Thursday, January 31, 2013

Barn Storming?

I've been able to make some progress on the barn although not as much as I would of liked. Some poor planning on my part has forced some changes in the design. First, I've switched to swinging doors. I couldn't figure out a good way to slot the doors in to rails without making the whole assembly far to thick. The doors aren't finished yet since I'm waiting on some thinner basswood to complete them, but I'm going with a simple wire loop and piece of wire to use as a hinge. Also due to the hayloft covering half the barn I needed a crossbeam in the middle of the barn. That would of put it right in the middle of the doors so they had to be moved over and a new piece cut for the front. Old Man Rutger should of fired his architect!

That's the hayloft floor in the lower right.
Second, in order to put the hayloft on I needed to start painting the lower level. I first brushed some wood filler randomly across the floorboards as dirt and such. Then the interior got a coat of brown paint and worked up from there. I almost forgot to paint the bottom of the hayloft and put in the rest of the supports too, but remembered right before I was going to glue it in. Once it was in I kinda wished I made the side doors openable too as its more than  a little dark inside.

Hayloft floor glued in and some support beams glued to the underside of the overhang.

I also built a little shed thing onto the front of it to give a little more interesting layout. I saw a similar thing in a picture of a American Civil War era barn. I figure it's probably a tool/junk shed like you see on most farms.

The shed out front with the old roof just before I decided that I didn't like it anymore.
Side view showing off the shed door and the overhang area.
I framed out the roof but the more I looked at it the less I liked it. So back to the drawing board there. I have a good idea how I want to due it but its going to be a time consuming and fiddly job that I haven't psyched myself up enough to complete. So that leaves me with finishing those doors, the roof, and the rest of the painting.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Inspector and the Bull

One more painted up. Inspector Collins was also sculpted way back when. Both he and Gordon "Bull" Sweeney are wearing Bowler hats, which I'll admit to having quite a fondness for. Probably why I painted these two up first.

 I've also come to think of the two as the mismatched main characters in a buddy cop story. Inspector Collins is the more cerebral and level headed one and of course an actual member of law enforcement. Bull (who I imagine got his nickname both for his size and his tendency to rush into things) supplies both physical muscle and connections to the criminal underworld from his prize fighting days. Together they solve crimes and try to keep each other out of too much trouble while investigating the bizarre cases in the U Files!

 U File: 239

 Bull: "What are we looking for again?

Inspector: "The tip wasn't specific. I guess we'll know it when we see it."

Inspector: "Hmm what do you make of this strange substance in the corner?"

Bull: "You get that in these old derelicts. Vagrants you know."

Inspector: "This warehouse only burned down last week. Besides its on the inside of this wrecked crate."

Bull: " You mean some one was shipping ..."

Inspector: " Shh! Did you hear something?"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One Year in the Steamworks!

It's hard to believe that it was around Christmas time of last year that I first started working on my steampunk project. At the time I thought I might sculpt a few figures that would go with an idea that I had rattling around for a while. I never expected to still be working on it a year later or for it to have completely taken over my blog. I certainly didn't expect to still be excited about working on it for the foreseeable future.

I was thinking about putting together some pictures of everything that I worked on over the last year but that seemed a little boring. So instead I decided that I'm going to paint up everything that I sculpted over the next month or so. I had been holding off on painting them because I was toying with the idea of making casts of some of them, but the more I pondered it the more I realized I'd rather just sculpt some new versions if I ever need duplicates. So to start off here is the pugilist that I first completed way back here at the end of January last year.

I also wanted to lay out some near term plans beyond that painting project. Other than finishing off a couple of pieces for the Rutger Farmstead the next big project for me is to make a Victorian cityscape. I'm going to start with Coopers Street, sort of a typical mixed use area. I'm planning on some storefronts, row houses, and the cooper's yard/ brewery that lends the area its name. It gives me a starting point to expand downhill into the slums, docks, and warehouse districts or uphill to the government buildings and well-to-do mansions. Hopefully, this will also let me recreate one of the key images that I've had for my whole project, a giant steam robot battling a huge monster in a Dickensian city street as Victorian citizens flee in panic about their feet. I'm excited to see how close I can get!
Taken unawares outside of his usual stomping grounds of Coopers Street, Gordon "Bull" Sweeney gets ready to fight his way out!

Finally, I've grown tired of referring to everything as my steampunk universe. So I've decided to christen my little world The Steamworks. I'm hoping that this year I'll get the chance to describe more of my vision of a Victorian/Steampunk monstrous apocalypse.

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