Cargo Lander spaceship - Original Design

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by mung, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. mung

    mung Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    211
    While waiting for the weather to improve to complete the painting of the Toy bash Truck project...

    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=239673,

    ...I started another project.

    This was inspired by a charity shop toy find namely 2 Crayola colour explosion toys.
    They consist of a motorised base that a clear plastic dome sits on top turned by a gear ring.
    You are supposed to draw on the dome and an interior clear flat board with UV glow markers.
    There is a series of purple UV Leds in the base that shine up through the edge of the dome and the board and
    make the marker scribblings glow, all very psychedelic but very poorly reviewed, apparently kids get bored of it pretty quick.

    I saw great possibilities in the largish domes however and picked them up for $3.00 each.
    Here you can see I have already cut one of the domes in half with a razor saw following a line marked out with masking tape.

    [​IMG]


    The half dome shape brought to mind a spaceship from the Dan Dare comic, the Bulk carrier.

    [​IMG]


    First of all I drew up a rough thumbnail in my sketchbook for what I had in mind, with a couple of alternative engine layouts.

    [​IMG]


    Along with the Crayola domes I dug through my crate of plastic shapes and pulled out a set of 4 acrylic wineglasses
    ( picked up a year ago on special at Target for $4.00) and two sets of measuring spoons ( also purchased more than
    a year ago from Spotlight or as I like to call it Spot****e) made from polystyrene.
    The spoons come in a set of 4 different sizes.

    You nearly always need multiples of the same shape for sci fi models so I always buy at least 2 of a single item.
    When I am out shopping I am always looking out for interesting shapes made from the right sort of plastic, namely
    Acrylic, Styrene or ABS.

    Cool shapes are getting harder to find these days as more stuff which used to be styrene or ABS is now made from polyethylene
    and polypropylene which in my view are useless ( unless used as a master for a mold to make out of resin of some kind)
    to the model maker as they can't be reliably glued, sanded, scribed, fillered or painted.

    [​IMG]


    I made up a frame from 19mm plywood, somewhat overkill in thickness but I had a piece lying around.
    I used the half dome to trace around for the shape of the horizontal frames, removing the thickness of the plastic.
    The vertical frame shapes were drawn up in CAD using Draft Sight and printed out full size and using UHU stick glue
    affixed to the plywood for cutting out on the band saw and jigsaw for the interior holes.
    I used 3/8 inch thread furniture leg mounts as mounting points for the model.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The wine glasses had their bases cut off and very carefully shortened by parting off in the mini lathe.

    The cut off rings gets employed as the engine bell mounts with a disk of 2mm styrene glued inside.
    Short lengths of Evergreen strip are glued in side to re-inforce the disks to stop them being pushed inward.
    The stem of the glasses was also carefully drilled out in the lathe to allow the passing of the wire from some 2 pin
    down light connectors which I then stuck inside with some black silicon.
    I used a led bi-pin lamp to hold the ceramic connectors in position until the silicon set overnight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    These LED down lights are not cheap but they use very little power and most importantly do not reach the plastic
    melting temperatures that Halogen down lights achieve in seconds.
    The lamp you see above was a spare I had from my bicycle light that I built.
    I purchased a 4 pack of the cheapest ones I could find for $25.00 and they are of a different internal configuration.
    Instead of the three distinct LED cells you can see in the test lamp above these have an arrangement of many surface
    mount LEDs inside which actually makes for a more even engine glow.
    See new lamp below.

    [​IMG]


    Here is the ceramic bi-pin connector siliconed into position inside the engine bell.
    There is a spacer made from a ring of evergreen tubing behind the ceramic connector buried in the silicone adhesive.
    It raises the connector from the bottom of the glass so that it sits at the correct height to mate with the lamp pins.


    [​IMG]


    A long 3/8 " cup head bolt and a couple of scrap round bits of wood are assembled to make a work stand to support
    the model during construction.
    The frames were glued together and the domes and the acrylic wineglass engine bells were tried out in position.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Below you can see the original test lamp in position and then switched on. Works a treat.
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    To get juice to the lighting I am installing some 2.5mm DC power connectors at the mount positions.
    Originally I set up 6 mount points however I am debating whether to abandon the front and rear mounts altogether
    as there is no convenient place to put the power connectors.


    I have to confess I have a very strange quirk, which is always attempting to construct my models with features
    conducive to filming.

    I guess its a habit left over from the very short, long since past period as a VFX model maker.
    When I was much younger I had many ideas for short films and built many models for them but found in the end
    I never made the films, I just built the models

    The chances of any the models actually getting filmed is pretty slim... but still I persist.

    [​IMG]


    One of the complexities of using compound curved objects is that flat plate panel details don't conform to the surface
    very well.
    For this reason I pressed some heated 1mm styrene held in a wooden frame, over the shapes to later cut up into panels.
    At first I tried a round frame pressing it over the full dome but it was quite difficult to get the plastic to stretch that far so I
    made a side ways frame and pressed it over the half dome.
    This is a large area for my heat gum to effectively heat evenly and is about as large as is possible to attempt.
    A proper vac former would be ideal and I am going to have to build one... one day.

    When vac forming parts for sci fi models it is pretty common to pull a skin for the hull shape and then after cutting
    the shape free from the surrounding plastic returning it to the buck and pulling another thinner sheet over that just for
    the panel detailing.
    Everything then fits together nicely.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    To add a bit more interest to the engine bells I decided to scribe some lines around the ends.
    I screwed an OLFA plastic cutter blade to some scrap plywood and rotated the bells against it.
    Then raised up the blade on some scrap plywood packers and scribed the next line and so on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Not particularly even spacing I'll admit, I should have used more accurate spacing material, but its there now and
    better than nothing.

    As this is a Lander it needs some landing pads of some sort.
    I found these cool little sprung Oleo struts from HobbyKing. They were only $20.00. I couldn't make 'em myself for that.
    Anyway the wheels will be removed and replaced with some pads.
    The struts are designed to clamp with two grub screws to a 3mm rod. I removed the grub screws and tapped the ends M4.
    The front strut is the same size as the rears, just the wheels are smaller. It is mounted to a bit of aluminium angle screwed
    to the front wooden bulkhead.
    The rears are mounted to an aluminium strap bolted with two M6 bolts and aluminium tube spacers sitting on 1/4"
    mudguard washers into M6 t-lock nuts embedded into the plywood frame.

    The springs in the struts are pretty stiff and easily support the weight of the model so far with just a small amount
    of compression.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Eagle eyed readers will note that I penciled in 1/35th scale on my thumbnail.
    After holding up a 1/35 scale figure to the cockpit area I decided that 1/48th scale would be more suitable so got a
    1/48 scale figure kit to eventually populate the cockpit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I wired up the engine lights and the power connectors an then started on skinning the frame with some 2mm styrene.
    The roughened with coarse sandpaper styrene was superglued to the wooden structure.

    The top rear half dome was adhered in the same way.
    The other half domes I have elected to screw on with small Phillips head wood screws to allow access to the interior
    should any adjustment or repair need to be carried out at a later date.
    Hopefully the Phillips heads should get lost in the rest of the surface detailing.
    If not a small sticker painted the same as the rest of the hull, can be placed over each one which can then be removed
    to provide access.

    [​IMG]


    The engine mounts are fared in with some 75mm PVC storm pipe cut and sanded to fit.
    Some 2mm styrene and some filler will be required here as well.
    You can also see the measuring spoon blisters added as well.
    It was quite difficult to figure out where to put the holes accurately for the rear landing struts.
    I have found that accurate measurements still do not guarantee exact placement and some degree of "fitting" is
    always required.
    I started drilling a small hole where calculated it should go and then sighting through the hole to see how far out it is.
    Then using a rat tail file gradually shifting the hole over in the direction it needs to go and finishing up with a tapered
    reamer or a step drill to get it round again.
    Some detail will eventually go around the area to disguise any errors if any remain.

    The intention is to add lifting nozzles of some sort to the front and rear blisters to make good the Lander aspect of the design.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's it so far,
    more soon...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
    Axlotl, rbeach84, EddieL and 6 others like this.
  2. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    935
    What a great start! I look forward to seeing this one go together!

    --Alex
     
  3. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,560
    A heck of a good start! Very cool, very retro.
     
    Wes R likes this.
  4. Vacformedhero

    Vacformedhero Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,427
    Brilliant work, loved dan dare growing up ( 2nd phase) looking forward to seeing more
     
  5. SofaKing01

    SofaKing01 Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    3,660
    Bump Bump ;)
     
  6. Constantine

    Constantine Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341
    Nice work, brilliant!
     
  7. Rats

    Rats Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Very nice. Love the sketches too.
    Just one small thing that puts me off, just a tiny bit, is the landing gear. Are you going to beef it up a bit? It seems to long and thin at the moment.
     
  8. RogueTrooper

    RogueTrooper Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    935
    Scratch building AND a Dan Dare reference??...:eek.....Love it!!. ;)

    Looking great so far, keep going..chop, chop :D
     
  9. portland182

    portland182 Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341
    Fantastic

    Great use of materials

    I love it

    Jim
     
  10. mcusanelli

    mcusanelli Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    262
    Absolutely unbelievable! This looks like a Hollywood movie miniature under construction, fantastic work sir!
     
  11. the DOCTOR

    the DOCTOR Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    866
    Well, that's how I'd do it! Excellent inspiration and execution, though I quite like the wheels, rather than skids, looks more Dan Dare to me.

    Looking forward to more!
     
  12. mofo77

    mofo77 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    935
    awsome work,love it:thumbsup
     
  13. mung

    mung Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    211
    Firstly thanks for all the encouraging comments. They really help with the motivation to progress and ultimately finish a project.

    Rats, You may be right,
    however there are some ludicrously long landing gear struts in some Gerry Anderson show models,
    for example the aircraft at the beginning of Doppleganger aka Journey to the far side of the sun.

    Nasa Shuttle copy.jpg

    On the lander model about half the length is hidden inside the blisters at the rear and the hull at the front so they will not be as long as the mounts would suggest.
    Also they are pretty thick compared to many jet aircraft pictures I have seen.
    There may well be some extra details added later and the pads will not be as tall as the wheels.

    The Doctor, You may be right about wheels looking more Dan Dare.
    The idea was that the craft takes off and lands vertically and not really by scooting along a runway hence wheels are not strictly necessary.
    I don't claim this model belongs to the Dan Dare Universe just that the shape is "suggestive of".
    While I'm happy to purloin the general shape including the loading doors at the front, I am not going to include the fins and my engines are much more massive.

    I never do replicas, while I admire the dedication of those that do, I don't enjoy the discipline required.
    I just like doing my own take on things, using whatever inspiration comes along.
    I hope by these posts to encourage a few more to go beyond the re-creation and once in a while have a go at something unique.
    It can sometimes be quite fulfilling and potentially less stressful to both mind and wallet.

    mung.
     
  14. the DOCTOR

    the DOCTOR Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    866
    The Gerry Anderson style is a great example of what I love abut making up the future- perhaps it doesn't need to be beefed up- the tech is advanced enough to not need to be visibly tough.



    Don't worry, that's how I roll when it comes to scratchbuilding- find some cool stuff in a pound shop or charity shop, go from there! ;)

    Oh, and I might have purchased a set of those oleo struts myself, they look so good- now I need to find some inspiration!
     
  15. glorbes

    glorbes Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    361
    I LOVE THIS! Amazing craftsmanship thus far...so much fun.
     
  16. kruleworld

    kruleworld Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    635
    nice work to follow. I also think the wheels look more interesting than leg\pads (which imo would give it a starbug vibe).

    Maybe you'll never do a short film as you say, but those mounts must make it easier to photograph in interesting ways?
     
  17. mung

    mung Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    211
    I am astounded that it has been over a year since I started the build thread on this project.

    I have now done a bit of detailing work on the very top and bottom of the ship.
    The two central round shapes marked top and bot are removable caps that hide the mounting points and are yet to be detailed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I have also been working on the cockpit and led lighting as well as starting some of the panel work.
    The main effort in paneling has been at the front and I needed the cockpit to figure out where the windows should sit.
    The panels are cut from the 1mm styrene I formed around the clear plastic crayola dome halves, as described in part 1.
    It varies in thickness depending on how much stretching of the plastic sheet has taken place.

    The cockpit is made from 2mm and 1mm styrene sheet.
    The console top is made from one of the clear panels that come in the crayola domes.
    It is backlit by four white leds that have a voltage drop of 3 volts each and so don't need a resistor on 12volts DC
    that is being supplied from an old computer power supply, modded as per the instructions on one of the many you tube
    videos which describe the process.
    The room lighting is by 4 amber leds with a 240 Ohm resistor preceding in series for the 12 volt supply as they only drop
    2 volts each.
    Below you can see the rough test of the lighting with the front top dome half in position.
    This will be removable for access and is held on with 5 screws as described previously.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Detailing of the cockpit interior has been completed.
    One of the more interesting features is the textured back wall made from a disassembled VHS video cassette shell
    which has been cut up.
    I filled a green wheely bin with old VHS tapes that I had lovingly collected over the years filled with rare monster, sci fi
    and VFX documentary films.
    I have not had a working VHS machine for over 6 years so I figured it was time to get rid of them, keeping some of the
    shells with the most interesting textured patterns for just such a use.
    Below you can see the 1/48 deck crew figures temporarily placed in position.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    After painting with a few coats of grey primer and weathered in my usual way I removed dots of the paint with a 1mm drill
    so the light from the white leds shine through revealing panel lights. Various dabs of Tamiya clear colours make the differing hues.
    The two central screens were painted with Tamiya flat black and when dry scratched away in a random fashion to suggest
    some sort of tech screens.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    When the camera is lower, you get the full effect of the amber leds and that coupled with the two crew members that look
    like they are spinning some decks, makes for a decidedly club like atmosphere.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    It looks like there is some serious Doof going on in there.


    More soon...
     
    Mike J., Pcoz, Axlotl and 8 others like this.
  18. yaris

    yaris Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,036
    Most impressive!......excellent work, something very different, well done!;)
     
  19. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,560
    Nice! With no chairs, though, I hope they have really smooth re-entries... ;)
     
  20. mung

    mung Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    211
    Stand up desks are mandatory on this shipping line for health reasons.
    Usually the only person who might get a chair on the bridge of a ship is the captain, the rest of the crew are always standing, when on watch they are supposed to be alert and ready for instant action. It's hard to fall asleep standing, however in a chair after a hearty lunch...zzzzzzz.
     
  21. mofo77

    mofo77 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    935
    great work mate.i reckon daft punk would like one of these to land on they're concert stage.:cool
     
    Vacformedhero likes this.
  22. Strode

    Strode Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    866
    Absolutely amazing!
     
  23. destro319

    destro319 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    I love that cockpit area with those figures, man that is cool!!
     
  24. Constantine

    Constantine Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341
    That is just so cool,well done so far!
     
  25. Rats

    Rats Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Great to see this on the go again! Great idea for the screens, I'll definitely have to steal that........if you don't mind that is. :D
    Oh, and btw, I have a working VCR and love rare monster, sci-fi and VFX documentary films. :lol :p
     

Share This Page