Sunday, 30 January 2011

Mammoth surgery

The re-do and the original.
On Friday evening I cleaned up the body halves and tried to secure them together.  This initial attempt was made with styrene spacers and five-minute epoxy adhesive.  It proved to be a disaster!  The epoxy did not set properly and I was left with sticky gunk all over the components.  Needless to say I was annoyed.

After an over-night soak in Nitromoors paint stripper, the bits were nice and clean again.   I decided upon a different approach using pins (or in this case dowels)  I drilled four holes in each half.  These passed all the way through one side so that I could fine tune the positioning of the parts before they set.  The dowels were held in place with super-glue (no more epoxy on this one) and then tweaked around until the body halves were in the right position.

The dowel work is far from subtle!
To further secure the parts, I filled the gaping cavity with a good deal of Milliput.  This was then brought to a level slightly below the intended surface of the beast's "skin".  This was so that the fine detail of the skin could be easily applied when the model was finished.  After another over-night, this time in the airing cupboard, the model is a solid and heavy lump of a Nellie.  The dowels will be trimmed and the holes filled or covered.  The damage on the beast's back will be obscured by the howdah padding.  

Annoyingly, I seem to have misplaced his tail!  It came off neatly but I cannot find it.   Hopefully it will turn up but if it doesn't I can sculpt a replacement fairly easily.

The first photo shows just how poor the beast looks assembled "out of the box" when compared to a fattened twin.  My wife thought the poor chap looked as if he was dying and on the way to the Elephants' graveyard - I couldn't agree more!

Other components waiting for their moment.
The other parts are from a few manufacturers.  Gripping Beast tusks, Essex head and mahout with a Foundry Sikh who is likely to lose his head in the interests of affairs Colonial.  This fellow may get a reprieve if I go with one of the Redoubt chaps who are presently "in the mail".

Bear in mind this is in a very early stage of construction, however I think it is potentially useful for anyone considering a similar project.  Although I wouldn't advise anyone to bother with OG elephants unless they had masochistic tendencies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment