Monday 20 February 2012

Steampunk- Stolly

OK, definitely a bit of silliness here- this arose out of a conversation I had with a friend during the early stages of the Steampunk project, where we decided that if its (relatively) low budget science fiction on film or television, then it has to include an Alvis Stalwart. This futuristic-looking amphibious lorry was built for the British Army in the 60’s, and since being pensioned off by HM armed forces, seems to be earning a living cropping up whenever a director needs a futuristic looking vehicle with minimal modifications and at low cost (see the Battle of Serenity prologue in “Firefly”, the refugee camp in “Children of Men”, the American military convoy in “Reign of Fire”, etc etc).

The basic technology of my version for "The Century Survey" is based around that used in the Sentinel steam lorries, making this a vertical-boilered vehicle. I haven’t gone into too much depth with thinking about the application of the technology though (apart from thinking it drives to one axle, the others simply supporting the weight), and the model isn’t properly built to scale either; rather, just aiming to get the proportions fairly close, in a rough 1/32nd scale. I was going off pics of Stalwarts in army service rather than any sort of detailed blueprint or works drawing... after all though, the whole model was just a bit of fun and something random.

As you can see from the above pic, taken prior to painting, the model of the 'Stolly' is entirely scratchbuilt- the main chassis and flatbed are from foamcore board, with artists 3mil mount card forming the main bodywork. All other accessories from the scrap box, and include that staple of my builds, marker pens, bits of other toys and kits (the headlamp and some of the whistle details are from a large toy American locomotive for example), and the door steps are clips from printer ink cartridges. Really it was a typical bodge-job.

The rather lurid paint job was just to give it a bit of presence when photographed in black and white/sepia. Its liveried up as a works vehicle of the Leeds-Liverpool Navigation Company, and in the fiction of the Century Survey/Britannia project, it’s a maintenance vehicle used by the canal company in Saltaire.

One of the experimental shots- the lens flare effect on the windows ended up a bit over the top, but I was trying to avoid having to go to the complication of fitting a properly glazed cab with interior for a quick-build, background item. More fool me, but then again this project is a process of experimentation. I plan to fit a few more details anyway before its used in any more photos...

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