Sunday, 11 May 2008

Yours in white wine sauce Blog competition - The Fenian Airship Toucan

Back in early March 2008 the 'Yours in white wine sauce' Blog launched a competition to produce a Victorian Science Fiction or VSF model in 80 days, called "Around the World in 80 models". I pledged to produce two separate entries - a group of German Steam Tanks (available as a separate Blog entry) and an Irish/Fenian Airship.

One of the rules of the competition was that photos should not be posted until the end date, but regular written up-dates were allowed. These up-dates have been posted on both this Blog and the 'Yours in white wine sauce' Blog.

This first photo shows the finished model - The first Fenian Airship 'Toucan' with its distinctive gold harp and black envelope. The model is 130mm long and built to a scale of 1/300th or 1mm = 1foot and is based on a 50mm round base.

It was my intention to produce an airship to support the two Fenial Hullcutters I had already produced for my Space 1889/Aeronef collection and use techniques that were first used to produce the Airship Hyperion (see earlier posts).

I also wanted to have sone fun with the colour scheme, naming and background of this particular airship. Details can be found in earlier Blog entries.

This photo show most of the construction completed, a 'blue foam' blimp, was first cut and then sanded to shape before being covered with a mixture of PVA glue, filler and acrylic paint. The envelope was further shaped and sanded smooth before the whole thing was painted with acrylic white paint to achieve a smooth finish.

The envelope shape was achieved trough trial-and-error and checking with 'blimp' airship shapes found via GOOGLE searches.

The gondola is thick plastic sheeting used by builders to clad uPVC double glazing units, first cut and then sanded to shape. The tail sections are plastic card and the propellor shaft is a section of metal rod. Additional detailing is plastic rod, plastic card and sticky-back plastic.

These next photos shows the first stages of painting. The envelope was painted 'linen' by Foundry (or Cote d'Arms), while the black is Vallejo 'black' and Foundry 'charcoal'. (sorry about the quality of the photo, but I have added it to show the progress that has been made.)

The airship is intended to be an aerial bomber - and defensive armament is resticted to two small calibre machine guns, one to each side firing from an open window or gun port in the lower envelope.

The harp motif was hand painted, and copies the Guinness harp design and colours. The name 'Toucan' was initially intended as a joke or nickname, but as the built continued, the name stuck!

The tail has the Irish tricolour - green, white and orange. You can also see the clear plastic disc added to the propellor shaft, which was cut with an 'OLFA' circle cutter from clear packaging material.

The built was easy, allthough I feel the whole model is a little too large or bulbous when compared to my other Space 1889/Aeronef models.

The painting of the harp motif, was a great deal of fun and not too difficult - just take your time. I started with a pencil sketch, then watered down 'spearshaft brown' from GW and built up the gold colour with successive lighter and more detailed coats, finally highlighting with pure white.

The Gondola was painted dark brown, then areas were picked out with lighter brown to look like varnished wood and finally the windows were painted dark blue, mid blue and highlighted up to pure white.

I am not sure that this is a model I will keep, but as a project it was fun to do - thank you to 'Yours in white wine sauce' for the impetus to start this project. A project that I can confirm came close to not being finished at all! I think I had given myself a very tough challenge to complete both entries.


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