Thursday 19 September 2019

Project: Steampunk Jabberwock

Today on the blog, the Steampunk Jabberwock...  As with the last post, it's featured in a mag so I won't go into as much nauseating detail on the blog as I'd originally planned.  A longer bit of comic though to make up for it, and to explain an issue which is affecting my current workload...

Garden Rail chose to feature an article on the first of my planned series of models of trains inspired by the Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass books, the concept itself directly inspired by one of the abandoned ideas for the Jabberwock sculpture I built for the show at Rydal Hall a few years back.

The idea was a rail-borne crane which looked suitably monster-like from various angles, but whilst I liked the railway design, it was more practical for the full sculpture to do something on caterpillar tracks.  But I had built a few models to test the different ideas, and I thought I'd rework the garden railway-scale model I built...

...but a few years in store had left it a bit knackered (to use the technical term).

I used the opportunity to knock up a slightly better design, which paid a bit more attention towards practicality than the original design did.

Because it was going to be primarily designed for the great outdoors, I chose to make it a bit more heavy-duty than I might normally, so out came the plywood...

...and then, on this solid base, a mad collection of bits and pieces.  Model kit and toy parts, plumbing fittings, pens, garden wire, you name it.

A heavy spray with black, then dusting with browns and greys, bought it all together.

Trying to go for the spooky atmosphere, but the bad weather delayed shooting the model and when I finally managed to get a free day outdoors to shoot the pictures, the greenery was much in evidence.  No spooky skeletal dead trees here, annoyingly.

Then a little later, when Garden Rail showed an interest, I knew I'd have to shoot some more pics, and thought I could fit in a shoot whilst in Wales.

A bad drive there though meant that the model suffered a bit from the Welsh country roads, so it needed some fixing.

Nice bright weather, and lots of greenery.  In hindsight I think if anything the more bright and colourful backdrop (as opposed to the planned dead and spooky option) is a better contrast.

I also planned a night shoot using the smoke generators from the Engine Shed project, which would need working eyes/lamps.  Whilst I had built the miniature with working lamps (using Christmas Tree lights), an annoyingly inaccessible wiring fault meant a last minute replacement was needed, in the shape of these micro torches.

Seemed to do the trick.

Yep, genuinely; I'd planned, and part-built, three more models for the Alice build, and then back in May, a roost of bats moved in to the attic where all the models are kept.

So there's the problem, and the reason why I'm not putting work-in-progress builds, but just putting older builds on this blog... supposedly the 43+ bats (yep, stood outside one night with a glass of wine counting them emerge from the end of the roof) should be moving on to winter quarters soon, so say The Bat People from the Bat Conservation Trust, so I'll get access back to the models.

In theory.  They're still up there as I write this.

Oh and I struggled to sort out scaling the bats, so just borrowed a toy off Elder Child.  The real bats are pretty large, mind, particularly when you've not realised they're up there one June morning, and they start to crawl down the wall to glare and hiss at you.

Next time; depends on if the bats leave or not.  Might be another older project...

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