Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cryotube Arches Part 1

Another of the more difficult parts of the build was tackled, the cryotube arches. There was no easy way around this job that I could see, the arches were all individually cut from 11mm diameter styrene tube with a razor saw.

The tubes were tidied up and the shapes were then adjusted with a sanding stick so that the all matched in size and shape as much as possible, a time consuming task. A piece of 0.5mm styrene sheet was added to the end and trimmed / sanded to shape.

I also though that I would include a picture of the light bases I made for the fibre optics, since you cannot see them properly in yesterdays video post.

The optic fibres have now been removed to prep the interior of the hull for a few coats of primer and matt black paint to prevent any light leaks through the hull.

More soon,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lighting Test 1

I installed all of the wiring, push button and LED into the base front plate and ran a lighting test. The Zip drive had two light pipes that I managed to keep and I installed my flashing LED between them.

As you can see the standard 5mm flashing LED runs the two light pipes very well, so that part I'll call a success.

The other job I tackled was to install the fibre optic in the model itself. I added some squares of styrene to the upper hull to act as light fitting bases and drilled a 0.4mm hole in them. I domed the ends of the optic fibre by holding it near a flame to form a lens about 1mm in diameter. The optic fibre was then threaded through the holes and the domed ends stop it falling through and look quite convincing as light lenses. A test of the optic fibre was then performed.

 The light for the optic fibre was provided by a temporary super bright LED that I have. The lights are difficult to capture with my camera, however they are bright enough to see well in the daytime, but to capture on the camera I had to turn the lights off.

More soon,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Model Electronics 101

This project is my first attempt at using electronics to light a model. I may be attempting to do something that is a bit too advanced for me - but what the heck!

My ideas for lighting the EEV are this:
  • Four flashing red lights on the corners of the top hull.
  • A light of some description in the flight recorder base.
To achieve this I experimented with lots of different electronic components but I have finally settled on the following:
  • 1 5mm 50mcd flashing red LED.
  • 1 3mm 1500mcd 'super bright' red LED.
  • 1 100ohm resistor.
  • 1 push button switch.
  • some 0.3mm fibre optic cable salvaged from a 70's style lamp.

I discovered that the standard brightness flashing LED was not bright enough to sufficiently light the fibre optics. I need to light the fibre optics with a super bright LED, but this does not flash. How do I make the super bright LED flash?

The answer was surprisingly simple, I wired the super bright LED in SERIES with the flashing LED and they BOTH flash!

The next thing to do was to add a resistor so that the LEDs do not burn out. I was referred to the LED CENTER site that has a calculator program that was very helpful, the resistor value was 100ohm.

The basic electronic components have has some hook up wire soldered to them and some heat shrink tubing placed over the joints. Now it is on to fitting this out into the model.

More soon,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thoughts on the Display Base

I have been thinking about options for the display base since I started this project. At first I was going to build a styrene box to house the batteries etc with a aluminum tube to support the model.

Yesterday I had an idea to follow the movie story line and mount the model on the flight recorder from the EEV that Ripley uses Bishop to read data from in the movie. Now how will I do that?

I found a very old and obsolete Iomega Zip drive which was about the perfect size for a base.

I have opened the case and removed most of the internal parts, there is now enough room for my battery case and the mounting hole for the power button is just about the perfect size for my new button.

I will install styrene tubing in both the base and the model that is a snug fit for the aluminum tube stand. The wiring for the LED lighting will pass up the center of the aluminum tube.

I will paint up the Flight Recorder in grey, white and international orange, then add some custom decal lettering and it should really look the part.

More soon,


Friday, September 23, 2011

Hull Overhead Hatch

A little more work whilst I sort out the concept for lighting this. This time it is the hull overhead hatch.

Again the plating was made by laminating 0.5mm styrene sheet with the correct patterns cut out and scribed in.
The piping sections each side were made using half round styrene strip cut carefully to size.

Other jobs that have been completed are the hull plates and detail on the opposite side of the craft and the two prongs have had the hull plating added.

More to come,


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bulkheads Part 3

Quarter inch holes were drilled in the intermediate bulkheads for the provision of wiring for a lighting effect. The bulkheads were then glued into position on the hull part.

Additional bracing from scraps of styrene was added to the bulkhead joints for added strength.

Hull plating parts were then cut to size from 0.75mm sheet, squares of 1.5mm detail styrene were cut and added and this was glued to the hull and bulkheads.

This has really started to make the structure quite sturdy, which will only improve as more of the hull plating is glued into position.

More soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

End Bulkhead Hatch and Details

As mentioned in my previous post, the end bulkhead was cut from 2mm sheet and the detail from 1mm sheet. I have since made a detail overlay from 0.5mm styrene sheet.

This part had all of the detail cut out to give some nice depth to it. Here are all of the parts for the end bulkhead.

These were stacked one on top of the other to get the final detail of the end bulkhead.

The hatch door was made with the same technique.

The parts were then all glued and laminated together.

Additional greeblie detail was then added to some cut out areas to bring the part up to its final stage.

There you have it, more soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bulkheads Part 2

As mentioned in my post yesterday, I have decided to make three bulkheads for the remainder of the hull instead of one, for added strength and to provide some gluing points.

I cut three copies of the same bulkhead from 2mm styrene sheet, the bulkhead with the line work on it will be the end part of the craft and I have started making the detailing that will go onto it. The detailing part is made from 1mm styrene and will be over laminated with another part made from 0.5mm sheet.

I want to get the main bulk of the vehicle made before I close any of it up because I want to add a flashing LED 'beacon' light to the ship and need the interior open to add the wiring etc.

Stay tuned more soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mounting Prongs 1 and 2

The second item that I considered to be a hard part was dealt with last night. The holes through the mounting prongs were constructed using quarter inch inside diameter styrene tube.

The internal 'U' shaped part with the greeblie detail I made yesterday was then added and after that the next bulkhead.

The mounting prongs still need to have the external skin added, hopefully this will be a quick and easy process.

I have been doing some thinking on the next part of the hull and as I have only on bulkhead left to make from the paper templates, it seemed insufficient to me. I have decided that the best way forward is to make three of these bulkheads ans position them one at each end (one being the end part of the model) and one in the center to add rigidity and strength.

That's it again until next time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mounting Prong Part 1

I though that this part would be quick to make. however a close inspection of my plans and references show a couple of panels and an open panel at the base of this prong, the open part needing to be filled with greeblie detail. Its amazing how something small like that can slow you up.

The part was cut from 1mm styrene sheet and as this part will be folded into a 'U' type shape to fit between the first and second prongs, the fold lines were scribed onto the back. The mounting pin holes were drilled out and the open panel area cut out.

Raised panels were added with 0.5mm styrene and the open panel was backed with the same. The opening was then filled with greeblie detail using a 1:144 scale aircraft wheel and other bits of styrene shapes and rod.

This is as far as I managed to get with this part, it still needs raised detail added near the mounting holes and it of course needs to be folded to shape and secured to the main hull part. The other mounting prongs do not sport detail like this one so should be quicker to make.

More soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

End Bulkhead and Details

A little more progress to show today.

I worked on the end bulkhead on the docking bay side, cutting the main part from 1mm thick styrene, the detail bart was cut from the center and the part was backed with 2mm styrene for added strength. The center detail part was cut from 0.5mm styrene to give a pleasing variance in depth to the feature. The mounting hole in the end of the part was drilled out carefully with a quarter inch drill bit.

I then added the docking bay into its cut out and secured it with Tamiya extra thin cement, additional scraps of 2mm plastic were added around it to give additional strength.

Next up I cut out the next main bulkhead from 1mm styrene.

Thats all for this update, back again soon with more.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Docking Ring Details

With this build I am scratching my head as to how to construct two areas:
  1. The docking ring.
  2. The holes for the mounting pins.
I thought that I will tackle these two areas first and get them sorted early, so I decided to start with the docking ring and surrounding bay. (I am assuming it is a docking ring but if anyone else know better I'd love to hear from you).

I raided my spare parts box and came up with the idea of using a 1:25 scale car wheel for the docking ring itself and luckily I found one that works well, not being too tall.

As the ring fits into a recessed bay area of the craft and I had to be careful that the docking ring part would not protrude out of the bay past the general surface of the vehicle.

The pipe conduit detail could then be added to the docking ring bay using 1mm half round profile styrene strip and a couple of small greeblies thrown in for good luck.

I must say at this early stage that I am very impressed with the paper model plans, the fit so far has been exceptionally good and I really hope this continues thought the rest of the build.

More soon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

White Styrene calls me again Alien 3 BD-409 EEV (Emergency Escape Vehicle)

Well here I am again, embarking on a scratch build of a Sci-fi subject using a set of templates that are derived for paper craft, talk about de-ja-vu!

This time the subject matter is the Model BD-409 EEV (Emergency Escape Vehicle) that appears in the opening sequences of the Alien 3 movie.

I am a massive fan of the Alien movies and when I saw this on a great paper modeling site my mind just started ticking. Take a look at the site for yourself by following this link.

Anyway the model has 30 parts to make so I figured that I should be able to finish this one in a reasonable amount of time.

The first thing I did was print out the paper model templates at several sizes to decide which size to make this. I tried A4 and A3 sizes and decided that the A4 would be the best, this incidentally works out to be about 1:72 scale as well so that was a bonus.

The next thing was to use carbon paper to trace over the first sheet of parts so that the carbon impression is left on the sheet of styrene.

I chose 0.75mm thick styrene sheet for the upper and lower hull and 1mm for the end bulkheads to give some strength. Parts were cut using an Olfa 'P' cutter to scribe the line several times and then bend and snap. To make folds in the styrene sheet the reverse side was lightly scribed and then bent to shape gently.

Anyway there you have it the madness begins again - stay tuned.
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