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Recent additions to Buses Around the World
And finally... The water is simply a black bin liner and a bit of Photoshopping. The backdrop is Ellenabeich on Isle of Luing, a scene I use for Port Appin. I doubt if I'll build another ferry of this size but it was worth it just to get an authentic vessel instead of all the plastic models that are available and all in the wrong scale. (I know, I have a couple!) For the rivet counters... The Grey Seal was photographed in Ullapool harbour. For the Ecomentalists - it wasn't harmed.
Ah, the RIB. What a pig!!! I had a Cararama 1/72 scale but I gave it to my grandson in Oz. Now no-one stocks them. I tried all sorts of alternatives from Toy fairs, Poundstretcher etc but nothing suitable. I had to scratch build one. I used drinking straws, mitred and cut to length, filled with DAS for strength. The I coated them in Gorilla resin and sanded the angles in to smooth corners. Made some decals and cut evergreen sprue to add some features. Remember it's only 5.5cm long so I got away with leaving some detail off. I did eventual add some grab handles and lifting ropes from the deck winch.
Decals added. Mast fitted - but only 'til I caught it with my sleeve and snapped it off. So I built a better one. Every cloud... The pistons lifting the ramps were a step too far. I tried to fathom out how to make them work and it's quite easy but at 1/76th scale I just couldn't make it look right. It was just too clumsy looking.
Lledo Toys, Noddy van leaves MV Eigg at Port Appin. You can see here that the ramp works but that first join is too wide so I had to build a hinged plate like on the real thing. More unplanned time. I suppose I needn't have added so much pipe detail as it's hidden by the seats but I feel better knowing that it's there. An OCD thing?
On some trips MV Eigg carries some steps, not sure why apart from the obvious. Maybe something to do with tides. They were scratch built around some Plastruct ladders. The wire sides were fabricated from a bit of net curtain (she'll never notice that I nicked a couple of inches). here an overall coating of Gorilla thick superglue holds it all together. The access doors to the bows are just built up with layers of 10thou plastic card.
Now this was a mind bender! I've seen patio pave layers using joins like this so I had some idea how to work it out but it still involved a lot of trial and error. Was quite pleased and relieved went it worked! You can see the benefit of taking lots of digital pics of the subject, even the most uninspiring shots can be useful one day. Bugger! That reminds me I still haven't fitted those ramp restraining chains. My wife had better hide her necklaces.
The car deck seemed a straightforward construction. Two slab sides, should be a doddle. WRONG! The floor is sloped two ways to allow water to drain, the pipework is complicated and on every photo I have there seems to be a car or cargo hiding the detail. Well they are working boats. I've modelled the doors in the position they seem to be used in most pics. Bends in the pipework are simple 45º mitring and I found superglue to be most effective for these as it dries in seconds.
Aaaarrgghhh!!!!! More railings and fiddly bits. The portholes are made from Evergreen tube. The windows are fitted inside the cabin and are the same size as a standard paper punch. That was fortunate! I have a box of bits salvaged from old plastic kits and they are the source of a few fine details like boxes and pipes. The decals used are all my artwork based on the real signs. Lifebelts were bought on-line, a pack of 24 was a couple of pounds.
A bit of arty party photography. Must've been a slow day! The life raft sourced from an Airfix kits was unsuitable so another bit of scratch building was required. This sort of research and unscheduled building eats into the time. The grab handles on the funnels - for turning - were made from slivers of plastic girder.
Fitting out the deck was difficult. I have many pics of MV Raasay and MV Eigg bit they are quite different in parts. Here the RIB crane is fitted and the life raft sets. The funnels - third attempt - are ready for production. Notice the hatch on the right which allows access to the work area steps on the stern. The steps are fitted!