Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Round 2 Klingon Bird of Prey WIP, Part 2

Not a lot of progress since last time, but here's a more detailed drawing of the landing pad drawn in AutoCAD. It's tiled, so to speak, and the cross-hatched areas will be grates over storm drains. (The weather is crappy on Qo'noS.) The triangular "tiles" are not quite forty feet on a side, if this is 1:350 scale.

Speaking of the kit's scale, it is given as 1:350. Nilo Rodis originally stated the length as 110m (about 360 ft). That would make assembled kit come out to a little over a foot long. Instead, it's a little over 10". Eh, close enough. This scale is the part of a long-running debate over with the problem of the KBoP's size. This debate is pretty thoroughly discussed at Ex Astris Scientia. To me, the original BoP in ST3 seemed like it should be smaller than that (it is a scout ship after all), and maybe  about the same length as a B-52, around 160 ft. Since it's fictional, there's no right answer, but I prefer fiction to make sense. There are windows in both the forward and rear hulls, so it's unlikely the crew can't move between them. It also seems unlikely the crew couldn't walk through the neck standing up. This makes the inside height of the neck a bare minimum of six feet. I measured the height of the kit's neck at a little under 3/8". At 1:350 scale, this is a little over 10 feet. Allowing up to 2 feet between the inner and outer walls, this works perfectly. To me the matter is settled: this kit is 1:350 scale and the Klingon Bird of Prey is about 110m long.* 

I printed the landing pad drawing out actual size and set the BoP on it in its state of temporary partial assembly to show the general idea of what it'll look like on the platform.

That's all till next time.

* This doesn't deal with the KBoPs of varying size problem. Here's my view on that: the various Star Trek production crews were under budget and scheduling pressure, and some of them didn't care a whit what the size was, so the same model shows up in a bunch of different sizes. End of story.
Because the KBoP appears in different sizes, some fans (and canon authorities) have concluded that there are several KBoP classes (which may include B'rel, K'vort, and Rotarran) of all different sizes but exactly the same shape. This is preposterous! It totally violates the principle, "Form follows function." It is nothing but a rear-guard attempt to force the special effects to make sense, but at the expense of the ships themselves making any sense.You may disagree, but if you do you are wrong!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Round 2 Klingon Bird of Prey WIP, Part 1

I am taking a little break from the Martian War Machine. I've been thinking about the new Klingon Bird of Prey I got a couple months ago--the new one with landing gear released last year by Round 2. I want to get some work done on this before my muse deserts me.

A vision came to me of the KBoP landed on a Klingon planet, maybe in the First City of Qo'noS. The place is pretty built up, so it would have to land on a raised landing pad. Otherwise, the blast from any reaction thrusters sends Klingons flying as they try to walk down the street. Here's a rough sketch I did in AutoCAD. It's just a plan view, but it shows the shape of the landing pad and its relative size to the BoP. It could be larger, but I thought it would be cool for the ship to overhang. Theoretically, a landing pad just slightly larger than the footprint of the landing gear is sufficient, but that seems silly. On the other hand, it seems like shuttles and smaller craft would use the same pad, and that no ships larger than the BoP would ever land. Hence a landing pad that seems a tad snug for the BoP. The shape is a truncated equilateral triangle, though I might add blast deflectors extending from the edges. There must also be supports (I was thinking three hexagonal columns in the corners) and all kinds of machinery, lifts, tankage, etc., since any maintenance, refuelling, and resupply must take place here. Now that I've got a sketch started in AutoCAD, I'll be fleshing out the drawing of the landing pad. Then scratchbuilding it out of styrene, and voilĂ , a diorama base!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pegasus 1/48 Martian War Machine--WIP Part 5

Last time I showed a video of an early trial of the motorized heat ray. I've been a-workin' on it since then. Although I have made a little progress, this installment will mostly be confined to telling you that I'm an idiot and explaining why.

For starters, the circuit diagram I posted in Part 3 won't work.I drew it in haste, and when I started wiring, it became clear that the reversing switch doesn't reverse the motor. Here is the revised diagram.

When I put the CCFLs into the hull, I test fitted them repeatedly, grinding down the acrylic end blocks until they'd fit inside with the hull closed. You'd think a fellow sensible enough to do that would also test fit the motor, wouldn't you? Nope. After building the drive assembly and installing it in the upper hull, I finally decided it was time to see how it fit if I closed up the hull. Did it fit? Not quite. There are three round lights in the bottom of the hull--the force field projectors that levitate the ship--and these have cylinders that project into the hull. The motor and the rear one of these cylinders tried to be in the same place at the same time when I tried to close up the hull.

The hull assembled for test-fitting the drive assembly.
So I drilled new holes for the center post inside the hull, so I could rotate the drive assembly until the motor fit between the hull halves. Here's the hull assembled for test-fitting.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My other blog "no longer listed as suspicious"

Okay, my other blog is safe to visit again. I will restore all the links to it from this blog.

Blog.com informs me that someone was using their adserver to distribute malware (no duh!), but they have stopped it. Their advice was "clear your cache." Not just that, I installed Malwarebytes (free version)  on my computer and ran it. I really recommend it. Here's the link for Malwarebytes. It found 15 instances, not necessarily all malware, but none of it was welcome. (A few months ago, my daughter's laptop got infected with that phony "Security Shield" malware that masquerades as anti-virus software and totally takes over your computer and asks for credit card info. I found out how to fix it from a page at Bleepingcomputer.com They provide detailed instructions for stopping the infection and cleaning it out with Malwarebytes.)

Here's Google's report on my other blog: http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?client=Firefox&hl=en-US&site=http://bellerophon.blog.com/

Monday, April 2, 2012

My other blog reported as malware site

I just got a notice that my other blog was reported as a malware site. I have no idea what's going on with that, since all I put there was pictures and text and a few links of interest to modelers. Here's the warning page I got from Google: http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?client=Firefox&hl=en-US&site=http://bellerophon.blog.com/

I suspect someone is abusing ads at blog.com and if you don't click on an ad you're okay, but better safe than sorry. For the time being I'm not putting any new material on my other blog. Pity, 'cause they have a feature called "image galleries" that are kind of like proof sheets you can put into blog posts.

Note: the other blog is at blog.com, not related to blogspot.com, where this blog is and which is operated by Google. So far as I know, Google is totally safe (or as safe as anything can be for mere mortals).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pegasus 1/48 Martian War Machine--WIP Part 4

Last post was pretty boring, since there wasn't anything to show but a crudely hand-drawn diagram. Since then I've made the support for the motor and gears and temporarily installed the drive system for a demonstration. (Don't look at the clutter on my workbench or it'll drive you mad as sure as getting face time with Cthulhu.) As you'll see in this video, that 1250:1 gear ratio is really necessary to get the heat ray projector to swivel at the stately pace you see in the 1953 movie.

Since last time I made a new support for the drive components from a scrap of 1/4" ABS. I drilled a large hole for the shaft of the heat ray projector and two small holes for the gear shafts, plus a clearance hole for the center post inside the hull and a recessed area for the motor. I installed the gears and everything fit. Hooray! Here are some pics of the drive system.

At left you see the upper hull with the cobra-neck heat ray sticking out, and perhaps you can tell that the bottom of the heat ray lines up with the gear on the right at the tip of my thumb. In the background you see the lower hull of the MWM, and part of an AMT Klingon battlecruiser, painted black and in need of restoration, that will be featured in a future post.

Here is a view of the drive train without the motor.The gear at the lower right (with the wires to the heat ray LED coming out of it) is the gear/pinion that I had to drill through (eliminating the pinion) to be able to slip it onto the shaft of the heat ray. It's still not secured, only press fit and none too tightly. On the left side of the ABS panel is a recessed area to support the motor. Don't mind my thumb; I injured it almost three months ago and it's still unsightly.

Here's the whole drive system so far. The gear shafts need to be superglued into the holes, the gears need to be secured so they don't fall off the shafts, and the motor is just lying there. It will be epoxied in place and strapped down. The worm that drives the first gear is superglued onto the shaft, at least, but the shaft is too long and also needs to be supported on the far end of the worm to reduce vibration.

Next time I'll have all that taken care of, and hopefully have those momentary pushbuttons installed to act as limit switches to prevent the heat ray from swiveling too far, plus all the requisite wiring to lead to the DPDT switch that will be outside the model.