primer on tomorrow and clean up the surfaces, fill the pits etc. I think that I've done enough with CA to rebuild and sharpen the edges, except probably on the point of the nose.

Cheers,

Will

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This also looks like a 100t Scout ship from the Traveller RPG :) loved that game!

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This also looks like a 100t Scout ship from the Traveller RPG :) loved that game!

That is a Type S Scout/Courier Kallisti! :winkgrin:

I'm an old hand with Traveller.....Have all the original books, all the reprints, all the different editions including the superb Traveller 2300/2300AD (which I've also rewritten to use the Call of Cthulhu game mechanics). I also had most of the 15mm Citadel Miniatures figure range, but I can't locate them anywhere.....I've a feeling I may have given them to a mate who's well into 15mm wargaming. :shrug:

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Haha well done for spotting my deliberate mistake :)

I've still got my original boxed set of the original books plus extra books etc from way back in 1980. Used to play it a lot at Uni, but then we were a bunch of Astrophysicists so what else were we likely to be playing? :)

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I never played Traveller, but did spend quite a lot of time in one of the computer adaptations - MegaTraveller 2. Great character generator, you could re-roll for hours trying to get the cool goodies.

It had a really nice launch/land sequence as well. It was just a scrolling image, but it was damn cool.

Will

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I never played any of the Traveller computer games.....It's always been a dice, paper, deckplans and figures thing for me. :nerd:

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Well here's the result of all the CA and sanding - a clean (ish) hull to work on. There are some pits in the outer edges which need filling with something a bit softer than CA, but they aren't really visible from this angle.

14758001670_ec2229d113_c.jpg

(Click for bigger)

The seam on the bottom is clearly not in line, I'll probably have to slice a bit off at the stern and make sure the outer skin pieces do line up and cover the mistake.

14758056948_3b3d35728b_c.jpg

I also bought some junk for possible engine parts - a hose coupler, some Japanese novelty sausage extruders, and the back bit of a suction cup hook. I'm not sure if primer will stick to any of these, but I guess I'll find out.

14944321092_ae80dde089_c.jpg

I was thinking about two engines, but that's a terrible design - if either one fails I don't think the ship can fly. There'd be no way (assuming that the main engines are a lot more powerful than the maneuvering system) to thrust without spinning. If there were three engines you could have one fail and always get thrust through the CoG.

Mind you, I could be totally wrong - I'm not an astrophysicist - so maybe one of you could chime in and let me know?

Cheers,

Will

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